Author Topic: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?  (Read 986 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TheJovialInquisitor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 73
  • Reputation: +26/-9
  • Gender: Male
Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
« on: February 18, 2019, 06:52:03 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • I'm asking this in regards to the forbidding of "avenging oneself" in the Bible.  I know modern language, especially modern English, is a butchered language that turns over most of the traditional meanings of words such as "love" or "hatred" or other such things, but I really can't reconcile the idea of vengeance being inherently evil with the virtues of militancy, justice, and righteous anger towards evil men.  Why would a father wanting to kill the man who murdered his son be evil?

    Offline Nadir

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 6010
    • Reputation: +3306/-194
    • Gender: Female
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 07:29:59 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Nothing of God's is intrinsically evil. But not everything of God is available to us creatures.

     Deuteronomy 32 [34] Are not these things stored up with me, and sealed up in my treasures? [35] Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time, that their foot may slide: the day of destruction is at hand, and the time makes haste to come.

    Some things are best left to God.


    Offline poche

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 14896
    • Reputation: +687/-2516
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 12:59:35 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!1
  • From the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5;

    38 'You have heard how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.
    39 But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well;
    40 if someone wishes to go to law with you to get your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
    41 And if anyone requires you to go one mile, go two miles with him.
    42 Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.
    43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
    44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;
    45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.
    46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?
    47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?
    48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'

    https://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=47&bible_chapter=5

    Offline Judith 15 Ten

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 130
    • Reputation: +57/-252
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 08:17:10 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!3
  • From the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5;

    39 But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well;

    Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary - Matthew 5:39
    Quote
    What is here commanded, is a Christian patience under injuries and affronts, and to be willing even to suffer still more, rather than to indulge the desire of revenge; but what is further added does not strictly oblige according to the letter, for neither did Christ, nor St. Paul, turn the other cheek. (St. John xviii. and Acts xxiii.) (Challoner)

    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/the-christian-boxer
    When our Lord says turn the other cheek, He speaks of a spiritual strategy to humble the self and then perhaps, to win other souls to Him.  Not all the proud are shamed by humility and it seems pretty clear that those who smote the One who offered them salvation did not turn their hearts to him when He turned His cheek to them.  Saint John Cantius won the hearts of some bandits when he called them back to take some money they had overlooked, but that is an instance rare enough to have become the lore of hagiography.  Sane moralists insist that neglect of self-defense can be moral dereliction.  Glad tidings of peace are not lighthearted pacifism, and even the Good Shepherd brought news to the poor and brokenhearted carrying a rod along with a staff.  I learned the wisdom of this when I was briefly knocked unconscious by a man I had caught breaking into my church’s Poor Box.  It was then that I began instruction in boxing, which I still try to keep up about once a week.

    My first coach was an African who hesitated to punch me. I told him I could never learn unless he punched me. He explained that in his homeland, superstitious people thought it bad luck to strike a priest. That is a superstition lacking in my own country.

    The amateur boxer learns three things immediately. First, few activities are as physically demanding and, at least in my case, one three minute round can be more exhausting than running five miles.  Second, boxing is highly intellectual, requiring so much quick reasoning and psychology, that of all sports, it is the one rightly validly called the “Sweet Science.”  Third, the immediate instinct to punch someone who has punched you, issues in a thrill when you do so.  When it is done gratuitously in sport, it can make one even less eager to do it in retributive anger. No one is disinterested in you, once you have punched him, and so boxing with strangers can even create bonds of friendship.

    That is not always the case, as we known from Ali’s acid behavior toward Frazier outside the ring, and the famous brawl between Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick who later was murdered by his nephew, poignantly, in a church. Yet the saints themselves must have delighted in the way Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey became lifelong friends after the notorious Long Count in 1927. Tunney’s profits from the ring along with a beneficial marriage, by the way, enabled him to study literature, which he had not been able to do when poverty deprived him of school.  The autodidact Tunney came to know Thornton Wilder and Ernest Hemingway and he became the best of friends with George Bernard Shaw, once a bantamweight boxer himself. Tunney lectured on Shakespeare at Yale in its bright days.

