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13 September 2006 @ 11:52 am
Discussion topic: Justice and the afterlife  
A belief in unavoidable justice in the next life has harmed the pursuit of justice in this one.

Current Mood: bored
Current Music: Lloyd Cole - Tell Your Sister
Tom Smithfilkertom on September 13th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Heh. I liked a comment I saw at Eschaton the other night, the gist of which is that religious wars are effectively a struggle to see who's got the better imaginary friend.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on September 13th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
Interesting way to look at it. I like it.

I've also enjoyed George Carlin's perspective, which naturally ends in the crotch. He was referring to international relations at the time, explaining his "Bigger Dick Foreign Policy." "What? They have bigger dicks? Bomb them!"
Jon Reidcrossfire on September 13th, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC)
I think that falls under the "religion is the opiate of the masses" umbrella.

However, I see plenty of justice served by people who purport to believe in unavoidable justice in the afterlife, so I'm not sure it's an absolute.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on September 13th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
Religion has also been used as an excuse or rationalization for escaping justice, though. How many death row inmates for instance have attempted to claim that their rebirth in Christ should mean that they need not die for their crimes? Or even that their "born again" status between the time of the execution of their crimes and their appearance should mean that they have been redeemed in the eyes of a higher law, so God expunging the sin of their crimes should mean that the state cannot further prosecute them for the crime?

God's law versus human law. Funny how they expect God's law to overrule or override the rule of temporal law, as though some kind of spiritual double jeopardy has attached.
L Alouisadkins on September 13th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
My 2cp
I think that it falls to a matter of personal perspective. Some people might very well fall into this category, looking at it as a 'take-the-looong-view' point. It really comes down to whether the person in question with the viewpoint feels it's still the responsibility of the current populous (or themselves) to do their best. This actually touches on some of my problems with the "It's all in the hands of FITB Diety" PoV. I tend to see it as more of a Deity will help those who help themselves. Besides, what if FITB Deity feels that justice should be delivered in this life, instead...
L Alouisadkins on September 13th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Re: My 2cp
er, sorry if this is a bit ackwardly worded - I am just waking up.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on September 13th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
Re: My 2cp
My view on this is that the Divine will work things out on their own. However, we have no sure indication if they do anything, what they do when they do anything, or really what their view of "justice" entails. Lacking any surety of outside intervention, we must assume there is none and proceed from there. If human justice is in their opinion unjust, they have the afterlife in which to redress wrongs. Let them take what punishment we dole out into their calculations of debt and punishment, since they presumably can see what we do while we cannot clearly see their actions.
L Alouisadkins on September 13th, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
Re: My 2cp
And, of course, if the balance is overdressed... then they should get some sort of reward in the after/next life to compensate.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on September 13th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)
Re: My 2cp
And, of course, if the balance is overdressed... then they should get some sort of reward in the after/next life to compensate.

Exactly. It is not the job of the law to attempt to balance people's lives on Earth. The point of laws is to enforce a civil peace, providing a list of things that cannot be done in the name of that peace, each rule of which carries a penalty for its violation. The courts and human law are here to maintain that peace, discern the truth of accusations of violations, and enforce the penalties that come with those violations.

We are not privy to the actions of any kind of court in the afterlife, and so cannot rely on them. We cannot know the content of another person's heart, so we cannot trust them when they say they have reformed themselves through religion. At the same time, their relgious activities since performing the crime are irrelevant; the penalties associated with violations of the laws are punishments and must be carried out against the guilty. Rehabilitation is important, but it isn't the only consideration.