An eye for an eye. That's fair game. And if everybody ended up blind, it would be because everybody deserved it, right? (However, that would never happen: most persons aren't criminals, and less so if the law was so strict).
People find talion law barbaric nowadays, but think about our current system for a moment. In some Muslim country (I don't remember which one, exactly), some guy dropped acid to the face of his wife, and the punishment was burning half his face (because a woman is worth half than a man there). If that had happened in my country, they'd have put the man in jail for some years (not many, really), and after that, he would have gone out and live happily ever after (there's no life imprisonment here, and living conditions in jail are not so bad as in USA). For me, that doesn't pay for having a burnt face during your whole life. Burning only half his face is also unfair, ok, but still better than the other option. Or another example that was so much discussed in the media here: A group of young guys, some of them underaged, raped and brutally murdered a teenage girl. They hid the body and refused to tell the police where it was. Everybody knew that they were the murderers, but since there was no body, there was no case. Now that girl is buried, and all those guys are free and happy. The mother of one of them even received money to talk in a TV show. THAT'S barbaric.
Well, the vast majority of the Bible is "do onto others as others do onto you", where as Ghandi is more like "rise above what bad things others do onto you", be the better person, sort of speak. At least, these are my interpretations, anyway. I could be wrong.
Personally I believe stooping to the person's level who's done me wrong makes me just as bad as they are, which I don't want to do because then I can't condemn them for what they've done to me if I'm just as willing to do it to them also. Doesn't really solve anything, in my view. Being the better person and not paying them back in kind doesn't mean I let them get away with it, however, as there are other ways of making them pay for the wrongs they committed against me.
Wow, way to take what I said way too seriously. Of course I know where it's from. But since you don't seem to get it, allow me to explain the joke to you:
See, the phrase "eye for an eye", when taken literally, means that if you were to take out someone's eye, you lose your eye as punishment. Ghandi said that an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind. The joke is that no, it wouldn't, because humans happen to have two eyes, and so even if we lost an eye for an eye, we would still have one left.
Genius never before have I seen someone phrase such a joke with such complexity. Hmmmm actually I have in a nursery full of illiterate two year olds. Please tell me more you could recite the whole ABC's to me, oh wait do you even know how to do that?
Amusing are your taunts please carry on unless you want to apologise like mature people unless an like you wants to carry on a like a three year. I admit I have done a mistake on you and I apologise but really adding a statement like that is not appropiate, its not even funny. Look Im an atheist and I still dont appreciate that bad joke. Set things aside
Hi! The verse from Exodus is taken out of context by some people. However, it applies only when "people are fighting, and hit a pregnant woman, and she gives birth prematurely, and there is serious injury".
Exodus 21 (NKJV)
 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.  But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,  eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,  burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
The world will surely not go blind as it will require a lot of conditions for the law to apply.
Also, I think justice can stop violence. As our national hero in the Philippines wrote in his novel El Filibusterismo, "Ang pagpapaumanhin ay di laging kabaitan, ito'y kasalanan kung nagbibigaay-daan sa pang-aapi. Walang mang-aalipin kung walang paaalipin. (Absolution is not absolutely decent; it is a crime if it gives way to violence. There is no oppressor to the strong.)"
Darn, Lytrigian and ZCochrane beat me to what I was going to post. They're right, while in the current day the concept seems barbaric, at the time of the Bible the idea was actually extremely fair and just compared to the typical standard of disproportionate retribution.
In my opinion Ghandi is more right than the other because "an eye for an eye" allows the idea that a person should be able to do the same wrong that has been done to them to the person who has done them this wrong. Unfortunately, this "eye for a eye" idea can make the whole world blind because sometimes there is no way to measure the wrong done, so the same wrong can be done again. If the wrongs are repeatedly overestimated, perhaps we might have a escalation of the Butter Wars (Dr Seuss) or just a certain taste that if karma will not work immediately it shall happen now and that might not be good for life.
I don't believe in violence but then again in some circumstances keeping quiet after a certain time is mistaken for weakness and affects your personality, I think this decision should be completely situation based.
There is the legal president in civil court of making one 'whole'. Normally this applies to civil litigation. If you ever watched Judge Judy, you'd see that Judge Judy tries to setup a situation where the exact monetary amount you wronged some one is what you pay. Normally this deals with car accidents and such where the Defendant has to pay for the other person's insurance co-pay or medical bills.
This has the benefit of actually making things better.
Think of it this way, if you are in a car accident, and someone totals your car, does that entitle you to deliberately total theirs? Of course not. Does that get you your original car back? No.
A better way of saying this is: Two wrongs don't make a right.
It has to be seen in the historic context. "An eye for an eye" is actually a limitation on damage claims. It was meant to stop escalating feuds. I.e. if someone from family A killed someone from family B, then the members of family B were only allowed to kill that murderer, not everyone in family A.
Similar considerations go for a lot of religious laws that seem odd today, by the way. For example, most restrictions on food made a lot of sense given the hygienic standards at the time.
The problem with the "an eye for an eye" statement is that it can be understood both ways, since we've now generally become much less aggressive when demanding punishment. Many people believe it sets a minimum or a general standard, and that leads to atrocities like the death penalty.
In my opinion, "An eye for an eye" can only ever be an upper limit, and it's not a very good one at that.
I think it would have been better if they'd written "the equivalent value of an eye in compensation for an eye, the equivalent value of a tooth in compensation for a tooth." It gets the same meaning that we are told by "sophisticated" theologians it means. It's not nearly as poetically satisfying, but doesn't leave the door open for theological justification for brutal retribution, at least not in this passage.
And if a little less overrated poetry is the price for a lot less brutality... it's a pretty good deal.
Both are right. Exodus 21:22 et seq (to put the quote in context you need to read a few paragraphs) is usually interpreted as *limiting* the recompense you might take for an injury. If someone causes you to lose an eye, you may demand nothing more from him than his own eye. Also, the punishment was to be determined by judges, not exacted by the victim personally, and it's implied in the discussion that follows involving damage caused by and to livestock that financial compensation might be ordered instead.
But nothing more. So you cannot chop off a hand for theft; you cannot chop off a head for assault; you cannot burn someone at the stake if they've only wounded someone else.