The Couch

Revenge

Comments on Revenge

libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 06/22/15 - 2:07 PM:
Subject: Revenge
Hello hello everyone,

Sorry to have not responded to private messages in a while, my email address that was connected to this account was disabled for a long period thanks to a mishap with my ISP.

Meanwhile, I have not given much thought to philosophical matters, have been fully tied up with "real world" affairs. But today a philosophical question occurs to me.

It is said of revenge that 2 wrongs don't make a right, an eye for an eye adds up to blindness all around, doesn't bring back your loss and so on and so on.

But is revenge instrumental in helping the original perpetrator recognize the damage of their actions? If so, then it has value?

Thoughts?
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 06/23/15 - 11:47 AM:

Less than hour after I posted this here, one of my acquaintances posted the following on Facebook. Timely and relevant.

"Screw KARMA!!! People just use KARMA as a way to cope with bad people doing bad things to good people. There's no such thing. Bad people do bad things all the time and do it until the day they die and nothing happens. They keep getting away with horrible things. Well it's up to us to stand up against such people once and for all. Some say not to waste energy but if just one bad person learns their lesson was it really a waste or worth saving countless others a bunch of pain?"
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 06/23/15 - 1:55 PM:

Not surprised at all that we see eye to eye on this Starjade. I personally believe in karma but I also believe we can be agents of karma. It comes at a cost, though, as you said. In being an agent of karma you are also getting your hands dirty. But if in getting your hands dirty you discourage that someone from continuing to repeat the same crimes, might it be worth it? I'm thinking in some cases it might. But not always.
henry quirk
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
Location: here

Total Topics: 47
Total Comments: 1298
Posted 06/24/15 - 10:00 AM:

If justice is the communal fiction of redress and lessons learned, then revenge is the singular organic reality of closing a circle, ending a problem, and - mainly - ensuring the other gets exactly what he or she deserves.

Justice largely has the blessing of the many while revenge (unmoderated by mercy or societal standard) does not.

Gimme revenge any old day.
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 06/24/15 - 11:27 AM:

Let's say someone does some damage to your property. Let's say, your neighbor knocks down your mailbox, just to use something simple and easy to avenge. It's going to cost you a bit of time and money to replace it. You go next door and knock down your neighbor's mailbox out of revenge. Now he's out relatively the same amount of time and money to repair it. Circle closed, right? I think it's safe to say yes. I think you could probably take this line of argument with a number of objects to include body parts - he takes your eye, you take his, he takes your left foot, you take his, whatever the case may be.

Where it becomes more complicated is when a life is taken. Let's say he takes your daughter's life. Or in your case Henry, your nephew. So you take his child's life, or nephew as the case may be. So two innocent lives have been lost, in addition to the potential actions they might have taken for the better or the worse of the future of humanity. Additionally there's the question of how hard it is to replace the loss. Of course another child could not take the place of the first one who was killed, but let's say the offspring of one is the last surviving of your family line and you have no way to reproduce while the offspring of the other has siblings and a mother still bearing children. All these complications make it near impossible to "close" the circle, I think. Not to mention that the siblings might be coming for you too out of revenge.

libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 06/24/15 - 11:58 AM:

Some further thoughts. I think the circle can be said to be closed when no one is trying to avenge any part of it anymore, even if the act of vengeance is not identical to the original instigating act. As an example, a close friend of mine was telling me how a girl he knew in high school was raped. Now Henry I know you are suspicious of false rape accusations but according to my friend, this girl was super sweet, not a malicious, conniving type at all, really the last person you could imagine would ever deserve to be harmed. So he and a group of his friends (4 or 5 of them if I remember correctly), followed the perpetrator one day after school and then beat the crap out of the guy. And not one person in the school who knew about it took issue with them exacting that punishment on the guy in pure vigilante fashion. Circle closed? I think it can be argued yes.
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
Posted 06/25/15 - 6:12 AM:

Hello Everyone!

It's nice to see you again here on The Couch, Lib. smiling face

It's kind of synchronicity that in the last two days I've seen movies which touch the issue of revenge. The first was The East(2013)--which has an anarchist group trying to send messages across the world in the manner you suggest. They give pharmaceutical companies a taste of their own medicines with lethal side effects; and their other jams are also along similar lines.


The other film Red Road(2006)is a sensitive film touching the issue of personal revenge. I am sorry to spoil it if you've not already seen it--but the lead character forgives the perpetrator in the end--even when she had contrived a great deal to exact her revenge. The happy ending is a usual occurrence but kind of unexpected for this film.


