Feb 18

Justice vs. Fairness

Fairness is a figment.  There – I said it.

Fairness is not real, largely because it really does not have a stable, reliable foundation.  Everyone’s conception of fairness is based on himself — his unique set of values and judgments.  Given differing perspectives and world-views, fairness is an argument that cannot be lost, but neither can it be won in any fundamental sense.

I was reading an op-ed the other day by a relatively well-known editorialist in which he noted that he and those who held opposing views were miles apart in their basic values and systems of judgment, but then proceeded to judge his antagonists’ values on the basis of his own.  What a foolish exercise in meaninglessness!  Two children whose favorite colors are red and blue may disagree about the better color, but neither is generally so inane as to argue that since “your red’s blueness does not compare to my blue’s blueness it is obvious that my favorite color is clearly superior to yours.”  But that is the boilerplate of our foolish political arguments, each intended only to foist my favored set of rules on you.

Sure, if I can get you to agree to my rulebook, I will win whatever game we seem to be playing.  Everybody knows that the one who makes the rules wins the game.  But if there is any integrity at all, the pursuit should not be controlling through “fairness” but achieving true justice.

Justice is not nearly so baseless as fairness.  Justice is an element of the nature of God.  The Almighty Himself is the arbiter, guarantor, and even the definition of justice.  A real difficulty arises in knowing and operating in that justice — no doubt about it!  But a significant milestone would be reached if we would be willing to dispense with manipulative definitions of fairness and strive to achieve some approximation to the justice of the Eternal One.


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  1. Pearle Plowman

    Pearle Plowman: If the church and christians would step up we wouldn’t need welfare. It is not ideal, but what would happen to all the unfortunate if there wasn’t some sort of help available? There are those who abuse it as is in the case of almost everything. Just my opinion..

    1. George

      Thanks for your comment! I am going to attach a response to “Is Welfare Just?”

      1. Edgar

        If the Dems do manage to rnttstiiuee the FD, I’ll be happy to call the local station that broadcasts Air Deadbeat programming to demand rebuttal time. Of course, since no one really listens to it anyhow, and the broadcast range stinks (I’m in Raleigh, and could barely get it from Chapel Hill when I worked in Durham), they probably won’t mind.

  2. Gregory Despain

    This is totally correct, i couldnt agree more. Do you have more information on this?

  3. jonathan

    What a great blog

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