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Does the phrase 'In Rome, you behave like a Roman' properly be understood to represent the Objectivist view of the concept of Justice? Why or why not?

asked Oct 24 '11 at 01:42

Harsha's gravatar image

Harsha ♦
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edited Oct 24 '11 at 09:13

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦
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"When in Rome, do as the Romans do" essentially means: It is polite, and possibly also advantageous, to abide by the customs of a society when one is a visitor.

Justice, on the other hand, is derived from the fact that man must draw conclusions about the things, people and events around him, i.e., must judge based on the factual evidence available and evaluate those facts by means of an objective moral criterion (i.e. ethics).

While in Rome, so to speak, you should still draw conclusions about the customs of the society you are visiting to determine if abiding by those customs is advantageous and/or polite, and further, ascertain (judge and evaluate) what the consequences of not abiding by those customs may entail. Depending on the generally accepted code of ethics of the society within which you find yourself, it may not be prudent to insist upon justice (do not throw yourself in front of the juggernaut), rather abide by the observed customs until such time it is safe to do otherwise.

answered Oct 25 '11 at 19:58

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dream_weaver ♦
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"What is Justice according to Objectivism?"

The Objectivist view of justice is based largely on fairness; being rewarded (or not) based on objective (visible, measurable) contributions and adherence to moral values. In that light, on the material front, Objectivism rejects egalitarianism, where people are rewarded for just being alive, without consideration to their contributions or the morality of their actions.

Justice is the number one value in human relationships.

"Does the phrase 'In Rome, you behave like a Roman' properly be understood to represent the Objectivist view of the concept of Justice? Why or why not?"

No. That phrase has nothing to do with justice; it refers to socially acceptable behavior. It says, "act like everyone else, and you'll get by, at least for a while." Justice has nothing to do with how the people around you behave.

Justice is the act of rewarding (or not) someone for acting morally well or punishing for acting morally badly. It says "act in a moral and virtuous way, and you will be rewarded; act immorally, and you won't be." The "rewards" are usually emotional, but can extend in other directions depending on the circumstances.

answered Oct 30 '11 at 03:21

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Rick ♦
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Asked: Oct 24 '11 at 01:42

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Last updated: Oct 30 '11 at 03:21