“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Ghandi
I came across this Ghandi quote a couple of days ago. It loved it instantly because I have always admired this man, and have always heard people talking (especially on TV – Egyptian series) about the other Hamurabi quote “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and never agreed with it.
Then while contemplating this morning about the recent world affairs especially the situation in Iraq and the whole idea of the war against terror. I can see clearly that the world has really gone BLIND.
I have always wondered how people claiming to defend a specific religion can ignore basic aspects of it. I am talking specifically about George W Bush, who claims to be a conservative Catholic, who at some point was stupid enough to call the war on terror a crusader! How come he forgets a basic principal of Jesus teachings and goes after Hamurabi’s law?
He doesn’t have be buddhist, or to even hear about Ghandi, but how come he gives himself the right to claim to be a defender of Christianity while he lacks of the basic spirit of its teachings?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42, NIV) – Jesus
Observer, this is a big topic, and I find myself between two ideals. I prefer to believe that we don’t need laws that severe to deter crime against innocent people, but I do believe God knows the heart of man better than we do and His character is worthy of trust.
Judaism also has the ‘eye for an eye’penalty for those who intentionally harm another (I think Islam does, too (Exodus21:23, Leviticus 24:20). It was a legal system with severe penalties as a deterrent to crime. I’m not a theologian, but I think this is how it goes.
If people were good, in and of themselves, there would be no need for penalities nor even laws against crimes.
Jesus Christ came not to abolish the Judaic law, but to fulfill it. His coming was not to set up a new legal system, but to call individuals to the spirit of the law, which is mercy in their dealings with each other. Jesus is dealing with people who follow the letter of the law, but break the spirit of it.
So if someone hits my car, I will forgive them, but I will not ask them to back up and do it again. There is still damage that needs recompense and civil law that needs to be applied even if I forgive them for the act. Maybe this isn’t the greatest analogy. 🙂
i have to disagree with you on this , i don’t believe in “turning the other cheek” , well , sometimes you can turn the other cheek but most of the times you have to fight back , ghandi was a great man , but we he said an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind he was talking about the muslim/hindu struggle , and they were living in the same country and even in the same city , and what happened is that a muslim will kill a hindu and then a hindu will kill 10 muslims and so on , they kept killing each other for months ,HOWEVER , in iraq it’s diffrent , it’s not just a struggle , it’s occupation , and to get the americans out i believe they need to fight them cause if they didn’t they’ll stay there forever , and that’s exactly what they want , a near american “”city”” in the middle east, sorry if i bored you 🙂
Kinzi, this can be mind boggling, and like in any other situation in life, things cannot be only black and white.
You are right, Judaism inherited the Hamurabi law, but that is why Jesus came, to set us back on the right track.
I guess it is a matter of evolution as well. I mean like I said in previous post that we are evolving into having more goodness in us as time passes.
Maybe the laws for the Jews 3,000 years ago are not applicable now. An eye for an eye used to work when we were ignorant of the essence of human life.
Now we know better. We know that most of the evil a person do is for a reason. I believe it is usually out of hand. If we keep on taking revenge of each other, we would only destroy ourselves.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that criminals should be left out to abuse more people. Prisons should be place to rehabitiation, to help people who go wrong, not a places for punishment.
Mohammad, I think Ghandi has said that quote in general. He is a wise man. I bet that if we have an Iraqi leader like him, things would be much better. I totally disagree about your view of the American occupation for Iraq. I will post about that soon so that we can argue about it on a larger scale.
hey observer , this is my new blog, i just wrote my first post , you’re all welcomed to visit and comment , but i don’t have alot of topics in there so it’s a little boring 🙂
America NEVER wanted to STAY in Iraq, the U.S. was/is attempting to create a U.S.-friendly democracy — and the U.S. has failed miserably.
The VAST majority of people dying in Iraq today are innocents dying at the hands of other Muslims: Sunnis vs. Shia, payback killings. What’s happening in Iraq is a Sunni-Shia war brought about because the U.S. took out the iron hand of Saddam; anyone who believes the insurgents are fighting the U.S. occupation is naive.
welcome to the bloggin world Mohammad. I will add your blog to my blog roll
“He who turns the other cheek is a cowardly dog!” – source: The Satanic Bible by Anton Lavey
Devil’s mind, does Satan exist? 😉
It depends on who you think Satan is!!
But I wanted to elaborate on my last statement.
Ghandi was NOT a cowardly dog. He fought the British installment. He fought it peacefully. Thats what made him a great man in history. BUT he never turned the other cheek….
There is a world between peacefully protesting, and cowardly giving away the other cheek!!!
Politically speaking, I don’t think we can fight terrorism by force, because force is what made terrorism. We have to fight it smartly.
Devil’s mind, I guess that we agree. It goes on how you interpret turning the other cheek to mean, whether it is doing so by cowardly means, or by strength means.
i totally agree although the idea of if you are struck on one cheek offer them to other is strang at first it is completly right. violence is never an answer and the sooner people realise that the closer we will be to world peace. i think that ghandi was a great man who we can all learn from.
Three cheers for ghandi,>hip, hip hooray>hip, hip hooray>hip, hip hooray>>Ghandi managed to fight against racism and make a diffrence however he did this without force and that is why he is remembered. the idea of turning the other cheek does not make ghandi cowedly in any way, it takes great courage to fight for what you believe in, and even greater courage to fight for it peacefully.