Justice started early?
The oldest known collection Codex Ur-Nammu is about 4100 years old and written in Sumerian language.
Even then, it was considered important to pass laws, laws to ensure that justice was done to everyone.
If you look at the ideas of Socrates, the writings of Plato and also the statements of Aristotle, it quickly becomes clear that for all three happiness in life was the most important goal.
For the Greek
philosophers of that time, happiness / Eudaimonia could only be achieved through justice. Justice thus became the supreme virtue, which could only be achieved with a good character.
It was fair who did what his job was,
in particular the principle "suum cuique" = "to each his own".
The Romans saw laws and regulations as a stronger weapon against injustice. Their own just behavior was still important. The definition of general law was described under Emperor Justinian as follows:
"The rules of law are these:
Live honorably, do not hurt others, "suum cuique" = grant each his own."
Thereafter, until the end of the Middle Ages, the "righteousness of God" was used as a standard. A God-given order should fulfill the idea of justice.
Then began an argument of the supporters of natural law and the representatives of legal positivism.
Thomas Hobbes from England is considered the most important representative of legal positivism. He argued that right and wrong can only be obtained in conjunction with many laws.
His statement: "Where there is no general power is no law, and where no law, no injustice" has been and is often discussed. Man follows the laws after he has transferred them to a sovereign by a voluntary transfer in the form of a social contract. Without this transference, there will be a war of all against all = "bellum omnia contra omnes".
The philosopher John Locke argued that we humans ought to obey a divine natural law. He believes that elementary human rights have always been part of life. One transfers his rights only in a social contract, so that the resulting legislation can secure the already existing natural rights.
Thus, it could happen that state laws are unfair. This view was in complete contrast to Hobbes.
These two opinions have been discussed controversially by many legal scholars for a long time.
Utilitarianism was brought into the discussion by David Humes as a new thought. The assessment of the intended consequences of an action, that is, the principle of consistency is still considered today as Humes legal concept. Ethical values are not simply there; human practice determines ethics. This brings the idea "is it useful" "has value" back to the mind.
Justice can then only play a secondary role.
Immanuel Kant could not agree with this view, because this consequentialism is quite contrary to his ideas. Immanuel Kant advocates deontology: Action purposes determine whether an act should be judged ethically good.
In our time some statements trivialize the dwindling understanding of justice.
Words of John F. Kennedy: "Life is unjust, but remember: not always to your disadvantage."
Let's take another look at the right-positivistic view:
Justice comes first with the law.
There would be a different interpretation of justice for every country, every culture.
Is there still uniform human rights?
Some things might be fair in some cultures, but this is considered wrong in our culture.
May there then be international rules?
Should we impose our own ideas on others?
Can one represent internationally the idea that all people are fundamentally the same?
As already written: 4100 years ago, Sumerian rulers have already passed laws:
Thou shalt not murder ...
Thou shalt not rob ...
Thou shalt not rape ...
You should not cheat ...
Thou shalt not lie ...
These are just a few of the laws from this first known law role.
Did people internalize these laws?
How would our life be without laws, especially without law enforcement?
Is it objective if justice is the basis of a society or public order?
Subjectively, we combine justice with the terms 'social action', ethics and 'morality'.
You want to act fairly, without any profit or guilt.
Is this behavior 'owed', educated or anchored in man from birth?
How does the softening of truth and lies fit into today's image of society?
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"Justice: property and phantom of the Germans." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In all the struggles of this life, the claim to restrain one's own breast, not mild, not benevolent, even magnanimous, be righteous against oneself and against others, that is the hardest thing on the far earth.
Justice is nothing but the charity of the wise.
Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr von Leibniz
For what kind of person, if he no longer shies, does justice?
The more I enter into myself, the more I read the words that are written in my soul: Be just, and you will be happy.