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IS REVENGE WRONG OR ALWAYS WRONG?

Revenge is hurting somebody back because you think or know they have hurt you.  Your intention is not to be fair but to go down to their level and hurt them.

Punishment needs to be delivered as a necessary evil and not reveled in and is done because it is unfair to good people to treat the bad as if the bad they do did not matter.

Revenge is wrong for the same reason as why the person you hurt back was wrong to hurt you.   That is the logic. 

Most people do not really care much for that reason.  They come up with other reasons and thus show they have their priorities wrong.  They hide behind the punishment facade. Condemning verbally can be intended as revenge.

The other problem with the logic is that nobody really believes it as we shall see.  It is not really logical either. 

People who use the logic to stop you taking revenge are not really being examples of virtue.

Yet it is their essential argument.  Yet it and only it can be the essential argument. 

The essential argument refuted

I might say, “I cannot insult X back when X insults me for that would be stooping down to X’s level.” This really means that I have not got the guts to stand up for myself and I want to refrain from hurting X to show that I am superior to X. There is a difference between me attacking someone for nothing and me attacking the person to get back at them for having harmed me. I know that. It is nonsense to say that you’re going down to his or her level. Such a statement is unfairly saying that anyone who gets back at others is as bad as the person who started it so it is not an indication of a genuine and nice person. It insults the person who gets back and tries to punish them by inflicting guilt feelings on them and panders to the guilty. Luckily we deny free will as in the power to do things that deserve punishment so we can deny that tit for tat is right. Deniers of such freedom say that we don’t mean to do wrong therefore revenge is wrong.
 
It is often those who believe in that kind of free will who say that two wrongs don’t make a right. They say that if x hits you, you must not hit back because it means you are becoming bad as a person and as bad as them.  Those who deny it still say two wrongs do not make a right but they do not make it as personal as that.  They talk about the harm not the people.  Which side then should be the most compassionate?

Let us look at two wrongs don't make a right as in of your free will becoming bad as a person is not an appropriate response to being wronged.

If I have free will and destroy somebody’s eye then logic says I should get the same injury back. I have asked for it and earned it. If I have not then deserving means nothing. But though the revenge may be wrong for other reasons, it is not wrong in so far as I deserve it. The other reasons I go against, may be quite minor so there is no way the person who attacked me first and I could be on the same level.
 
A person who hits you would rather you hit them back than you going to the police and exposing them and having them dragged before a judge. The morality that says two wrongs don’t make a right or forbids tit for tat and then sanctions them by letting you take them before the judge is hypocritical. What sense can it make when it forbids you to hit when you know the person was wrong and allows you to do worse? If two wrongs don’t make a right or tit for tat is bad then that means you should not hurt anybody back. Then you should not, in revenge, give a mild insult to the person who gave you GBH. Then you should not politely tell the habitual thief who is sick that he cannot come into your house anymore to use the telephone for that could lead to him dying or something without your telephone. Telling him still hurts him so if you really believe that two wrongs don’t make a right you will let him in for you can change your attitude to what you have and become indifferent to possessions so that you will not be hurt should he steal.
 
Everybody advances the view that getting back at somebody for hurting you is wrong. You do not hurt a person back for hurting you even when pain is the only language that can get through to them. Though two wrongs do not make a right, the question is, is the second wrong – you hurting the person back - a wrong that is, is it a neutral act or less wrong than the first wrong? If we have free will then it is probably less wrong than the first wrong. Humanists can reject this teaching on the basis that all people are equally good but some are just victims of evil forces that take control of them but are really good in themselves while free will believers and God believers cannot. Why? To give somebody back what they do to you of their own free will is to give them what they deserve and you are not as bad as they are if you hit back for you are only doing it to defend yourself and they have asked for the suffering by hurting you and if they get angry at you getting your own back remember that anybody that asks for suffering is not supposed to like it. If it is wrong to hurt them back then it is not very wrong and is wrong for reasons other than reasons having to do with deserving for they do deserve it. The other reasons will depend on the circumstances and on what you know about the kind of people they are. There will be many situations in which they will not apply.

The two wrongs don’t make a right philosophy attacks the fact of ethical neutrality, that there are actions and attitudes which are neither right or wrong for two wrongs could make a neutral or the first wrong could be a wrong and the second a neutral. It is narrow-minded and blinkered and nasty.

When I am most sure I exist it follows that since I am not as sure my enemy exists because I am not my enemy, I am not as bad as him where my personal conscience is concerned if I get my revenge on him because I am doing it for the being I am most sure of. I am doing it to honour myself. This is only true if you affirm free will and that he deserves revenge.  If it is true that he does not, that truth is overridden by the fact that I am sure I exist and have feelings.  See the point?  There is enough solipsism in us all to make us do such things.

