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Eye For Eye Justice Vs Turn The Other Cheek


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I've always been personally bothered with the idea of justice being simply "hurt those who've hurt you to create a state of equilibrium". Exodus portrays justice as "if someone rips out your eye, rip out his eye just for the sake of equilibrium". My thoughts are how being cruel to cruel people reduces suffering in this world. If it's wrong to rip out someone's eye, isn't the guy "punishing" the other guy just as immoral if ripping eyes out is always immoral. Humane punishment to deter people from being evil, to separate them from people evildoers may harm, or to motive evildoers to reform seem like practice motives for punishment. Apparently Biblical justice is just "equilibrium for the sake of equilibrium". I just don't understand why this equilibrium is good.

 

This kind of justice is used to justify every violent action God takes in the Bible. If people look into the ark of the covenent, they deserve to die. Make fun of a bald prophet's head, you get death. Whine, you die. Essentialy, if God is so much as annoyed, he has the right to harm others that harm him. Because of original sin, even the killing of children and even babies can be justified with it being "justice". Most notably, hell is considered justice because non-believers hurt God's feelings by not loving him.

 

Jesus claimed that we should be good to bad people, but he and only he has the right to be bad to bad people. I've heard this apparent hypocrasy explained as only God knows what people deserve.

 

I'm just thinking, if this is justice and God's justice is better than human justice, why do I hate him for sending people to hell? Why is my conscious bothered? Why was I given compassion if said compassion corrupts me by disagreeing with justice? Why is it wrong for a parent to torture a child who doesn't love the parent back, but it's okay for God to do so?

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None of it makes sense.  Bible justice is a turd floating in the toilet.  Time to flush.

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In principle I don't have much issue with the Old Testament.  You might be horrified to hear that given the genocides depicted in this text.  But if you adopt a Jewish view, which usually takes these events figuratively and examines the Hebrew Bible for its philosophical teachings, the problem is greatly ameliorated.  It's the New Testament and Jesus which pose the problem.  You say you hate God for sending people to hell.  If it's "Yahweh" you're talking about, don't blame him.  The concept of eternal punishment for disbelief in Jesus is found nowhere in the Hebrew BIble.  Indeed, the idea of eternal punishment is found nowhere in the Hebrew Bible at all, save perhaps for Daniel 12:2.  It's Jesus that you must blame for inventing the wicked doctrine of hell.  Jesus, not Yahweh, introduced the idea that one can burn for all eternity for failure to believe in a set of doctrines or trust in a human savior.

 

And I would add that Jesus is not the son of Yahweh.  Deuteronomy 13 disqualifies Jesus from being either God or Messiah.

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As for the Jewish understanding of 'eye for an eye' - the understanding the pharisees had, it goes like this:

 

That particular verse follows as an afterthought on a detail about monetary reimbursement for damage. The rabbis thus understood that the reimbursement should be proportional to the damage inflicted: the value of an eye, for an eye, the value of a tooth, for a tooth, the value of a hand for a hand, etc. The way they went about to find this value does seem barbaric though: ask at a slave market what price reduction the loss of such a limb would lead to.

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Neither approach is good. One is aggressive and the other is passive. It's ideal to be assertive. Stand your ground but not to the point of hurting the other person. God is, essentially, a bully and Jesus influences people to be doormats. Assertiveness is a healthy lifestyle. 

 

As I became a more progressive Christian, I took the time to read stuff outside of the super conservative Christian materials and realized that the whole doctrine of Hell itself is pretty iffy. Much of the Bible pretty much states that the punishment for unbelief or sins is death.  You have to take into account the Bible was written at varying times in different languages with very different cultures from our own. It's been translated over and over. Look at how much just English has changed in the past couple hundred years. These people from the past didn't have access to any internet or translations devices. The brim and firestone preaching is still relatively recent (as is the Rapture beliefs). To give you an idea on the different words, how they were used, and what influenced them  http://www.earlychristianhistory.info/hell.html.  

