Revenge vs. Justice

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Revenge and Justice is that the Revenge is a harmful action in response to a grievance and Justice is a concept of moral fairness and administration of the law

  • Revenge

    Revenge is a form of justice usually assumed to be enacted in the absence of the norms of formal law and jurisprudence. Often, revenge is defined as being a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is used to punish a wrong by going outside the law. This is because the individual taking revenge feels as though the law will not do justice. Revenge is also known as retribution or vengeance; it may be characterized as a form of justice (not to be confused with retributive justice), an altruistic action which enforces societal or moral justice aside from the legal system. Francis Bacon described it as a kind of “wild justice” that “does… offend the law [and] putteth the law out of office”. Primitive justice or retributive justice is often differentiated from more formal and refined forms of justice such as distributive justice and divine judgment.

  • Justice

    Justice is the legal or philosophical theory by which fairness is administered. The concept of justice differs in every culture. An early theory of justice was set out by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic. Advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God. In the 17th century, theorists like John Locke argued for the theory of natural law. Thinkers in the social contract tradition argued that justice is derived from the mutual agreement of everyone concerned. In the 19th century, utilitarian thinkers including John Stuart Mill argued that justice is what has the best consequences. Theories of distributive justice concern what is distributed, between whom they are to be distributed, and what is the proper distribution. Egalitarians argued that justice can only exist within the coordinates of equality. John Rawls used a social contract argument to show that justice, and especially distributive justice, is a form of fairness. Property rights theorists (like Robert Nozick) take a deontological view of distributive justice and argue that property rights-based justice maximizes the overall wealth of an economic system. Theories of retributive justice are concerned with punishment for wrongdoing. Restorative justice (also sometimes called “reparative justice”) is an approach to justice that focuses on restoring what is good, and necessarily focuses on the needs of victims and offenders.

  • Revenge (noun)

    Any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice.

    “Indifference is the sweetest revenge.”

    “When I left my wife, she tried to set fire to the house in revenge.”

  • Revenge (noun)

    A win by the previous loser.

  • Revenge (verb)

    To take one’s revenge (on or upon) someone.

  • Revenge (verb)

    To take revenge for (a particular harmful action), to avenge.

    “Arsenal revenged its loss to Manchester United last time with a 5-0 drubbing this time.”

  • Revenge (verb)

    To take vengeance; to revenge itself.

  • Justice (noun)

    The state or characteristic of being just or fair.

    “the justice of a description”

  • Justice (noun)

    The ideal of fairness, impartiality, etc., especially with regard to the punishment of wrongdoing.

    “Justice was served.”

  • Justice (noun)

    Judgment and punishment of a party who has allegedly wronged another.

    “to demand justice”

  • Justice (noun)

    The civil power dealing with law.

    “Ministry of Justice”

    “the justice system”

  • Justice (noun)

    A title given to judges of certain courts; capitalized as a title.

    “Mr. Justice Krever presides over the appellate court”

  • Justice (noun)

    Correctness, conforming to reality or rules.


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