Personally, I feel I don't remember having done anything in my life to exact revenge. I have done things in my power to point to people around me at times-that something seems "wrong" or "out of place,"(And yes, even this 'pointing' might hurt sometimes or might be considered as "patronizing"--but it has never been a calculated revenge.) --sometimes--when I felt that it didn't feel right--but it hasn't been a revenge. Maybe I've been lucky till now that I didn't feel the need--I thank existence for that. I don't think I could speak for society or people in general--but at this point I don't see need of revenge in my life.
henry quirk
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 17, 2008
Location: here

Total Topics: 47
Total Comments: 1298
Posted 06/25/15 - 8:06 AM:

Lib,

When I speak of revenge I'm not thinkin' about a damaged mailbox. Sure, it's irksome to replace (myself or through hounding the neighbor) but it is, after all, just a mailbox.

No, I think revenge is reserved for the big stuff: the child molestor, for example, or the intentional killer.

Either deserves a bullet in the head (not the loved ones of the molestor or killer but the molestor or killer only).

Revenge, I think, is reserved for the irrevocable and (for lack of better) the soul damaging/killing.

Wreck my mailbox and I'll be pissed; wreck my loved ones and (as is possible) your ass is mine.

This is not to say I haven't revenged myself on others for less. I've been ripped off by clients, folks who didn't hold to their end of the contract. 500 bucks was a drop in the bucket for them but a meaningful sum for me. In such cases I attempt to ensure such folks pay what is owed, if not to me then to 'someone'.

Some things cannot be left to 'the system' or be forgiven.

#

Thinker, Star...hello!
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
Posted 06/25/15 - 1:45 PM:

All very interesting thoughts, thanks everyone. It's nice to see you all as well.

Thinker, you and I have had a number of conversations about karma, and while you personally feel no need for revenge, what are your thoughts about the vigilante who takes matters of karma into his own hands? Do you suppose he is bringing some bad karma on himself by taking vengeance into his own hands?

Starjade, very interesting thought favoring the name of justice instead of vengeance. I am inclined to agree with you, although sometimes what we imagine is just, is disagreed with by others. This led to the trial by jury system where one's punishment is not left to the potential error of just one person. What are your thoughts? What if what you think is just, is wrong?

Henry, if anyone raped or assaulted or killed a member of my family, I can't honestly say I wouldn't feel tempted to take their life as well. I don't know how good I would feel about it afterward though. But I can relate to your sentiment. The system is not infallible. I have a family member who was shot to death by her boyfriend. Coroner ruled it conclusively a homicide. One of the jury members blabbed about the trial to a friend so it was deemed a mistrial. Shooter got out on bail and was never seen again. If this had happened to someone I was very close to, I would most definitely feel deeply compelled to track the guy down myself and bring him to justice.
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#10 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 06/26/15 - 2:55 AM:

libertygrl wrote:


Thinker, you and I have had a number of conversations about karma, and while you personally feel no need for revenge, what are your thoughts about the vigilante who takes matters of karma into his own hands? Do you suppose he is bringing some bad karma on himself by taking vengeance into his own hands?


The problem with Karma, reincarnation and other metaphysical and esoteric things is--they're dependent much on your intuition and gut feeling than on pure logic and reason.

In last few days I've conceived a few ideas which suggest that reincarnation is a myth. For a personality reincarnation doesn't exist and it can be proven by pure reason--but otherwise reincarnation exists only for those who believe it does. For me it exists no more. It's like one day I conceived that death exists no more for me--a profound realization---similarly reincarnation doesn't exist for me anymore.

Pardon me for veering away from topic in the hand--I feel if you're an intuitive type you've clearly observed Karma working in your life. For example--people who arrogantly drive faster than limits soon meet fatal accidents. When you yourself or anyone around you stretches their body, mind or power beyond a certain limit they soon meet fatal ends. I have personally observed this in my life--I've myself suffered and seen others suffering in such ways which might be called Karmic--but my observations might be too few in number and maybe I am just "deluded."

In many cases it might be that Karma doesn't seem to work and people doing wrong live happily. But do they? Or they just seem happy? Since there are no measurements possible in this regard only speculations are discussed. Existence is too vast and our minds are too limited.

Since I feel that reincarnation doesn't exist( which I used to believe in for the greater part of my life.)--which most of the Christians and Muslims never believed in--in the first place. laughing--Karma becomes even more difficult a concept.

