Justice For All

Atheists have our own ideas about what is just and what is unjust.  This group will explore the elusive concept of justice.  Topics include racial injustice, death penalty, imprisonment, crime, and other aspects of justice in modern society and in history.  Without gods, what is the basis for justice?  What do humanists and others say about justice?  What do you think about current controversies and cases regarding justice or injustice?

Members: 42
Latest Activity: on Wednesday


Troy Davis's photo was chosen as this original icon for this group.  Davis symbolized inequality of justice in the US.  At the time of his execution, 9/21/11, the evidence supporting his conviction was flimsy.  There was known evidence supporting his innocence.  He was executed anyway. Since then the icon is changed to represent justice in general.


There are different nontheist points of view about justice, punishment, penalties, death penalty.   There is strong support for retribution and execution in the theist community (in the US).


What serves as "justice" is not distributed evenly across communities.  The most egregious injustice has strong racial overtones.  If you would like to read about, and discuss justice, what it is, who gets justice, and who doesn't, and stories relevant to this topic, please join and contribute to the discussions.


Resources  factsheet.  main page  executed possibly innocent

amnestyUSA death penalty information

death row population (CNN)  sept 2011.

innocence project.  The innocent and the death penalty.

innocence project Wikipedia discussion

California innocence project

Chicago innocence project

Georgia innocence project


Discussion Forum

On Burying the Torture Report

Started by Bertold Brautigan. Last reply by Daniel W Dec 9, 2014. 3 Replies

Black Panic

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by k.h. ky Sep 4, 2014. 7 Replies

Environmental Activist Hit Lists

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 30, 2014. 2 Replies

Harsher sentences increase crime

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara Jun 27, 2014. 4 Replies

Debtors Prison in the US

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 12, 2014. 4 Replies

Coal Ash contaminated water jail coverup

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 26, 2014. 0 Replies

"White Guilt" by Shelby Steele

Started by Luara. Last reply by Luara May 16, 2014. 3 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by annet on April 21, 2012 at 10:34am

Funny you should say that Sentient, I've struggled to understand free will as described in naturalism.  I recently settled on a personal definition that uses roads as an analogy for evolution.  i.e.: If free will is all the roads any living thing can take, we are in reality limited to a few of those myriad roads due to biology and circumstance. Examples of these limitations:  I'll never be a dancer, have curly hair or understand the mind of a suicide bomber.  Along the road created for us by nature, we can turn left and right or go faster or slower, serve others, go to war, cure cancer, watch tv, or infinite other ways to vary the journey (choices), but we aren't going to be able to leave the road.  Our road choices are limited by nature.  Bottom line: Evolution is really in charge, not free will. 

This may not be the standard definition but it is how I understand it right now. 

I know this is atheist blasphemy because the word god appears in it but lately I get a sense of peace from the poem desiderata.  For me it is a sort of naturalist manifesto.

Comment by Daniel W on April 21, 2012 at 9:26am

Anne, for what it's worth, I have no idea what free will is or why it makes a difference in the real world.  We make choices every minute.  I'm not much of a philosopher. There are lots of things we can't choose.  But we also make decisions and have the ability to change directions.

Comment by annet on April 20, 2012 at 11:16pm

Sorry about that Sentient, had to share my righteous indignation. But thanks to pondering our lack of free will, I don't feel as bad about it as I used to.  Not having free will is really liberating.  lol.

Comment by Daniel W on April 19, 2012 at 6:55pm

Anne thank you for getting my blood pressure up!  Just goes to show, well, I don't know what it goes to show.  Being rich pays off, being poor does not.  A for the shoot first laws, they should all be repealed.  They are terrible.  Statistics should be kept.  2 homides a week in FLlorida where the killers go free?  Statistics need to be kept.  Not the least of which, they should include community, situation, and demographic / racial data.

Comment by annet on April 19, 2012 at 12:41pm


In just seven years since ALEC adopted the model ”Shoot First” law, ALEC members and the NRA have successfully worked to get laws passed around the country that encourage armed vigilantism. In more than 30 states, it is now legal to lethally shoot another person if you feel threatened, even if you could have safely walked away. No reliable statistics track how many people have been killed nationwide thanks to these laws, but in Florida alone, there are on average two homicides each week where the killers are likely to go free.

Comment by annet on April 18, 2012 at 10:07pm

Comment by MonkeyPhilosopher on April 14, 2012 at 12:39am

Sadly, its true. But, insanely this transformation is not to scare us. It's designed to ignite us. Is it diliberate? I can't say. But the process of the change in our Law enforcments pressence is called Deindividuation, Dehumanization. Goto to see these effects based in study, it's spooky crap. The black uniforms, the faceless drones. They seem to be trying to make us lash out so they can crack down more.

Comment by Daniel W on April 8, 2012 at 5:03pm

Anne, the US seems to be more and more moving toward a military state in many ways.  It's worrisome.


Continuing to follow the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida.  Can the different races have such different opinions, and we still have an expectation of justice?  I don't know.  I liked on of the photos, and old white guy had a sign saying "They never stop and frisk old white guys like me".


In Chicago, Howard Morgan was sentencedto 40 years in prison.  His crime was apparently in 2005, when he was stopped for driving the wrong way on a one way street; police pulled him over then "something happened".  He had a gun.  He was a railroad officer.  When it was over, he had been shot 21 times in the back and 7 in the chest.  He was a former police officer, had never been arrested, no drugs, no alcohol.  "Morgan's van was crushed before any forensic evidence could be gathered, he was never tested for gun residue, and the state did not produce the actual bullet proof vest worn by officers."  Of the 4 officers who shot him, 4 were white.  Morgan is black.

View more videos at:


Comment by annet on April 3, 2012 at 10:06pm
More disturbing than riot gear or heavy-duty weapons slung across the backs of American police officers is a “militaristic mind-set” creeping into officers’ approach to their jobs, said Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. “It is in the way they search and raid homes and the way they deal with the public,” he said. 
Is this the militarization of the American police?
Comment by annet on April 3, 2012 at 10:02pm



‘Officers, Why Do You Have Your Guns Out?’




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