Positive-Postive Value Polarity: Mercy & Justice

By Steve McIntosh

Polarity number four is MERCY & JUSTICE. Mercy for the individual becomes unjust without concern for the good of the whole. And to be truly virtuous, justice must be balanced with care for each person.

  • Bert Parlee

    This is one of Barry Johnson’s polarities that, while true in its intention, misses the mark on how the polarity is framed. More properly, balancing mercy/forgiveness is better complemented with consequences/punishment – in the service of balancing the greater purpose of justice. This would be more accurate. A “just” adjudication may either involve mitigating circumstances that rightfully lean toward the mercy pole, while aggravating circumstances afford weight to a more punitive decision. Both of these involve appropriate “justice”, rather than relegating only the punitive pole to justice itself.

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