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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:57 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Justice, OTOH, is an easier concept for me to get a grip on.

I can't get a grip on the concept of justice at all. It's too much of a moveable feast, depending on the individual circumstances of all of the participants in every situation. It's far too big a concept for me to get any kind of handle on at all.

Unfortunately true. It often seems that for most people, "justice" tends to translate to "whatever benefits me."

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:44 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Justice, OTOH, is an easier concept for me to get a grip on.
I tend to agree with Ben. Fairness is easier.

(I guessed right that the post I decided not to reply to might not stand - always worth waiting to be sure Nano has finished :wink: )


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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:55 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Justice, OTOH, is an easier concept for me to get a grip on.
I tend to agree with Ben. Fairness is easier.

I guess I always saw the two as being one and the same.

david_h wrote:
(I guessed right that the post I decided not to reply to might not stand - always worth waiting to be sure Nano has finished :wink: )

:lol: :oops:

Yeah, sometimes it takes me a while to figure out that it's best I just shut up. I am deeply grateful for everyone's kind and exceedingly patient indulgence of my quirks and flaws.

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:08 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I guess I always saw the two as being one and the same.
Picking phrases from Wikipedia we find for Justice "the principle that people receive that which they deserve" and for Fairness "the perceived appropriateness of". We can agree, disagree or debate about fairness referring to how it seems to us. Justice is more about 'them', usually with reference to how others view them .


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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 4:23 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
I guess I always saw the two as being one and the same.
Picking phrases from Wikipedia we find for Justice "the principle that people receive that which they deserve" and for Fairness "the perceived appropriateness of".

But are they not at least hand in hand? For me they're entirely interchangeable terms, and I sense no dissonance in it. An injustice may rightly and appropriately be called unfair. It's unjust when a parent turns a blind eye to their child being a bully; it's unfair to the bullied, the bullied's parents, the bully him/herself, as well as the community. Now take the same proposition and switch the words "unfair" and "unjust" around; I don't see a difference substantial enough to matter. Allowing that we can draw semantic distinctions between the two (I'm as yet unconvinced of the practical necessity for it), such distinctions strike me as thin at best, for I don't see that the distinctions actually separate them in reality. A coin may have two sides, but in the end the coin is still one.

david_h wrote:
Justice is more about 'them', usually with reference to how others view them .

I don't understand this at all, so I hope you'll elaborate.

Here's why I don't understand: In our language, the word "justice" is not the exclusive property of jurisprudence alone. Justice in its broadest sense intimately concerns you, me, and everyone. I don't see any "them" about it. Justice for someone else isn't something I can put at arm's length and say it has nothing to do with me. When I say that this is because we're all interconnected, don't take it as mere dreamy New Age pap: it's not. It's actually the fact of the matter. When someone is treated unjustly (or unfairly - take your pick as suits you), by extension there is no justice for me, for how can I kid myself that I'm going to be exempt from the same treatment?

Many of us have been treated unjustly/unfairly before, as have I, and it's not hard to see that culture is one of its enablers.

Oh, and I'm finished with this post, BTW. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:23 pm 
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I'm with David. "Justice" and "fairness" are entirely different things.

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:25 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I'm with David. "Justice" and "fairness" are entirely different things.

But how so?

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:51 pm 
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I'll give it a try ...

If the server at the local diner gives you a bigger slice of pie than she gives Jeff Bezos, that is unfair. But I don't believe it is unjust.


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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:25 pm 
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Tunborough wrote:
I'll give it a try ...

If the server at the local diner gives you a bigger slice of pie than she gives Jeff Bezos, that is unfair. But I don't believe it is unjust.

That's a rather fraught example. :lol:

But I get your point. I've tended to let context dictate whether I draw any distinction between the two words; in certain cases, for me they do seem entirely interchangeable, at least from the standpoint of rhetoric. Here's an example of what I'm getting at: If Bezos's smaller slice of the pie (what a contrary metaphor!) was due to a deliberate act of prejudice against adoptees (I know, I know - it's a stretch), wouldn't that be thought unjust?

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:53 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I've tended to let context dictate whether I draw any distinction between the two words;

I'd suggest we can use a narrow view of the context when deciding what's fair, but justice requires a wider view. You, for example, posit an alternate, wider context that changes the determination of justice.


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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:08 am 
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fairness + force = justice

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:34 am 
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https://phys.org/news/2017-02-animals-u ... -dont.html


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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:51 pm 
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Tunborough wrote:
You, for example, posit an alternate, wider context that changes the determination of justice.

