T Nation

A Just World

According to the just-world phenomenon, one is subject to what one deserves. Ex: Bad things happen to bad people and vice versa.

I am wondering what yall’s views on this subject are. Do you believe that people get what they deserve? Or is it entirely conditional?

Deserves got nothing to do with it.

–William Munny

Shit Happens.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Be curious to see how one of these thinkers believe those kids in Connecticut got what they deserve. I’d LOVE to hear their rationale behind that one.

[quote]H factor wrote:
Be curious to see how one of these thinkers believe those kids in Connecticut got what they deserve. I’d LOVE to hear their rationale behind that one. [/quote]

My thoughts exactly. I do not believe that people get what they deserve. If that were true then all criminals would be punished accordingly for their crimes.

[quote]Talmidim wrote:
According to the just-world phenomenon, one is subject to what one deserves. Ex: Bad things happen to bad people and vice versa.

I am wondering what yall’s views on this subject are. Do you believe that people get what they deserve? Or is it entirely conditional?[/quote]

There are no “good” or “bad” things, only subjectively favorable/unfavorable things.
People are also things and adhere to the same premise.

[quote]Talmidim wrote:
According to the just-world phenomenon, one is subject to what one deserves. Ex: Bad things happen to bad people and vice versa.

I am wondering what yall’s views on this subject are. Do you believe that people get what they deserve? Or is it entirely conditional?[/quote]

Matters.

“Just” is a VERY subjective slippery slope. Our lives are a sum of our decisions and reactions to the shit that happens to us. Some people do bad shit and get away with it. Some people are a saint their entire life, stumble once, get caught and are punished… I would say the only two “absolutes” are paradox and change.

That’s why as I’ve been saying to all of the people who make a claim “that doesn’t effect my life so who cares if …” Well in the end everything does effect everything else. Who knows what the final straw was that tipped this psycho over the edge? I assure you all of one thing, it was something that many of you thought would never ever effect your lives!

So far, the burden of proof is still on the “afterlife” and the “karmic feedback theory” crowd.

The world might be profoundly “unjust”, depending on your definition of that word.

If you are good with religious lingo-gymnastics (take a look around the forum), some of the Connecticut victims might have even been saved through the bloody hands of their murderer.

Apart from that, a 100% “just” world, spoken in the most naive way, would probably be a very uninteresting area to live in.

[quote]Talmidim wrote:
According to the just-world phenomenon, one is subject to what one deserves. Ex: Bad things happen to bad people and vice versa.

I am wondering what yall’s views on this subject are. Do you believe that people get what they deserve? Or is it entirely conditional?[/quote]

“Prick us do we not bleed?.. Wrong us, do we not revenge?”
(Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene I)

Justice is simply institutionalized vengeance – it’s the vengeance we can all live with, since it sometimes works on our behalf. Wishing sometimes drastic suffering on others is pretty normal (which is by no means an admonition for acting on such impulses, simply realize they exist so you can diffuse them, least if you want a happier life.)

Now, justice, equality and such are human concepts to regulate human behavior and have no analogs in Nature. The “just-world” stuff you are talking about conflates human-centric behavior with pretty much everything else – sort of “nice doggy” but on steroids. If the dog wants to bite you in the leg, the dog is going to do it and trying to make it part of your social group (which works pretty well for keeping mid-sized primates happy) ain’t gonna do shit any more than praying to a volcano for mercy. Thinking someone got cancer because you don’t like them (or more likely, some group they are in) assumes a disease is working on your behalf, which is goofy.

My assessment of “just-world”? Damned near complete drivel is how I’d put it, but it does let you off the hook for helping that annoying neighbor and makes you Schadenfreude sound like it has cosmic backing. It is theorizing for overly vengeful people so they can keep intellectual distance from their own toxic feelings. If someone is a turd and deserves to be whacked upside the head, do it yourself. Don’t hope someone else drops and anvil on them and then make up comforting theories about it.

And as always, I’m probably just full of shit…

– jj

[quote]ZEB wrote:
That’s why as I’ve been saying to all of the people who make a claim “that doesn’t effect my life so who cares if …” Well in the end everything does effect everything else. Who knows what the final straw was that tipped this psycho over the edge? I assure you all of one thing, it was something that many of you thought would never ever effect your lives![/quote]

Sounds like an argument for socialism…shame on you!