My understanding is that "an eye for an eye" was originally intended as a way to limit revenge. It seems really awful and barbaric today--and it is--but at the time it was actually somewhat progressive. It was like, "Hey, if somebody breaks your arm, maybe instead of slaughtering their entire family, you just break their arm and call it even?" Not something I'd recommend, but better than slaughtering their entire family.
I think the golden rule is better ethics. But, "an eye for an eye" was probably better ethics than what was around at the time before it.
I disagree. The law shouldn't follow the eye for an eye rule. The law should be above that.
And the incentive to follow the golden rule should be... Well, what the golden rule is about in the first place.
It's not "Treat other as you would like to be treated... Or you'll be punished." It's a simple matter of treating people with respect because you know what it's like being human.
But then I guess you can't force people to feel empathy... :/
Eye for an eye can feel right at the time, but it is not justice, it's revenge. People need to be punished, but if people can't let go of their anger, it will eat them up inside, and they'll only end up hurting themselves. I say forgive and forget. I'm voting for the Golden Rule here.
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" is a statement that I could quote here, but also, "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king"
So, I reach the following conclusion. It's better for the world to make peace, and treat others as they would like to be treated, but if you have to take revenge, just make sure you're the last person to exact it, so you at least have one eye left.
Well, we as a society can't use Eye for an eye as a general rule. 1000 year ago here in Norway "bloodhevn" (blood revenge?) was the usual way to deal with problems. You killed my cousin, I kill your brother, you kill me, my brother kills you etc. and EVERYBODY DIES:D:D:D OMG thats so freaking awsome.... ye, we that's why we have a system for for crimestuffs.
Annyway, eye for an eye implies that you have to wait for someone to take action first, you can't chose to start something good (or bad). This is offcourse in a very literal and absolute form, but it brings out the point.
The golden rule however tels you to take action anddo to others, now we are making progress people.
I have to agree with Tova on the whole eye for an eye just being about revenge and laws should be above that. I think people can and should be better than, "Hey, here's a high five to the face" and the response being, "Hey, right back at'cha."
Just a real world example, last week it was reported that a judge in Saudi Arabia asked hospitals if it would be possible to damage a man's spine as punishment. The man in question attacked another man and paralyzed him, so they are investigating the eye for an eye method and checking if they can paralyze him too. I just can't get behind that sort of thing.