Aristotelian golden mean of justice

December 06, 2017

In his seminal work on human ethics `Nicomachean ethics’, Aristotle postulates: (a) justice exists only between men whose relations are regulated by law, and (b) law exists for men whose relation is defined by injustice. So, law was bludgeon to correct injustice. Aristotle admitted that societies are flawed as the relation between individuals is based on caprice, avarice, and injustice. However, he hoped that law would serve as a fulcrum to balance conflicting interests of individuals in a society. He was optimistic that societies would balance personal desires (gain-loss, cost-benefit) by evolving a `Golden Mean’, a set of rules treating all individuals equally before law. The maxim was `treat others as you would like to treat yourself’. If we perceive the `Golden Mean ‘ as a weighted average, then masses in Pakistan carry the least weight vis-à-vis classes (elites, mafia). To achieve the GM in our democratic society, could we equalize citizens at least in terms of access to education, healthcare and housing. Why can’t the founding father of Naya Pakistan stand up for equal rights for ‘equal citizen’ enshrined in our constitution. 

AMJED JAAVED,  

Rawalpindi, November 22.