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Feb 15, Seminole Hts, Socrates Cafe: What’s The Difference Between Justice and Revenge?

Saturday, February 15
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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Seminole Heights Public Library
4711 Central Ave
Tampa, FL 33603 United States

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Organized by:
Brent Hardaway


RSVP here: http://bit.ly/2UE0eRp

Whenever we are seriously wronged by someone, it is common for us to feel a desire that the other person not freely get away with it. We demand that the people who wronged us be “brought to justice” and that “justice be served”.

A common view of justice is that it seeks to restore balance, and to equal the scales. In theory, it seeks to be impartial, and rational. It may be contrasted with revenge in that the latter is more visceral, emotional, and personal. Justice, it is said, seeks closure while revenge begets more revenge. An example of the distinction might be that if someone scratches another person’s car, justice would dictate that the scratcher pay the scratchee so that scratchee can get the car repaired and restore the scratchee to his/her original state. Revenge might dictate that the scratchee do the same (or worse) damage to the scratcher.

But can a strict line be drawn between them? When it comes to criminal (vs civil) penalties, the criminal usually has to endure some punishment (usually serving time). But this does nothing to restore the victim – indeed, it may be impossible to do so. Is this, then, truly a form of justice? We may say that we do this to deter others – but is this still a form of “payback” that does nothing to truly balance the scales? Also, is it possible that some laws (under the guise of justice) may include penalties that are closer to the spirit of revenge?

Join us for another fascinating discussion!