Here is the Obama administration's initial response to the bloodshed of Americans:
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
The Obama administration continued their statement of appeasement with this "as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions." When has this administration stood up for another religion (besides Islam) and condemned those who have offended those believers? The Catholic League points out that a movie which shows a woman masturbating on a crucifix was given an award at a Venice Film Festival. Wouldn't that be considered offensive to Catholics as well as other Christians? Yet the administration has been quiet as a church mouse on this religiously offensive film. Shall we say double standard?
As I read some posts/articles on the killings of Americans in Libya I pondered on the the word justice for a few minutes. Then I thought to myself what constitutes justice? Is it possible for revenge or avenging one's injustice to fall under the virtue of justice? Or is revenge a dirty, ugly concept which can never coincide with justice? So I thought taking a look at a few of the great philosophers explanations on what constitutes justice was in order. Dr. Nancy Stanlick has a concise summary of Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas's philosophical definitions of justice:
The concept is presented as a sort of harmony or balance of the elements both of the individual soul and the state. Each part of the soul has its own particular and appropriate function, and the imbalance of the soul or the state is found in one part ruling over another where ruling is not the particular function or virtue of that part.
The parts of the soul and the state are:
In both the state and the individual, justice is achieved with a harmony of these elements where the rational rules over the spirited which rules over the appetitive. Justice is achieved in a sense by taking all the three virtues (wisdom, courage and temperance) and understanding their proper balance as constituting justice, which is the good of the individual being and the good of the state.
Justice is thus a matter of knowledge (related to the notion in Plato's *Apology* understood as ethical determinism) such that knowing the good implies doing the good. It is necessary for Plato that the ruling element of the soul be rationality, which is the highest faculty. Further, in the political state, the wisest and best persons should rule, and so it is that those who are most fully acquainted with the real, and who can distinguish reality from appearances, are the best to rule. In fact, they will be best to rule in part because it is what they least want to do. But they will recognize their duty in ruling and will do well at it.
Justice is a virtue practiced toward other people, and it is the whole of virtue, not just part of it. Just as the state is prior to the individual, so justice, being a virtue that is practiced toward others, is more related to the community than a particular virtue of some other name might be.
The ways in which people associate with other constitute particular justice. It is seen in distribution and in rectification.
Distributed justice involves geometrical proportion. If the unjust is unequal, then the just is equal. What is equal is a mean, so justice is a mean and it always involves at least 4 terms: 2 people with 2 shares. Shares are equal in the same ratio as the persons are equal. If unequals recieve equal shares, or equals recieve unequal shares, it causes "quarrels and complaints.
Rectificatory justice is found voluntarily and involuntarily. In the voluntary sense, it is in selling, buying, interest and lending. In the involuntary sense, it is found in theft, adultery, killing and assault, among other things. Rectificatory justice involves arithmetical proportion. The unjust action involves an unfair gain which the judge in an affair attempts to equalize. So rectificatory justice is the mean between loss and gain.
The function of a judge in a case is to restore equality that is lost in some sort of unfair transaction or occurrence.
The most imortant point of inquiry is political justice in particular. Political justice is a shared life for the satisfaction of needs as persons free and equal arithmetically or proportionately. To be free is to be an end in oneself. Justice only exists where mutual relations are controlled by law and law is found only among those liable to injustice. This is why it is not a person who rules, but the law - because a person is likely to rule for his own advantage, not for justice - and justice is meant to be to the advantage of all.
Continues in some sense the work of Aristotle in many ways, but combines with it the notion of an ultimate God as the highest object of happiness. Aquinas does not deny that Aristotle was right in claiming that the highest good was happiness, but where Aristotle saw it as being possible to achieve happiness in this life, Aquinas held that true happiness will only be achieved in another life. Of course, Aristotle didn't hold with the notion of there being another life.
For Aquinas, justice is the highest of all moral virtues. It is concerned with external actions and is found in the will for dealing with every aspect of our dealings with other people.
Justice is a constant will to render to each person his right. This refers to our relations with others and it is consistent with Aristotle's notion that a virtuous action must be done voluntarily, from a stable character, for the right reasons, and in the mean.
Justice is a relation to another implying equality. A thing cannot be equal to itself, but must be equal to something else. So justice requires community of others. Justice is only found in one person toward another.
Justice is a virtue that makes the human being and the human act good. Acts are good when they are rational and justice regulates actions, so it makes our actions good.
Justice does not direct cognitive power because justice is not a matter of knowing. It is instead a matter of doing, and doing is from appetite, so justice has to do with the will.
Justice directs us to the common good, and so it is a general virtue.
Justice is not about the passions, but about action.
Justice is foremost among all the virtues because it concerns others and it is rational.
What do you think is a just punishment for the Muslims who killed four U.S. diplomats? Life in prison? The death penalty?