What is Justice?

From my recent article on Medium…

What is justice? Is it based on objective evidence or subjective judgement? I had not thought much about these questions until I watched Death Note, the 2006–2007 animated series.

Death Note is about Yagami Light who finds a notebook (aka Death Note), dropped by a Shinigami (God of Death), in his school. Using the notebook, he can kill anyone whose name and face he knows. Seeing the rotten world around him, he decides to use the notebook to get rid of criminals.

Ryuk, the Shinigami who dropped the Death Note in the human world, asks if it is the right thing to do. Light replies that people will on the surface say, “It’s not the right thing to do”, but deep down they want all criminals to be executed.

Murderers get away with little to no punishment using money and political influence, several cases have become stuck on the court, smugglers are caught only when the “setting” with police does not work, honest people are scared of the crooks because they control everything from the economy to government, and the media, criminals wave at cameras without any fear. Living in such circumstances, would I have done what Light does? If I say no, I am not being honest. …

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