Friday, September 16, 2011


As we discussed who would be a better juror in this week’s symposium, I couldn’t help but think repeatedly about the “good of the whole.” We discussed if rectification or rehabilitation was more important, which inevitably lead to the argument that without rehabilitation, the problem can be reoccurring. We are not fixing anything if we simply rectify the situation.

I tried to argue (without success) that rehabilitation would, in the long run, be a type of rectification by fixing the base issue. I did not account for the one who suffered the injustice (as Dr. J quickly pointed out). How do we return the man’s 20 dollars to him?

I wanted to say (as Plato, of course) that the man who lost 20 dollars could find indirect justice through accepting that balance would be found again in his society, that no one else would suffer as he has, that his sacrifice would support the community, and he should be contempt with that.

Some would say he is settling; others would say that I’m reaching too far into Utilitarianism. I say sacrifice is important when discussing justice: why haven’t we done it yet?

Kant says “I am not expected, much less required, to restrict my freedom to these conditions for the sake of obligation itself.” He says we needn’t give up things because we feel we must. Regardless, I think we’ve agreed in class that logic and reason should rule all decisions. If one is going to sacrifice, the sacrifice will be done not for obligation, but because logic warrants that decision.

No one should ever need to sacrifice. If one is sacrificing, it means that another is either suffering injustice or causing injustice. Nevertheless, when a case arises when a neighbor needs a sacrifice, one should sacrifice willingly. It shows compassion and a following of the Golden Rule.

Wouldn’t you want someone to sacrifice for you?

1 comment:

  1. I think this idea of sacrifice is overly simple. It is nice to think that we can just “forgive and forget,” if a person has wronged another; however, in the real world, I know people want retribution. Take the 20 dollar example and turn it into a 20 million dollar example. If someone stole 20 million dollars from you and you were told that you would never get it back, how would you feel? . That is more than just a mere sacrifice, that is your life saving’s gone in the course of a moment. Today, most individuals sue for money when they have been wronged, are you suggesting that instead of going to court for money, we go to court to force the individual into rehabilitation and then accept the monetary loss as a sacrifice? Aristotle would say that is neither “lawfulness” nor “fairness.” Accepting the situation as a sacrifice is not enough for me; I would need rectificatory justice to be my form of rehabilitation. I would love an individual to sacrifice for me, but as you said, “no one should ever need to sacrifice.”


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