Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do you think the world is ultimately a fair place?


One of the things that bothers me about many religions is the belief, often tacit, that the world enforces its own justice. We can see this in modern Christianity (the good go to heaven, the bad to hell) and in Hinduism (the good escape the cycle of reincarnation, the bad are reincarnated as a lesser creature to endure this world's hardships again).

Turns out people in general want to believe that the world is a just place, even without some made-up afterlife. The tragic consequence of this is the "just-world" phenomenon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_phenomenon
which is that people, when witnessing an inexplicable injustice, will look for reasons that the victim deserved it.

Please keep this in mind, and have compassion. If the injustice appears in explicable, it just might be. In general, the world is only fair to the extent we make it so.

Merry Christmas.

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