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Justice VS Revenge

  1. Mar 27, 2004 #1
    Let's say country X attacks country Y. Then, country Y counters by killing X's people. Is that justice?


    Justice: Quality of being righteous. The law.

    Revenge: The act of taking retaliation for injuries or wrongs.

    Justice can also being 'an eye for an eye' like revenge. In ancient history or stories, children would anvenge their parents death. The bible says that revenge is evil. But is there any difference when we hand the murderers to be dealt with (probably faces the death penalty)?

    If you think that justice has more fairness, it can't be. Revenge can sometimes be fair if we do the maths - do an equal amount of retaliation.

    And by the way, what is the difference between them?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2004 #2


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    Whose law? What is seen as fair and just by one party is not just to the other. We usually require justice to fit a number of criteria:

    1. Closure. Justice should be final, without a repeating cycle of vengeance.
    2. Healing. Similarly, justice should result in something positive overall.
    3. Deterence. Something to encourage the event never to happen again.
    4. Order. Justice should be according to a set code - there must be consistency and reliability to justice.

    Revenge does not always work that way.
  4. Mar 30, 2004 #3
    Well, if x retaliates (i.e, seeks revenge) against y, then y will seek revenge against x, and x will seek revenge against y.....the process will go on for quite a while.

    And if the aforementioned process continues for a long while as is presupposed (and observed frequently throughout history) then there will be no justice according to FZ+'s definiton. There will not result a positive peroration.

    So there is quite a distinct difference.
  5. Mar 31, 2004 #4
    revenge is just disire

    or an act of feel balance to the consequence

    justice is too restrict us in such way to preserve life. if revenge was killing. or a warning that prevent us do the thing at first place.
  6. Apr 8, 2004 #5
    Traditionally, we have the following motivation for punishment of criminals:

    1: Deter other would be criminals.
    2: Rehabilitate the offender.
    3: Keep society safe by removing criminals.
    4: Satisfy psychological needs of the victim.

    Yes, justice is about being righteous, and is the law. That's begging the question.

    Justice is an artificial concept in the sense that it is a concept of humanity. But it is natural in the sense that it grew out of the need for survival and social order. Ultimately, justice is defined by its function, not by what it should be.
  7. Apr 9, 2004 #6
    The conception of "justice" that a lot of people have is merely societal revenge. They believe that people deserve to be punished, regardless of whether anything good comes of it.

    The only useful point of punishment is to serve as a deterrent and/or prohibitor.
  8. Apr 9, 2004 #7


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    Isn't rehabiliation useful, if it was attainable?
  9. Apr 9, 2004 #8
    Revenge is the gouging of justice.
  10. Apr 9, 2004 #9
    I think the distinction between "justice" and "revenge" lies in their respective boundary conditions. Quantitatively (since this a discussion about semantics, the following should be regarded loosely), I think that justice requires a "zero action sum". That is, the reciprocation must be equal in detriment to the infraction that spurred the response. Revenge is the physical act of reciprocation. In essence, the space of just actions is a subspace of the space of all vengeful actions.

    Now the debate turns to defining the magnitudes of detriment.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2004
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