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An eye for an eye leaves the world blind


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Firstly you have to understand the culture that that form of justice existed in, a small village/commune type culture which generally means everyone knows everyone, therefore the victim knows the assailant. In that circumstance, an eye for an eye is justice.

In a larger culture town/city it's easier for the assailant to avoid detection and if so (who does the victim extract justice from?) what choice does the victim have but to forgive?  

It's revenge, not justice, that blinds the world.

Edited by dimreepr
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27 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Firstly you have to understand the culture that that form of justice existed in, a small village/commune type culture which generally means everyone knows everyone, therefore the victim knows the assailant. In that circumstance, an eye for an eye is justice.

In a larger culture town/city it's easier for the assailant to avoid detection and if so (who does the victim extract justice from?) what choice does the victim have but to forgive?  

It's revenge, not justice, that blinds the world.

I get where you're coming from. But the context in the time of the formation of the jewish people already saw major cities and intertribal violence that was met out with blood over generations.

There have been tribal courts among the Nuër people of North Africa that would intervene when such a feud went on for too long and took too many lives. They formed a kind of trust to compensate the individual families (and the gods whom they asked for guidance) that the involved tribes would pay into so the feud could be ended. From this context it does make sense to say that while justice must be served, that the concept of an eye for an eye must be suspended when the original reason for the justice-seeking is no longer relevant, to cede it, or else the world would turn blind

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2 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

There have been tribal courts among the Nuër people of North Africa that would intervene when such a feud went on for too long and took too many lives.

 

Except an eye for an eye equals two lives not "too many lives", an eye for an eye is the simplest form of justice while a feud is the simplest form of revenge.

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Paraphrasing you a bit, a tooth for a tooth, leaves the world toothless..

I don't think so "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", should be understood literally, but it's metaphor of "appropriate punishment for specific crime". What is worth thief with severed hand? Useless ballast for the entire community to the last his/her days.. Won't be able to work anymore, and will have to stole again to survive.. So somebody who ordered cutting his/her hand, will cause repetition of crime, not prevented repetition of crime.

The best way to prevent crimes to happen is to teach people, at the right moment of their life, so they won't have to commit crimes to survive. Accidental unplanned crimes are also less frequent in community of smart and intelligent people, who rarely use brutal force in anger.

Many not really bright politicians/jurists believe that way to prevent crimes is to increase years in jail.. They are seriously wrong..

Edited by Sensei
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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Except an eye for an eye equals two lives not "too many lives", an eye for an eye is the simplest form of justice while a feud is the simplest form of revenge.

Ok what I forgot to weave into my argument is the tendency of humans to put their own suffering on a more sensitive scale than that of a stranger. So when three people ambush and kill your cousin who was involved in the murder of one of their relatives, you would go after all three of them to make them pay for their deed (with a few of your tribesmen for good measure). And so the violence spreads. It would have started because someone got killed while they were stealing cattle to which they were clearly entitled from their point of view, and so the killing even though objectively justified because he was defending his families property the thieves would consider it unjustified.

Now I am aware that I am mixing the concept of economic reciprocity with justice, but I do this to demonstrate how the eye for an eye justice system results in prolonged feuds cause more deaths than looking at the simple concept in question would produce.

2 hours ago, Sensei said:

Many not really bright politicians/jurists believe that way to prevent crimes is to increase years in jail.. They are seriously wrong..

regarding politicians I would say they are successfully pandering to their not really bright constituents. I'm not saying that this necessarily makes these politicians smart, but that stupid people will elect politicians who make bad laws. Also, in the USA, there are plenty of judges who are elected and not appointed, so they too pander to an electorate that wants harsh punishment instead of farsighted judgement

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17 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Now I am aware that I am mixing the concept of economic reciprocity with justice, but I do this to demonstrate how the eye for an eye justice system results in prolonged feuds cause more deaths than looking at the simple concept in question would produce.

I disagree and for these reasons:

17 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Ok what I forgot to weave into my argument is the tendency of humans to put their own suffering on a more sensitive scale than that of a stranger. So when three people ambush and kill your cousin who was involved in the murder of one of their relatives, you would go after all three of them to make them pay for their deed (with a few of your tribesmen for good measure). And so the violence spreads. It would have started because someone got killed while they were stealing cattle to which they were clearly entitled from their point of view, and so the killing even though objectively justified because he was defending his families property the thieves would consider it unjustified.

The whole point is "an eye for an eye" not an eye for your sight, remember the context of the culture of its conception, more brutal and less educated, in which it becomes easily understood and, mostly, satisfactory. Does it work today? No, not generally but then how many are willing to forgive?

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17 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I disagree and for these reasons:

The whole point is "an eye for an eye" not an eye for your sight, remember the context of the culture of its conception, more brutal and less educated, in which it becomes easily understood and, mostly, satisfactory. Does it work today? No, not generally but then how many are willing to forgive?

Ok what it looks like to me is that we are coming in from entirely different positions on the subject. For me, an eye for an eye can't be separated from primitive tribal revenge and escalating feuds of violence. Because that is exactly the context I know this principle from, while modern jurisdiction (ideally) focuses on reparation rather than punishment. You on the other hand are arguing from a point of strict mathematical logic where the exact damage is retributed to the purpetrayer of the original damage. It's not that I reject this outright, but it's also an idealized scenario, because either party will always view their own suffering as more significant than that of the counter party by any means possible. That's human psychology. Without a moderating instance the cycle of retribution will keep escalating, because humans are unable to be objective when their own suffering is involved

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41 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

Ok what it looks like to me is that we are coming in from entirely different positions on the subject. For me, an eye for an eye can't be separated from primitive tribal revenge and escalating feuds of violence.

