You know that saying that goes something like “I don’t get mad, I get even”? I don’t know who said it and, to be honest, I am too lazy right now to look it up (on a side note, if we didn’t have internet, I would have probably remembered who said it…).
Question for this late Sunday evening is: how do you know that the punishment fits the offence? As human beings, we are different with different experiences and backgrounds, we feel different and we react differently. Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that if someone hurts you, you want to get back at them. Not only the circumstances won’t be the same (they can never be – see two sentences before), but the payback won’t be, either. It’s going to be something that (you think) will create a similar emotional response. Correct?
How do you know the person who will receive the punishment will be able to take it? Of course, you could argue “don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time”. But that’s not what I am seeking here. My thought is this: how can we assess that the payback will inflict the same amount of pain that the offence did for us in the first place? Isn’t it subjective? Maybe we punish them harder, without even realising, just because we were hurt?
Just a thought…