Justice and Revenge

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Justice and Revenge

Postby Sabina » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:15 pm

When an injustice happens, people are sometimes thirsty for revenge or vengeance. In demanding justice the idea of it often gets distorted. That is how justice deforms into revenge. Revenge, since by nature it is not simply justice, but an exaggerated inflicting of pain upon the other in order to "teach a lesson" for inflicting pain in the first case, causes someone else to want to seek revenge as well, and so on.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

I agree with this, wholeheartedly. However, does that mean that one should just "turn the other cheek", so to speak? I don't think so.


Master Po:
'Vengeance is a water vessel with a hole. It carries nothing but the promise of emptiness.'

Young Caine:

'Shall I then repay injury always with kindness?'

Master Po:

'Repay injury with justice and forgiveness, but kindness always with kindness.'
Image

That sounds like good advice... but, it also leaves room for misinterpretation, because someone could seek revenge and simply call it justice, even though it is an exaggeration, hence doesn't qualify as justice any longer. Numerous examples of that are happening today, on a large scale (e.g. wars), but also on a smaller scale, amongst people, between friends, etc.

What are your thoughts?

Sabina
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Metatron » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:16 pm

First of all, what is justice. According to wikipedia:
Wikipedia wrote:Justice is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity.


And second... what is the pointof justice?
This is a question I would like to ponder about a bit more... When we send someone to prison, we can do it for more reasons, depending on the seriousness of the crime. If it is small, prison sentence could serve to heal the individual. Let him spend some time alone, under supervision and let him come to his senses himself. If it works, great. But what if it doesn't?

Let's say a murder happened. That's a deffinitely bigger crime and we have to consider all of the odds. If it was intentional, should we still only leave it to justice? Send him to prison? What if the murderer doesn't care? Is, in this case, the point of justice fuliffled? We don't achieve healing, on top of it the citizens of the country where the murderer was imprisoned will pay for this murderer's food and "accomodation", so he doesn't have to work or do anything on his own.

So what's the point of justice if its goal is not achieved?

I have no problem with revenge. I don't like conflicts, but if any of my family members or friends got hurt or killed by someone, that person would in my eyes deserve the same treatment, if he was mentally alright, if he did it intentionally and if he didn't feel sorry for what he did.

Why give them a second chance? Are our butchered relatives and friends ever gonna get one? Not that we know of...
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Sabina » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:23 pm

What if nobody was murdered, but... I don't know, let's take rape as an example. It is a severe crime, it is physical, there can be a variety of lasting consequences.
So, are you saying that whoever raped someone should get raped in return?
What would you do if something like that happened to someone very close to you?

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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Metatron » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:29 pm

Mental bruises which are long lasting are a lot worse than death. Any mental disorder is worse than death. Rapists never rape accidentally. So what should stop us from torturing the rapist?
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Sabina » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:40 pm

The question isn't what should stop us from it, but rather what can we gain from it?

Torturing a rapist wouldn't undo the rape, nor any of the effects of rape, right?

What would be justice in this case?
To remove such a person from the possibility of inflicting the same kind of pain unto others, so making sure they cannot rape anyone else, while possibly helping the rapist as well to "heal", in case of a mental disorder, for example.
To give attention and help out the person who was raped goes without saying in either case.

What exactly can be gained by torturing a rapist?
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Pat » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:59 pm

Revenge dehumanizes us ... justice is to put the offender away where he or she can do no other wrong but to punish for the sake of revenge diminishes us all. We do not have the right to take life and as long as a country we legalize killing in the name of capitol punishment we will live and teach our children to solve their problems with violence. We will always have terrible violence.
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Metatron » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:09 pm

Well, after torturing him he can be off to prison. I wouldn't want to heal such a person. There is no guarantee the raped person will ever forget about the rape, or get past the mental bruises. In this sense, what is the guarantee the rapist will be healed?

I cannot see what my feelings would be like after the rapist would be tortured. Emptiness... It's very broad. What does it mean? I won't be able to lead a happy life after? Am I supposed to think that healing the person who caused my precious person pain would actually make me happy?

Pat wrote:Revenge dehumanizes us ... justice is to put the offender away where he or she can do no other wrong but to punish for the sake of revenge diminishes us all. We do not have the right to take life and as long as a country we legalize killing in the name of capitol punishment we will live and teach our children to solve their problems with violence. We will always have terrible violence.


Ever since this country, Slovakia, has been constitutioned, death sentence has been out of question. Strangely, I don't see any decrease in violence. We don't teach children violence, we never did, actually children care so little about the news that they have no chance to find out what serial killer has been death sentenced for butchering a shitload of people. This is not where children learn violence and I don't see how this ever could be.
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Sabina » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:18 pm

The whole prison argument you posed does make sense. Some people commit crimes in order to go to prison, because it's a better/easier life than they could have on the outside.
Something like that being possible should lead anyone to conclude that the system doesn't work - actually. But ok, let's continue with this exploration.
What if instead of removing a person and thus disabling them from committing the crime they committed (and any crime at all), the punishment were more basic? The way it used to be, at least in some countries. You don't remove the person, you only remove that what they used to commit a crime.
If you steal, you lose a hand.
If you rape, you lose your "masculinity".
I am not including the murder in the equation, at least not at this point.

I am not suggesting anything... we are exploring possibilities... if we dare...

I do believe that if those were the punishments for those two crimes (theft and rape), their occurrence would drastically diminish.
What are your thoughts?
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Metatron » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:12 am

Alright, I still don't see how that is any different from my punishment. Both torture and disemberment leave quite significant wounds... one physical, the other mental... Though I guess disemberment could mess up one's mind too...

But then. What about murder?
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Re: Justice and Revenge

Postby Sabina » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:31 am

Let's see... if it's a predefined generally known punishment, then that also differentiates it from the simple (!) act of torture in that it isn't just left up to the avenging party to determine the extent of torture. One could claim dismemberment to be the more humane option.

Does it not bother you though? I mean, the thought of having such laws? Does that seem right and just?
It is probably in many ways more right and just than the undefined method of spontaneous torture... but, does it seem right and just?
If we had such laws, wouldn't we revolt against them eventually?

Here is why I think we would not welcome such laws...

The judgment would have to be impeccable.. there mustn't be any room for error or misjudgment whatsoever. Agreed?
In most cases that is not possible and it is up to believing the affected person (the one who was raped, or the one who had something stolen from them,..) and believing them completely. No reservations... the way they say it happened, is the way it happened.
If people were always honest, with themselves and others, that would fine, even though the affected person may still not see things clearly even if they honestly believe that they are telling the truth.
Now add the possibility of lies or exaggerations by the affected person... that leaves room for a lot of misjudgment, or simply rash judgment.
In that sense punishing someone so severely (and permanently) solely based on someone's claims could be considered unforgivable.

Now if you look at revenge or death penalty in those terms.. it is actually quite similar.

Sabina
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