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Justice was revenge wrapping itself in a cloak of high principle.

IVAN KLIMA, Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light

This, and no other, is justice: — to consider, under all the circumstances and consequences of a particular case, how the greatest quantity and purest quality of happiness will ensue from any action ... there is no other justice.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, "Essay on Christianity"

As nothing is straighter than that which is straight, so nothing is juster than that which is just.

EPICTETUS, Fragments

Most people say they want justice, but they don't really want justice. They want revenge. They want to see the pain spread around equally.

DAVID GERROLD, Under the Eye of God

Fine as justice is, as an every day quality, it is not winning. It is lacking in warmth. We need something better. We need sympathy with the other fellow and kindness.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Getting On With People," Reactions and Other Essays

Justice is happiness according to virtue.

JOHN RAWLS, A Theory of Justice

Justice lacking passion fails, betrays.

JANE HIRSHFIELD, "Justice Without Passion"

Justice and mercy
Are human dreams, they do not concern the birds nor the fish nor eternal God.

ROBINSON JEFFERS, "Birds and Fishes"

Men are always invoking justice; and it is justice which should make them tremble.

MADAME SWETCHINE, "Airelles," The Writings of Madame Swetchine

The universe did not invent justice. Man did. Unfortunately, man must reside in the universe.


Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., Montgomery Bus Boycott speech, delivered at Holt Street Baptist Church, Dec. 5, 1955

Justice ... is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it judges sharply what is right and what is wrong. On the other hand, judgment based on justice naturally calls forth a counter-judgment as a reaction from the side so-judged. Accordingly, we fall into an endless conflict and struggle between judge and the judged.

MASAO ABE, Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.

JOHN RAWLS, A Theory of Justice

Justice discards party, friendship, kindred, and is therefore always represented as blind.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Guardian, Jul. 4, 1713

The true measure of the justice of a system is the amount of protection it guarantees to the weakest.

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, In Quest of Democracy

The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don't listen to it, you will never know what justice is.

HOWARD ZINN, A People's History of the United States

There is no virtue so truly great and godlike as justice.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Guardian, Jul. 4, 1713

Respect the altar of Justice and do not, looking to profit, dishonor it by spurning with godless foot; for punishment will come upon you.

AESCHYLUS, The Eumenides

Justice is a rare illness in a world that is otherwise a picture of health.


As for justice, who has once seen it done?


The earth also kindly teaches men justice, at least such as are able to learn; for it is those who treat her best that she recompenses with the most numerous benefits.

XENOPHON, Oeconomicus: On the Management of a Farm and Household

Justice is charity in accordance with wisdom.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, "A Dialogue", The Shorter Leibniz Texts

There's no justice like angry-mob justice.


Justice is the fundamental virtue of political society, since the order of society cannot be maintained without law, and laws are instituted to declare what is just.


Justice, when carried to its final conclusion, often results in punishment, conflict, revenge and even war.

MASAO ABE, Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue

The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle.

D. H. LAWRENCE, Studies in Classic American Literature

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