At the first glance, the old and universally known principle “an eye for an eye” seems to be perfectly logical. You have harmed someone? You will receive the same amount of harm as a punishment. But being looked upon closer, the principle leaves much to be desired.
First of all, there is no case that can be solved in such a simple manner. For example, unintended killing of a person. Should the killer repay his debt in the same way he caused harm, that is, by being killed? But, even if we consider taking a human life to be completely unacceptable, no matter in what circumstances it occurs, isn’t the situation different with the killer? He has killed someone without wanting to do so; now somebody is supposed to carry out justice and kill the killer intentionally. Is this acceptable for the one who is going to do it? Who it will be, by the way, who will agree to take such a responsibility?
And the majority of cases requiring the usage of some kind of law are of the same kind – there are no simple situations when one can just apply the principle and rest assured that everything has been done correctly.
The “eye for an eye” principle is nothing more than…