 

Your conscious is bothered because the Hell doctrine taught today basically says a serial killer can get away with all the grief he has caused by simply repenting and asking God to make it okay while someone who has done nothing but lead a good, quiet life can go to Hell for simply not believing God and that is wrong and anybody's conscious should, on some level, be bothered by it. IF God's justice IS better than humans than he should realize that. (And if he were real, I'd imagine he probably does).  Your compassion is not making you disagree with justice. It's pretty much injustice that the serial killer gets to go to Heaven while the good person doesn't. It's not okay for God to torture people. Church and people are the ones perpetuating this belief. The idea is that humans could receive everlasting life if deemed righteous enough.  Most humans have always feared death and probably moreso in the past where it was more frequent, came at a younger age, and there was not much information in the medical fields. 

 

You have to step back and try to look at Christianity (and all religions) with a "bigger picture" mentality. Like zooming out from just THIS time, current era, Information Age, and how it has influenced us currently living.  You have to think about the Middle Ages, the Industrial Age, etc-- all of them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_time_periods and what was going on then, at the time and what influences those people already had, the language quirks or culture traditions they had at the time, etc. Consider when the books were written and what all influenced the books from the people of those times that wrote them.  Because ultimately, it boiled down, humans STILL wrote those books, and they were still inspired by what they knew around them. History, linguistics, culture, translations, etc should all be taken into account. 

 

But, really, it doesn't make sense, it goes back and forth- the Bible does and that's because it's a whole bunch of ideas from varying people's minds over a very long period of time in several different cultures, languages, and time periods.  It's not just one book from one person (though, it's tried to be made out to be that way). You are right and correct to question the Hell doctrine that is taught today. 

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

 

The idea we hold in the word Justice is not defined by the actions of those seeking it. We have a system of retribution not rehabilitation. Retribution is revenge. It is vengeance and for every year we continue like that we can count on 10 that we will suffer through before racial enlightenment stops the need for "Justice".

 

Most of our Just laws are hypocrisy. As much as we might execute people for killing others are we not now perpetrating the same action onto the world justified (yeah right) or not? You cannot do the very thing you punish for and expect people to grow as a society.

 

By the way what kind of society is OK with Capitol punishment but not with suicide being legal? We live in a strange double standard and always have. It is an illusion and the very thing holding back the evolution of our societies. Put down the ridiculous and we will excel beyond any tale or dream.

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The way I heard it, the whole "eye for an eye" thing was progressive for the time. Like if all you loose is an eye, you're not allowed to kill the guy who did that for you; only the loss of a life validates the taking of a life. So it was supposed to stop the punishment being worse than the crime. And though that was progressive for its time, god's ultimate intent was jesus's non-retributive stuff. Of course, the christians teaching this still believed in hell and using the political process to enforce their "rights" to push the US towards a theocracy (or at least "biblical morality").

 

As for justice.... I've been having a hard time with that idea lately. In some sense, I don't think justice ever existed or ever can. You can't change the past, and getting new stuff doesn't unbreak the old, nor can any actions by anyone unkill a life. But I still believe in an idea of justice where we know that the universe is unjust, that bad things happen to innocent people, and that society should do what it can to protect people from the consequences of things that aren't their fault. So justice involves trying to get your stuff back if it's been stolen, monetary compensation for the all the bills you end up with after someone runs their car into you, and disaster relief when nature destroys your home and livelyhood. Basically, if it's not your fault, you should not bear all the responsibility for clean up. And if it is your fault, you should be forced to clean up and not dump that onto others. But in the case of dead people (or even pets), you can get a murderer out of society to protect others in the future (which is a good thing, but that isn't justice in any sense other than peace of mind for the survivors knows the killer can't come after them next), you can have the killer pay for the cost of the funeral and therapy, but justice in the sense of fixing the death is impossible.

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

Yeah, I agree with this... It's more or less a concept and certainly not universal.

 

As for my thoughts on this topic, one of my lines in my signature is something I came up with during my deconversion.

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I just realized that sending people to hell isn't going to make non-believers love him. It isn't going to change the fact that non-believers didn't love him more than anything in this life. Still, what is so good about retributive justice? It's supposedly better than the utilitarian ideal of punishing people to get them to reform or deter them from evil, but why? What good does this system of equilibrium do? Why must "suffering inflicted against someone=suffering inflicted on the offender"? Why is this good?

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It fixes nothing and is actually counter-productive. I mean, if your objective is to actually save the world but the majority end up not saved (John 3:17). You're a failure. You also lead others to dislike you because you're hurting those they care about and you're doing it for bullshit reasons. It's all just so fucked up.

