The Persistence of Injustice

Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 25 (1):197-218 (2005)
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Abstract

IN THIS ESSAY I CONSIDER THE PROBLEM OF THE PERSISTENCE OF MASsive injustice in the United States and challenge some of the dominant explanations for this injustice. I argue that most explanations of injustice, such as appeals to corruption in human nature or the political order, only explain the injustice away by making it seem unreasonable to believe that anything could be done about it. Injustice, then, becomes only a state of affairs that is unfortunate for many but about which little can be done, beyond perhaps individual charity. Seeking to avoid this outcome, I argue that the persistence of injustice is best explained by lack of education on the part of citizens. This education involves knowledge of sociological and political realities as well as of ethical expectations requiring response to massive injustice. I conclude with suggestions for how ethicists might do a better of job of teaching about injustice.

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