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Sunday, August 16, 2020

When Our Laws Are Subjectively Applied -What Aristotle Can Teach Our Public Officials about Protests and Justice

Ugly and immoral are not against the law as we are limited to legal jargon as poor carbon copies of justice. While the words are exact the application thereof is subjective. Aristotle believed in the fairness of justice as equity of the distribution throughout society.  Law is the framework by which we see Justice in our court systems but it is not the essential meaning or purpose of justice.  In history justice and legal jurisprudence have been different and we require judges to marry the two through wisdom.

To have a just society we must think beyond our current laws and into the greater concept of justice as brought forward by Aristotle and other philosophers. Applications of justice are based on these essential philosophical truths. I think these philosophers can teach modern society about how justice can enhance society, or with its absence, slowly erode the framework of society. 

Providing another example of justice in law but not justice in action. History is full of stories of lost inheritance, theft, and destructive behaviors sparked by the greed for money. Money is an ideal objective of desire as money is a unit of labor which in term is seen as power and value in society. Feeling good means we must be praised by those around us and money helps create the benchmark.

While 9/10 ths of the law is possession it isn't necessarily the most moral way of looking at such situations. What if someone forged bank slips, collected and replaced a will, and didn't distribute an inheritance the way it was intended? One might consider that theft but if the person(s) is/are  executor of the estate and was entrusted to distribute the money but kept it...then that would also be immoral. 

Immoral and illegal are different but it does break down the trust of law when laws are not applied to create justice.

To protect deceptive acts of greed the executors lied and pronounced nothing was left to the other person because it was left to them. To push the person away they said they were hated and thus were despised and rejected even though that didn't fit the situation. To further stake claim over the procured money they spread rumors to make the situation uncomfortable so as to leave no alternative explanation for others in the community to follow. 

Let us say an alternative perspective as discovered decades later. The little comments, words, and actions that didn't make sense in their immediate form now fit within a larger context of theft. What was now hidden was brought to light and created an embarrassing situation. However, to make sure the truth stays buried they begin to lean on children as a warning to be silent. 

In most societies intentionally involved and damaging children is illegal and immoral. That becomes especially true if the theft and involvement was based on the discounting of life because of bigotry and mental health dysfunction. The perpetrators would show no respect for the greater values of society except their own needs and wants. Extreme selfishness and dishonesty is rewarded when actions are not held accountable.

The last wills of the deceased, the health of children, the right to a positive reputation, family, or few other things would matter as long as they enrich themselves and protect their reputation. Laws that do not uphold basic morality cannot be trusted to ensure justice is distributed appropriately.  

When society and local law enforcement turn a blind eye they are inadvertently sending a signal to the rest of society that such behaviors are acceptable under the circumstances under which the crimes were committed. We have to make an assumption that they were aware of the immoral actions, such actions are illegal, and there was a willful attempt to not uphold the law. 

While most people believe that such behavior was very disgusting and of the most selfish kind but that may not make it illegal. If we move down this line of thinking and find out the same behavior is repeated again when another family member gets sick we can say this is not only pre-meditated but also highly coordinated among the beneficiaries.  

Repeated acts indicate a methodology and lack of remorse.

Manipulation of the elderly, inheritance theft, and creating a false police report to attempt to have the victim arrested under false pretenses for uncovering the hidden crime should be illegal because it is immoral. Utilizing a local law enforcement friend to create additional pressure on the victim to be silent also should be illegal because it is immoral.

If none of these acts are illegal then the Justice system has room for reform because it fails to uphold a minimal level of morality. While legality and illegality are buried in the legal jargon of high academic attorneys and lawmakers it doesn't serve the purpose and intent of justice. The justice department should ensure we have a moral and just society.

If there is no investigation and no holding of such behaviors accountable then there is no illegal activity but that doesn't mean it is just. That activity may be inappropriate under the law but because the law is not applied with justice then there is no crime. Thus the law and justice are not exactly the same thing. They rely on each other for definition but follow different strains of application.

We might then say that justice and law are separate.

Following this logic we can say the law is only a tool of justice. If law is applied to one race or people differently than another then we have become unjust. Those who make the law and make decisions over others lives are not necessary just or unjust if they follow the law. Therefore, judges have a responsibility to use wisdom to create justice and choose when and how to apply the tools (i.e. law) for a rightful end. 

Justice should be the essential goal when applying the law.

Before we can expect justice to be offered, and in turn create societal justice, we will need to ensure that laws are applied with justice in mind. Judges should be capable of making decisions beyond the laws to ensure that justice is created. In order for that to happen we must have judges who understand the philosophical nature of justice and how it creates social justice and in turn a just society that multiple sectors of society can believe in. Each decision to investigate, not investigate, apply or not apply the law should come to the end result of justice. To fail at this in multiple locations and across broad spectrum of society means we have become unjust. Socrates, one of the the founder fathers of justice, was sentenced by the law to take a hemlock potion outside the scope of justice. He taught us that the application of law can lead to justice but often doesn't do so and therefore there must also be a level of morality among our judges.

I am working on climbing Mount Everest to raise awareness of justice and the need for a more just society. No idea if I will actually climb it. I have been doing this for over a year when I found that justice is subjective to the application of law. Law is dependent on social position and the social groups of those who violate the laws and those who enforce them. It is then up to Justice to determine how law and morality are applied to create a more just society. I think each of us has to do our part to create a more just society that leads to better overall performance and quality of life. Its not an argument against police as I have respect for them as an important aspect of society but it is an argument against subjective use of the law and allowing criminal behavior to walk because of close association and inherent bias in the system. When children's lives no long matter, truth is ignored, and cruelty is acceptable but the law doesn't act then we must rethink our justice system and those entrusted to make decisions over it. 

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