1

My point is, "an eye for an eye" is a result of "primitive tribal revenge and escalating feuds of violence." not the cause.

41 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

Because that is exactly the context I know this principle from, while modern jurisdiction (ideally) focuses on reparation rather than punishment. You on the other hand are arguing from a point of strict mathematical logic where the exact damage is retributed to the purpetrayer of the original damage. It's not that I reject this outright, but it's also an idealized scenario, because either party will always view their own suffering as more significant than that of the counter party by any means possible. That's human psychology. Without a moderating instance the cycle of retribution will keep escalating, because humans are unable to be objective when their own suffering is involved

All we can realistically expect from our current judicial system is justice (epic fail, but that's another topic).

Which do you think is fair/justice:

A Rapist that gets to cross-examine/demean/traumatise the victim before, probably, getting acquitted.

or

 A Rapist that gets buggered senseless by a well-hung monster in public? 

Edited by dimreepr
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12 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

My point is, "an eye for an eye" is a result of "primitive tribal revenge and escalating feuds of violence." not the cause.

All we can realistically expect from our current judicial system is justice (epic fail, but that's another topic).

Which do you think is fair:

A Rapist that gets to cross-examine/demean/traumatise the victim before, probably, getting acquitted.

or

 A Rapist that gets buggered senseless by a well-hung monster in public? 

I call chicken/egg on primitive tribal violence and eye for an eye.

 

As for your example with the rapist: I would love to see them get buggered by a well-hung volunteer in public, but that's my primitive instinct speaking. Since restitution isn't feasible in extreme cases such as this one, punishment is all that is left to exact

Of course I don't want to see a rape victim cross-examined in court and the whole affair dragged up in public. I'd rather see acceptance of a sworn statement from the victim and a specialist report from a medical professional who examined the vicitm. If that doesn't satisfy a jury, then the jury system needs to be revised...

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2 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

I call chicken/egg on primitive tribal violence and eye for an eye.

That's not equivalent or logical.  

6 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

As for your example with the rapist: I would love to see them get buggered by a well-hung volunteer in public, but that's my primitive instinct speaking. Since restitution isn't feasible in extreme cases such as this one, punishment is all that is left to exact

Before any accusation is given its day in court it has to be (this side of the pond), in the eyes of the CPS, probably true and that's the bedrock of justice, the only difference in the two scenarios is punishment and who should get it. 

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That is a funny sense of justice, YaDinghus.
Retribution in kind is wrong ( for all the usual reasons ), yet the word of the accuser should deny the right of the accused to question the evidence ?

The problem is not that one is assumed to be more truthful than the other.
The problem is that we, as a society, associate a certain stigma ( sexual, I suppose ) to an act of violence.
If someone beat up another person, there would be no problem with cross-examination in court; it is expected.
Why the difference ?

This stigma seems even more entrenched in some more puritanical societies.
So much so that the woman who is raped/assaulted is automatically put at fault.
( yes, some Middle Eastern and Indio/Pakistani societies )

Edited by MigL
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Hammurabi's code of law was probably about placing limits on further escalation.

Bob takes your brother's eye. Bob may then be deprived of his eye, but not his life, property, etc.

We really should be past that, though not sure everyone can be reformed.

 

Edited by Endy0816
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If people spent more time focusing on themselves and less time worrying about others the world would be far greater place. An eye for an eye is a justification for violence which is unburdened by the specific events. Feeling wronged by others is very easy. Taking responsibility for our lives isn't. 

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8 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

If people spent more time focusing on themselves and less time worrying about others the world would be far greater place. An eye for an eye is a justification for violence which is unburdened by the specific events. Feeling wronged by others is very easy. Taking responsibility for our lives isn't. 

A different time a different place, one spat "an eye for an eye" the other suggested forgiveness. 

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2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

A different time a different place, one spat "an eye for an eye" the other suggested forgiveness. 

Reprisal or forgiveness are not the only 2 options people have for resolving conflict.

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1 minute ago, Ten oz said:

Reprisal or forgiveness are not the only 2 options people have for resolving conflict.

Indeed, money often serves as a 3rd option.

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11 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, money often serves as a 3rd option.

All parties simply walking away is one the most common solutions to conflicts. 

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17 hours ago, MigL said:

I think Dimreepr just adopted your 'solution', Ten ox.

I tried...

18 hours ago, Ten oz said:

It absolutely can be. Have you never walked away from something? 

If your prize pig (family food) thief is up before the elders, do you walk away before or after their judgment?

It's perfectly possible to forgive the man/woman and still get your pig back (share it with him/her to complete the circle of justice).

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56 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I tried...

If your prize pig (family food) thief is up before the elders, do you walk away before or after their judgment?

It's perfectly possible to forgive the man/woman and still get your pig back (share it with him/her to complete the circle of justice).

I did not say walking away was best option for all situations. I said it was a common option. When people are dating have conflict the solution is most often to break up and each walks away. Likewise when a person has conflict with their employer quitting and walking away is a common solution. 

Right and wrong is all realitive. All wrongs cannot be made right, all people cannot be forgiven, and only so many eyes are useful. Walking away is a choice we have most of the time. 

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2 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

Right and wrong is all realitive. All wrongs cannot be made right, all people cannot be forgiven, and only so many eyes are useful. Walking away is a choice we have most of the time.

Indeed, when there's no other option.

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55 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, when there's no other option.

When there is no other option implies walking away should be a last resort. I see an eye for an eye as the resort.

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