Revenge and Justice
May 6, 2012
This is a subject that I touched on a couple years ago in my apprenticeship. What do you see as the difference between revenge and justice? This is sometimes a very fine line for many people and even if we talk about specific cases of each it may still be a difficult line to see. So how do you know which is which? In my experience it comes down to intent. Intent is a very powerful indicator for many things and this has been discussed before when discussing the different “Sides of the Force”. It is also defines the good or evil in other situations. For instance in general people will say that killing someone is evil. So does that make our police and military evil? Or, what about the guy trying to protect his family from someone entering their home? For these many people would say well that’s not evil. So what is the difference between them? It is the Intent. So how then does intent affect Justice and revenge?
Wiki defines justice and revenge as follows:
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity.
Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived.
So these are the bare minimum of understanding the difference between the two but deciding where the line is that moves Justice into revenge. It is very hard to judge someone’s intent just by viewing their actions. Just like the drunken driving commercials that say it is easy to see when you are way to drunk but what if you just had one too many? For example from the Star Wars movies when Anakin killed the entire camp because his mother died is an easy example of revenge. Now if we look at another movie “A Time to Kill” a father killed the boys that raped and killed his daughter. Though I understand his pain and need to get “Justice” by taking matters into his own hands did he then make it more about revenge? This is where the line is not so clear.
The point in the lesson is to always be mindful of your intent when dealing with those who might have wronged you. Before you act stop and ask yourself if you are out for justice or revenge. If it takes you anytime to figure it out then it may be best to have someone else handle it or at least are with you to keep you from taking things across the line. This way there is someone to ground the situation to remove the emotional component . Keep your actions true and just and you will remain true and just. Emotions are the difference between good intent and evil acts.