This is the tentative Table of Contents for the book I hope this site will one day become:
Table of Contents of Unjust Justice
Each heading is a chapter, at least that is the hope.
Why Do We Blame Victims?
The suffering victims of crime and bad luck should be enough.
There’s no need for sufferers to get punished again by their family, friends, and community, who decide they “deserved” their suffering. (Regardless of what that suffering may be.)
There’s a principle of criminal law, which I’m forgetting the name of right now, where someone shouldn’t (cannot) be found guilty of a crime if they didn’t know what they did was a crime in the first place.
It strikes me that if someone couldn’t have anticipated the future suffering they would endure by the behaviours they chose, they cannot have “deserved” the suffering. To put it another way, if you cannot reasonably understand how risky something is ahead of time, can you deserve the consequences of that “risky” beahviour?
So, this chapter summarizes the history of research into the just world fallacy to help explain why we blame victims.
What I struggle with for this first chapter is to what degree I just want to introduce the topic and to what extent I want to get into the literature. The longer I work on this the more I think I want this to be philosophy, not pop psychology (as I originally intended) because I am just not a pop psychology writer.
Question: Do I need to explain that it is a work of philosophy?
As part of this chapter I wish to add a new definition of human:
- Homo Faber
- Homo Ludens
- Homo opposable thumbs
- Homo Sacer
- Homo Hipocratus: humans are defined by their ability to maintain one moral standard for others and another for themselves
Why We Know the World is Unfair
This brief chapter covers why we know the world is unfair. Because we do know that.
The Fallacy of a Just Birth
My intention here is to go over in detail how all our assumptions of the justness of our lives are false.
- You Did Not Deserve to Be Born
- The Hero Narrative (not sure where to put this)
- Ethnicity: Race
So I want to cover everything we inherit biologically and psychologically, whether through nature or nurture.
The Just World Fallacy and Socialization
The idea here is to focus on how we are broadly socialized to believe in certain ideas about justice, which do not actually exist. These are just some examples and I imagine the chapter being significantly longer:
- The Status Quo
- Common Sense
- The Past
- No, COVID-19 will not restore justice to the universe (not sure where to put this)
- Gun Control
- Age (not sure where to put this, as it’s inherent and likely isn’t socialized):
The Just World Fallacy and Education
This chapter gets into specifics about where are ideas of justice are further introduced (or persist or are further strengthened) through how we think about the world.
- The Economy:
- Climate Change denial
- Evolution denial
Some of these might be better off in other sections.
The Just World Fallacy at Work
Here I was thinking of both how salaries are not in anyway just (and I haven’t written that part yet) but also in how we see attempts at enforcing justice in the workplace (or other adult social environments).
Everyone Else Might Believe the World is Fair, But I Don’t!
Catchier title on the way.
I want to include a test. I am thinking that I will link from the ebook to an actual online Google form or something which I can then use to calculate individual scores.
What Do We Do About It?
So this is where I want to emphasize how we can “be the change we want to see in the world” by trying to act in ways in which we do not behave like assholes.