Is God fair?
I ask this question because fairness and its use seem to connote a different meaning than justice, so much so that the present ruling class glorified philosopher John Rawls wrote a book entitled A Theory of Justice arguing a rationalist foundation of “justice as fairness”. Fairness implies a certain simplicity and mathematical balancing that appear to be much more accurate and honest than the concept of justice. For example, if you have three starving people and three apples, fairness would dictate that each person gets an apple. If you are playing football, you expect the referee to be fair to all players, that is by applying the rules and making the calls the same for all players.
This type of reasoning creates an illusion of rational rules that creates an illusion of justice but ultimately, when critically and analytically examined as they pragmatically work in reality, it still leads to the same uses and usefulness as the words ‘justice’ and ‘injustice’ contemplated in prior essays. For example, if you try to factor into the three- hungry-people-decision the different ages, weight, metabolism, health, and almost infinite number of other factors that differentiate people, it becomes a rationally unsolvable problem of “justice”. Do you give a young, fat, healthy child, with a much more likely chance of survival more than one apple or the sick, skinny old person who needs it more but most likely will die anyway? The same types of problems arise in the football example. If a player is viewed as an asshole, especially playing in an away game, the fans expect more calls to go against the player and the calls will go against the player more often. Such unfairness in the rules — or such unfairness in the application of rules — is actually seen as justice, punishing the player for being an asshole (however the Powers-that-be or the fans define being an asshole). So much so that if the player is seen as an asshole because of actions off the field when not even playing football, such as for example he beats his wife, then the fans, the league, and the referees expect that the player will not even be allowed to play but will be suspended or thrown out completely out of his playing job and salary. Thus, in this latter case, the Powers will deny the player, his wife, and their family any income from the only employable skill the player has and bankrupt them as an act of justice. Such unfairness in the game is seen as justice in society.
Ultimately, as with justice, anything that helps get the individual or social group ruling class ideology what they want as meaning in their life is fair and also just. What hinders that goal is unfair and unjust.
Therefore, in substance, analytically, there is no difference between the use and usefulness for ‘justice’ and ‘fairness’ and neither can be applied to the concept of God. If He wants to give three of his starving creations three apples, one apple, zero apples and just watch them starve to death, or whatever She wants to do with the apples, He is free to do so unhindered by any human created concept of fairness. Ultimately, the answer to the question asked by Socrates of whether something is good, fair, or just because the gods’ love it or whether the gods love it because it is good, fair, or just is: neither. If we were to answer this question in terms of human language treating God as a Person, the answer would be that something is good, fair, or just because God loves it.
Do our questions regarding God’s hatred for the poor apply also to nature and the animal world, in essence to all of reality or just to humans?