It seems everywhere you turn, someone is mad at someone else because they perceived the other person's actions weren't fair. Comments like the following are all too prevalent:
- If they drive a new Mercedes, why don't I have one?
- They have a nicer, more expensive, house; I deserve one too.
- That person is guilty (even though we don't know all the facts).
- If I would've been born into a family of privilege, I would be so much better off. (I am doomed to always be poor.)
- I deserve a higher education; it is a human right.
While many of these statements are made out loud, there are many more of these fairness questions that are thought inside our minds.
I want to challenge the entire notion of fairness, and longing for a sense of fairness is only going to disappoint us further. There really is no such thing as fairness, since what is fair is really in the eye of the beholder. And no one will fully agree on what is fair.
The fallacy of fairness is one of those mirages that seduces us when what we really seek is a sense of justice. And even justice is in the eye of the beholder. Witness what happened with George Zimmerman; many demanded justice. But whose sense of justice was it? Mr. Zimmerman wanted justice, since he believed he was acting in genuine self defense. The public wanted to condemn a man in the court of public opinion well before he had been tried in a court of law.
My point is that we shouldn't strive for our own sense of fairness or justice, we should aim to do what is just according to a moral code bound by the rule of law. I happen to believe that the Judeo-Christian moral code guides us to a sense of what is just in God's eyes, even if others view moral justice as injustice. Without justice being tethered to a moral code given by God, no one will agree on a sense of fairness or justice.