Theory of Justice” redirects here. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues little book of restorative justice pdf God.
Each culture’s ethics create values which influence the notion of justice. Although there can be found some justice principles that are one and the same in all or most of the cultures, these are insufficient to create a unitary justice apprehension. Justice is a proper, harmonious relationship between the warring parts of the person or city. Hence, Plato’s definition of justice is that justice is the having and doing of what is one’s own.
A just man is a man in just the right place, doing his best and giving the precise equivalent of what he has received. This applies both at the individual level and at the universal level. Socrates uses the parable of the chariot to illustrate his point: a chariot works as a whole because the two horses’ power is directed by the charioteer. If one is ill, one goes to a medic rather than a farmer, because the medic is expert in the subject of health. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice, and indeed the whole of morality, is the authoritative command of God. Murder is wrong and must be punished, for instance, because, and only because, God commands that it be so.
Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God? God, who becomes little more than a passer-on of moral knowledge. For example, some Christian apologists argue that goodness is the very nature of God, and there is necessarily reflected in His commands. However, this merely pushes the problem back further, as to where God’s nature comes from. If from himself, then it is still arbitrary, if from something else, then it is something higher than God. Attempts to answer this typically argues that goodness is necessarily tied with God’s character. But some critics argue that the existence of objective morality has nothing to do with the existence of God.
In this, it is similar to the laws of physics: in the same way as the Third of Newton’s laws of Motion requires that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction, justice requires according individuals or groups what they actually deserve, merit, or are entitled to. Justice, on this account, is a universal and absolute concept: laws, principles, religions, etc. This account is considered further below, under ‘Justice as fairness’. So, the proper principles of justice are those that tend to have the best consequences. Either way, what is important is those consequences, and justice is important, if at all, only as derived from that fundamental standard. Mill tries to explain our mistaken belief that justice is overwhelmingly important by arguing that it derives from two natural human tendencies: our desire to retaliate against those who hurt us, or the feeling of self-defense and our ability to put ourselves imaginatively in another’s place, sympathy. So, when we see someone harmed, we project ourselves into her situation and feel a desire to retaliate on her behalf.