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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?

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