The dynamic of justice and injustice : Why such a tough debate?

One of the many challenges in the debate of justice and injustice is to find evidence that one is desirable over the other. Plato uses several examples, such as the shepherd and the sheep analogy, in which he argues that acting justly to others directly benefits oneself. Moreover, he uses the analogy of “The Just State”, an idealized city in which everyone benefits one another to achieve a good life. On the other hand, Glaucon’s Ring of Gyges story raises interesting questions about whether or not men can be truly just. Glaucon makes a convincing case that men may act justly simply out of fear of punishment.

Furthermore, it’s even more arduous to define the two concepts in the first place. The popular definition of justice is equatable to fairness, while injustice is essentially the opposite, or to act or treat others unfairly. However, these definitions can pose problems as human society diversifies and grows. Some may have different needs than others, or individuals may have personal desires that conflict with the law.

Personally, I think greater conclusions can be drawn if we challenge the logic of justice and injustice as mutual ideas. In other words, I think it’s important to look at both concepts in innovative ways, rather than just as two opposites. Eric Heinze, a professor at the university of London, shares this view as well. He argues that both ideas were not formed out of “strict deductive logic” but instead from the “arbitrary etymologies” of the words themselves.

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