The word justice has many implications but the one I will address today is retributive. It seems that anywhere in our global society where any form of Christianity prevails, the legal system is based on the biblical concept of justice—an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. I believe the basis for such determination was the ignorance of how personality is formed. The Jews, from which Christianity sprang through Jesus, seemed to have a firm, self-righteousness about basically everything concerning person and possessions. They, of course, wrote the Old testament, and in that book, they framed their God exactly after themselves. Inevitably, they framed ‘hate’ under the guise of ‘justice’.
I suppose the perpetuation of that ignorance and hate has gone unnoticed and, worse still, unquestioned even today. I have, however, in some of my recent readings, noticed a tendency in some incarceration circles to take a somewhat more sympathetic (loving) attitude toward criminals. As the fields of psychology and psychiatry have been explored and developed more fully, there seems to be inkling of attitude change toward those who break our laws.
No one is born a criminal. They become so through faulty personality development. That recognition is finally gaining traction. The answer lies, not in retributive punishment, but rather in ‘loving’ reprogramming and rehabilitation where possible. We must always hate the crime, but love the criminal–-but for the grace of God, there go I.
Jesus understood that principle exactly—“let him without sin cast the first stone”. The Jews killed Jesus for that philosophy. Worse yet, the entire Christian world which ensued ignored Jesus. We certainly have the right, morally, legally and otherwise to dislike things that others say and do, but I submit to you that we do not have the right to hate anyone under any circumstance—God doesn’t. God is Perfect Love—he accepts everyone of us as we are. That’s exactly what Jesus told us to do—we are to love our God with our all , and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Jesus never heard of psychology, psychiatry, Quantum Mechanics or any developed science—there was none. However, with his genius mind, he could instinctively see though those sciences, not in their specifics, but rather in their implications and applications. Two thousand years ago he told us exactly what we are gradually gleaning today through study and experimentation—1-we all are specific, unique individuals because of our trillions of different life’s experiences, and 2- God is in everything.
Psychology and biology have taught us that we were different even before we were conceived—each sperm and egg carries a different blueprint. In addition, from the moment of conception, each experience of any kind is different for everyone.
Psychiatry and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, engineered and propagated by Sigmund Freud has shown us that it is possible, in willing subjects, to re-train and re-orient our psyches.
Quantum Mechanics has shown us that we and everything in gravid existence are composed of identical perfect building blocs called quanta. A quantum is a smallest particle of energy which cannot be subdivided—neither can it be created nor destroyed by us. Knowledge of their perfection lends credence to the acceptance of ‘belief in God’. I have defined the essence of our God thus: God is a Perfect Rational Being. That rationality is shared with all living things. Science is the learning of specific points of God’s perfection. Gradually, we’re ‘catching on’—we’ll never know it all—we’re very imperfect.
Scientific knowledge in those three specific spheres, augmented by others areas of knowledge, helped me formulate the basis for my argument against retributive justice. Obviously, societally deranged people must be incarcerated until and when they can be re-programed and be made ‘fit for society’. Hate must never be the basis for incarceration—physical and or mental abuse as a form of justice must never be allowed or advocated—a loving, supportive , understanding, approach must be our goal always.
In that vein, just today, I posted a story about Amazon removing a booklet written by Scott Hughes, Webmaster for Online Book Club from their sales page. Seemingly, there had been a public outcry by people who had not read the booklet claiming it promoted love of rape and other crimes. It is a totally false claim. Scott asked his friends in Online Book Club to read the booklet free and to share with others. What his booklet does is promote love, even of rapist and other criminals. Furthermore, it strongly advocates against hate. His philosophy seems to coincide with mine
It is the same philosophy that I argue for and espouse in my two little books, Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality. I am certain that if we as a society cannot come to that realization and acceptance soon, we are doomed.
Talk is cheap as they say. I hate just as you do—we all do—we all are imperfect. However we must make it a priority to never seek justice in a penal sense, but rather in a sense of loving acceptance and determination to help whenever and whenever possible. That help will come from many sources: societal education about the psychology of personality development; religious retraining, negating the concepts of a vengeful, wrathful God; and support of governmental rehabilitation programs aimed at a more humane management of criminals.