If the purpose of law is to maintain the order of society yielding the best possible circumstance for each individual man, woman, and child, then the argument arises as to whether such direct revenge is actually conducive to preventing further disorders. Revenge can easily run in endless cycles, and fear of punishment may not in and of itself be any deterrent at all, in particular if the act which is to be punished was committed in the heat of passion or without premeditation. Philosophers of law and ethics have long discussed the precise nature of the divine code that was given to Moses. On a fundamental level, there exists the question as to whether these laws are immutable expressions of an unchanging natural order such as has always existed, or whether these Mosaic laws represent merely the decrees of God that are applicable to a particular, time, place, or situation.
If God had simply made law in the manner of most temporal rulers, then these laws might not be applicable under changed circumstances - an evolving society might require new laws, or new interpretations of existing precepts.
As has been stated, the Mosaic Code makes much of very specific punishments for very specific violations of the rules. Many of these penalties are considered cruel by modern standards, though they are remarkably similar to many that are found within the laws of Hammurabi. Furthermore, many of the Biblical injunctions do not appear to apply to modern society in as much as they are ignored or overlooked by most modern Western societies. The numerous commandments that concern ritual practice, both public and private, are largely ignored today, though the Bible contains no direct admonition that they are in force only under certain conditions or for a limited period of time. The fact that laws, even divinely-given laws can dispense with, further complicates the question of what constitutes "justice," and of what comprises the actual purpose of any system of laws. The "eye for an eye" principle of Mosaic law implies two different things on two different levels. Read literally, the violator must pay in directly equal proportions to his or her actions. Read figuratively, the prescription appears to be that individuals - and the society in which they live - must be held somehow responsible for their own decisions and acts. Perhaps the segregation of certain major pronouncements into a collection of Ten Commandments is meant to call attention to the idea of underlying motive in a way that is not as clearly represented in Hammurabi's nearly three hundred decrees liberally mixed between criminal, civil, familial, and religious matters. In the Mosaic Ten Commandments, a common thread can be seen between the kinds of motivations that give rise to violations of the major ten commandments and many of the other additional commandments. One commits adultery or covetice, or for that matter, ordinary theft, because of an inordinate desire for that which one does not possess. One displays disobedience if one does not "honor they father and the mother," or similarly violate the ritual precepts relating to sacrifice in the Temple, or following menstruation or childbirth. By looking into these concepts, one sees the deeper feelings that bind a society together and which create or destroy order. Whether that order is simply human, or broadly cosmic and universal, the ideas that back them up are the same. John Finnis argues that, "Even if laws should not aim to make citizens in general virtuous, still, they should aim to insure that those who govern be virtuous"
Clearly, the Laws of Moses were intended to create an order that was at once virtuous and orderly, the order among individuals within society deriving from the fact they observed virtuous principles. It is these principles taken together in the form of God's Commandments that help those who would make laws to understand the real purpose behind those...
Both collections of legal pronouncements contain a jumble of laws that apply to almost every conceivable human situation. Civil, criminal, familial, administrative, and religious, the laws contained within the two codes speak to human society as a totality, a totality that exists within the larger whole of cosmic or divine order. Everything that exists and is or can be done is done for some sort of reason. While these reasons may not always be clear, they nonetheless exist. The welter of prohibitions that apply to conditions that no longer exist or are no longer observed cause one to ponder the deeper meanings of much legislation. Both codes appeared to define justice as a matter of direct retribution. Penalties were made to fit specific crimes and were graduated according to the severity of the offense. Each code was very specific to its civilization. The civilization of the ancient Israelites was, in large measure, derived from the earlier Mesopotamian culture of Babylonia and Sumer. The underlying ideas of cosmic order and justice that informed the laws of Hammurabi also informed the laws of Moses. By reading between the liens and understanding the motives that dictate this or that prescription, modern legal theorists, ethicists, and philosophers can continue to find meaning in these pronouncements as they have down to us today. The Biblical commandments continue to inspire a thirst for justice and right conduct even in modern, post-industrial democracies that otherwise appear to have little in common with the civilizations of the Ancient world.
