Justice vs Mercy: Difference and Comparison

Justice and mercy are two distinct notions frequently used interchangeably in the same statement.

Both can be seen as equal, although their feelings remain distinctive. Justice appears to be stern and precise, and it is tied to the courts and the country’s virtuous regulations.

Mercy, on either hand, is a moral attribute of human decency that is sensitive and empathetic. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Justice refers to the fair and impartial treatment of individuals based on the law, while mercy is a compassionate response to someone in need.
  2. Justice involves the punishment of wrongdoing, while mercy involves forgiveness and leniency.
  3. Justice is based on laws and rules, while mercy is based on compassion and empathy.

Justice vs Mercy

Justice refers to the fair and impartial treatment of individuals based on established laws and principles, seeking to establish the truth, determine guilt, and impose an appropriate punishment. Mercy involves the exercise of compassion and leniency towards those who are suffering.

Justice vs Mercy
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Justice is a notion founded on the teachings of fair treatment. Individuals shall only receive what they earn, according to justice.

Justice is for everyone, as everyone is seen as equal in front of the court, and that is what is excepted and should be done in all corners of the world.

Emperors and administrations use the notion of social justice to appear unbiased. If anything is ethically and morally acceptable, there just has been done right.

Mercy is a characteristic which resembles compassion and goodness in mankind. In contrast to somebody who is brutal, someone who is kind and is considered to be merciful.

Offering charity, providing for the ill and injured, and offering assistance to persons affected by natural catastrophes are all examples of mercy. The sentiments of love and mercy are essential to the virtue of mercy.

If a perpetrator asks for mercy, he is requesting a judgment that is somewhat less severe than he deserves. 

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonJusticeMercy
FunctionJustice cannot be served along with Mercy.Mercy can be served even while one is serving justice.
ProcedureJustice is a legal requirement.Mercy is an act of empathy,
DefinitionJustice is obtaining what one deserves.Mercy is asking as to what one desires rather than what one owes
OriginThe word Justice originated from Old French.The word Mercy originated from Old Latin
Action towards OffendersJustice gives punishments to offenders.Mercy doesn’t necessarily give punishment to offenders.

What is Justice?

Justice, within the wider definition, seems to be the fundamental premise that individuals want what they earned, only with the analysis of what qualifies “certainly worthy” influenced by a multitude of fields and outlooks,

such as the basis of moral rightness based on morality, rational thinking, legal system, faith, and equitable and fair treatment.

The administration can occasionally try to improve equality by running trials and implementing their decisions.

The concept of social justice entails a fair interaction of individuals and their community, with a focus on how advantages, chances, and income should be allocated.

Socioeconomic fluidity, particularly the simplicity with which individuals and communities can migrate across strata of society, is related to social fairness.

Social justice differs from cosmopolitanism, and it holds that everybody is a member of one globalized world with ethical norms.

Social justice differs from egalitarianism, which holds that everybody is identical regarding position, worth, or privileges since not all social justice theories need equality.

All nation has its own approach to justice. The Old Greek thinkers laid out the first notions of justice.

Justice may not be as basic as we sometimes believe. Rather, it stems from some of the more fundamental norms of rightness,  what is right is what has the best outcomes.

justice

What is Mercy?

If mercy necessitates a deviation beyond rigorous justice, it is a sin; if mercy never necessitates a deviation from the determined, it is only a portion of justice.

Mercy has derived its worth at least because of the reality that it emerges from a specific condition of character — a character prone to conduct merciful actions out of love or compassion without losing sight of the necessity of justice.


Mercy is a characteristic which resembles compassion and goodness in mankind. In contrast to somebody who is brutal, someone who is kind and is considered to be merciful.

Offering charity, providing for the ill and injured, and offering assistance to persons affected by natural catastrophes are all examples of mercy.

The word has its origin in Latin. Mercy is a virtue that is very preached in many religions.

Since all religions teach us to be kind, mercy is in a set of underlying, spiritual, cultural, and economic situations, compassion, forgiveness, and compassion.

The image of such a compassionate God exists in Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, among other faiths.

Deeds of compassion are stressed as an element of religious faith via deeds like almsgiving, caring for the ill, and Deeds of Grace.

Main Difference Between Justice and Mercy

  1. Justice is obtaining what one deserves, whereas Mercy is asking as to what one desires rather than what one owes.
  2. Justice cannot be served along with Mercy, whereas mercy can be served even while being Just.
  3. Justice punishes criminals, whereas Mercy forgives offenders.
  4. Justice is a legal requirement, whereas Mercy is a charity.
  5. The word Justice originated from Old French from the word justus, whereas the word Mercy originated from Old Latin “merci” or mercies meaning pity.
Difference Between Justice and Mercy
References
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=X8CiqMOKDqIC&oi=fnd&pg=PP3&dq=Difference+Between+Justice+and+Mercy&ots=yYSzcZQ6lD&sig=6XkiFf8v8VEGCxG2hF7JbHQlWyM&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Difference%20Between%20Justice%20and%20Mercy&f=false
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy/article/abs/mercy-and-legal-justice/D6DF6179F9F3B04D9B45B94C31804F6C

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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