The Philosophical Foundation of Social Justice

postmodernismI once sat next to an elderly gentleman on a transatlantic flight, and as I often do, I engaged in conversation with him for the duration of the flight. As we spoke, we shared our educational and professional backgrounds, he was retired but he had been active in multiple businesses during his professional life, and his educational background was in philosophy. Somewhat taken aback by this, I inquired as to his reasoning for electing philosophy above many of the other educational directions a man of his intellect could have pursued.

His answer was that anything that ever takes place within human society is powered by philosophy, from how we approach our personal life to how we perceive the world is dependent on our philosophy. A person who values empiricism will view the world differently from a post-modernist, a person who subscribes to deontological ethics will view behavior from a different perspective than a person who values virtue or consequentialist ethics.  Few places today is this as clear as the case of Social Justice Warriors against the rest of society. Continue reading

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The Prejudice of Social Justice

socjus leagueAs I’ve been slowly working my way through the social justice chronicles I’ve come to discover that they have some founding principles that may appear somewhat strange to those who attempt to adhere to the tenets of universalism and logical consistency. In the Democratic People’s republic of North Korea for instance, they practice a strange principle when it comes to dealing with dissenters that include punishing three generations of a family for the sins of one member, based on the idea of needing to “purify” the family. In essence this boils down to that if your grandfather was a dissident, then he along with the next 2 generations (your parents and you) will be shipped off to a labour camp as well. This type of thinking is not a strange concept in the Western world as Christianity is based on the concept of inheritable sin, we are all guilty of the sin of Adam and Eve, until we are purified by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. However, most of western jurisprudence have moved away from the concept, as punishing the son for the sins of the father makes society guilty of punishing people for acts they had no hand in.

Social justice warriors and other totalitarian ideologies on the other hand, are based on the principle of punishing dissenters, and nowhere is this more clear in the calls to “check your privilege“. This simple statement, designed to invalidate criticism and argument, form the backbone of social justice rhetoric and narratives. Social justice prejudice is based in 2 simple principles designed to rob you of individuality so that they can allocate blame an guilt to groups rather than individuals. Continue reading

On the enlightenment, social justice and the state

paineI suppose we’ll never know for sure who had the radical idea that “people should be free to express their views without fearing reprisal”. I know that it was a somewhat popular idea when Socrates took his final shot of hemlock, and that a lot of was absorbed into the Roman Empire, and the Hellenic empire after that. After all, at that time they were the greatest cultures and empires the world had ever seen, both in terms of social progress. The Ancient Greeks wrote works that are still central to many modern fields of inquiry, such as Plato’s treatise of government, “The Republic“, Aristotle’s work on logic, and ethics, the Pythagorean theorem, and Archimedes’ law.

These were civilizations that showed technological prowess that disappeared after the fall of the Roman empire when Europe descended into what has become known as the dark ages. This is until human beings, strangled by Christianity, and a church that dominated every aspect of life, from your bedroom to the chambers of government. Where God-Kings and God-Emperors feared the excommunication from the Pope of Rome, as their power was considered willed to them by the divine. Started rediscovering the works of Ancient Greece, of Rome, and we got the period known as the Renaissance, a French word that means “Rebirth” or “Revival”. Where philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Protagoras, Marcus Aurelius and artists such as Virgil and Cicero, inspired a new generation of artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, scientists such as Galileo. Those works lead to that the Phoenix of ideas and exploration rose from the ashes of the great empires and minds of history and once again brought light to a world that had laid in darkness. It made us strive for enlightenment once more. Continue reading