When one hears the old
principal “An Eye for an Eye”, it makes one wonder whether this statement is
morally right and justified. Practically it looks very logical on the face of
it. If one does bad to someone, one ought to be given the same punishment in an
equal manner. However, if one takes a closer look and thinks positively, this
statement leaves much to be desired.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. This
famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi refers to a mention in the Old Testament of the
Bible with respect to the legal penalties for violence. A version of this quote
was also used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the struggle for civil
rights and equality in the USA. The interpretation of
this quote is that two wrongs don’t make one right. You can’t justify a wrong
by 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? In
the literal sense, this phrase means that if someone hits you with a stick, you
should hit him back with a stick. If someone kills your father, you should also
kill his father. In law, there cannot be such an easy solution in any
case. For example, let us consider a
person who unintentionally killed another person in a car accident in which
there was no fault of the former. Should the person who was responsible for the
accident be killed in a similar manner when it was not his intention to kill
the other person?
knows that it is immoral and against the law to kill. Our government tells us
not to kill. But what is the consequence if we kill someone? The death penalty is
awarded in the rarest of rare cases. It is hypocritical to execute a person due
to his fault. As a result, criminals are sentenced to death. How is a person
going to learn anything from such a hypocritical decision? Is this truly justified?
There is no such
thing as justified killing and it is immoral to kill someone. I am sure that
there are many others who believe in this proposition. In my opinion, an eye
for an eye is not appropriate because the reasons behind the commission of a
crime are not always direct and intentional. Many times people are wrongly
accused and convicted. If someone robbed you, it does not make sense to go and
rob 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 dug
themselves. It may sound insane at the first instance, but it will help them
realize their wrong that they have committed.
are so much disturbing things happening in the world today. People are fighting
against each other which often lead to killing and murdering someone. There are
some individuals who will go all out to prove themselves right even in a small
dispute or a moment of disparity. They will go and do everything possible to
make themselves the winners. This is done even if the end result is the death
of 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 for
everyone in the society to live in. When people start killing one another, the
entire society comes to a standstill. Due to this, families start missing out
on 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 one
wonder if there is any justice available. An eye to eye will only make the
world go blind and the whole world will be filled with hatred for one another.
I feel an eye
for eye compensation is not acceptable because it makes the victim as cruel as
the criminal. If the laws were set that made “an eye for an eye” as
the punishment, it could change how we look at each other as human beings, and
the victim would then become the aggressor. For example, if someone stabs
another person on a road, then by the eye for eye logic, the other person
should stab him as well. This would have the potential to give a taste of violence
that could affect other innocent people who were never involved in the original
crime. It is better to let the law punish the offender instead of letting the
victim take the law in their own hands.
Eye for an eye in fact is
a retaliation principle, following the Biblical principle, drawn from the Old
Testament, of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. It means that I
will do to you exactly what you did to me, which in my opinion, is an act that
doesn’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 and
toothless’. A lot of people misinterpret this phrase. When people take the
“law” into their own hands, it creates more unnecessary damage rather than any
solution. The victim who is already hurt gets punished instead. We have “law
enforcement” authorities to do that job. We have “judges” who weigh the evidence
and make a decision.
We have all heard of
some war driven countries which are always on international news. Thinking of
these countries, images of war tanks and other weapons utilised during a war
comes to one’s mind. These wars have left millions of their citizens fleeing
from their homes and significantly many of them are killed during this phase
and have left many children malnourished. In recent years, even the mighty USA
and France are attacked by terrorists