Dalley, Stephanie, a.T. Reyes, David Pingree, Alison Salvesen, and Henrietta McCall. The Legacy of Mesopotamia. Edited by Stephanie Dalley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Del Testa, David W., ed. Government Leaders, Military Rulers, and Political Activists. Westport, CT: Oryx Press, 2001.
Frymer-kensky, Tikva. In Religion, Feminism, and the Family, edited by Carr, Anne and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, 55-70. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.
Hogan, Maurice P., ed. Order and History: Israel and Revelation. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2001 www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=74362431
Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Kelly, J.M. A Short History of Western Legal Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992.
Pakaluk, Michael. "Is the Common Good of Political Society Limited and Instrumental?." The Review of Metaphysics 55, no. 1 (2001): 57+.
Smith, Adam T. The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.
Westbrook, Raymond, Gary Beckman, Richard Jasnow, Baruch Levine, and Martha Roth, eds. A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law. Vol. 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=109299122
Raymond Westbrook, et al., eds., a History of Ancient Near Eastern Law, vol. 1 (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003), 1. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106259645
Adam T. Smith, the Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003), 232, 236. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=58992801
Stephanie Dalley et al., the Legacy of Mesopotamia ed. Dalley, Stephanie, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 69. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106890821
David W. Del Testa, ed., Government Leaders, Military Rulers, and Political Activists (Westport, CT: Oryx Press, 2001), 74. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=74648444
Tikva Frymer-kensky, in Religion, Feminism, and the Family ed. Anne Carr and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), 62. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106100803
Maurice P. Hogan, ed., Order and History: Israel and Revelation (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2001), 63. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000950093
Michael Pakaluk, "Is the Common Good of Political Society Limited and Instrumental?," the Review of Metaphysics 55, no. 1 (2001). http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=74362568
Ted Honderich, ed., the Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 120. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=12348732
J.M. Kelly, a Short History of Western Legal Theory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 103. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000950093
Michael Pakaluk, "Is the Common Good of Political Society Limited and Instrumental?," the Review of Metaphysics 55, no. 1 (2001).
Unions Labor Unions In ancient times, most labor work was done by slaves or serfs who were mercilessly exploited by their masters. Even non-slave workers were treated poorly and had little power to change their condition. It was only in the Middle Ages, that some merchant guilds and craft guilds began to appear in Europe that functioned as associations of trades-people. After the Industrial Revolution, workers began to organize themselves into organizations
But here we have to separate importance of violence in politics and violence in society, because political methods of that time needed to be cruel and frightening, in another case Rome would not be such successful state (Greece is a good example). I can't imagine kind and liberal Caesar fighting barbarians or August using legal methods to strengthen own power. Violence was necessary and Roman leaders did good using
Ancient Egypt to Present: Costume & Culture This paper discusses widely various aspects of life in Egypt from ancient times to the present. Ideally, daily life for common citizens as well as life for royalty in Egypt will be compared with the different methods of dress and textiles used for Egyptian peoples. Also, a great deal of focus will be brought onto the culture, laws, and rights of the people. A
Ancient & Modern Communications in Intelligence Ancient and Modern Communication COMMONALITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ANCIENT AND MODERN COMMUNICATION IN INTELLIGENCE AUTHOR'S NOTES The paper highlights the major commonalities and major differences in the way intellectual abilities and, intelligence, by name was utilized for Communication purposes in Ancient times compared to the Modern times. Although at the times of Pharaohs and before industrial revolution, technology did not set its path in this field, yet
Code of Hammurabi -- exodus A Comparison/contrast Between the codes of hammurabi & THE BOOK OF EXODUS Sometime in the early fourth millennium B.C.E. In Mesopotamia (currently Iran, Iraq and formerly Persia), a very critical event occurred which changed the face of civilization, namely the settlement of the great river valley bounded by the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. It was after this pivotal event that writing, art, architecture and new political forms were
Ancient Mythology Comparison of Modern and Ancient Mythology Imagination is still an inseparable aspect of his nature regardless of the claims on rationality and logic. Human beings are mythmakers. They have a tendency to imagine worlds that don't immediately exist which gives rise to mythology and religion (Armstong). Since the age of enlightenment; men began to believe in philosophy as the only method of disclosing world and nature. It can be