Justice in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country, which located in central Asia, and is a part of Middle East. The official religion in Afghanistan is Islam. There were wars in Afghanistan more than 3 decades.

The effect of war: waste of Millions of dollars in questionable way, poverty, poor sanitation, lack of access to health care, and also include of murder, torture, rape.

1978- 2001 war began . Since 2002 there were lots of country that help Afghanistan for receiving justice and civil right. But there are some people who against justice, for example they are trying to not let the women to have human right even force them to do what ever they wanted to do, like as slave. The reason is, confusion in religion, those people are called Taliban. They are a big problem in Afghanistan for achieving justices.Just war theory

Augustine

354- 430. He is Christian theologian (rational study of concept of God) and philosopher.

Augustine idea that have according to justice

 

1.If you even have good reason to attack, but you need to think about sending young men to war or to die. Human life is too precious, too sacred to waste

2.So now the leaders are have the idea of the God who are responsible of what are they doing to the citizens

“For Augustine, war was a logical extension of the act of governance”

Plato on Justice and Slavery

Plato was an Ancient Greek philosopher who was born on 399 BCE. His views on justice were significantly different from other philosophers at the time, because he felt that justice was an internal concept, not the external principle that other philosophers considered it to be. According to Plato, justice is a natural human virtue that makes a person good and “self consistent”1. This concept of justice permits the assumption that for Plato, justice and morality are almost interchangeable; because his definition of justice could just as easily be a definition for morality.

For an individual to act in a just manner does not necessarily require them to conform to all legislation and laws of the state. A just individual is one whose soul guides them to work toward “a vision of the Good”2 (a morally good society) and who uses reason to direct their passion and ambition towards this vision.  Only when this occurs, can a person’s soul be “harmonious, strong, beautiful and healthy”2. For an action to be considered just, they must fall in line with these stipulations. Essentially, this means that how just you are depends on your internal goodness, not how well you conform to societal norms or laws.

The reason this is such a radical view on justice is because it gives permission to break laws if one determines them unjust. It begs the question as to whether a just person should to refrain from lying, stealing or killing; simply because those actions are prohibited in our society. Plato counters this objection by saying that a person who was truly just, and had a “healthy harmonious soul”2 would not have the need to lie, steal or kill.

When studying Plato it is also important to keep in mind the basic principles of ancient justice, which Plato subscribe to. Many views on ancient justice rest on the foundation that treating equals equally and unequals unequally is a just action in itself. As a common view at the time was that people naturally had specific status, which could not be altered with. The way you treat others would be affected as to whether they were your equal or your unequal.

When examining Plato’s view on justice one should also consider the fact that the Athenian democracy was on the verge of ruin while he was developing his philosophies, and that many of his views surrounding justice are based on “Utopian Ideals”1; or how he thought society should be, compared to how it actually was. According to Plato, in the ideal society justice would have to “reign supreme”1.

Plato had a very specific view on what the ideal state should be. In Plato’s opinion, philosopher kings, who were also members the highest social class, would rule the just state. These kings would have the support of soldiers, who would keep the common people in line, and allow the philosopher kings absolute rule. These philosopher kings would be the only ones in society who could properly determine what was just and what was unjust; so their views on justice should be followed. Plato was of the opinion that every state had a destination, and that this destination should be justice.

Because of these views, one might assume that Plato would oppose slavery, because we in this modern society consider slavery to be inherently evil. But to Plato, slavery was natural, as it was natural for the superior to rule over the inferior. Plato saw what he considered evidence of people’s inherent inferiority, or superiority in nature, and to him this justified slavery.

In fact, in his book “Gorgias” Plato says:

“Nature herself intimates that it is just for the better to have more than the worse, the more powerful than the weaker; and in many ways she shows, among men as well as among animals, and indeed among whole cities and races, that justice consists in the superior ruling over and having more than the inferior” 3

And because slavery in ancient Athens doesn’t’ appear to be any less brutal than the slavery that occurred in Bermuda, we can assume that Plato would also have supported it; especially because slavery in Bermuda was based off of the same principles of superiority and inferiority that occurred in Ancient Athens.

