Evolution of the Self

On the paradoxes of personality

Don’t Confuse Revenge with Justice: 5 Key Differences

The terms revenge and justice often get muddled. And that’s hardly surprising, for in the course of history they’ve frequently been used interchangeably. As meanings alter and evolve over time, the connotations of these two words have increasingly diverged. Read More

lack of justice

Great article - unfortunately the concept is based upon justice being available. Where do we find justice? Courts, law, church - where? There is no impartial justice, everything is skewed. The social systems in place designed to bring justice and woefully inadequate - look at the levels of discrimination and bias in the courts, in society, it's a game to be played and the best players win. It's rarely about what it right. And if it's deeply personal and you can't get justice for the wrong that was was imposed on you - what are you left with but submission or revenge?

As someone once said "Go to a brothel if you want justice, go to court if you want to be screwed."

Sadly, I must say that there

Sadly, I must say that there is much truth in what you say (sigh). . . .

Studying the work of Rene

Studying the work of Rene Girard has been the only illuminating and workable consolation for me regarding mankind and violence. Here are the 4 major points (the 4th will irritate most no doubt, but Girard approached the Bible as historical literature, not sacred text.

1. mimetic desire: all of our desires are borrowed from other people;
2. mimetic rivalry: all conflict originates in mimetic desire;
3. the scapegoat mechanism is the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture, and religion was necessary in human evolution to control the violence that can come from mimetic rivalry;
4. the Bible reveals the three previous ideas and denounces the scapegoat mechanism.

His work is mindblowing.

It sounds like you're saying

It sounds like you're saying that justice is institutionalized revenge.

Which is probably true.

But cloaking it in an institution doesn't make it any better, any more than cloaking superstition in a "church" makes it rational.

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Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D., who holds doctorates in English and Psychology, is a clinical psychologist and author of Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy.


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