Thursday, September 1, 2016

On Self-Justice

On Self-Justice

The Bible often uses the word “dik”, which has two translations; righteousness and justice. The first is a personal quality; the second refers to society. American evangelicals, from an excess of American individualism, usually translate “dik” as “righteous”.

Alas, the word “righteous” is contaminated by association with “self-righteous”. Self-righteousness is the quality of an individual who self-regards as righteous, but this is an egotistical illusion due to lack of perspective.

Is there, then, such a thing as “self-justice”? Justice refers to society; therefore self-justice is the quality of a society that regards itself as just, but this is a tribalistic illusion due to lack of perspective. Self-justice is how an unjust society self-justifies.

So yes, self-justice is a thing, and it is as common as self-righteousness. Take, for instance, the policeman who kills an unarmed black man, but he gets off because he did it by the book.

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