Essay about Justice: Who Knew It Could Be So Complicated

Essay about Justice: Who Knew It Could Be So Complicated

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The term justice is used in some of America's most treasured and valued documents, from the Pledge of Allegiance, to the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. Everyone wants to be treated justly whether it's in the courtroom or the local bar. Most people would feel confident giving a definition for justice, but would it be a definition we could universally agree to? Given that justice is a very common term, and something we all want, it's important to have a precise definition. For hundreds of years philosophers have argued, debated, and fought over this topic. Justice can clearly be defined as the intention to conform to truth and fairness. This is true justice.
In Plato's, "The Republic", Thrasymachus and Socrates debated on the topic of justice. Thrasymachus seemed to be very sure of himself when he defined the idea. He claimed justice was "nothing but the interest of the stronger." He is asserting that because the wealthy and powerful create the laws and inflict penalty for an offense, then we must define justice as whatever the wealthy and powerful want it to be. Socrates had a different idea as to how to define justice. He seemed to define justice in terms of pure selflessness and a constant and unwavering desire to do what is right. He described a ruler who makes decisions without regard for himself and thinking only of the best interest of the people under his rule. Thrasymachus expresses a harsh and negative view of society and the people in charge, while Socrates described a nearly perfect human being. Both views are extreme; the answer must lie somewhere in the middle. Socrates' definition of justice would in fact be true if it could actually exist. I can imagine this just person Socrates creates the s...

... middle of paper ... will find many different types of justice from distributive, to retributive and compensatory. There are not different types of justice. You do not make an idea more just by adding justice to the end of it. Justice is the intention to conform to truth and fairness.
Justice is not a concept easily defined, and it can be even harder to pursue. It is, however the responsibility of society to conform to the truth and fairly and reasonably seek justice. When it is clear to us what justice is, it should also be clear to us when justice is not being carried out. We must empower and exemplify the just, and redirect the unjust. We should strive to embody the definition Socrates uses to describe justice, and while we will most certainly fall short of this mythical justice, we can take comfort in the fact that through our just intentions we will achieve true justice.

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