I’m prompted to ask this because of a disturbing experience on another forum. Someone posted an article about a mother with a clear mental illness who tried to kill her child. Many of the posters commented that she should die for what she did, that she deserved no compassion or sympathy, that they’d like to see her suffer and be given the same treatment to what she did to her child, and that no fair trial [or trial at all] was needed. I of course, was 1 of 2 people who argued against this madness.

This really makes you wonder about how hate filled some people are. It shocked me to see how seemingly normal people can state that a person [who by many accounts wasn’t responsible for their actions] they’ve never seen or met deserves no help, no sympathy, and that they want to kill and torture her personally. In fact the only thing they know about the whole thing is through a little article, yet they can still believe in such brutal outright revenge.

My thoughts are that revenge and justice are so often mistaken for each other. As it’s been said before me, an eye for an eye and the world goes blind. I’m not religious, but I just wish people would be more compassionate and understanding of others. What she did was wrong, of course she needs to be punished or rehabilitated, but the reaction it incited was much much worse. Hate like what I saw only increase the cycle of violence and vigilantism. Thanks for bearing with me.

That’s very true. Other cases include someone blaiming themselves for a crime because they’re being threatened by some powerful person to do so-like in some movies.

Don’t worry, Miltank. You are on the good side. As for the other ones who would see her killed, there will always be people who’ll resort to hatred because that’s what they feed in their hearts.

I don’t mean to be “hate-filled” as you’ve put it, but I can see where they are coming from. I suppose I might take a sort of fascist view, but weakness need be eliminated.

  • do we know if this was genetic or was it brought on by life-experience?


That’s the whole point, Ninten – we don’t know anything about it, so who are we to just like judge her and stuff?

People who judge other people before hearing the whole story are basing their opinions on nothing. Many people are just too embarrassed to ever say “I don’t know”, so they bluster on whatever first comes to their mind.

I should note that “An eye for an eye”, according to the Talmud, is entirely allegorical; the worth of the eye was to be paid to the victim. As a law, it was never actually used. That’s what happens when you take the Bible out of context. :sunglasses:

You don’t have to be religious to understand how useless revenge really is. Although, me being religious does add a bit of a reason why I don’t try to be vengeful towards folks. It just continues the resentment towards two parties until things escalate into something that both sides will regret.

The woman has clear mental problems. She didn’t try to kill her kid because she’s a terrible person, she did it because she has mental trouble. Heck, there’s someone in my life I care very much about who has something of a mental illness but if that person does something slightly crazy I try not to get mad because it’s not their fault. It’s just easier for folks to blame the person instead of looking at the full picture.

It’s a terrible way for people to look at things. Those people probably think that the mental illness is just something that’s made up and the fact that so many women are beginning to suffer through depression and attempt or actually commit such a terrible crime has perhaps made some people less tolerant of people blaming mental problems for their actions.

Cid: Oh, so THAT’S what it meant. I had an inkling, so I guess you kind of cleared something up for me. I appreciate it. What’s a Talmud though?

Im not religious in the least, and I’m very much on your side. I try to be as hate-less as possible. Some people just forget that they don’t know everything, and LOVE filling in the blanks with their imaginations, regardless of the consequences. I very much dislike that act, too.

Of course, I don’t HATE the people whom do it, love the sinner hate the sin, right? :wink:

Ok. I agree with most of what people are saying. Revenge/vengence is wrong, immoral, selfish, etc. One thing it isn’t, is useless. Revenge is very useful. It makes you feel better. Same thing with the death penalty. It has been proven that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. But it makes the victims feel better (not always).

First of all, it is one thing to say something like, “Oh that bitch should die.” It is something completely different to act on it. A lot of people are all talk.

Most of you seem to think that the people who are acting out of revenge are doing it because they believe they are right and the person deserves it. Thats not always the case.

Let me give you an example from my life:

My sister used to go out with this loser. He was one of those thug types. Complete shithead. So, after a while, she comes to her senses and dumps the guy. He then proceeds to harass her. Calling her cellphone at all hours, calling her friends, showing up at her house. One day she leaves work to find that her gas tank has been filled with sugar. She couldn’t prove it was him, but she knew.

That was when I decided to take revenge. Revenge for what he put my sister through. Revenge for what he put my family through. But most of all, revenge for ME. I never had any delusions about what I was going to do. I knew it was wrong. I knew that he didn’t deserve it, even if he was a dick. I knew I wasn’t justified, and I wasn’t doing the right thing. I knew I might just make it worse. But I didn’t care. It almost made it better.

I tracked the kid down with a couple of my friends and I kicked the shit out of him. I messed him up real good. And I enjoyed every minute. I’d do it again in a second.

Was that justice? No. Am I worse than him? Maybe. Will he ever fuck with my family again? Hell no!

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, regardless of what is right. Justice is a rare commodity in this world and you’re naive to expect it. The world isn’t fair. It doesn’t play by the rules, so why should I?

Because if you don’t then your almost no different then the people your revenge is directed towards.

Your whole point is that revenge isn’t useless because it makes you feel better. That’s true. Then again, smoking a cigarette makes some people feel better, but that’s because their only looking at the short term effect. Being mad at someone is different from acting on that emotion. I can be made at someone, but it only becomes bad when I act on that. I still think revenge is useless because it’s like a teeter-totter. Piss this guy off because he pissed you off. Well, of course he’s going to feel like you did and probably do something to get you back. The wheel goes on and on when one person could’ve just been the better person.

Exactly because if you don’t, as you said, you’re as bad or worse as the person you’re dealing with. Maturity means you deal with your problems by making yourself better able to deal with it, not by beating someone up. If he was a slightly worse sort of guy, you may find yourself walking down a street one day and being set upon by five heavies. Maybe one might have a knife. That’s what happens when you rely on “might is right”.

