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Difference Between Justice and Revenge

justice-scaleJustice vs Revenge

No matter what the circumstances are, being the party who endures a wrongful act, results in your seeking either of these two things: Justice or revenge. What are the key differences between the two? Justice is basically defined as the concept of moral rightness, which is based on the rules of fairness, ethics, equality and law. Revenge, on the other hand, refers to an action taken by an individual as a response to a wrongdoing.

For example, if you are involved in a car accident, and you are injured to some degree, justice will be served once the court of law implements a ruling against the other person, or party, who caused the accident. Revenge would be when you possibly do something harmful to the other person, just so that you can seek your own personal revenge.

So basically, revenge is done to satisfy the party who suffered the wrongdoing, while justice is done for the sake of putting a semblance of fairness to society. Another good way of stating the key differences between the two, is that justice is what should be done, while revenge is what you think should be done.

Justice has a positive connotation ‘“ which is that of ensuring that the laws of fairness applies to all. Revenge mostly causes negative emotions, because, instead of allowing the courts of law to punish the person who committed the wrongful act against you, it’s like you saying to the other person: ‘I will get you for that!’ There’s a certain sense of bitterness and anger involved. To put it simply, justice is selfless, while revenge is selfish.

On a more general note, justice is all about the government implementing laws to ensure that those who it governs are treated with fairness. Revenge can possibly include an individual’s attempt to speed up the government’s responsibility, for personal satisfaction against a wrongdoing. Finally, revenge is something that can give you personal satisfaction ‘“ but the steps that you go about doing it, may not necessarily be fair. Justice, when performed well, brings harmony and closure to all those involved.


1. Justice involves the concepts of moral rightness, while revenge focuses more on a personal vendetta.

2. Justice is observed by the courts of law, while revenge is ‘enforced’ by an individual seeking retribution for a wrongdoing.

3. Justice is positive, while revenge is negative.

4. Justice brings closure, while revenge results in personal satisfaction.

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  1. thank you, this website has prevented me from commiting murder.

  2. Your definition of revenge seems to hinge on revenge being rendered by an individual, while justice is rendered by a group. So, lynch mobs are rendering justice? Your definition is weak.

  3. Revenge is intended to satisfy an emotional response to a perceived wrong-doing.

    Justice is a legal response.

    One is rational, the other emotional.

  4. I personally would categorize Justice as a form of revenge regulated by law.

    Revenge is an attempt to provide punishment for harm done to a person outside the law.

    Justice is an attempt to provide punishment for harm done to a person within the law.

    The biological source for Justice is the same as that of revenge, Justice is limited by law to protect the rights of individuals, while revenge is not.

    So, in summary:

    Justice = Revenge that is governed by law (and in a democracy, the majority) in an attempt to keep punishments equal to the gravity of the harm done to an individual or group.

    Revenge = Punishment for harms committed against an individual or group of individuals.

  5. What happens when there is no justice from the courts, and it turns out to be just-us?

  6. This one intrigued me. Justice. Revenge.
    Some times easier to see the difference in other more objective cases… But in personal examination… Nearly impossible it seems.
    A possible case study from a ‘fictional’ personal viewpoint:

    Being the targeted victim of a covert female psychopath.
    She crossed boundaries, triangulated her closest loved ones with no remorse, eventually sending me on a spiral of mental unwellness and despair. Discarding me with a smirk.
    All the while running in her successful career as a nurse.
    Looking back having violated confidentiality through her early proclamation of her care for a homeless stabbing victim. Implying having crossed boundaries with him too the first time I smelt trouble and pulled back.
    Using him then as her example of what a man is. Strength and survival despite the odds.

    A careful examination too late and too far into the gaslighting and fog of ambient emotional terrorism.
    Never truly having a fight. Just moments where I knew to run but was sucked back in. The object of her desire. Everything I wasn’t and hated and eventually needed.

    Revenge then.
    Posting her info and misdeeds even making a few up.
    An emotional response meant to shame and embarass or advertise her evil. The hopes of leaving her desolate.
    Disregarding probable slander and legal issues I was potentially walking into.
    Telling myself that I’m concerned with the next man the next target.
    Disregarding all the community advice and experience suggests and feeding that short lived emotional need.

    Justice then. Is it warning an official nursing board and recounting only the facts… Perhaps with an admitted personal opinion and perspective afterword trying to tie it all in.

    Legal. Done with clear concern for the patients I am CERTAIN she can disregard and even toy with should she Believe she can get away with it.
    Thinking of them and them and telling myself solely out of concern for the numerous anonymous patience.

    Or is it revenge. Refined. Playing by the rules and using a legal means to hopefully enact investigation that at the least will put her liscense and perhaps character under scrutiny.
    A successful personal endgame to have her liscense taken away and left to any field of occupation of employment BUT health care.

    CNA is fine too. She can wipe asses and work her mask all day. I know it exhausts her.

    Revenge and justice.

    Truly a very fine line.

  7. Also, justice under civil law is “righting a wrong” not seeking to harm the other person. However, economic damages may include legal punitive damages in certain cases so that the defendant is discouraged from committing the same offense.

    Criminal law involves protecting society and citizens from harm which can involve restraining people in jail to protect people and discipline the offender. It’s not about the harmed person trying to harm the offender.

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