The two wrongs don’t make a right philosophy suggests that if we have free will then I am as important as the next person. True I am but if I am most sure of my own existence then I have to treat myself as the most important but in a good way for what can I do when I don’t know if the other person is as real as myself? So the philosophy attacks me as a person and therefore the enemy as well.

The only answer is to drop the concept of deserving.

If you cannot give it up then decide that only the individual can know what he or she deserves.  But that is still bad for you are saying, "If I knew what you deserved then heaven help you."  It is still a nod to a violent outlook.

You know that the consequences could be anything when you get off on the wrong foot with somebody deliberately but does that mean you ask for any terrible thing they do to you meaning that they are right to take revenge on you until their hearts are content? It does if you support free will. To condemn them for that would be evil for you deserved it. So no matter what evil you do you are consenting to paying for it a hundred times over. Nobody can say they have taken revenge on you for you have asked for it.

Other reasons against revenge

People who say that you cannot fall out with everybody who hurts you for you have soon have nobody paints the ugly picture of a society in which people do all their bitching into their hearts for they can’t in the open. It is still better for you to keep it inside but only if you can’t thrust it out altogether. But if it is right to fall out with them and altruism is true then you should for your welfare is not to be considered.

People believe that taking revenge or condemning another for doing harm to us is wrong for we have all done wrong things in our time.   

But then that forbids retribution too.  If you cherry-pick what and who you will punish you are corrupt and you will only fuel retribution.


Some say revenge is wrong for it breeds more revenge – but what about goodness that breeds evil like when the more good you do to ingrates the worse you make them? In many cases you can take revenge without the victim knowing who was responsible. And it is possible that some revenge is okay if it deters some from anti-social acts. Also, if I do good to an ungrateful person and I know that person will sin because of the good I will do then I believe that this sin is the person’s concern and not mine and is not my fault so I should still do good to that person. So I cannot then say that revenge is wrong just because the victim will get me back again. The victim taking revenge is his decision.
 

Some say taking revenge is evil for we all deserve to suffer terribly and we cannot make everybody suffer and have to let things go and work for peace. They are saying then that revenge is hypocritical self-righteousness. But public order can be retained largely if revenge is only allowed for serious crimes. Also you can take revenge legally say by reporting an unfit mother you do not like to the authorities.

When religion says we are only fit for eternal torment it follows that we have a right to be tormented eternally so if anybody wants to hurt us with our consent and does not they are doing wrong. If I smash a window I am thereby consenting to somebody smashing my own.

Religion cannot denounce anything on the grounds that bad consequences are feared for God can command what does a lot of harm but which does a greater good that we cannot see.  Its protests against revenge are hollow.

Some say revenge is wrong because God forbids it. But that is really just saying something is wrong because God says so. If something hurts another person then who says its wrong does not even matter in the slightest.  It is vile to make it matter at all. 

Suppose we do need a ban from God.  We need evidence that God has said it is wrong and that he is right. A God who affirms free will and forbids revenge is evil and doesn’t even know what love is. When he is evil why care about anybody? To condemn revenge because a God said so and to be unable to prove it or give sufficient evidence for it is irresponsible and shows that hatred is being directed at those who take revenge. Banning because of God can have no credibility.  It is man trying to manipulate man by saying his word was given to him by God.

Self-defence

The reason for revenge is self-defence for all unpleasant emotions, including the desire for revenge, are caused by fear.

The same reason is behind so-called retribution so when both are mainly done for that same reason both are the same thing. If revenge is wrong so is self-defence. If we deny free will we can agree with self-defence for it is not revenge then for you don’t consider the attacker to be evil but just a vehicle of evil. And though we will be prepared to defend ourselves we will not attack the enemy in an improper way for revenge is caused by the feeling that the enemy freely did the evil and needs to be taught a lesson. When the free-willist forbids revenge the result is that the person who has been victimised is the one who is urged to push the fear that motivates revenge to the back of his or her mind and that can only be harmful. It is detrimental to self-esteem. When the damage makes the person erupt it will usually be the good friends of the person who would be at the receiving end. The only solution is the denial of free will with the accompanying denial of the need for punishment which is replaced by therapy.

The two abuses of free will don't make it right crusaders contradict themselves for they will punish their children in some way. They frown on violence but violence is not just about lifting your fist. Anything that inflicts pain is violence be it giving somebody fifty lines or whatever. Many children would prefer being slapped to having to write out fifty lines. The crusaders are inferring that God is evil for he acts as if two wrongs do make a right. If they pray to him and adore him they make hypocrites of themselves. It is hypocrisy when a person who can give tit for tat and get away with it, does so not with the motive of hatred but of self-defence, is condemned. For example, a mother who hits a boy who is bullying her son will be condemned though to her it is not an act of hate so much as an act to protect her child. The anger of the person who is paid back would be a lack of humility. They think they deserve better than they really do.

Finally

When you deny free will like we do, revenge is clearly wrong for nobody deserves it or retribution.