What possible reactions could Arthur F. Holmes's quote below evoke from an everyday reader?"Justice we must always seek, but a justice tempered with love."

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The subjective nature of this question renders it open to many interpretations and reactions. However, there is an irony in the expression which could lead someone who is not familiar with his work, to disagree with Arthur F. Holmes. This is because justice and love simply cannot operate at the same time: love, as any other strong emotion, creates bias; bias cannot go together with justice.

As a staunch Christian and philosopher, Arthur F Holmes strongly believed in the integration of faith and of God in every aspect life. Following the Christian tenet that "God is Love", Holmes offered that, since God is love, and God is everywhere, then love should be everywhere, as well. However, when this notion is applied to the Justice system, the situation changes; Holmes's idea that love should mandate our choices is the last thing to consider when crime takes or ruins the life of an innocent person.

The reason why Justice is illustrated as a woman with covered eyes is because no outside influence should interfere with the application of justice when it is needed. Justice knows no preferences, no emotions, and no characteristics: it is given to whoever deserves it. Therefore, an emotion as powerful as "love" would be, if anything, a hindrance to justice because love makes us biased, blind to reality, and in many occasions makes us exaggerate our other ideas and emotions.

Therefore, although Holmes intends well in advocating in favor of love, the reality is that love is not always the final answer to our problems. In fact, the attachments and commitments that arise as a result of love takes away the impartiality that should permeate the justice system.

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