When one hears the oldprincipal “An Eye for an Eye”, it makes one wonder whether this statement ismorally right and justified. Practically it looks very logical on the face ofit. If one does bad to someone, one ought to be given the same punishment in anequal manner.
However, if one takes a closer look and thinks positively, thisstatement leaves much to be desired.”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. Thisfamous quote by Mahatma Gandhi refers to a mention in the Old Testament of theBible with respect to the legal penalties for violence. A version of this quotewas also used by Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. during the struggle for civilrights and equality in the USA. The interpretation ofthis quote is that two wrongs don’t make one right. You can’t justify a wrongby doing something equally wrong.An eye for an eye. What does”an eye for an eye” really mean? Is the principle, “An Eye for an Eye” morally justified? Inthe literal sense, this phrase means that if someone hits you with a stick, youshould hit him back with a stick.
If someone kills your father, you should alsokill his father. In law, there cannot be such an easy solution in anycase. For example, let us consider aperson who unintentionally killed another person in a car accident in whichthere was no fault of the former.
Should the person who was responsible for theaccident be killed in a similar manner when it was not his intention to killthe other person? Everyoneknows that it is immoral and against the law to kill. Our government tells usnot to kill. But what is the consequence if we kill someone? The death penalty isawarded in the rarest of rare cases. It is hypocritical to execute a person dueto his fault. As a result, criminals are sentenced to death. How is a persongoing to learn anything from such a hypocritical decision? Is this truly justified?There is no suchthing as justified killing and it is immoral to kill someone.
I am sure thatthere are many others who believe in this proposition. In my opinion, an eyefor an eye is not appropriate because the reasons behind the commission of acrime are not always direct and intentional. Many times people are wronglyaccused and convicted.
If someone robbed you, it does not make sense to go androb them. There is no reasoning whatsoever to say, pay back evil with evil.Instead, there is a dire need to help them out of the hole that they dugthemselves. It may sound insane at the first instance, but it will help themrealize their wrong that they have committed.
Thereare so much disturbing things happening in the world today. People are fightingagainst each other which often lead to killing and murdering someone. There aresome individuals who will go all out to prove themselves right even in a smalldispute or a moment of disparity. They will go and do everything possible tomake themselves the winners. This is done even if the end result is the deathof the other person.
This to me is totally unacceptable and barbaric in nature.This gives a different meaning to life itself and makes life miserable foreveryone in the society to live in. When people start killing one another, theentire society comes to a standstill. Due to this, families start missing outon their loved ones and innocent children suffer losing their father or mother.There is so much trouble and infighting happening in this world that makes onewonder if there is any justice available.
An eye to eye will only make theworld go blind and the whole world will be filled with hatred for one another.I feel an eyefor eye compensation is not acceptable because it makes the victim as cruel asthe criminal. If the laws were set that made “an eye for an eye” asthe punishment, it could change how we look at each other as human beings, andthe victim would then become the aggressor. For example, if someone stabsanother person on a road, then by the eye for eye logic, the other personshould stab him as well. This would have the potential to give a taste of violencethat could affect other innocent people who were never involved in the originalcrime. It is better to let the law punish the offender instead of letting thevictim take the law in their own hands.
Eye for an eye in fact isa retaliation principle, following the Biblical principle, drawn from the OldTestament, of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. It means that Iwill do to you exactly what you did to me, which in my opinion, is an act thatdoesn’t solve any problems. As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will ultimately leave us all blind andtoothless’. A lot of people misinterpret this phrase.
When people take the”law” into their own hands, it creates more unnecessary damage rather than anysolution. The victim who is already hurt gets punished instead. We have “lawenforcement” authorities to do that job. We have “judges” who weigh the evidenceand make a decision.
We have all heard ofsome war driven countries which are always on international news. Thinking ofthese countries, images of war tanks and other weapons utilised during a warcomes to one’s mind. These wars have left millions of their citizens fleeingfrom their homes and significantly many of them are killed during this phaseand have left many children malnourished. In recent years, even the mighty USAand France are attacked by terrorists