An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
When turning on the television, radio, or simply opening the local newspaper, we are bombarded with news of arrests, murders, homicides, serial killers, and other such tragedies. It is a rare occasion to go throughout a day in this barbaric world and not hear any of these things. It has been discovered that 10% of the crimes were committed following the principle of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” This astonishing statistic aroused a controversy of whether or not “An eye for an eye” is the correct basis of determining an appropriate punishment, as it not only touches upon political, but also cultural, ethical, or even religious issues.
It would be easier to analyze the notion mentioned above on a relatively smaller scale. I believe that almost every single one of you have seen the scene of two students standing in the school principle’s office, and one of them saying that he or she just hit the other person in return with no purpose of actually harming them. More frequently, you would hear people saying things like” Oh, I just wanted to revenge and show him my power. I didn’t feel the necessity of thinking about the consequences”, while the other one’s eye is bleeding. People in favor of the statement would immediately say that the person who fought back was right in his actions, as he defeated his “enemy” and did not display his weakness as a human being.
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However, if we, the bystanders, put some effort into contemplation of this melancholy tragedy as well as the consequences it brings with it, we may reach an utterly contrasting consensus or conclusion. The fact is that we must learn the simple truth that by applying the actions of revenge towards the offender can only make the person who hit at the others’ eye turned from a victim to culprit. In addition to that, he will pay a severe penalty for the detriment he caused. The last question and maybe even the most momentous part of this story waiting to be answered is: Has the problem been actually solved? The answer would probably be no. There is a potential of these two boys becoming fierce rivals in the future. Another problem is that, how can anybody prevent the recurrence of similar incidents, while the two do not compromise. If people spend their time and energy repaying others for real or imagined wrong deeds, the result is a situation of vendetta and civil unrest, notwithstanding having satisfied one’s will to retaliate.
Given the disadvantages of vengeance, outlined in the preceding paragraph, it is quite extraordinary to see opposing views from the critiques. However, we also need to note that there is always no shortage of disagreement within these types of arguments. Noting the compelling nature of this new opinion, one may suggest that, “It is the government’s right to discipline people who obey the law, in order to keep the world in tact.”
You may well feel that I am going crazy by now, having two completely different things in one piece of writing. “What on earth is going on? Is she got fed up with discussing the same topic? Why is she talking about the government that punishes people?”
If you have truly said or thought what is above, then it is necessary for you to keep on reading.
“An eye for an eye” could be easily associated with the issue of death penalty and other forms of retribution. So now, we are going to have a debate on whether or not death penalties should be reserved, as they follow the advocating principle in the bible, ”An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
The statement cited in the preceding paragraph, when viewed as a justification for capital punishment, raises serious ethical, moral and social questions. Proponents of capital punishment argue that, for justice to be served, the punishment must befit the crime. Hence, a murderer should have his life taken from him. This kind of perverse logic, which has seldom been supported by the victims’ families themselves, fails to be convincing. In a similar vein, several other questions regarding the effect on society, “restitution being denied, the rights of the convicted, and the possibility of the innocent being accused”, are not addressed convincingly by supporters of capital punishment.
How often do we hear on the television that a handful of evidence from a strong lawyer could condemn someone to death for simply walking down the wrong street on the wrong day and at the wrong time? The potential for such miscarriage of justice, in my opinion, cannot be conquered. According to the news-reporter of CCTV channel, 5% of people that were served death penalties are either innocent or at least partly innocent. Moreover, “life is a precious gift from God. Even when a person has no material possessions, life is still possessed.” In light of this quotation, it is logical to assume that a murder, the taking of another’s life, is the most heinous of crimes for any reason.
In the face of such arguments, the proponents have responded to in a number of ways. To start with the definition of death penalty, as stated by Ed Koch, a former US government official, “the execution of a lawfully condemned killer is no more an act of murder than is legal imprisonment an act of kidnaping”. Secondly, the opposing views said that, whilst saying, “Thou shall not kill”, the bible also supports the idea of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” For argument sake, this statement could be further developed as the rule of life for a life.
Despite all the counter-arguments, some evidence have still been found to go against the idea of death penalty. Abraham Lincoln declared, “All men are created equal.” This statement of truth has obviously been left out of consideration in the court room. The man that sits upon the bench in this room is no more entitled to justice than the one that sits in the defendant’s seat. Everyone deserves a second chance because they are all capable of reformation. Also, in respond to the reasons for death penalty, according to the US government, the amount of crimes has not declined since the death penalty has been in use. In short, death by execution is deplorable.
Although I assume that you might have become exhausted listening all these things about “ An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” I wish that you could keep on reading, because the part below is about the idol of all Indians.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” This was the one quote that stood out to me from all of the other quotes that occurred in the well-known film “Gandhi”. The sentiment expressed in this quotation embodies the view that if everybody commits a crime in reprisal, there is never going to be piece in this world. Literally, if one takes someone’s eye out, and the person whose eye was taken revenges, they are both going to be blind. It could be also interpreted as, ”two wrongs don’t make a right”. In the next paragraph, I am going to introduce the person who said :”An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi, the lawyer who became the famed leader of the Indian revolts against the British rule through his philosophy of non-violent protest. There are numerous examples of his non-violent protest. The action of rejecting the British attire and resorted to wearing traditional Indian garmends that were hand fashioned by himself or other Indians would be a good representation of his non-violence. Also, he made public speeches condemning British rule, which made him a not only was a passive resister, but also a silver- tongued orator. He went to Prison on numerous occasions for common good. Can you imagine yourself in his place, not rising up in a forceful way?
When Gandhi warns us of the dangers of an eye for an eye, he tells us that there will never be an end to violence as long as there is someone who always provokes it. And his method was proved to be successful in defeating the British. The action retaliation bears a resemblance to domino effect, where one event causes a series of similar events to take place one after the other. The reality forces us to consider whether to take revenge.
In retrospect, I strongly recommend all of us to actually ponder about the disadvantages of taking revenge. The images of the whole world being blind are reappearing inside me constantly, as I am finishing off this article. Instead of turning yourself from a victim to a sinner, make an attempt to compromise by mutually understanding the “potential offender”. It might turn out to be that the person who hit your hand did not do it on purpose, or even if he did it deliberately, do not take revenge, as you will be harmed and punished as well. We have a model leader, Gandhi, who succeeded without committing anything gruesome or violent. In the end, I would also state my opinion that the death penalty should be banned as it follows the principle of life for life.