A Lesson The Rest of American Can Take From the Amish

By Abrahim Harb

As spoken through the eyes of a great man named Gandhi the phrase “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” This quote means that “in which a person who has injured the eye of another is instructed to give his or her own eye in compensation.

At the root of this principle is that one of the purposes of the law is to provide equitable retribution for an offended party.” (www.pursuingthetruth.org/studies/files/eyeforeye.htm) It targets the offender and makes them pay for what they have done in a way that makes them see exactly what they have done to their victim. This was put into motion in ancient Near Eastern law, and was not in the Old Testament because it forbade vengeance. Back in those times, that may have worked out to an extent, in modern times it would be extremely hard to accomplish this and call it legal.

Centuries ago “an eye for an eye” was followed, and I could assume it has been through the test of time enduring many changes and alterations and eventually ending up where it is now. If we followed this philosophy America would be in shambles more that is it now, with the crime rates elevating faster than ever, Washington in a race to save the economy as the rest of America watches. The form that we have adopted today has taken well, and is a modern day “an eye for eye” except it is now “an eye for eye via money.” If you commit a crime against somebody you must pay up for surgery, funeral costs, compensation, and other things that go along with any suffering, lose or debt that you may have brought upon the person and/or their families.

Given the example in the reading, if we followed “an eye for an eye” the man, named Charles Carl Roberts who shot at eleven young Amish school girls at point blank would be shot at point blank range. By who I am unsure of, an appointed third party, the young girls who survived (in this case, this would not be a choice because Amish do not believe in vengeance), I am at a cross road in between both and cannot choose but due to the nature of the event I would assume a third party. By doing what I have listed above what would be accomplished? All this would do is leave another victim fighting for his or her life, rather do this, the government will lock them up after they have been convicted guilty of the crime by a jury after all the evidence has been submitted. On exception though a killer goes free by pleading innocent by reason of insanity, where they go free due to a “pre-existing” illness that leads to them not having control over their body. In most cases they go to a facility that can help them and then are re-released into society; and are truly troubled, other times it is a loop hole, which needs to be closed.

Paying for these Compensatory damages which compensate the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered by is a excellent version of “an eye for an eye," it takes the literal meaning but in the form of compensation rather than to provide equitable retribution for an offended party via physical torture to the perpetrator themselves.

If all of America functioned like the Amish do in the time of true disbelief after a tragedy has occurred and refrain from taking vengeance, the crime rate would be substantially lower and slowing begin to make the world no longer “blind”. These families of the eleven girls affected gathered together and arranged for a horse-and-buggy caravan to visit the Roberts (the shooter) family and offer condolences and food. In modern society today, a grieving family might think where this shooter is and why isn’t he locked up; taking matters into their own hands sometimes. Whether it may be a shooting from a rival gang and then that gang shoots somebody from the rival gang as vengeance and the domino effect happens, or the grieving family member goes and shoots themselves or members of the perpetrators family, or even the perpetrator. This accomplishes nothing, and as I said before just allows that negative domino effect of vengeance and violence to occur. Although at the time it seems like a feasible reason, but all it does is open up another door of violence that was nailed shut?