The world is constantly seeking justice. When horrible things happen, we are forever speaking of the injustice of the situation. How we go about defining justice is where we end up getting into trouble.
The current moral thinking is a distorted view of pluralism. We have given the definition of justice to some collective conscience. We speak of such a collective conscience, while we also timidly accept the idea of moral relativism. We can not honestly accept both ideas. If things are truly relative, then the idea of a collective conscience is ridiculous. What I believe is moral cannot possibly imposed on you as just. If my particular belief about justice is every bit as legitimate as yours, then justice really has no meaning beyond my own mind. If our ideas of justice are just as valid, then it would be unjust to impose mine upon you.
It is ridiculous thinking that causes us great problems when dealing with savage ideologies like radicalized Islam or any other fanatics. We would say it is unjust to treat women or children in the inhumane ways that they do. They would counter by asking, "Who says it is unjust?" We have laid the philosophical ground work that makes the justice of a madman every bit as legitimate as a right thinker. We can in no honest manner, claim any type of moral superiority.
Where ought we define these terms? The entire idea of justice serves to point to something beyond men. Man has never seen and will never see true justice. Where has this concept come from, if mankind has never experienced it? In that space, between our concept of justice, and our ability to achieve justice, we find evidence of a Just One. The idea of justice is a mark of our Creator. In Christianity, we refer to the Imago Dei. Man created in the image of God is deserving of a certain type of treatment. Recognizing the image of our Creator in other's, we honor our Creator by respecting the Imago Dei in our fellow-men. When we stand up for the rights of the oppressed, it is in order to honor our Creator. When we respect all who have been created in the image of God, then we bring glory to our Creator.
It was the Imago Dei, which caused people of sincere faith to stand in opposition to the slave trade. It is the Imago Dei that causes a sickness in the pit of our stomach when we witness injustice around us.
We can ill afford to spend one more moment with poorly defined principles. The world is desperately seeking answers to vital questions. The wisdom of this age would tell the world that all answers are correct. That is ridiculous. We must answer with the character of Almighty God. Where do we find our concept of Justice? In the character of God. It is his Imago Dei, in us and in those around us, that drives us to address injustice. We will never achieve complete justice in this world, and will never come close after we have cast aside the only definition of justice that we need in this dying world.