 

But we can't question God because that mother fucker knows what best.

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Forgiveness of those who hurt you will result in their having absolutely no respect for you in many cases. I'm not saying forgiveness is never justified, but you must asses the situation and determine the character of the person you are thinking about forgiving. In some situations it can really backfire.   .bill

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Forgiveness of those who hurt you will result in their having absolutely no respect for you in many cases. I'm not saying forgiveness is never justified, but you must asses the situation and determine the character of the person you are thinking about forgiving. In some situations it can really backfire.   .bill

 

Just because you choose to forgive, an act that is really far more about you than the other party does not mean you just accept what they did and let them keep doing it. You don't have to let anyone walk on you. You choose to do that. The other persons character is not forgiving them your character is. Theirs is not even relevant as your forgiveness is about you not them.

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Lol, all I have to say to the believer is, "If your god wasn't such a big baby and was actually perfect (meaning he was not a narcissist), he wouldn't be offended by every little thing, including two men slapping their penises against each other."

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

I agree with you. revenge plays a major role in the justice system but another point of it is to protect society from murder/rapist/... by locking them away and to discourage other people from committing crime.

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

I agree with you. revenge plays a major role in the justice system but another point of it is to protect society from murder/rapist/... by locking them away and to discourage other people from committing crime.

 

 

seems like in a modern world finding ways to alter them and make them profitable for society rather than retribute on them would be more functional and prefered. That would require people to control their feelings more and that is hard.

 

They deserve to be punished but not vengenced. If punishment by the way really discouraged people most of these crimes would be in reduction and most are clearly not. PUnishment is not a deterant.

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

I agree with you. revenge plays a major role in the justice system but another point of it is to protect society from murder/rapist/... by locking them away and to discourage other people from committing crime.

 

 

seems like in a modern world finding ways to alter them and make them profitable for society rather than retribute on them would be more functional and prefered. That would require people to control their feelings more and that is hard.

 

They deserve to be punished but not vengenced. If punishment by the way really discouraged people most of these crimes would be in reduction and most are clearly not. PUnishment is not a deterant.

 

Crime has become less violent over time, this is well known.

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

I agree with you. revenge plays a major role in the justice system but another point of it is to protect society from murder/rapist/... by locking them away and to discourage other people from committing crime.

 

 

seems like in a modern world finding ways to alter them and make them profitable for society rather than retribute on them would be more functional and prefered. That would require people to control their feelings more and that is hard.

 

They deserve to be punished but not vengenced. If punishment by the way really discouraged people most of these crimes would be in reduction and most are clearly not. PUnishment is not a deterant.

 

Crime has become less violent over time, this is well known.

 

 

really? So well known you provide no proof? Was hitler less violent than other tyranical oppressive genocidal maniacs? Did Jeff D or Bundy kill in a "nicer" way?

 

Is white collar crime that steals from millions and drives people to the streets, starves then and increases their desire for suicide less of a crime than it was say 1000 years ago? they may not pull the trigger but they surely are at fault of something that could lead to violence?

 

Is flying a plane into a couple o buildings and knocking them the fuck down inside one of the most populated areas of the planet no longer considered extremem violence?

 

For love of it we still torture people in the world and we are less violent now?

 

Do you have even one study to cite from a creditable source?

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

I agree with you. revenge plays a major role in the justice system but another point of it is to protect society from murder/rapist/... by locking them away and to discourage other people from committing crime.

 

 

seems like in a modern world finding ways to alter them and make them profitable for society rather than retribute on them would be more functional and prefered. That would require people to control their feelings more and that is hard.

 

They deserve to be punished but not vengenced. If punishment by the way really discouraged people most of these crimes would be in reduction and most are clearly not. PUnishment is not a deterant.

 

Crime has become less violent over time, this is well known.

 

 

really? So well known you provide no proof? Was hitler less violent than other tyranical oppressive genocidal maniacs? Did Jeff D or Bundy kill in a "nicer" way?

 

Is white collar crime that steals from millions and drives people to the streets, starves then and increases their desire for suicide less of a crime than it was say 1000 years ago? they may not pull the trigger but they surely are at fault of something that could lead to violence?