That's what English is so good at, and I take it to heart. We have many words with various, even disparate meanings: "sanction", for example. Some meanings may apply only in a regionalism, or occur in British English but not in North American English and, of course, vice versa. Take "boot", for example: as a noun, it means a type of footwear; a kick - and by extension, dismissal; in B.E. it's the part of a car that I call the trunk (don't know about you Canadians on this one - you can surprise me sometimes :) ); like "sock", it can mean a different-colored foot on an animal; in some contexts it can be a variant of "a boost". There will no doubt be other meanings as well - I'm guessing most likely industrial. As a verb, "boot" can likewise mean to kick or dismiss; it now means to start a computer, or to make ready in other contexts. "Boot up" can also mean to put on boots.

It's not the best direct example compared to the potential meanings of "justice" - but it's to explain that I take any word with many possible meanings to be a sort of mini-library, if you will, and I'm always on the alert for new additions if the addition is the product of usage in any given community, even if those meanings are now obsolete; I may still have use of them one day. Likewise, for me "justice" has no one canonical meaning. It may have a most-widely used meaning, but that's not enough to invalidate the others. It's an impossible notion, because the other meanings/applications/nuances still exist, regardless.

That's how I approach the concept of vocabulary, of "word-hoard"; it's not just the number of words, but the ways in which each may be validly used as well. But this very discussion drives home the fact that validity is in the eye of the beholder.

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:44 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I don't understand this at all, so I hope you'll elaborate.

Here's why I don't understand: In our language, the word "justice" is not the exclusive property of jurisprudence alone. Justice in its broadest sense intimately concerns you, me, and everyone. I don't see any "them" about it. Justice for someone else isn't something I can put at arm's length and say it has nothing to do with me. When I say that this is because we're all interconnected, don't take it as mere dreamy New Age pap: it's not. It's actually the fact of the matter. When someone is treated unjustly (or unfairly - take your pick as suits you), by extension there is no justice for me, for how can I kid myself that I'm going to be exempt from the same treatment?

Many of us have been treated unjustly/unfairly before, as have I, and it's not hard to see that culture is one of its enablers.

Oh, and I'm finished with this post, BTW. :wink:


Well, the problem goes back to what I said-- people can disagree on what they find "fair" (or "just"). Even within the legal system, people may disagree on whether the punishment is appropriate to the crime. And how they feel about tends to depend on what side they're on.

If everyone worried about justice for others, this might be less of a problem, but I think we can all agree that a fair number of people don't worry about something if it doesn't affect (or, doesn't negatively affect) them or theirs.


Tunborough wrote:
I'll give it a try ...

If the server at the local diner gives you a bigger slice of pie than she gives Jeff Bezos, that is unfair. But I don't believe it is unjust.


I think it's both. Has Jeff Bezos done something to deserve the smaller piece? (Unless he's watching calories or something. And no, I don't consider "I gave him the smaller piece because I don't like him" to be either fair or just. If someone's a jerk, they may deserve many things for that jerkiness, but amount of pie probably doesn't come into it.) Now, if the server at the local diner gives you a slice of pie but makes Jeff pay for his, that is where the two of you might disagree on fairness or just-ness. He will say it's not fair because everyone should have to pay for the pie they consume, and he might have a point. You might say it's fair because Jeff makes well enough to not only buy his slice of pie but the whole diner, while you just lost your job, and you might have a point.


But, I don't want to go on too much or it's going to get too far into politics. So I'll say, let's just think about how all of this applies to the world at large, and various situations of all sorts in which people disagree about whether what is going on is "fair" or not (often according to how much they specifically are benefited or hurt by "what is going on"), and whether people concern themselves with whether something is "fair" or "just" to someone else, regardless of whether they themselves have a horse in the race.

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 Post subject: Re: SLEEP!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:30 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Justice, OTOH, is an easier concept for me to get a grip on.
benhall.1 wrote:
I can't get a grip on the concept of justice at all. It's too much of a moveable feast, depending on the individual circumstances of all of the participants in every situation. It's far too big a concept for me to get any kind of handle on at all.
and later Nanohedron wrote:
... for me "justice" has no one canonical meaning. It may have a most-widely used meaning, but that's not enough to invalidate the others. It's an impossible notion, because the other meanings/applications/nuances still exist, regardless.

So you agree it's a slippery but have different approaches to the challenge of hanging onto it?

My 'problem' is that it can take an essay to set out one aspect and books for the whole thing but still leave me with nothing intuitive. Sure, one could write books on fairness and, if slices of cake are being doled out, on greed, punishment and reward but behind each of them is something that is easy to get hold of. And maybe not only for us humans.


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