The Science of Justice

April 3rd, 2014   Submitted by Jim Carigan


“We live in a world that has been brainwashed into believing that law can be found in the hands of legislators instead of discovered in the science of justice.” ~ Chris Snyder

“Science of justice” may seem like a vague term when one is not familiar with its application. Discussing this terminology with Chris is what brought me to the decision to spend a great deal of my time reading and contemplating the wisdom of Lysander Spooner. I had known and loved Spooner before this, but the lightbulb really flashed this time. It is Spooner’s definition of the ‘science of justice’ that I will use hereafter.

“This science of justice, or natural law, is the only science that tells us what are, and what are not, each man’s natural, inherent, inalienable, individual rights, as against any and all other men. And to say that any, or all, other men may rightfully compel him to obey any or all such other laws as they may see fit to make, is to say that he has no rights of his own, but is their subject, their property, and their slave.” ~ Lysander Spooner in a letter to Grover Cleveland

Science is a process of discovery by repeatability. Justice is discovered through a process of arbitration. A specific science is a body of thought, knowledge, or philosophy, or the study of a such a body systematically arranged, and showing the operation of general laws.

One can see that arbitration is a process of laying out the facts in dispute to a naturally disinterested third party for the purpose of receiving a new perspective that may help to reach a resolution, as well as forming the ribs of a developing body of science.

So far, we have not needed to mention government or a ruling State.

The Statist would change the purpose of arbitration to, “Receiving commands that will force a disposition.” The Statist version of justice removes tiresome facts, and human needs, by force to produce a system of involuntary artificial law. Also, the role of a naturally disinterested third party is poorly served, and usually absent, in the Statist context.

Government arbiters actually represent a collective melee of third-party interests, including the State itself, and the rulings are heavily weighted toward the oligarchy-du-jour. Have you ever heard the phrases, “The court refused to hear…” or, “The judges refused to give standing to…”? How can we possibly see such action as anything other than process worship and self-service? Chris Snyder commented, “An arbitrator [a justice processor] arbitrating a case in which he is a party stands as a farce on its face!”

Why do we unthinkingly live in a society based on war, legislation and being pawns of the State? This is living for the goals of others. The laws of nature can be simplified into clear principles. Lysander Spooner had this figured out; either man-made legislation got us to the current situation, or it failed to prevent it. We can educate ourselves toward achieving results based on peace, natural law, and freedom.

Minarchists argue that dispute resolution is the de minimus role of the State, but I say it is the fence in which the State has us caged. If the State could play a limited role, why wouldn’t it be to ensure the application of natural law? If natural law prevailed, would it not provide all the tools to administer the science of justice? Can natural law produce any consequence other than the course of nature?

Legislation is a tool that gives politicians the power of unnatural manipulation, whether that is the intention or not. One can twist, misinterpret, or even ignore legislation. The natural course of events cannot be altered toward anything but the unnatural, and usually grotesque. But if natural law is scientifically pursued (i.e. we observe and learn from true consequences), what need can there be for artificial law?

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17 Responses to “The Science of Justice”

  1. MontanarchistNo Gravatar says:

    Wonderful article

  2. StatelessNo Gravatar says:

    How can we have just dispute resolution by the state, when the state is both the opposing party and the judge??? The definition of a fair trial is an independent tribunal (judge), but in the current system the judge is also the opposing party and hence not independent! “but I say it is the fence in which the State has us caged.” Exactly, this is the crux of the problem! As long as the state is allowed to be the judge in cases where the state is also the opposing party, the state will control us and pass unjust laws.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      However there are enough people who get a fair trial to give people the impression that it is possible to get a fair trial. Just like there are people who gamble in casinos because on occasion somebody beats the house and they believe it is possible that they might win.

      • StatelessNo Gravatar says:

        Nobody gets a fair trial, so I have no idea how you can say enough people get fair trials. And as Mark Stevens says, nobody wins in the court system. You have to spend your time and money fighting in an unjust system. There is only lose and lose but not as much. Ask anyone that is incarcerated if their attorney demanded evidence the laws apply to their client or if a trial can be fair if the judge is not an independent judge and they will all tell you the attorney did not ask.

  3. Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

    There is no such thing as scientific justice.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      There is also no such thing as “social justice”. There is justice period.

      • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

        Justice is different for everyone.

        • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

          How so? If one person’s definition of justice is that a person who robs them of $200 is that the thief should be executed should that happen because that is justice to them? Do you believe that justice should be defined by each person?

          • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

            I think that’s the case, regardless of what laws says.

            One person’s justice is another’s vengeance.

            • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

              “Justice” = value judgement.

              • Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

                I agree, Michael. Within a free association, people agree on the rules governing interactions between people, and this agreement reflects the subjective preference of members of the association. The justice one prefers is like the brand of beer one prefers. It’s a choice, not a scientific observation or a logical deduction from indisputable, universal, axiomatic principles. Such principles are the presumptions of a state.

                • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

                  What about those who do not agree with what others prefer? Wouldn’t every one in the community have to agree?

  4. DaveNo Gravatar says:

    In some respects, our current state justice system pushes us to solve problems naturally. The high costs of lawyers, the vagueness of the law, the public witch hunts that use the state as a tool, the recreational use of the system by people who are propped up by the state (the elderly, and so on) – all of these things, and more, encourage people to not use the court system. They also encourage people to engage in reckless behavior because the state system is there, no matter how good or bad it is. But, it still exists. This is the inherent problem – it exists no matter how truly unjust it is.

  5. Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you, Jim, for a fine article. Like the manufacturing of sausages and laws, the more I look at the government “justice” monopoly the clearer it becomes that justice is the _first_ function, not the last, which ought to be prised loose from its grasp.

  6. Al KourNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry HRearden but you are wrong about gambling. Under free market situations casinos don’t win, they just have their marginal profit ( or marginal losses) as any other business. Only government-run “houses” constantly win. So gambling is not so stupid thing as puritans insist.
    Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. I am a professional gambler, yes 🙂