Debate Rounds (3)
First Round: Acceptence. :)
Exodus 21: 22-25: "If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." Note: This is not the only bible verse that uses this concept, but is one of them.
Since, we are debating whether "eye for an eye" is acceptable. I would first like to give my reasons why revenge is wrong.
We as a society have to move away from the "eye for an eye" revenge mentality if civilization is to advance.The "eye for an eye" mentality will never solve anything. A revenge philosophy inevitably leads to an endless cycle of violence. Why do you think the Israeli-Palestine conflict has been going on for 60 years? Why do you think gang violence in this country never seems to end? It is important to send a message to society that striking back at your enemy purely for revenge will always make matters worse.
It sends the wrong message: why kill people who kill people to show killing is wrong.Yes, we want to make sure there is accountability for crime and an effective deterrent in place; however, the death penalty has a message of "You killed one of us, so we'll kill you". The state is actually using a murder to punish someone who committed a murder. Does that make sense?
Double the suffering:
This one is more specific to the death penalty, but it can still interpreted to any kind of revenge. The prisoner's family must suffer from seeing their loved one put to death by the state, as well as going through the emotionally-draining appeals process.One victim's innocent family is obviously forced to suffer from a capital murder, but by enforcing a death sentence, you force another family to suffer. Why double the suffering when we don't have to?
Sometimes because of revenge, people start showing sympathy towards the original criminal, which isn't right. Criminals usually are looked down upon by society. People are disgusted by the vile, unconscionable acts they commit and feel tremendous sympathy for the victims of murder, rape, etc. However, the "eye for an eye" mentality has a way of shifting sympathy away from the victims and to the criminals themselves. An excellent example is the execution a few years ago of former gang leader "Tookie" Williams. He was one of the original members of the notorious Crips gang, which has a long legacy of robbery, assault, and murder. This is a man who was convicted with overwhelming evidence of the murder of four people, some of whom he shot in the back and then laughed at the sounds they made as they died. This is a man who never even took responsibility for the crimes or apologized to the victims -- NOT ONCE! These victims had kids and spouses, but instead of sympathy for them, sympathy shifted to Tookie. Candlelight vigils were held for him. Websites like savetookie.org sprang up. Protests and a media circus ensued trying to prevent the execution, which eventually did take place -- 26 years after the crime itself! There are many cases like this, which make a mockery of the evil crimes these degenerates commit.
In the end I would say revenge is useless it doesnt't change anything and just makes the family's victim suffer endlessly. It is useless in that it doesn't bring the victim back to life.Perhaps the biggest reason to ban the death penalty is that it doesn't change the fact that the victim is gone and will never come back. Hate, revenge, and anger will never cure the emptiness of a lost loved one. Forgiveness is the only way to start the healing process, and this won't happen in a revenge-focused individual.
I believe it was Mohandas Ghandi, also known as Mahatma, who said "An eye for an eye will make the world blind". Meaning revengeful reactions will never end. If an individual tries to avenge a particular action , it will become endless and whole humanity gets affected. Ghandi led India to independence without violence or revenge. If one man can revolutionize the world without conforming to revenge, then it's safe to say "eye for an eye" is pretty unnecessary. His teachings still hold true.
While I don't believe the Bible should ever be the proving groung for any law I would still like to respond to my opponent's argument that the Bible says "eye for an eye" is okay. Yet it seems as though the Bible contradicts itself, as the Old Testament says "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 32:35). Surely, Jesus would also be agaisnt revenge, afterall him and his apostle forbid it, (Matt. 5:38-45; Rom. 12:17; 1 Peter 3:9). Ultimately, as I am Christian- Catholic, I would leave my fate and revenge to God, he knows best.
Thank You. :)
Sources: Balanced Politics
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