On Truth and Justice

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Truth and justice are related.


I have my subjective truth I believe in, and you have your subjective truth you believe in. We have a debate: What is right, what is wrong. We discuss, we learn from analyzing the differences in our  points of view and arrive at an understanding. That is  the (I) alternative. If we can not agree we ask  an authority on the subject to decide for us ( the A alternative ).


Same applies to justice. You have your interpretation of what is just, and I have my interpretation of what is just. We have a debate, learn from each other and come to an agreement. If we can not agree, we go to the court system  to decide where the justice lies.


In the (A) way, both of us relinquish our right to think. We  don't have to debate and learn from each other. Somebody, called a judge, decides, basing his or her judgement on a precedent or on interpretation of the law. In the case of truth, we will go to a scientist  who tells us what is true and what is false.  Notice that in the  (A) way of dealing with justice or truth, we did not  exchange any interpretations of values or information in general. We did not look into each other’s eye and see how our interests  differ and try to accommodate each other. There was no interrelationship. There was no exchange of knowledge. There was no learning. There was  only the  interpretation of somebody else as to what is true or just.


In the (I) way we learn from each other and try to come to a conclusion jointly on what we agree  or disagree about and why. In other words, there is a learning exchange. That's how colleagues debate a subject, by learning from each other.


The (A) system is more efficient, less painful than learning from each other. No strange (A) is preferred,  but notice: the more (A), the less is the need for (I); Instead of discussing and debating what is right and what is wrong and learning from each other, we rely on the written law to tell us what's right and wrong.


The (A) is growing in modern society. the judicial  system is clogged for years. People are suing each other and letting the court system decide what is right rather than sit across the table and try to find out what makes sense to both of them, paying attention to each other's needs and learning from each other and accommodating each other, looking at the conflict as an opportunity to bond more and to integrate more.


The (A) system assumes there is a determined, fixed truth and justice. In the (I) system there is flexibility to accommodate and take into account the involved parties and the circumstances that occurred.  

Just thinking,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes
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