Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Of Karma and Justice

First of all, it is important to agree that Justice involves interactions within a group, in a world of 1 justice makes little sense. This would suggest a definition of Justice along the lines of:
Justice is achieved through the optimization of individual well-being throughout the group, i.e. maintaining each individual's well being near the mean of the group.

Game theory, would suggest that in a changing dynamic world, with limited, yet growing resources; the reality of Justice as a virtue allows the group (a species) to profit from behavior such as empathy, and self-sacrifice; which would explain how said emotions have become embedded within many species throughout evolutionary time.

Karma expresses the flow of well-being towards achieving Justice as it relates our evolved emotional responses to events and our actions. It is similar to keeping count of standard deviations from the mean.

Many ways of achieving justice have bean thought out; most religions deal extensively on the subject as do all political systems. In the end; justice as something more complex than even the simplest cooperative games is NP - complete and we will continue forever changing and optimizing our laws and beliefs regarding our communal well-being to our current situations.

As sentient being, I agree the pursuit of justice is a responsibility we hold to ourselves, it is crucial to our survival.

2 comments:

Ruben Llibre said...

should'nt it be the other way around with empathy?
Out of empathy grows a sense of justice?
im not sure im sold on the concept of justice as a "higher" concept than empathy.

hobbes' consultant said...

Ok, I get your point.

The argument is: Empathy (and self-sacrifice) can evolve in a species due to the fact it promotes a group (and therefore: the species) survival.

So, indirectly, through a species' fitness. Justice drives the evolution of empathy.

I agree it is most likely true that an individual cannot feel satisfaction from justice before he can feel empathy.

Although the notion would seem reversed from the perspective of an individual, we started by stating justice does not apply in such a context, and we must then use a new concept for the feeling of satisfaction though the search / achievement of justice.

This feeling would seem, then, to be born from empathy, self-sacrifice and an understanding of a group and its well-being. The care for all others, if you will: what is right.