We often hear lines from the daily news like ‘An actor with a good reputation had an affair.’, ‘A politician uploaded a discriminatory expression on his SNS’. It is illegal to have an affair, and using discriminatory expressions can also be a problem. However, we easily express our anger at the opinions of people we don’t even know well. Also, we tend to talk about justice too casually. When we hear news dealing with criminal cases, we just perceive them as wrong behaviors. Nevertheless, some people try hard to reveal the personal information of the people involved in the case. 'Justice Addiction' written by Nakaki Nobuko explains that so-called ‘justice addicts’ tend to fight unnecessarily and overinvest their time and effort for this purpose. Then, what does ‘justice addiction’ mean and what differentiates it from other problematic behaviors like alcoholism or game addiction?
Nakaki defines justice addiction as the desire to attack a particular target and an obsession with delivering justice. If the other person is shown to be wrong based on this, dopamine is released due to stimulation of the pleasure center in the brain. Dopamine regulates pleasure and motivation. Once they experience this pleasurable sensation, they keep looking for something to criticize and try not to forgive others. Now, let’s look more closely at these justice addicts.
First, they find people who have standards of justice that are contrary to theirs and start fights to prove that they arewrong. For example, this happens between progressives and conservatives who have different values and standards of justice. They think it is righteous to attack other groups to protect themselves and additionally helps to maintain their own group’s identity. Because of the spread of SNS, these thoughts, which could have just simply passed by, are expressed outside. In the real world where they talk face to face, they disclose this addiction well. However, they become aggressive and abusive in non-face-to-face situations such as on SNS. Often after these fights, justice addicts regret their behavior or fall into a sense of self-loathing.
So why is this aggressive tendency only revealed online? People have habits of attacking and not accepting other things except for what they are directly related and connected to. Such habits make people especially aggressive in situations where they can talk to others without hesitating. It can also be interpreted as expressing the desires that are not filled in real world. 'Justice addiction' is also a type of addiction, and you may think it's hard to get out of this addiction. However, we can easily escape from justice addiction by changing our mindset.
First, you have to think about why you can't forgive someone. The most important thing is to make a habit of looking at yourself objectively and throw away the fixed idea that you are always right. It must be remembered that nobody can be perfect and there must be possibilities that there can be errors even in my own thoughts. And when you find someone to criticize, you'd better to think about it one more time and talk about it rather than getting angry right away, saying "** Party has no answer" or "All the young people are so rude." Before you get angry, you need to think about whether acting based on a subjective sense of justice actually helps you solve the problem.
Gaining pleasure by criticizing others or getting hurt by being criticized by others both happen because of a lack of mutual understanding in relationships with people. We can't easily cut off people or hate them because it's inevitable to have relationships with others while living in a society. Instead, through understanding and empathizing with others, we can overcome this situation. We need to refrain from reckless criticism. As the author says, we should not deny those who have different ideas from ourselves but instead embrace them after listening carefully to them. If you want to correct someone for something wrong, you should think a little more about why they think that way, and try to find out if there is anything you aren’t considering first.
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