adesh saxena

Consultant ENT Surgeon, Indian Medical Association

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An Eye for an Eye . Do you agree or disagree?

An eye for an eye is based on the philosophy of instilling fear in the heart of people, so that they will think twice before commiting a crime. I have seen this system works so well in some middle eastern countries as far as the crime rate is concerned.
Presenting your another cheek if you are slapped, tries to bring change in heart of an offender ,. An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind is their philosophy.It works well in other parts of the world as far as growth of society is concerned.

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    Feb 22 2013: When you spank a child, you teach him to fear and hate you. However, the child does not learn the intrinsic value of doing the right thing. He only learns to avoid getting caught.

    You cite countries where an eye for an eye has reduced crime, but one could argue that those countries enforce behavior in such a manner that the enforcement itself borders on criminal, destroying as it does dignity, individuality and, ultimately, freedom.

    If the goal is simply to reduce certain undesirable behaviors, then perhaps draconian measures are the most successful. But if the goal is to create a society where people are motivated to do and be their best, fear is hardly the answer.

    Humans ultimately do best through enlightenment, encouragement, and respect.
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      Feb 22 2013: I agree with you Michael that Humans ultimately do best through enlightenment, encouragement, and respect. And also we need not have laws which degrades, destroys freedom of a person.
      But i realise ,that we need to punish who are guilty . As a country we need laws to punish the offender. The punishments should be such that they donot appear to be worst than the crime comitted . What we miss in current scenerio is lack of efforts to bring a welcome change in the hearts of criminals.There is no law which binds authorities to bring the change. Do you agree with what i say?
      Should we punish the guilty or not?
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        Feb 22 2013: I do agree. Our system, focused as it is on punishment and not rehabilitation, is fundamentally broken. If a person is to be released back into society, some effort should be made to instill in him the values required to succeed.

        But it starts earlier than that. It starts in school and, earlier, at home. If we believe the best path to positive behavior is fear, we are failing our children, and we are failing ourselves.
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          Feb 22 2013: Well said. When fear is gone crime returns. Positive behavior out of fear is pretence and short lived.When fear is gone negative returns.
  • Feb 21 2013: Eye for an eye! Sounds animalistic compared to an advanced civilization. Whatever happened to mercy when a person makes a mistake in judgement? Helping an offender see his error and then improving chances for converting him to a friend sounds far more attractive in the long view. If not this better way, then what can we see for the future?
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      Feb 21 2013: The current situation is that all the countries have punishments for the crime. The punishments may differ in nature,from, Eye for an eye, to incarceration, to rehablitation. But very little is done to help an offender see his error. So when we are awarding the punishment its necessary to put some clause or device some plan to help offender see his mistake..
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    Feb 20 2013: A literal enforcement of "letting the punishment fit the crime" would lead to all kinds of ugliness, such as government-sanctioned rape. If someone kills me, executing him or her will not resurrect me. If someone robs my house, my robbing their house doesn't eliminate my feelings of being violated.

    On the other hand, society needs punishments for crimes. In an ideal state, society would apply appropriate punishments uniformly for crime. I think an eye for an eye is an unreliable model, as is turn the other cheek, for society as a whole.
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      Feb 20 2013: I agree with you, It has to be a middle path.
  • Feb 24 2013: I disagree with an eye to an eye to an extent. Criminals deserve to be punished, personally I believe that 25 years for a life sentence is ridiculous, again with prisons having TV's and people getting away with crimes just because of prestige and wealth. I don't however agree with the death penalty seeing as however you spin in the person who kills the criminal has become a killer. They will have blood on their hands which could seriously affect them in later life. Also what if a mistake is made? what if they had gotten the wrong guy? A innocent life could be wasted.
    I also think that people should be able to defend themselves, yes turn the other cheek at first but if that person begins to endanger your life or people that you care about - then they brought it on themselves.
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      Feb 25 2013: So far i have come to the conclusion that Countries need laws to punish an offender according to the crime committed and taking in to consideration the sensitivities of their culture. But on personal level I may not like to seek revenge in every case, would do every thing possible to bring a favorable heart change in the offender. And Laws of the land also should make every attempt to rehabilitate such a mislead soul.
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    Feb 24 2013: I agree with you Amanda and so far i have come to the conclusion that Countries need laws to punish an offender according to the crime committed and taking in to consideration the sensitivities of your culture. But on personal level I may not like to seek revenge in every case, would do every thing possible to bring a favorable heart change in the offender. And Laws of the land also should make every attempt to rehabilitate such a mislead soul.
  • Feb 23 2013: I agree an eye for an eye . treat others as you wish to be treated yourself. what goes around comes back around. every vile action should have some kind of consequence.

    Too many people who abuse , kill , beat, & rape others get a sentance of 3 meals a day , 24hr tv and heated accommadtion plus free therapy and readily available drugs to get high.

    plus many opportunities whislt serving their time to learn more criminal skills . yippeeee what a way to go in the UK.

