The Effect of Justice Over Moral Agents

[1] Today we shall consider what effect justice can have upon moral agents and how the task of 1821 may be quickest and best completed by means of the proposed practical method, i.e. the philosophical court or trial. Since justice is always inseparable from the truth, it subjects the moral agents to itself through a greater force. Just as we studied the effect of truth upon moral agents by citing illustrations, let us in like manner also examine the effect of justice upon moral agents by the use of the very same method. Let us employ the following supposition as an example.

Let us suppose that an only son of a wealthy man went off as a child to a distant land. When the father passed away, his house and all his property fell into the hands of another person. Years later, the heir returns as a matured man, and desiring to take over his father’s house and the other property, he takes the following course of action: First, he befriends certain young men of the neighborhood to whom lie proves his rights of inheritance. Then together with his friends he invades the house, and evicting with a beating the man who did him· injustice, he becomes the lord of the house. The evicted man runs with tears in his eyes to a lawyer and tells him of the legitimate heir’s deed. Having done everything he could within the limits of the law, the lawyer evokes a verdict against the legitimate heir by virtue of which he is convicted as having acted unlawfully and is imprisoned. The court restores the ownership of the house to the man who was unlawfully evicted from it.

Now what do we observe in this exemplary case? First, we observe the ethical mechanism of society according to which the relations and the activities of moral agents are regulated by laws that are carried out by a higher power in accordance with the decisions of the judge. Secondly, we note that every moral agent is subjected to the superior power of the laws. Thirdly, we observe the necessary relationship between truth and justice, and that this moral power is mightier than all the other powers. While the moral agent who has the truth on his side and functions according to the justice of the established laws is felicitous, the moral agent who bases himself upon falsehood and behaves unlawfully is subdued and suffers miserably, since he is punished by a superior power.

The heir cited above was ignorant of the ethical mechanism of society, and of the fact that only lawfully and through the force of the laws could he evict from his father’s house the man who was occupying it unjustly. Since he attempted to vindicate his rights of inheritance in an unlawful manner, he not only failed in his intention, but also was cast into prison. Now had the heir taken to court the person who wronged him, and had he proved his true rights before the judge, the property would have been restored to him, and he would not have gone to prison for his crime. We see, therefore, that while the judge reaches his decisions according to the truth of the matter, the superior power functions according to the decisions of the judge in subjecting the particular moral agent. We note the necessary connection between the truth and justice, and that he who has the truth on his side has also the power of justice, so long as one invokes it in the proper manner. Let us now drop the hypothetical illustration and take a look at ourselves in this very city.

Each one of us is a moral and free agent, and altogether we make up society and dwell in this city, having laws, judges, and the executive power of the laws and the judicial decisions. The laws, the judges, and the power of the laws constitute what we call justice which has as its main task the safeguarding and saving the existence and the life of each person and of us all, rendering what is due to each man, and keeping everyone within his own duties. Without justice, the co­existence and the life of moral agents is impossible. We all disintegrate and vanish once the laws and principles are abolished, and it is to the power of justice that we one and altogether owe our co­existence and life. This is why each of us loves justice, for it is only because of justice that we live and move freely in society, and willingly subject ourselves to this virtue when we think soberly.

When one, however, foolishly rebels and works contrarily to justice, the power of justice, being greater, binds and punishes the senseless one. For example, we are all gathered in this place, and while I am speaking, you listen. Since this act is lawful, the police department protects us and is obliged to defend us from every foolish offense. For it is possible that certain people suffering from deranged thinking and considering in their mind the breaking of the established law to be of benefit to create a disturbance so that this lawful gathering maybe disrupted. The police department is obliged to apprehend these foolish people and to stop their unlawful and harmful activity. Should the police fail to respond in this way, they would be sharing in the senselessness of the offenders, and should be removed from office and replaced by other men who are prudent.

By observing the structure of our society, we draw the very same conclusions as we did above. That is, by means of the hypothetical example cited earlier, we concluded that the moral agents or forces in society co-exist by virtue of justice. Since justice is the more powerful force, it subjects to itself the moral agents dependent upon it by persuading those who are prudent, while coercing and punishing those who are foolish. For it is the moral agent which sides with the truth and justice that acts properly and is happy, while the force which foolishly bases itself upon falsehood and injustice acts wrongly and is unhappy.

Let us now proceed from the images and shadows to the very truth of things. Let us contemplate upon the nature and power of the true justice of the very first and highest Being in Whom one beholds the Absolute and Perfect and Universal justice. This is the justice whose alliance we must invoke, if we are wise, so that we may quickest and best regain our paternal inheritance, casting out those who seized it unjustly.

The justice of man, which we considered with reference to ourselves and by virtue of which we live together here, is a justice that is artificial, relative, limited, ephemeral, imperfect, faulty, and wanting as to the purpose and the needs of society. Man’s justice is artificial because it is begotten by persons who have learned the art of government from their experience. It is relative because it is justice in a relative sense with regard to us who accepted it. The justice of man is limited in scope, for it includes a few people and not everyone. This justice is ephemeral since it lasts only for a limited period of time. The justice of which we speak is imperfect because of the imperfection of its elements. It is faulty, for it is often carried out unjustly. It is inconsistent with itself because the verdicts of judges are not always in agreement with the truth and the law, and the executive branch of the government does not always carry out the decisions reached lawfully.

