Justice is, most often, a synonym for revenge. When people cry for justice, what they really want is for the perpetrator to suffer, at a minimum, to the degree the victims of that person’s crimes have suffered. This is, of course, hugely problematic. What is being demanded is that the government that represents the victims become the chief torturer and executioner.

People with strongly held religious beliefs are often those that cry the loudest for this kind of justice. It would appear that they do not believe that the God, or gods, that they worship can be trusted. Perhaps a merciful deity will forgive the criminal and allow them access to eternal bliss, what then?

The idea that convicted criminals should expect to endure all kinds of assault, including sexual assault, while incarcerated, is a common subtext for all kinds of comedy and drama on the subject of justice. So if the government is not willing to engage in the practice of torture, they are expected to place their convicted criminals in a context where the torture will be by proxy.

One of the most serious, and obvious problems with this idea of justice is what happens when an individual is wrongfully convicted. Wrongful convictions are, unfortunately, inevitable. Humanity has yet to devise a justice system that ensures that no one is wrongfully convicted.

Another serious problem with this approach to justice is how it applies to criminal acts which are not deemed serious enough to warrant permanent incarceration. The science is pretty clear, “hurt people, hurt people”. If you create a system of incarceration that traumatizes inmates, there is a very good chance that at least some of those inmates are going to be far more damaged, and as a result far more dangerous, when they leave, than when they entered the system.

Coming Out

“Coming out” has special meaning. Being brave. Saying, “This is who I am.” Even though people will hate you for it. Even though there is a personal cost.

No I’m not gay, and I don’t want to diminish the experiences of those who have lived those lives. I’m coming out as a philosopher. No, this isn’t a joke.

I was in a relationship with a very young lady. No she wasn’t a child, but there was a significant age gap. She wanted to talk. She wanted to know what I was thinking.

The other day I was at a restaurant with my sister and I zoned out. She asked me what I was thinking. I told her, but the words came slowly, as if I was pulling taffy out of a bowl.

I could never talk to Joy. That was the name of the young lady. I know now that the issue was trust. I didn’t trust her. I was dealing with some devastating personal problems at the time. I didn’t trust anyone.

Joy, I wish I could have talked to you. I wish I could have shared my life and my thoughts with you, with a degree of honesty. I’m sorry I couldn’t.

This blog is dedicated to you.