Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Voluntary Justice

Ron McKenzie at Blessed Economist has an interesting series of posts on justice as it is portrayed in the bible and how that would relate to a society built on biblical ideals of justice. It goes against the grain of most of what we moderns have been indoctrinated with on the subject of justice. He argues from the bible that judges in ancient Israel had no power to enforce their legal decisions. Justice was a matter of voluntary submission of the criminal that was convicted. He could either submit to the judge's decision, or he could be forced from the community that he lived in for refusing to submit. The community could exercise power in the form on not engaging with such an individual. Such an individual would be at his own risk due to the lack of others to protect him. He could become part of an outlaw community, but such a thing could be dangerous.

I'm giving a link here to Ron's entire month of April for all the posts in this series.

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