Cid: Oh, so THAT’S what it meant. I had an inkling, so I guess you kind of cleared something up for me. I appreciate it. What’s a Talmud though?

The Talmud is a set of Jewish books (over 2,500 pages long; doing one page in an hour once a day means it takes seven and a half years to finish), written in around the first century AD, which explains the Bible and Jewish law. It can deduce laws from the smallest part of a word in the Bible, and is incredibly complex. Check out more here:

No, I agree. I know exactly what you’re talking about. But revenge does serve a purpose, no matter how wrong and misguided it is.

Its like saying violence doesn’t solve anything. That is just wrong. Violence has solved more conflicts than any other factor in history. But that doesn’t make it right.


  1. I never claimed to be better than that guy.
  2. Maturity doesn’t always solve problems if the person you’re dealing with has no maturity himself.
  3. Having him come after me with his boys and some weapons was a chance I was willing to take. And I was prepared for the consequences.
  4. I never said “might makes right.” I knew what I was doing was wrong. And I did it anyway.

Well… let’s just say you’re the kind of guy who we have laws to prevent.

No, violence hasn’t solved problems, unless we’re talking about self-defence where someone is actually intent on harming you physically. Usually it just makes things more complicated, and introduces worse problems. For example, you now think of yourself as someone who is “no better” than the jerk you beat up - and since you obviously think he’s scum, that means you’re also scum, or worse. That’s a self-esteem issue starting up already. (No, I don’t know this is 100% true, but it follows from your argument.) And once you think of yourself as scum, that means you don’t have to follow the rules of the “good” folks. What’s to stop you doing things like stealing from other people, or knocking over someone who’s in your way? It’s violence. It solves your problems. And it destroys society.

And yes, maturity can be used even when the opposite party has none - it isn’t used to talk to him, it’s used to think about yourself and how you can deal with your problems.

Trust me, there are so many problems that can’t be solved with violence (such as a nasty boss, a recession, a death in the family, a breakup…) that resorting to it just means you don’t learn how to actually deal with it.

You’re making me sound pretty bad here.

I don’t think violence is the answer to everything. And I don’t use violence to solve my problems. That situation was unique. I was just saying that violence has solved more conflicts than anything else. You can’t deny that. WW1, WW2, the crusades, etc. When all your enemy is dead, there is no more conflict.

As far as being no better than the other guy, I meant at the time. I lowered myself to his level. I admit that. But that doesn’t mean I stayed at that level. I don’t go around beating people up. You can say it was a moment of weakness. A very fun, well-planned moment of weakness.

What’s to stop me from doing things like stealing from other people, or knocking over someone who’s in my way? Nothing. Nothing except my conscience. There’s nothing to stop you either.

Anyone can do anything they want. It is called free will.

…So, basically, all you mean to say is that you know that revenge isn’t a good thing but believe that it serves a purpose? It’s wrong, but your saying that it serves a purpose…that seems like a flawed view to me. By saying that it serves a purpose, it just seems like your rationalizing why it’s okay. Everything serves a purpose, good or bad. Revenge’s purpose is to hopefully quench someone’s negative feeling’s towards someone else not by trying to talk the problem out peacefully, but by lashing out and hurting them. The heck kind of purpose is that? It’s hollow, selfish, and altogther I still believe it’s useless.

What if that guy had gotten mad and instead of leaving your sister alone, he had done something even worse? Your intention was good, but as you said, misguided. The end does not justify the means.

By the way, I don’t think your a bad guy or anything. Heck, you were worried about your sister. That’s pretty darn honorable to me. It also makes me glad I have an older sister instead of a younger one because I wouldn’t be much use in a fight if I had to help her out…but back to the subject at hand; you knew what you were doing was wrong, but you probably rationalized it by saying that if so-and-so could bother your sister, you could beat the crap out of him to make him leave her alone. Good, agreeable intentions, but your rationale and the way you tried to achieve your goal is less than honorable.

If I have to rationalize an action in my mind before I do something, then I try to make darn sure that what I’m doing is right.

Again, you’re comparing war, where two countries are bent on either killing each other or subjugating each other, to personal conflicts. You simply can’t compare the two situations, I’m afraid.
Hey, someone’s harassing me. I’ll kill him, then the problem’s gone! Sure, it serves a purpose. Same way rape serves a purpose (satisfying your desires). But there are other ways to solve your problems. Crime isn’t something people should be contemplating as solutions. That’s anarchy.

Sorry if I am being vague. I’m not trying to justify revenge. I’m not rationalizing. I don’t think revenge is ok. I believe I said many times above that I knew it was wrong and did it anyway. Revenge does serve a negative, selfish purpose, but that wasn’t my point.

My point is this. Not everyone who goes out for revenge, does so out of the believe that they are just. Everyone seeking revenge is not self-righteous. There are some, like myself, who know what they are doing is wrong. Not everyone who acts out of revenge, misguidedly believes they are bringing justice.

The knowlege of good and evil does not prevent someone from committing evil deeds.


My sister is three years older than me, btw.

But you’re missing what I mean. I wasn’t rationalizing. I never believed it was right or honarable.

OK… that’s a lot clearer, then. That wasn’t what you came across as saying before. And we got sidetracked. :sunglasses:

It’s the Internet. You’re supposed to wish everyone and everything dead at the slightest chance and say things that would otherwise sound outrageously stupid to you and any other sentient or non-sentient living being. It happens every time.

Crap, and I thought I had a good excuse for not fulfilling the “protective brother” role.

Anyway, yeah, I guess I do understand you now.