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Main Ideas About Revenge and Punishment

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Justification of Punishment

June Callwood, in his argument about forgiveness, asserts that forgiveness may be difficult but it remains the best way for people who have been wronged to follow. Contrary to the assertion, vengeance and punishment are a deterrent to future wrong-doing, as people are deterred to repeat the same offense for which they were punished. Vengeance and punishment are appropriate in eliminating intentional purpose of doing wrong things and also deters other people from committing the same offense for which a person was punished.

According to Philosophers such as Plato taking revenge and punishing wrongdoers are different things when viewed according to the ancient ways. Philosophers assert that wrongdoers are not punished for what they did unless it is a way of taking mindless vengeance. Punishing wrongdoers is meant to teach the criminals not to repeat the offense in future. Wrongdoers are also punished by law enforcers so that other people may not commit the wrong doing in future. According to the philosophers, wrongdoings are punishable by law but the people who are wronged ought to forgive the offenses that were carried out against them. People have henceforth adopted the view that vengeance and punishment are two different ideas as it is argued out by philosophers of law. It can be argued that revenge can be carried out for mere slights as compared to punishment, which is encouraged in the laws of most nations across the globe. For instance, the gay man who was beaten up may have his reasons for not forgiving his father, but the act should be punishable according to the laws of the land. Inappropriate emotional response often leads to vengeance by agents who perceive certain acts as wrongdoings. Some people base their arguments on forgiveness on the moral principles that guide people on their actions. Nonetheless, avoiding vengeance does not insinuate that the wrongdoers are not punishable once an agreement of forgiveness has been reached. Revenge is mindless, barbaric, and unjustifiable, but people who commit wrongful acts against other people have to be punished as per the requirements of the law.

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In a journal article about revenge and punishment, new research gives different schools of thought on revenge and punishment. Wrongdoings against individuals or a group of people are encouraged in the contemporary society to be solved through retribution, which is a social expression of the personal vengeance that the victims of the criminal offenses feel. Retribution may be questionable in the society but it aims at punishment in the criminal law. Retribution encourages the idea of vengeance through punishment, contrary to the idea of rehabilitation of wrongdoers. It is also different from restraint and deterrence, with its purpose being to the harm the criminal offenders. The offenders are meant to be injured on the same level that they committed injuries to the society. By carrying out retribution to wrongdoers in the society, it is believed that they are freed from their guilt of the offenses that they did. The theory of vengeance or retribution notes that the impulse of doing harm to someone who does harm to you has been in existence more than the human society. Retribution is said to be older than the human race itself; thus, it is considered to be one of the most powerful impulses by human beings. Being human nature, taking vengeance against wrongdoers ought to be considered a personal right of individuals by the state. Retribution can be described as the epitome of civilization given that the society has adopted several ways of expressing vengeance to the offenders. Today, fines are imposed on those who are believed to have committed certain crimes. Incarceration or death is also encouraged when the criminal offense is severe that it can only be revenged by death. By carrying out retribution, it is believed that the criminal offenses are punished for the benefit of the entire society.

A book about vengeance and punishment gives insights on the consequences of violence and the work of truth commissions. According to the book, the society today accepts vengeance even in courts of law as judges also understand that there are more sophisticated ways of carrying out retribution to those who have caused harm to people in the society. Judges accept retribution as a means of solving legal cases as retribution is described by philosophers to be a natural impulse that occurs when humans are wronged. Retribution is, therefore, accepted by judges if there are good reasons for those who have been offended to take vengeance. The impulse by humans to do harm is considered natural in the criminal law and morally right. According to the criminal law, moral convictions are considered to be some of the most powerful and binding expressions of humanity. The use of retribution in settling disputes is also referred to as moral certainty as people are aware of the consequences that await them if they commit wrong doings against some people. Moral feelings of an individual should not be given any priority when it comes to inflicting deliberate harm on human being. Punishment is, therefore, used as a standard means to solve all the cases in which wrongdoings are committed. For instance, in the U.S the citizens hold in their rights that every citizen has a right to retribution on criminal perpetrators. In rare occasions, vengeance and punishment can be carried out to death sentence. The majority of the U.S citizens believe in vengeance and punishment to compensate the harm done to their loved ones. In a country where gay rights are allowed in the constitution, anyone who does harm to a gay person is treated according to the retribution laws of the land.

According to a journal article about revenge and capital punishment, nobody is entitled to suffer because of the moral feelings of other people, who may feel offended by the acts of others. Forgiveness of such persons would automatically lead to more of such offenses being carried out by people who tend to have the same moral feelings towards a particular issue. Public vengeance is necessary in the entire globe to ensure justice is done all over the world. Public vengeance is necessary to ensure that there are no chaos in the globe that ensures from individuals who may wish to take revenge into their own hands. Public vengeance ensures that the law is followed and that a person is only punished if found guilty of the crimes committed. The majority of people across the globe believe in vengeance and punishment rather than on forgiveness. The retribution policies ought to continue being operational until the moral certainty of the society shifts to the compassion and forgiveness of wrongdoers. As much as there is value for human life, Vengeance and capital punishment may be necessary in a country to control citizens on how to treat others. The value of life is also witnessed in the manner in which people treat each other in everyday life. People who do wrong to their fellows do not value the importance of life and can be argued out in the courts of law as capital offenders. Offenders’ bad conduct destroys the value of life of the offended; hence, there may be the need to fight for capital punishment

In an article that gives insight on the double impact of retributive punishment, revenge is indirectly indicated in some form of punishment to wrongdoers in the society. The article also illustrates the difference between revenge and justice to the offended. Justice ensures that judges inflict punishment on offenders while at the same time being fair to the offended persons. Depending on the underlying conditions and motivation for the punishment and vengeance, there are differences that ought to be explained in the event that a wrongdoer is charged in a court of law. There are situations when revenge can be understood as a quest for justice to the offended, and the situations cannot be avoided. While the majority of U.S citizens still call it vengeance when they are seeking for fair treatment as per the requirements of the law, it is important to highlight the differences to bring out the importance of the law in seeking justice. Revenge is predominantly emotional while justice is rational, being legally and ethically defined. It is allowed to seek revenge in the appropriate way by eliminating aspects of corruption. Philosophers assert that two wrongs cannot make a right and cannot be used to seek justice. When one commits an offense against other people, the law requires that those who are seeking justice do not carry out retaliatory attacks that would make both of the offender and the offended criminals. It is therefore; best to take a low road to justice.


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