Impartial, fair, just

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hello, I really feel bewildered when I consider this sentence each time.


God is impartial.
God is fair.
God is just.


Since lately I am writing an essay about "God", I want to say God is fair in treating everyone, but I don't know the above three expressions' appropriateness, can you tell me?


Thanks
 
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  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is nothing wrong with the grammar in each case. Whether the sentences are true is not the sort of question we usually answer.

    I wonder what you mean by correct here, Silver.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hello Thomas, I meant "appropriateness of the words' usage". I am not a christian but I like the stories from <The Bible>.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    We cannot tell you if a sentence is "correct" unless we know what you mean to say by it. the sentences are all grammatically correct, but they mean different things and, as TT said, they do not mean "always with us".
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hello Nunty, I have to own my mistake, especially occured in my sentence, but I want to ask whether the three sentences are correct, I mean the three words? The three words' appropriateness of the sentences. I suppose TT asked me something about the "Is the God always fair", so I said I am not a christian but I like <The Bible>.

    Thanks
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Are the three words correct in what sense? If you are asking about the Christian perception of the attributes of God, that is outside the scope of this forum. If you are asking if they are correctly place in the sentence, they are. If you want to know if they express what you are trying to say, you will have to tell us more about what you mean.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Are the three words correct when I try to say

    God is impartial to everyone.
    God is fair to everyone.
    God is just to everyone.

    Thanks, Nunty.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Silver, has your question now changed to "are the words impartial, fair and just all followed by the preposition to"?
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Sorry, all my dear friends, I made a awful blunder when I was expressing what I want to ask, I just want to know "If I say "God is fair", "God is impartial" and "God is just" are all correct", I mean the words' appropriateness in my sentence, because "fair, impartial and just" might not be the same, right?
    Really sorry, everyone, I made a stupid and unforgivable mistake, sorry.
    I will reflect on my mistakes, Sorry, I feel guilty and painful, I don't know how to face everyone who helps me, sorry.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I suspect we're still at cross-purposes, Silver....

    Just to summarise:
    Fair, impartial and just do not have the same meaning.
    God is fair, God is impartial, and God is just do not have the same meaning.
    All three sentences are grammatically correct.
    Which sentence is 'appropriate' depends on the meaning you want to express.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Hello, Loob.
    Can you tell me what are the differences among the three words when I try to say "God is fair to everone one"?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hello, Loob.
    Can you tell me what are the differences among the three words when I try to say "God is fair to everone one"?
    Hi Silver,

    I think it might be easier for us to consider the differences between the words if we could take God out of the sentence, and consider the words when applied to ordinary mortals. A wish not to offend cherished beliefs in others may easily prevent people from speaking freely otherwise.

    If we are going to do this, it would help us if you would make a few suggestions about how you perceive the differences, so that we know at what level to pitch our comments.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Last time I asked a question about these three words, unfortunately, I didn't express what I want to say, anyway, please take a look at my question:


    The head teacher is impartial to everyone in the class.
    The head teacher is fair to everyone in the class.
    The head teacher is just to everyone in the class.


    I am wondering what are the differences among these three words? According to the dictionary which I used usually, the definition of these three words are:


    Fair:free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice
    Just:fair; morally correct
    Impartial:not partial or biased; fair; just


    And personally, I will say "fair" is more idiomatic in oral English usage, and just is formal, while impartial is too formal. But I am not sure about it, may I have your opinion?


    Thanks


     

    Faucon niais

    Member
    Taiwanese
    I agree. However, I'm not sure "just" applies to a teacher who shows no favouritism. When applied to people, I usually hear it used to describe people in the justice system, namely judges and gods in their capacity as celestial judges who decides upon people's fates ("mine is a just God").

    What are other people's thoughts on this?
     
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    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Thanks, supposedly "Just" means what you say. And according to a chinese dictionary of English word's usage, it says:

    "Impartial" focus on showing no favoritism.
    "Just" is very formal, and when we say someone "just", probably means one won't be influenced by his or her emotion or related interest.
    "Fair" is more common.


    Maybe there will be someone to help though?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Silver. :) I don't know how helpful this is, but I would expect to hear "fair" in the context you've mentioned. "Impartial" would be a formal synonym. I agree with Faucon that "just" sounds awfully official to describe a teacher's behavior, but it would also work in your sentence.
     

    Salvage

    Senior Member
    USA English
    All three words have multiple, nuanced, definitions. To my mind the most useful interpretations of these words include:

    impartial - having no favored side/person in a treatment or a decision. The treatment or decision may be good, bad, uninformed, or outright wrong, but it is not applied preferentially. A referee in a sport is supposedly impartial.

    fair - includes an element of being pleasing. People may be pleased, or simply accepting, of an outcome, and say it was fair, but this is based on their culture, education, biases, and personal involvement in the action. Again, I may believe a situation is fair, but you may not.

    just - as has been observed, "just" has a legal element. Consequences of actions are fitting for the actions - sometimes retributive, sometimes compensatory, but fitting by law. "Just" also has an element of a "right", an entitlement, by law. And again, one may not agree with the right. The privileges, the rights, of lordship for example are not always agreed upon.

    Applying any of these to a god becomes problematic. Gods are generally all powerful or perfect or all-knowing or magical or personally unknowable, etc. so how can we apply these very human conventions?

    That said, maybe the above can provide some idea of the differences between these words.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    All three words have multiple, nuanced, definitions. To my mind the most useful interpretations of these words include:

    impartial - having no favored side/person in a treatment or a decision. The treatment or decision may be good, bad, uninformed, or outright wrong, but it is not applied preferentially. A referee in a sport is supposedly impartial.

    fair - includes an element of being pleasing. People may be pleased, or simply accepting, of an outcome, and say it was fair, but this is based on their culture, education, biases, and personal involvement in the action. Again, I may believe a situation is fair, but you may not.

    just - as has been observed, "just" has a legal element. Consequences of actions are fitting for the actions - sometimes retributive, sometimes compensatory, but fitting by law. "Just" also has an element of a "right", an entitlement, by law. And again, one may not agree with the right. The privileges, the rights, of lordship for example are not always agreed upon.

    Applying any of these to a god becomes problematic. Gods are generally all powerful or perfect or all-knowing or magical or personally unknowable, etc. so how can we apply these very human conventions?

    That said, maybe the above can provide some idea of the differences between these words.

    Thanks for your answer and I have to say it is really helpful.
     
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