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MORAL JUSTIFICATIONS AND SENTIMENTS OVER FAIR AND UNFAIR ACTIONS IN A GROUP OF COLOMBIAN COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOUNG INTERNAL REFUGEES

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Author(s): Quintero Mejía, Marieta | Vasco Montoya, Eloisa

Journal: Acta Colombiana de Psicologia
ISSN 0123-9155

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 99;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Moral justification | moral sentiments | justice | anamnetic justice | "forgiveness and forget-ful-ness"

ABSTRACT
This paper studies moral justifications and sentiments on actions assessed as fair or unfair by a group of Colombian college students and young internal refugees. A two-group multiple case study design was used. The subjects were 15 college students and 15 young internal refugees. The instruments used to elicit these groups' moral judgments and sentiments were non structured interviews, in depth interviews and narrative autobiographies. Content analysis was used to interpret the complexity of these groups' reflections on justice. Results showed that the two groups agree on considering education as a fair action and teachers as fair persons. Some differences were also found. College students consider that the policy of "forgiveness and forgetfulness", currently proposed and implemented in the country, poses a moral problem because it is not possible to forgive and forget unfair actions related to crimes against mankind. The group of young internal refugees demanded anamnetic justice to ensure that unfair actions such as massacres and mutilations be not forgotten. The study concluded that both groups argue over problems related to justice from justifications and sentiments that express their beliefs, values and moral principles. It was also found that, when faced with situations of extreme violation of basic rights, both groups consider that justice is not only a matter of rules and norms; justice implies making oneself responsible for those who have been forced to extreme poverty because of fear of death
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