An argument in favor of an eye for an eye law system

What we have are largely notes, written at various points in his career, for different purposes, edited and cobbled together by later followers. The style of the resulting collection is often rambling, repetitious, obscure, and disjointed.

An argument in favor of an eye for an eye law system

Definition and methods[ edit ] An interactive piece at the Viktor Frankl Museum Some propose that this was at least in part intended to prevent excessive punishment at the hands of either an avenging private party or the state. Legal codes following the principle of lex talionis have one thing in common: In the famous legal code written by Hammurabithe principle of exact reciprocity is very clearly used.

For example, if a person caused the death of another person, the killer would be put to death. In that case, the rule was that punishment must be exactly equal to the crime.

Conversely, the twelve tables of Rome merely prescribed particular penalties for particular crimes. The Anglo-Saxon legal code substituted payment of wergild for direct retribution: Under the British Common Law, successful plaintiffs were entitled to repayment equal to their loss in monetary terms.

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In the modern tort law system, this has been extended to translate non-economic losses into money as well. The meaning of the principle Eye for an Eye is that a person who has been injured by another person returns the offending action to the originator in compensation, or that an authority does so on behalf of the injured person.

The exact Latin lex talionis to English translation of this phrase is "The law of retaliation. Antecedents[ edit ] Various ideas regarding the origins of lex talionis exist, but a common one is that it developed as early civilizations grew and a less well-established system for retribution of wrongs, feuds and vendettasthreatened the social fabric.

Despite having been replaced with newer modes of legal theory, lex talionis systems served a critical purpose in the development of social systems—the establishment of a body whose purpose was to enact the retaliation and ensure that this was the only punishment.

This body was the state in one of its earliest forms. The principle is found in Babylonian Law. The retribution might be worse than the crime, perhaps even death. Babylonian law put a limit on such actions, restricting the retribution to be no worse than the crime, as long as victim and offender occupied the same status in society.

Roman law moved toward monetary compensation as a substitute for vengeance. In cases of assault, fixed penalties were set for various injuries, although talio was still permitted if one person broke another's limb.

In the Hebrew Law, the "eye for eye" was to restrict compensation to the value of the loss. Thus, it might be better read 'only one eye for one eye'.

Just as another person has received injury from him, so it will be given to him. As in the case of the Babylonian 'lex talionis', ethical Judaism and humane Jewish jurisprudence replaces the peshat literal meaning of the written Torah.

Since the Torah requires that penalties be universally applicable, the phrase cannot be interpreted in this manner. The Oral Law explains, based upon the biblical verses, that the Bible mandates a sophisticated five-part monetary form of compensation, consisting of payment for "Damages, Pain, Medical Expenses, Incapacitation, and Mental Anguish" — which underlies many modern legal codes.

Some rabbinic literature explains, moreover, that the expression, "An eye for an eye, etc. The Torah requires the court to "do to him as he had conspired to do to his brother".

Otherwise, the offenders receive lashes. There is one case where the Torah states "…and you shall cut off her hand…" [20] The sages of the Talmud understood the literal meaning of this verse as referring to a case where the woman is attacking a man in potentially lethal manner.

This verse teaches that, although one must intervene to save the victim, one may not kill a lethal attacker if it is possible to neutralize that attacker through non-lethal injury.

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In such cases, the court requires the guilty party to flee to a designated city of refuge. While the guilty party is there, the "redeemer of blood" may not kill him. If, however, the guilty party illegally forgoes his exile, the "redeemer of blood", as an accessory of the court, may kill the guilty party.

Nevertheless, the provision of the "redeemer of blood" does not serve as true reciprocal justice, because the redeemer only acts to penalize a negligent killer who forgoes his exile.

An argument in favor of an eye for an eye law system

Furthermore, intentional killing does not parallel negligent killing and thus cannot serve directly as a reciprocal punishment for manslaughter, but as a penalty for escaping punishment. The latter condition is also applicable for any capital punishment. These circumstances have not existed for approximately 2, years.

Objective of reciprocal justice in Judaism[ edit ] The Talmud discusses the concept of justice as measure-for-measure retribution middah k'neged middah in the context of divinely implemented justice."Only one eye for one eye", also known as "An eye for an eye" or "A tooth for a tooth", or the law of retaliation, is the principle that a person who has injured another person is to be penalized to a similar degree, and the person inflicting such punishment should be the injured party.

John Rawls (—) John Rawls was arguably the most important political philosopher of the twentieth century. He wrote a series of highly influential articles in the s and ’60s that helped refocus Anglo-American moral and political philosophy on substantive problems about what we ought to do.

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