Updated at least twice a week! (best catchphrase EVER)


My problem with justice take 2

Black and white: I believe that doing something terrible to someone is terrible.  Taking a life is atrocious, depriving someone of life is criminal, causing physical or emotional harm is devastating.  Yet the truth is it is ingrained in our culture.  So far is it ingrained in our culture that all the individuals I have spoken to on the issue have told me that it is human nature to desire revenge or even straight violence.  I do not believe that is true.  One, I do not and I do consider myself human.  Two, we are the only species like this and it cannot be natural.  I simply see as Lao Tsu sees, our thoughts have become our character.  Let us not let them become our destiny.

I believe doing bad things is wrong.  Period.  Yet our whole system of justice is built on doing bad acts to stop bad people.  Actions like these are the true teacher of our culture.  We can tell children to not hit each other, yet by the age of speaking children have already felt our character with eyes unclouded.  They see that we believe truthfully in the laws of algebra superimposed on our non-algebraic system.  They see that we act with an eye for an eye in our hearts.  "I worked hard so I deserve this...  They did something bad do they deserve that...  They took what was ours, it is fair and just that we take revenge."  Revenge is so much a part of our culture that people believe it is natural to feel angry when faced with loss.  A mother's experience of loss over a child killed before her time is the first cod example I explore-- however, the example I explore is an elephant mother and her elephant child.  It is not my belief that elephants feel the anger our race does.  When her child is killed by a lion, does she go to her elephant council and demand they stomple the shit out of all the lions everywhere?  No!  She feels loss.  She grieves.  We know this about elephants.  Now ask yourselves this simple question: is her lack of desire to seek vengeance a function of her being a stupid animal?  The legal reason we do not give tickets to animals is because they do not have the ability to learn the rules and reason right from wrong.  It is an accepted fact that dolphins and elephants are smarter than us.  A good example is that dolphins can learn about 50 words of human in correct context-- they can listen to sentences.  Yet, no human has ever claimed to know any dolphinese.  They have the ability to reason, love, hate, question life, think.  What they do not know is the rules we have placed upon ourselves.  

To explain these rules to a dolphin, let us first think of explaining these rules to an early American settler.  I travel back in time and try to explain to a New England settler in the 1700s, "excuse me, chap, in the future, you would have to sign twenty forms and pay six hundred dollars to get a license to sell those flowers and another god knows how much in rent on your land."



"Oh we hardly use that in these difficult times.  Six hundred, really?  Where would we get it?"

The conversation moves on.

Try explaining it to captain Picard and he, like another moneyless cultures like the dolphins have, would shake his head in shame.  The dolphin might completely fail to grasp the concept even with perfect language.  

The concept of money as we use it today is wrong.  It creates scarcity instead of allowing goods to pass from user to user more freely.  That is, it is not the concept of money that is wrong, it is what we deign necessary to use money on and how we treat money that are incorrect.  Scarcity and value create thieves with nothing to lose.  Scarcity and value create those with something worth stealing.  This cycle is much of the reason we have crime at all.

My problem with justice is that the concept teaches the idea that unjust acts require unjust means of punishment.  To do wrong is wrong.  Is it sometimes better to kill a man to stop him from killing another?  Possibly.  Is it sometimes acceptable to lie to someone if you know it is the right thing to do?  Possibly.  Was Robin Hood a hero or a villain?  Probably a hero.  This world is a world of grey encounters, but we cannot hide behind that excuse.  If we want to see a peaceful world, we must act with peace.  If someone dies wrong, seek the root cause like prison systems in other countries do.  I don't mean to tell you to back down when trouble arises.  Stand up if necessary, but remember and have reverence for the fact that in doing harm, you are perpetuating a cycle of violence that created the situation that required you to fight your way out of it.  

Like a Jedi.  

No comments:

Post a Comment