JUSTICE DENIED

Justice leagues of many kinds never grow old in the comic and movie world. The evil designs of powerful aliens are thwarted by a host of superheroes, who restore justice to a helpless world.

Inherent within the human experience is the need for justice. There is a sense of ‘oughtness’ within man, a sense that the collective human experience needs to be fair. Human reason tends to argue that good needs to be repaid, wickedness needs to be punished and society needs to be strung together by an unwritten code or a written code that is based on unwritten principles. The very fact that man does not expect human life and society to be a random flow of the unexpected, rather than an experience bound together by a moral code, shows that man’s existence here on earth is anything but accidental. The morality reflected in man’s human experience is nothing but a reflection of the nature of the God who created man.

If a society acknowledges the presence of God, who rules over all of creation, the moral code that characterizes the basis of justice flows out of God naturally into human experience. Justice in the context of a moral law makes sense. If a society does away with the existence of God, it struggles to find basis for any moral code that it puts up. Neither can it put away with moral codes altogether, for anarchy would follow.

Frederick Nietzsche, the German philosopher in the 19th century who started the advent of atheism with his famous quote, ‘God is dead’, did acknowledge that doing away with God would render man’s life meaningless. This cannot be more poignant than in the case of justice, where arbitrary renditions of justice in the absence of an ultimate lawgiver would ensure chaos. If Nietzsche had lived to see the full effect of his progeny-Communism, Nazism and nationalisms of many kinds, he probably would have been shocked to see how grave the implications of his philosophy were.

Justice is best symbolized by the image of Lady Justice, who has three constant characteristics- she has scales which reflect the ability to measure one’s actions against the truth, she is blindfolded to indicate that justice is impartial and cannot be swayed by position or wealth and she has a sword to indicate that justice necessarily is accompanied by the swift sword of retribution.

Can man be truly impartial given his background, bias and selfishness? Can man ever get to a point where he fully grasps truth and defines it outside of the context of God? Can man despite his multiple attempts ever get to a point where he can truly wield the sword of justice without fault? The answer to these is obviously ‘No’, yet a resounding ‘Yes’ if God were the origin of and administrator of justice. Yet in today’s society, we see an abundance of the ejection of God and therefore widespread justice denied. Lady Justice would be embarrassed!

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