Perfect Justice or Goodness: The 5 Transcendental Desires Considered Individually, Part C (II: Evidence of the Soul from Our Transcendental Desires)
As you might suspect, the argument concerning our desire for perfect justice/goodness, follows the very same lines as the one for perfect love, expounded upon in our last post. It too can be set out in four steps:
- We have the ability to notice imperfection in justice (goodness) – in both others and ourselves – in virtually every conceivable context. We not only notice unfairness (and evil) in individual people, but also in virtually every organization and institution. We can see unfairness in economic systems, judicial systems, educational systems, cultural institutions, and so forth. Our capacity to recognize imperfection in justice (goodness) seems to know no limits – resembling our capacity to recognize imperfection in knowledge and love. Again, little children have the ability to recognize unfairness in parents and teachers – even though their parents and teachers did not teach them how to do so.
- How can we notice virtually every imperfection in the justice (goodness) of others, ourselves, organizations, institutions, systems, and society — endlessly, if we do not have some idea of what perfect justice (goodness) would be like? Stated the other way around, if we had no sense of the perfect ideal of justice (goodness), we would never notice any imperfection in justice (goodness) – we would simply count “survival of the fittest” as our lot in life.
- Once again we must ask what could be the source of our awareness of what perfect justice (goodness) would be like. The source of this awareness cannot be any kind of justice (goodness) which we have experienced in the outside world. Again, it is precisely this justice (goodness) that causes us to recognize imperfection in it. This has led many philosophers to believe that the only possible source of our awareness of what perfect justice (goodness) would be like is perfect justice (goodness) itself.
- What is perfect justice (goodness)? As you might suspect, it is the one God we proved in a previous topic.
What can we conclude from this? If the above reasoning is correct, then God is not only perfect intelligence and perfect love, he is also perfect justice (goodness).
Furthermore, he is present to our consciousness as perfect justice (goodness), creating a horizon of perfect justice (goodness) which incites us to strive for ever greater forms of justice and goodness in ourselves, others, organizations, institutions, laws, ideals, government, culture, and every other aspect of human endeavor.