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The Nature of Justice and Government

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  • elpresidente235
    Well, I m new to this group, and it seems like the current discussion is on the nature of right, wrong, and justice, so I think I ll take a crack at it:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 27, 2003
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      Well, I'm new to this group, and it seems like the current
      discussion is on the nature of "right," "wrong," and "justice," so I
      think I'll take a crack at it:

      Each individual is endowed with certain fundamental rights (I'll use
      Thomas Jefferson's rights: life, liberty, and the persuit of
      happiness, as stated in the Declaration of Independence.) In order
      to preserve and advance these rights, people form communities so
      that they may draw off of each others strenghts in persuit of this
      common goal, and governments to manage these communities. Therefore,
      if the purpose of the group is to advance and protect personal
      freedoms, and the members of the group benifit from these
      protections, the good of the individual and the good of the group
      are one in the same, as the two augment each other. Thus, "good" is
      derived from actions which benifit both the group, and therefore,
      the individual.

      However, when a crime is committed within a group, that action harms
      the victim by infringing upon and even damaging the personal
      freedoms of that individual, it damages the group as a whole by
      rendering the victim less capible or even completely unable to
      perform their role in the group effectively, this in turn affects
      those who are dependent on that person's services, as well as those
      who are dependent on those people, and so on. Additionally, the
      individual who comitteed the crime in the first place is also
      injured by the crime because they are a member of the now damaged
      group, and because they will eventually be punished. Thus, "evil" is
      any action that damages the group through the injury of another

      The role of government, as stated before, is to advance and protect
      the rights of its subjects. Therefore, the role of govenment in this
      situation is to prevent crime and repair damages inflicted by crime
      throught the establishment of laws that state what an individual may
      not do, and through punishment of a criminal. Naturally, these laws
      will eventually come into confilct with the freedoms they are
      designed to protect, so the govenment must establish mechanisms for
      rendering appropriate punishments for their corresponding crimes, as
      well as determine who the violators of these laws are.
      Thus, "justice" is the mechanism by which authority preserves the
      original status of the group and its individual members by detering
      crime and repairing damage already inflicted without inflicting
      damage itself.
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