Now coming back to Vigilante action--yes you're right I do feel that way. A sage said that you should be beyond the need of help to truly help others. His definition of help is also different than our definition. He suggests that if you solve a problem of a person he finds another and another and so on. Further, by taking example of a moss he suggests that if you're outside the moss only then you can really make someone get outside the moss. Most of the so called gurus and vigilantes are themselves in darkness---they've not really transcended the ego-therefore they can't really help others transcend the ego.


An enlightened person--if such a person really exists or ever existed--has transcended the ego and he doesn't need to do anything at all--but he could be a true vigilante because he would not fall into karmic booby traps. If something wrong comes under his observation it becomes right. Merely his presence removes the darkness. But these are all kind of speculations.

So the short answer to your question is--yes Vigilantes are bound to be fallible. We've seen in fiction that Spiderman and Superman and other superheroes have moments of tests.

But you need to be exceptionally powerful in one way or the other to play Vigilante. More than that you should be beyond corruption. We've seen enough in the history--Hitler was also trying to purify the society--he was a superhero in his own eyes--so concentration of power is almost impossible to exist without corruption. The theory of enlightened man is one suggesting a superhero who is beyond being corrupted. But it's just a theory.


Another idea is related to totality of improvement. I personally feel aligned to ideas of some sages of the past in this regard. Some people who are compassionate feel that darkness of the world should go away altogether and anyone who is a sage or enlightened person should be able to do so. But the Truth is that there's not going to be permanent harmony ever. Some periods of harmony follow periods of chaos and so on--it has been so and it's going to be so always. Knowing that fully leaves you an option that you find your own peace. This is true for those who are detached and spiritual but those who are very much attached to family and friends are indeed compelled to play their role in whichever way possible. All movements are by people who feel that they can execute "permanent" changes in society but there are no permanent changes only temporary shift of power.

So should you sit idle and search the Self? Should you exact revenge in your power? I don't know--everyone does what he or she must do. I feel destiny is a superforce and you're bound to do what you're destined for. I don't feel that there's any free-will whatsoever. So those who are inclined to take revenge might take revenge and those who're not might never take it.

I apologize for the length of the post.
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 06/26/15 - 10:35 AM:

Starjade wrote:
Thinker 13. Never apolagise for the length of your post. It was an interesting insightful read. Besides from what others write yours was a mere paragraph. laughing



Hahahaha laughing


Most of my post was beating around the bush instead of directly addressing lib's question, hence apology. Thanks Starjade smiling face
libertygrl
Administrator
Avatar

Usergroup: Administrators
Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Location: San Francisco

Total Topics: 425
Total Comments: 4673
#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 06/26/15 - 1:19 PM:

I agree with Starjade, no apologies needed for sharing your insights Thinker. As limited as the light from each of us might ultimately be, I enjoy finding my way through the dark with you fine folks.

I'm inclined to believe these days that there is no free will either. Perhaps that which compels us forward is so powerful that we feel the agency of choice in it. Or perhaps we are the imagined creations of a God stuck in its own mental prison, a God that manifests free will by creating beings who feel the need for it.

Ultimately I think you answered the question very well, which is simply that it's for each person to decide for themselves.

And Starjade I enjoyed your insights as well. I found them very enlightening.

Cheers heart
Thinker13
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Apr 27, 2009

Total Topics: 357
Total Comments: 3379
#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 06/26/15 - 1:36 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
I agree with Starjade, no apologies needed for sharing your insights Thinker. As limited as the light from each of us might ultimately be, I enjoy finding my way through the dark with you fine folks.

I'm inclined to believe these days that there is no free will either. Perhaps that which compels us forward is so powerful that we feel the agency of choice in it. Or perhaps we are the imagined creations of a God stuck in its own mental prison, a God that manifests free will by creating beings who feel the need for it.

Ultimately I think you answered the question very well, which is simply that it's for each person to decide for themselves.

And Starjade I enjoyed your insights as well. I found them very enlightening.

Cheers heart



Thanks for your kind words and the discussion, lib.

Cheers and hug heart hug
Search thread for
Download thread as
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5



Sorry, you don't have permission . Log in, or register if you haven't yet.



Acknowledgements:

Couch logo design by Midnight_Monk. The photo hanging above the couch was taken by Paul.

Powered by WSN Forum. Free smileys here.
Special thanks to Maria Cristina, Jesse , Echolist Directory, The Star Online,
Hosting Free Webs, and dmoz.org for referring visitors to this site!

Copyright notice:

Except where noted otherwise, copyright belongs to respective authors
for artwork, photography and text posted in this forum.