    Build more prisons I as a british tax payer would rather my taxes went to meaning that life means life.
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      Feb 24 2013: vics ellison you have made it very clear what many people feal about it. Pl go thru the majority of the conversation. I am sure you will be less angry with the system after that.
      • Feb 24 2013: Thank you Adesh I have read through the conversations now. Yes it has made me less angry.

        Yes you are right we would end up with people treating every wrong done to them as the right to inflict pain on others.
  • Feb 23 2013: to an extent, yes, depending on what crime they have done. Let's say the offender steals a car, as a consequence, yes, the offender should be put into prison and made to repay their victim. Yet on the basis of 'a life for a life' (e.g. the death penalty) I believe that it is wrong to seek revenge by taking someones life.
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      Feb 24 2013: I agree with you Amanda and so far i have come to the conclusion that Countries need laws to punish an offender according to the crime committed and taking in to consideration the sensitivities of your culture. But on personal level I may not like to seek revenge in every case, would do every thing possible to bring a favorable heart change in the offender. And Laws of the land should also make every attempt to rehabilitate such a mislead soul
  • Feb 23 2013: er... I would like to think that I would turn the other cheek, however, i have doubts that I would keep my head in the heat of the moment if it involved the safety and wellbeing of my family.
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      Feb 23 2013: Lionel ,What will you do if you are an authority or a country 's Law maker ?
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    Feb 22 2013: It is what our nature says when we are angry. But, when you cool down, logic and wisdom and stuff come and say:
    Do you want the whole world blind ?
    And, ah, nope !
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      Feb 22 2013: On a personal level i would not like to seek revenge, but if i am an authority, a country what should i do
      Should we punish the guilty or not?
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        Feb 22 2013: For me, punishing somebody does not give me anything. I have still lost something.
        I believe that the aim of punishment should be lowering the number of crimes, not anymore, and its level depends on the time. It's kind of like what Plato said: "Criminals are mental sicks and they should be treated as patients so they can come back to society."
        I do not say I'm totally on it in my personal life, but it is my creed. No revenge, just stop it.
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          Feb 22 2013: As a country we need laws to punish the offender. The punishments should be such that they do not appear to be worst than the crime committed . What we miss in current scenerio is lack of efforts to bring a welcome change in the hearts of criminals.There is no law which binds authorities to bring the change. Do you agree with what i say? On a personal level i would not like to seek revenge, but if i am an authority, a country what should i do ?
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        Feb 22 2013: See, our final goal is decreasing crimes. We want to have less of these in our country. So I think sometimes we should sacrifice criminals. It is kind of like qurantine contagious patients to stop spreading a disease. It is a complex problem that you should consider many many aspects there. Maybe as a judge, you do what you thought it was wrong before.
        In personal life, I do not seek revenge, but sometimes I should show people that some points that they have because of me, has a price, that they should pay by giving me some points. All is a deal. If you are really curious about it, I suggest you the book "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobez.
  • Feb 22 2013: 'An eye for an eye will make us all blind.'- Ghandi.
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      Feb 22 2013: On a personal level i would not like to seek revenge, but if i am an authority, a country what should i do
      Amanda , should we punish the offender or not?
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    Feb 22 2013: G'day Adesh

    How long have we lived under the philosophy of an eye for an eye & how far has it gotten us? A flat no as you shouldn’t fight fire with fire as it has a tendency of getting away from you as our past history shows!!

    Love
    Mathew
  • Feb 22 2013: I think that it's a nice idea, but extremely flawed.
    If you steal $100 from a man, the law says that you should return that $100 and give him an additional $100. The problem arises is you don't HAVE the $100 to give. If this is the case, it's left up to the judgement of another man, not the impartial law of eye for eye to decide the punishment (Hammurabi went with chopping off hands). The philosophy has too many holes in it to be useful for anything more than minor disputes in which both parties agree it is fair to resort to eye for eye.
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    Feb 20 2013: I believe in an eye for a damaged/blinded eye. But that eye has to come from post death donation.
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    Feb 20 2013: That would depend on whose eye.

    Punishment does deter crime. We can prove that with statistics surrounding the death penalty. But I do not think it is an adequate crime prevention.

    If you turn the other cheek, it just means you're gonna get smacked again. That puts you in the realm of martyr/victim or just learning disabled. I personally do not turn the other cheek unless it is on someone else's face.
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      Feb 20 2013: In this case when the fear is gone crime returns.
      In the other case the heart change is un-conditional and long lasting.
      Don't you agree Linda?
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        Feb 20 2013: Actually yes, I think once you cross over into martyrdom, it is long lasting. Just look at the victim mentality of most of the US. It does not mean they did not experience oppression, it means they choose to wallow in it. We have so much in this country and we focus on what other people have done to us. By allowing them to continue the oppression, we get to reinforce that it is not my fault I am the way I am. Sometimes it makes me angry because part of my work is to get people to overcome that mentality. Not easy.

        Neither martyrdom nor punishment prevent crime. Both actually perpetuate it.
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          Feb 23 2013: A society where the heart is nourished as much as the mind will be free of crime.

          Crime is the symptom of neglected hearts.