While Plato supports slavery, it was only because he saw no injustice in it; because of the slaves “inherent inferiority”. In Plato’s perspective, slaves were essential in the running of a state, and there were no moral conflicts towards owning slaves. Following this line of thinking, it is only logical that Plato would support slavery. However; all of Plato’s views on justice point towards acting in a way that is morally just. So, one could easily apply those views and determine slavery is wrong. But you would have to discount Plato’s apparent supremicism and blatant support of slavery to do so.

 

 

 

1 http://voices.yahoo.com/platos-theory-justice-4788502.html?cat=37

2 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justice-virtue/

3 www.utexas.edu/courses/ancientgreece/Additional%20texts/callicles.htm

 

 

 

 

Aristotle and the Athenian Constitution

Aristotle

Aristotle lived from 384 BCE to 322 BCE and was a Greek philosopher, logician, and scientist whose teacher was Plato. He is known to have travelled extensively from northern Greece (where he was bron) to the Isle of Lesbos to Macedonia which is one reason that has been attributed to his opinions on how a state should be run and by whom.

Aristotle believed that justice is synonymous for lawfulness and/or fairness due to the fact that injustice is the opposite (unlawfulness and unfairness). Since lawfulness is synonymous for justice, it is then implied that enacted laws encourage citizens to behave virtuously just. Aristotle thus describes justice as a virtue because if someone behaves lawfully, then they are behaving in a just manner.

However, one could argue that laws can be also unjust which questions whether, if obeying such laws, a person’s actions are nevertheless justified as they are acting in line with the law. Aristotle responds to this by differentiating political justice and domestic justice. Political justice is defined as being governed by the rule of law and domestic justice more based upon respect. Domestic justice originates more from natural laws so what is lawful in terms of political justice may not necessarily be lawful in terms of domestic justice.

Aristotle believes that a just state is one in which is ruled with the common advantage in mind. This means that the interests of the common (of the majority) dictate the political motivations of the state. This is a correct state. The opposite of a correct state (a polity) is a deviant state, which is unjust. A deviant state (a democracy) is dictated by political motivations that benefit the interests of the rulers. Aristotle outlines in Part 6 of Book 3 of Politics that “a state is a community of freemen”. It is essential to notice the inclusion of the word “community” which alludes to a state where everyone is involved in government in accordance to their status. Aristotle believes equals should be treated equally as unequals should be treated unequally. For example, slaves were meant to be slaves and thus deserve the proper treatment of being a slave. They should not act more or less than what they are. The same goes for a powerful person.

It is important to understand that Aristotle’s philosophies did not influence the Athenian Constitution. The Constitution differs from modern and contemporary constitutions as it is more a narrative of the political history of Athens as a city-state. Nevertheless, Aristotle is recognized for his contributions to the Constitution as an author and inclusions of his bias. Through an Aristotelian lens, the Athenian Constitution is as deviant as it is correct. Its history is colourful and there are aspects of it that Aristotle agreed with (such as election by lot and the participation of the common in government) and aspects with which he did not agree with (democratic institutions and the treatment of equals as unequals). It is also just as important to understand that although Athens is attributed to being the birthplace of democracy, Aristotle’s philosophies defy this as Aristotle believes a polity, which consists of a healthy mix of the wealthy and the poor to rule, is a better way to run the state. A democracy is of the people, insinuating that the poor have the power. Not only is this unrepresentative of the middle-class or the wealthy, but it is encouraging the treatment of unequals as equals.

Readings:

Aristotle’s Politics, Book 3 

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/a/aristotle/a8po/book3.html

The Nicomachean Ethics (important parts included in Solomon)

Sources:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/#ConCit