in modern times, the word “justice” has been replaced with the word “social justice.”
are they the same?
upon my frequent visits to my former law school, “social justice” is often referenced in speeches concerning the school’s goals and aspirations. “justice” for justice’s sake, is never mentioned. this week’s torah portion, shoftim, offers historic pronouncements as to justice and its administration.
shoftim include the following verses:
“you shall set up judges and law enforcement officials for yourself in all your cities that the lord, your god, is giving you, for your tribes, and they shall judge the people [with] righteous judgment.” deuteronomy 16:18
“you shall not pervert justice; you shall not show favoritism, and you shall not take a bribe, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts just words.” deuteronomy 16:19
” justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the lord, your god, is giving you.” deuteronomy 16:20
“one witness shall not rise up against any person for any iniquity or for any sin, regarding any sin that he will sin. by the mouth of two witnesses, or by the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be confirmed.” deuteronomy 19:15
“you shall not have pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” deuteronomy 19:21
per the oxford dictionary, social justice is a noun. it is justice in “terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. ” individuality gives way to the struggle for social justice.
simply put, social justice, arguably, is the complete opposite of justice. justice is intended that each individual is judge fairly and without bias or consideration of their wealth, their opportunities in life, or their privileges in life. in contrast, social justice seeks to pervert justice by taking items such as wealth, opportunities and privileges to tilt the scales in favor of or to a particular segment of society.
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