 

Is flying a plane into a couple o buildings and knocking them the fuck down inside one of the most populated areas of the planet no longer considered extremem violence?

 

For love of it we still torture people in the world and we are less violent now?

 

Do you have even one study to cite from a creditable source?

 

Stephen Pinker, "The Better Angels of Our Nature", 2011, Viking Books. I don't see you coming with any fucking sources either, so ease up on the fucking accusation.

 

Yes, we still torture people. So fucking what? We do it less than ever. The relevant facts here are not "Hitler", "Bundy", "WTC", it is statistics. And the statistics speak a clear language - as a human living now, the risk that you will be violently killed by someone else are the lowest they have ever been.

 

Your post makes me pretty sure intelligent discussion with you is impossible though, so I think I might not go on unless the next post you make tries to be at least somewhat smart.

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Yes, I understand and agree with the idea of punishments as a deterrant and a method to get people to reform. I hold the utilitarian view on punishment, to do it for a practical purpose. What I'm referring to is Biblical ideals about punishment, doing it just to create a sense of equilibrium. Sending the majority of people to hell is unambigiously immoral from a utilitarian perspective because it only increases the suffering in the world. The Christian ideal is that this equilibrium between suffering caused and suffering dealt via punishment is more important than the overall well being of mankind. I'm trying to figure out why Christians believe this state of equilibrium is good. Why it's good to hurt people who've hurt God's feelings if it has no practical purpose for doing so? Why is this principle more important than the well being of mankind?

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An eye for an eye is revenge, it isn't justice. I don't think justice exists really.

 

Justice has never been anything but revenge.

 

I agree with you. revenge plays a major role in the justice system but another point of it is to protect society from murder/rapist/... by locking them away and to discourage other people from committing crime.

 

 

seems like in a modern world finding ways to alter them and make them profitable for society rather than retribute on them would be more functional and prefered. That would require people to control their feelings more and that is hard.

 

They deserve to be punished but not vengenced. If punishment by the way really discouraged people most of these crimes would be in reduction and most are clearly not. PUnishment is not a deterant.

 

Crime has become less violent over time, this is well known.

 

 

really? So well known you provide no proof? Was hitler less violent than other tyranical oppressive genocidal maniacs? Did Jeff D or Bundy kill in a "nicer" way?

 

Is white collar crime that steals from millions and drives people to the streets, starves then and increases their desire for suicide less of a crime than it was say 1000 years ago? they may not pull the trigger but they surely are at fault of something that could lead to violence?

 

Is flying a plane into a couple o buildings and knocking them the fuck down inside one of the most populated areas of the planet no longer considered extremem violence?

 

For love of it we still torture people in the world and we are less violent now?

 

Do you have even one study to cite from a creditable source?

 

Stephen Pinker, "The Better Angels of Our Nature", 2011, Viking Books. I don't see you coming with any fucking sources either, so ease up on the fucking accusation.

 

Yes, we still torture people. So fucking what? We do it less than ever. The relevant facts here are not "Hitler", "Bundy", "WTC", it is statistics. And the statistics speak a clear language - as a human living now, the risk that you will be violently killed by someone else are the lowest they have ever been.

 

Your post makes me pretty sure intelligent discussion with you is impossible though, so I think I might not go on unless the next post you make tries to be at least somewhat smart.

 

 

You made a claim I challenged it don't like it? Don't make claims. Some of the most violent things the world has ever known occured in the last two hundred years including the nuking of two cities which was undoubtedly the largest single show of individual weapon power used on a living population in the worlds current history.

 

I make no claim about you personally at all and you are now giving me a personal attack. I want proof if you make claims not just your sentence saying such and such is now such and such.

 

You talk about intelligent dialogue but then attack me personally and I don't understand why you say that I lack the intelligence to converse with you? You do know what ad hominem means right because that is exactly what you just pulled.

 

 

If you make a claim that basically covers the entire race and world in one sentence expect others to call you out on it without at least one peice of supporting evidence. I can easily say the world has become more violent and it is no more less or true than your statement.

 

I would love to believe the world has become less violent. I would be happier. If you have proof please post it and I will check it out not just act insulting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The rate of violence is increasing in this thread

 

I call for civil behavior and some proof to claims and you say that increases violence? Glad that reason is now considered a violent act.

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