phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Eye for an eye

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on December 01, 2003

In Reply to: Eye for an eye posted by Bruce Kahl on December 01, 2003

: : : : Who said "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind" and what does it mean

: : Of the origin I know nothing, but the meaning is easy. It means the exact same thing as "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." So, since Jesus meant it, he could have said it. However, it's a far remove from his style, being slightly humorous in its absurdity. If Jesus was ever tongue-in-cheek, I wanna know.
: : Anders

: Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi
: A few more of his gems:

: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

: "Use truth as your anvil, nonviolence as your hammer,and anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth, reject it."

: "Recall the face of the poorest and most helpless person you have ever
: seen, and ask yourself if the next worldly action that you contemplate is going to be of any use to that person."

In this day and age of rehabilitation of criminals, it's easy for us to sneer at the notion of "an eye for an eye" as barbaric. Yet at the time, the Hammurabic Laws were progressive. Before "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", one might have sought revenge for wrongdoing by taking two eyes for an eye or even a life for an eye.

Likewise, "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" is often taken out of context. After so admonishing the stone-wielding men, Jesus admonished the sinful woman whose life he had just saved, saying "go forth and sin no more". People often use the short form of this story to mean "everyone sins, so it's OK".