infinite mercy is incompatible with perfect justice.
it is my contention that absolute mercy is incompatible with any justice and absolute justice is incompatible with any mercy. similarly, even if they are, I still contend that absolute justice and absolute mercy could not coexist.
justice: equal, impartial and fair treatment of those who done wrong
mercy: kind/forgiving treatment of those who have done wrong
perfect justice: knowing what the most fair retribution of a wrong, having the power to enact that retribution on the wrongdoer, and doing so.
perfect mercy: knowing the most fair retribution of a wrong, having the power to enact that retribution on the wrongdoer, and either not doing so, or carrying out a lesser punishment.
(note: that as far as I'm concerned, perfect mercy and justice do not require omnipotence nor omniscience, but they do require all knowledge pertaining to their subject matters (the judgement of people), and the power to enact decisions related to their judgements
also, retribution is used in the sense of giving back what was stolen, not in the eye for an eye sense. (a subtle but important difference))
the burden of proof is mine in this debate. my opponents job will be to analyze my arguments and explain why they perceive it as wrong.
(note: assume I am using judge outside the legal sense unless otherwise specified)
mercy and justice are very similar. they are both related to judging a persons actions as wrong, and determining what punishment is most appropriate. in the case of justice, someone tries to the best of their abilities to punish someone in the most fair way given their crime.
for example, if someone stole some amount of money,one may judge that that person must either financially reimburse the victim for money and time lost or be detained for an amount of time that is considered proportionate to the duress caused. given that judgement, a just person would follow through with it. a merciful judge would instead reduce the penalty in some way or give the wrongdoer a sufficiently longer amount of time to reimburse the victim than the more strict judge would. such a judgement cannot be considered whole just, in a sense, it is antithetical to the more just action.
expanding this to the highest cases, their can be no room left for mistake. both the perfectly merciful entity and the perfectly just entity know what the most just action is to take and have the power to take that action, but one chooses to perform that action (the just) and the other chooses to go a softer or kinder route (the merciful). as one cannot perform a perfectly just action and simultaneously perform a perfectly merciful action, it is impossible to simultaneously be perfectly merciful and perfectly just.
put in a slightly more formal form:
or for the normal case
I will only say that 1 definition doesn't accurately reflect the concept being addressed, so i presented an alternative:
Def. 4 - Perfect mercy: knowing the most fair retribution of a wrong, having the power to enact that retribution on the wrongdoer, and either not doing so, or carrying out a lesser punishment or no punishment at all
Perfect mercy like perfect justice is that which executes mercy to the fullest extent.
If the merciful judge has someone to recompense for the crimes of the offender, perfect justice and Def. 4 of perfect mercy would be in harmony.
my opponents counter was rather brief, and thinking on my opening this may be due to a misunderstanding. I had said in the rules that the first round was for my arguments and for my opponents counter. If my opponent thought that I meant simply stating the counter position I apologize for my ambiguity, as I meant specifically counter arguments. I will however treat his opening as it was an argument and retort as such.
My opponent suggests something similar to what was talked about in the comments between me and lostInTheEcho. As the debate is between me and my opponent those comments will be mostly irrelevant to what is spoken of. if my opponent or the readers would like to see me put the following argument slightly differently, you may go to the comments. However, readers should not take the conversation in the comments as counting toward or against any of my points. if anything in the comments becomes relavent to the debate, me and my oponent must state so in the debate.
For brevity, I will call my opponents counter A1 and I will call the person the merciful judge has for recompense the scapegoat.
As justice is to judge the wrongdoer of their crimes fairly, and perfect justice is the faultless and perfect fulfillment of that justice, punishing the scapegoat would be unjust. The scapegoat committed no crime and therefore deserves no punishment. Punishing the scapegoat would not only be unjust toward the scapegoat but would be merciless. Also, whilst punishing someone else equates to not punishing the wrongdoer at all, and therefore is technically merciful, it is still unjust, as you are not fulfilling the punishment for the wrongdoer.
Another problem with A1 (though perhaps not a major one) is that it does not explain explicitly how it refutes my position and arguments for them. For any argument, claims should be followed by demonstrations in order to make apparent how the reasoning of the claim works. That way one side can address any faults seen in the reasoning of the other and vice versa.
The offender’s ability to defend themselves is irrelevant to this debate. In instances of murder or rape it would be unjust to punish a scapegoat for the transgressions of the offender, as the scapegoat has committed no to be judged for. It would also be unjust to not punish the offender, as an absence of retribution would be an absence of the application of justice. If it is found that the most just punishment for a handicapped person is different than for someone without that handicap that is not a matter of mercy, rather it relates to how justice is measured per person. the idea of power correlating to responsibility.
If the purpose of justice is to restore that which has been damaged or violated, than how does one restore a murder? How does one restore the damage to a person’s life and psyche that occurs because of rape or child molestation? Restorative justice may be relevant to crimes relating to theft or to damage of property, but it has no function with relation to crimes of a more personal nature, crimes where there is nothing the criminal could ever do to fix what was destroyed. Restorative justice has its place, but so does retributive justice. However, this debate is not about which justice system is preferable, or should be in place. My opponent will also notice that the definition for perfect justice and perfect mercy were defined referring to retribution not restoration. (and whilst restoration can be a retribution, it is not the only retribution)
My opponent mentions a justice system, but the debate is not about institutionalized justice, it is about justice as an ethical concept, like morality and responsibility. Specifically, the debate is about whether or not perfect justice (as defined in my opening) is compatible with perfect mercy (as defined in my opening or as defined by my opponent). My job is to defend that contention and I have presented arguments doing so. My opponent has not yet addressed this point and my arguments.
Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
my opponent has forfeited the round. I shall wait for my opponent to respond before posting any further arguments.
Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
it is a shame that my opponent was not present for the last two rounds. I was looking forward to a more involved debate, none the less this is the last round. I still ask the audience to judge the debate on how convincing either side was. I ask that you grant me the point for conduct, but still grant the other points as you would if my opponent had participated in the debate the whole time. I am more interested in seeing how convincing my arguments were.
to my opponent, I thank you for participating in this debate. it was short, but enjoyable.
Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||1||0|