But above this ephemeral and nebulous justice there exists a justice that is Eternal, Absolute, Universal, and Perfect–a justice governing all things in a manner truly righteous and never committing anything unjust. This justice has as its law and truth the Primary and Perfect Logos who is the image and effulgence and child of the Perfect Mind. It is the omnipotent Spirit that contains the power which carries out the Perfect Mind’s decisions made according to the Perfect Logos–the Spirit which proceeds from the Perfect Mind and reposes in the Perfect Logos, In other words, ewer and above the artificial, relative, limited, ephemeral, and imperfect justice there is one that is natural, Absolute, Universal, Eternal, and Perfect. This is the justice that is beheld in the God of our Fathers, in the one and indivisible Holy Trinity, in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. While the Father is the very Absolute, Eternal, and Universal Judge, the Son is the very Eternal, Absolute; and Universal law according to which the Father judges. The Holy Spirit is the almighty power that carries out all the decrees of the Father.

The justice of the Holy Trinity is natural since it springs naturally from the Primary and Perfect Being. It is absolute, for it exists completely unconditionally and independently. This divine justice is universal, as its sovereignty extends over all moral agents with no exception. It is eternal, for it is endless and undergoes no change. God’s justice is perfect since it is irreproachable. This justice is self-sufficient, for it can both reward and punish every moral agent which is prudent or imprudent respectively. No moral agent in itself nor all the moral agents together can prevail over the absolute justice. The absolute justice of which we speak is the Power of powers, and it is obvious that if we have this on our side no force whatever shall prevail against us.

All the nations of the earth have the logos relationship to the universal justice which the citizens of every country have to the particular justice to which they are subjected. Imagine the nations of the world as individuals living under the sovereignty of the universal justice. Just as all citizens do not know the laws of their city, nor do they all know how to benefit from them, so too all nations do not know the laws of universal justice, nor do they all know how to profit spiritually from them. And just as citizens have disagreements among themselves which are settled by the justice of the city, so too do nations have differences which are settled by the absolute and universal justice. Also, just as the citizen who is backed by the truth and righteousness vindicates his particular claim, so too does the nation that is backed by the universal truth and universal justice receive the laurels of victory.

For example, we, the Greek nation, differ from the Turks in the following manner: We believe that Christ is the Son of the living God, and we recognize the Gospel as the law and standard of our conduct. The Arabs and the Turks believe that the anti-Christ Mohammed is the last prophet sent by God, and they have the Koran as the law and standard of their behavior. The Turks tried to impose upon us the faith of the anti-Christ and to subject us to the law of the Koran. We, however, considered it our duty to remain faithful forever to the truth which we confess. Because we are Christians and did not desire to espouse Islam, the Turks invaded our Orthodox Christian domains. They seized our cities and lands; they desecrated our churches; they denied us our political independence and subjugated us dishonorably.

The Turks committed the greatest of injustices against us, and we who have been wronged are justified in avenging ourselves. We have the right to shatter their yoke, to cast them out of our fatherland, and to take back all that was lost. To make our just claims a reality however, we must seek refuge in the Universal Justice. We must seek out the verdict of the Absolute Judge against our opponents, and base ourselves upon the mightiest of all powers that quickest and best carries out the decisions of the Universal Justice.

Suppose that I am in disagreement with a fellow citizen, and that while my adversary has many supporters, I have none. But ultimately the judge returns the verdict in my favor, and the judicial decision becomes known to the whole city. My adversary’s many supporters and allies can be of no benefit to him, for the power which serves the court’s verdict is much greater than theirs. One of two things can occur: either they shall willingly recognize the greater power, or, if they show resistance, they shall harm themselves rather than me. Since I, however, have the judicial decision and the greater power on my side. I run no danger of failing.

We were wronged by the Turks, and our enemies have almost all the European powers as their allies and supporters. The verdict of the Universal and Absolute Judge, however, is in our favor; it is He who through the mouth of the holy prophets condemned to consuming fire those who wronged us. Once this verdict has been made known to all the nations, one of two things shall happen: Either the nations shall willingly subject themselves to God, or, if they offer resistance, they shall be destroyed by the greater power of the Most High. But we, by conducting ourselves according to the laws of the Universal and Absolute Justice, are sure of the success which is rightfully ours and thus run no danger.

How will the verdict of the Universal and Absolute Judge become evident to all the nations of the world? This will be done through the practical method which we proposed earlier, that is, by means of a public academic trial. For once it is proven by this manner and people believe that Christ is the Absolute and Universal Truth, and that we bore and to this day bear this Truth before nations and kings and the sons of Israel, it is also proven that the Turks are the followers of the anti-Christ Mohammed. The verdict of the Ancient of days against the Turks is also thereby revealed. This is the verdict that consigns their deceit to the consuming fire and restores the kingdom to us.

Thus with God’s help we have interpreted the meaning of the staff of freedom with which New Israel must arm itself in order that it may complete the unfinished Revolution of 1821. This spiritual staff is nothing else but Absolute Truth itself, the Absolute and Universal Justice. In the last discourse we considered the effect of the Truth upon all the moral agents. We saw that all the moral agents, with the exception of the foolish ones, subject themselves to the Truth willingly and joyfully. In this speech we took under consideration the effect of Absolute Justice upon all the moral agents. We saw that all moral agents with no exception willingly or not subject themselves to the greater power of Absolute and Universal Justice.

These observations bring us to this final and indisputable conclusion: If we understand and scientifically demonstrate the Absolute and Universal Truth to the other nations, and if we act according to the laws of Absolute and Universal Justice so that we may have the greatest of all powers on our side, all that we wish to happen shall happen. The barbarians shall be done away with. Our enemies shall be put to shame and we will wield the scepter of the most glorious kingdom with the approval and joyful assent of all the peoples of the earth. Everything happens by means of power. Now if the power of Absolute Justice is confessed to be greater than all other powers, it follows that the use of the superior power renders the other forces superfluous and obsolete. I am advising you to employ a weapon from which springs a power superior to any other power and one capable of completing its task in the best manner possible. I offer you the best possible advice for the accomplishment of a most lofty undertaking.

[1] Delivered September 4, 1866.

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