Monday, June 11, 2012

Justice and Vengeance

Justice is not vengeance. Vengeance is not justice.

Justice is a virtue. Vengeance is a vice. Justice is the way of the civilized. Vengeance is the recourse of adult children, i.e., those with puerile mentality or juvenile disposition. Justice is based on truth. Vengeance is anchored on anger. Justice is a matter of what is right or wrong. Vengeance is in the realm of revenge. Justice and vengeance cannot coexist in one and the same subject person, about one and the same issue. Blessed are the just! Dangerous are the vengeful!

The truth of the matter is that vengeance is injustice.

There is a whale of a difference between being just and being vindictive – between the prosecution of a perceived malefactor and the persecution of someone presumed innocent until proved guilty. The difference here is that the first (prosecution) is in the realm of the rule of law, while the second (persecution) enters the sphere of unethical conduct. In other words, prosecution of considered offenders of the law is according to the demands of objective justice. The persecution however of someone is instigated by personal disgust anchored on base self-righteousness. This is wrong, improper – unjust.

The vengeful is an offender of law and a violator or morals.

The law promotes social justice which is first and foremost premised on commutative justice – equity between individuals. Vengeance is precisely violative not merely of commutative but also social justice. Reason: The norms of one-to-one justice elude someone vindictive who is thus eventually made a cause of social injustice in terms of offending against fair play within the human community. In short, a vengeful person is in effect a big community liability.

Woe to people presided by a vengeful leadership/

Instead of serving all, someone vengeful with leadership position chooses not only whom to favor and defend, but also whom to run after and penalize – all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding. The site as well as the might of a vindictive leader is focused more on particular hated individuals than on the common good or public welfare. The said leader in effect does not lead but is instead consumed by personal ire and disgust.

Someone fair and just is a blessing to society as well as an asset to the search and pursuit of what is right and just. On the other hand, unfortunate are the people led by a narrow-minded public official who does not even know how to distinguish between justice and vengeance.

What do your say?