Revenge is a notion that an individual feels circumstantially. The idea of revenge is often associated with justice, which brings you to a place where you are equal with those who harmed you; however, the fact that they did wrong you implies that you are more moral, and therefore ‘better’ than they are. Nevertheless, individuals’ interpretation of revenge and the justice that it provides differs substantially when taking into account their knowledge and interpretation of the law and media influence.
The state develops laws and regulations to protect its citizens from harm. The Hammurabi Code is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating back to about 1772 BC. It is an early law book built upon the ideas of vengeance, where “eye for an eye” is the legal para-phrase for the laws. The way an individual interprets the Hammurabi Code in regard to revenge allows for a sense of justification. Although the Hammurabi Code is an ancient law-book that is no longer binding, there are modern day countries that follow similar doctrines. This is exemplified through the idea of capital punishment in many States in the USA, such as Texas. The State of Texas believes that if an individual commits the crime of murder, than the punishment will be capital punishment. The State of Texas believes that capital punishment is justified in order to keep its citizens feeling safe and for crimes rates to decrease. Through the doctrines of the Hammurabi Code and the idea of capital punishment, it is evident that if somebody is wronged, there are legal means to ensure that the person wronged will be left better off, than the one who committed the crime. This to some people is justified revenge as it provides a sense of satisfaction that the perpetrator has felt the pain that they have. The methods in which the Hammurabi Code and Texas State laws are interpreted provide victims relief, when the person responsible for the crime “pays his dues”. Furthermore, the idea of revenge is embedded into our minds constantly by the media.
The media is a source that everybody in this country is subjected to whether it is directly or indirectly. The idea of revenge and the sense of satisfaction that it brings are demonstrated through the media’s involvement with the Osama Bin Laden coverage. Osama Bin Laden was the most wanted man by the USA military. The media’s coverage illustrated a picture that was filled with the idea of revenge, which was justified by the USA. For example, following the killing of Bin Laden, the United States president Barack Obama reported to the American people by advising that “… Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida, and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.” This proves that the USA sought revenge and killed Bin Laden and it was justified as the president advised the citizens with a sense of pride. However, the media portrayed this event as if they had won a victory over al-Qaida, which in turn provides satisfaction to the American people and provides justification for the murder.
All in all, this principle of people believing their actions are justified is seen when interpreting the Hammurabi Code, and doctrines of capital punishment. Lastly, media has psychologically taught our minds to think about revenge as a pleasing emotion. This is exactly how President Barak Obama illustrated the murder and assassination of Osama Bin Laden.
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Bowden, Mark. “The Death of Osama Bin Laden: How the US Finally Got Its Man.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 07 Nov. 2012. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/12/death-osama-bin-laden-us>.
“Code of Hammurabi.” Code of Hammurabi. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2012. <http://www.commonlaw.com/Hammurabi.html>.
“Texas Execution Information – History.” Texas Execution Information – History. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2012. <http://www.txexecutions.org/history.asp>.
“Texas Execution Information.” Texas Execution Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2012. <http://www.txexecutions.org/>.