I'm out of time this week to write much of a post. I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a trip across Australia before I return home to England for the foreseeable (and hopefully long-term) future. But this week, in my continuing series of posts about how to Know Thyself, I'm up to the very last topic concerning others, and concerning society, so I really wanted to get it done. I'm on to the topic of justice, but I'm rushing around trying to pack and clean and finish some other writing projects so I just don't have time to give justice much...justice.

Australia is an interesting place to spend time thinking about this concept. It was originally a penal colony set up to mete out justice to criminals in England (and push them out of civilized society). It's still retained an uneasy balance between a culture of outback individualism free from the state, and a punitive, oppressive government culture that can take guns away and take your drivers license away for 3 months for going 19 miles per hour (30 km/h) over the speed limit. Then of course there is the long history of purposefully destroying the aboriginal land and culture and trying to give them justice by saying, "I'm sorry." Maybe I'll write more about this topic after my month-long trip through the countryside here, but if you give me some thoughts to work on, I'd definitely consider it even more. Here are the two points I wrote about justice in my philosophy.

Since justice is a public good, its provider - the government - must have a monopoly on force. Progress is maximized in the long-term when there is freedom from oppression and maximum participation (i.e. a minimization of criminals who in essence defect from society). In a cooperative society concerned with the long-term survival of the species, which understands the workings of evolution and therefore insists on tit for tat justice and never allowing cheaters to win, the various means of punishment should be doled out as necessary and appropriate in an escalating order of: restoration, rehabilitation, and finally incapacitation as a last resort. The focus of these punishments is the education of the criminal and the deterrence of future offenses by the populace. Seeking retribution gives way to short-term emotions of vengeance that were useful in nature before the public good of justice was provided for by the state. Now, the emotions of the victim of a crime must not be allowed to override the use of reason to create justice and stability for the long term.

Intention and causation are not necessary for an action to be judged good or evil. Those judgments are based on objective reality and whether or not the actions promote or hinder the long-term survival of life. Praise or blame for these actions is tied to intention or neglect of intention. The magnitude of reward or punishment doled out from society should be proportional to the intention or the neglect.

Thank you as always for reading. I look forward to getting back to this blog in another month, but until then take care!


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