The meaning of the justice
Voodoo, within the boundaries of the laws
A novel by Antoine A Raphael
Antoine’s books are all dramatization of philosophical topics such as human conditions, moral orientation, love, the nature of major human activities (religion, art, politics, science—and so forth). This particular book “Voodoo, within the boundaries of the Laws” is a realistic attempt to dramatize the meaning of justice, as an application of rationality, righteousness, equitableness, and moral rightness to social intercourse, as the same qualities do wonders in mathematical and logical disciplines and in experimental and social sciences. Justice predicates that People are equal under the law. Each of us has the right to live, to possess, and to look for happiness. This explains the reason why the scale symbolizes justice. My right should balance out someone else’s right. If it doesn’t occur this way, then, there is no justice. No one should interfere with such existential basics, above all with a view to harming. Justice is the rigorous respect for the individuals’ right.
Of course, the wise person doesn’t need any reminder. He happens to be the embodiment of the law.
He knows that he may safely act within the boundaries of these existential basics. He knows that it is wrong to steal, to kill, to cheat, to deceive. Thus, he will never forget others’ existence, knowing that his treatment of others justify his degree of morality and civilization. He may even go behind these elementary rules of moral conduct; he may, for the love of humanity, not to harm others, even within the parameter of his own rights. For, he has a moral orientation that requires of him to think twice before acting, above all, if his action will hurt others and himself.
The wise man also eschews anything that may impair his judgment and makes him behave in an irrational manner. For, at the end, he will claim responsibility for his action, as a free man, and wouldn’t recourse to any excuse for misbehaving.
However, the evil person doesn’t want to accept the idea of rationality applied to social intercourse. He allows himself to interfere in the unfolding of existential basics.
In this story, the evil person hides behind popular traditions, beliefs and taboos to kill, knowing that the local jurisprudence is on his side by its silence.
Attorney Ellis, however, doesn’t see it this way. He agrees that there are taboos everywhere, throughout the world, but, like scientific truths, they depend on social conventions to keep their sacred characteristics. However, if we can modify, criticize and reject scientific theorizing, so can taboos. We should violate them, criticize them and disregard them, if they endanger human lives, the most precious values, as far as we, human beings, are concerned. If they have to be put above human lives, then they serve no purpose; for, in the end, they wouldn’t be anyone left to appreciate them.
Additionally, it’s the march of time; we can’t allow ourselves to repeat the mistakes of the past, without minimizing its heuristic value. Why should we accept the past for its own sake, while we know it is no longer with us? Actually, whether as individuals or as a community, our maturity depends on our acknowledgement of the past as such, in space and time, with respect to the present and the future. Nothing is more nerve raking in a familial setting than the constant, nagging reminder of past mistakes by one of the members; nothing is more likely to delay community advancement than its insistence on living through the past, a past that often has crippling negative and deleterious elements.
In other words, homicide, whatever the means used to commit it, happens to be a phenomenon as tangible as the cement we use to build our homes, the grass in our courtyard, the drink we use to quench our thirst. Therefore, Maître Ellis must prove the killing of his close friend Theo and bring the murderer to justice.
Note: a French version of this book will be out soon.