Just, Justice: guided by truth, fairness, law, or religious beliefs. is justice a moral principle which can be displayed individually through words and actions? There are a variety of perspectives from which to analyze any situation, and what is justified by one person may seem unjust by another. Does justice serve the common good rather than the interests of one individual, or does it serve both? Are unjust laws to be ignored? But how do we measure whether or not something is just? How have you been treated unjustly? What creed do you use for justice? What is your principle for moral rightness or equity? is it your right to receive justice, or is it just to be dispensed by those who are enabled?

Ensuring justice is the primary goal of our legal system in the United States, but because there are differing opinions concerning what the just punishment or compensation should be in a particular case, there are always people who end up feeling that justice has been denied. For example, some look at the Snowden affair and agree with the U.S. government that he should be tried as a traitor because he exposed government secrets about domestic and international spying programs. At the same time, other people consider Snowden a hero and an American patriot for releasing the information because doing so put him in a tremendous amount of trouble with the U.S. government. Certainly, there are grounds supporting each belief, but determining justice really doesn’t seem that difficult in some other cases. When most people from civilized parts of the world read the headline “Pregnant Pakistani woman beaten to death with bricks by relatives,” we are shocked and our sense of justice tells us that the relatives should be punished. Still, we become more offended when we read further down in the article that the so called “honor killings” are common and culturally condoned. In this specific case, the pregnant lady was beaten to death by 20 of her own family near the courthouse simply because she refused to marry her cousin in a prearranged marriage and chose to elope with someone else. As Mullen (CNN) explains, these condoned murders “often originate from tribal traditions in Pakistan but are not a part of Islam.” He goes on to explain that “under an Islamic element of Pakistani law, known as the law of Diyat, the family of a victim is allowed to forgive the perpetrator” who is usually a member of the victim’s family. One bright spot is that Pakistani police have arrested the victim’s father and issued arrest warrants for other family members. Hopefully, justice will prevail over the culturally condoned practice of killing innocent women because of their life choices. Sometimes, construed justice is dispensed by individuals acting as self-imposed judge, jury and executioner. The UC Santa Barbara killer, Elliot Rodger, wrote a 100,000+ word story about his plan to use murder in exacting justice for himself. Rodger, by all accounts a troubled individual, talked about having no problem with slicing the throats of his roommates or with torturing and killing others that he deemed “good looking.” According to Rodger, “all of that pleasure they had in life, I will punish by bringing them pain and suffering.” Obviously, Elliot Rodger’s brand of justice was based on his own envy and lack of skill in social situations. However, the pain and suffering that drove him to kill did not end with his suicide because his murder spree merely transferred the pain and sorrow to his victims, their families and friends. The actions of one deranged individual with his own sense of justice unjustly killed six people and injured thirteen others. The lives that the UCSB killer destroyed will never have the opportunity for justice, but, maybe, this is a wakeup call that justice can also be served by noticing individuals who have mental issues and getting them some form of treatment before they destroy themselves and others. WHAT IS THE COMMON DENOMINATOR? HAVE SNOWDEN, THE PAKISTANI CITIZENS, AND THE SANTA BARBARA KILLER IN ESSENCE DEVELOPED THEIR OWN CREEDS FOR LIVING LIFE?

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