When Is Revenge Justified?

Topics: Punishment, Suffering, Justice Pages: 2 (601 words) Published: February 7, 2009
When someone commits an act of wrongdoing, is it ever fair for the sufferer to take vengeance on them for the crime that the person has committed? The punishment depends on the situation and the form of punishment taken, but in most cases revenge is not justified, and retribution or reparation are better options.

If a person commits a crime, they should obviously be punished as with any justice system. However, revenge should be avoided as an option. Fortunately most justice systems nowadays do not use revenge as a form of punishment anyway. Revenge is a form of getting even with someone for the sufferers own satisfaction. This usually means taking the punishment to extremes as far as it takes to satisfy the sufferer. However, the aim of punishing a person for their crime should be to teach the person about their wrongs and prevent them from doing any again. Revenge will not teach them this. Instead it will only anger them and urge them to get even again for the punishment which they have had to withstand. This will lead to a never ending war, where both sides continue to take vengeance for the others punishment or crime.If revenge will not help to teach the person about their mistakes, then what will? Retribution is one option. It is the punishing of someone with a punishment equal to the crime, similar to revenge. However, revenge as a form of punishment uses a punishment more severe than the crime committed. For example, if a burglar steals an item, then what would be the right thing to do? Revenge might include the sufferer inflicting pain on the burglar or stealing something belonging to them but this would not be ethical. The right thing to do would be to use retribution as a form of punishment. This would require the burglar to suffer in a way equal to the punishment. Nowadays, this will be decided by a court and might be a small jail sentence depending on the severity of the robbery.

Another option is reparation. It is a lot like retribution but...
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