    Other sports such as baseball, tennis and squash racquets have their place, but their common drawback is that their players get to strike each other only inadvertently.  Football is as cerebral as boxing, but banging into one another is not as graceful as using fists. Then there are activities like shuffleboard, badminton, and billiards (and its outdoor variant: golf).  As they have the advantage of being able to be played in a state of physical neglect or advanced pregnancy, they are games and not sports. Swimming is superb for health, of course, but the water required for it conceals any evidence of exertion. Fencing may match boxing for mental elegance, but the use of protective devices has made it a shadow of ancient duels. Wrestling is the only real competition for boxing and is almost as ancient.  While Cain boxed Abel with fatal results, wrestling only put Jacob’s hip out of joint. If it is shockingly true that Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling is to be dropped from the next Olympic games, which inexplicably include curling, ping pong and beach volley ball, then the degradation of our culture has entered its fin de siecle phase of the Decadents.

    Among sports, bullfighting is too rarified to be considered here, though it has not escaped the attention of holy eyes. Pope Saint Pius V condemned it in 1567, but this may in part have been a reaction to the appetites of his Spanish Borgia antecedent.  In 1597, Pope Clement VIII only forbade the clergy from attending or participating in bull fights, but this was little different from the policy against clerics attending the opera, which was still on the books right up to the reign of Pope John XXIII, whose benevolent charisms did not include physical agility.  Bullfighting as condemned by Pius V was quite different from the present form, which was stylized only in the eighteenth century. The preponderant opinion of theologians is that the present form is morally licit, as the bullfighter’s brains make him even with the bull’s brawn. Just as the Council in Trullo stopped the clergy from going to horse races, the Fourth Lateran Council forbade clerics to engage in hawking and clamorous hunting (that would be riding with the hounds to the sound of brass horns), but this had nothing to do with the killing of animals. Pope Julius II was a keen hunter and in more modern times, Pope Leo XII shot birds in the Vatican gardens for relaxation.  The Council’s strictures were really against wasteful consumption of time. Today the equivalent of hawking and hunting as languorous misuses of time by clerics obviously would be golf.

    There is a real moral doubt about professional boxing, no less today than in the days of bare knuckles and even John L. Sullivan’s compromise with two-ounce gloves. This is based both on its deliberate intent to inflict serious injury and on the corruption of promoters, which has figured in the decline of its popularity.  I tend to consider “professional sports” almost a contradiction in terms anyway, and would no more watch others play than I would pay to watch others eat.  Two minutes of listening to commentators on one of the sports channels is sheer mental anesthesia.  Because of physical danger in professional boxing, especially in the heavyweight class, it is only reasonable to require careful monitoring. There are more concussions, orthopedic injuries and neurological damage in football than in boxing, and the life expectancy of an NFL player is less than that of a professional boxer.  Remarkably, cheerleaders in the NFL reported four times more injuries than did the players.  Amateur boxing, of which I sing, ranks 71st in sports injuries, far below even baseball and soccer.

    In a fallen world there always will be excesses and in my book Coincidentally, I described Mike Tyson biting off the ear of Evander Holyfield.  I now can add to that because just one hour before I began to write this, I ran into a bartender walking along Park Avenue who had served a non-alcoholic drink to Tyson at the start of his career and prophetically called him “Champ.” Brute violence seems to be going mainstream with the rise of Mixed Martial Arts, which should be banned for its incitement of bloodlust.

    Holyfield’s robe was inscribed with the text: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)” Little did he know that he was about to become another Malchus.  Saint Paul may very well have been a boxer. He refers to the races and boxing in 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27.  The “corruptible crown” was a reference, not to the Olympian games of Athens, but to the Isthmian games of Corinth, which had been restored by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.  Long before the victor’s wreath was of ivy, the Isthmian wreath had been of fast-wilting celery leaves.  Pindar even mentioned it: “I sing the Isthmian victory with horses, not unrecognized, which Poseidon granted to Xenocrates, and sent him a garland of Dorian wild celery for his hair, to have himself crowned….”

    The Apostle to the Gentiles did not consider the Way of the Lord Jesus a spectator sport. “Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”  No young man should venture into the larger world without having sparred with his peers, and boxing should be required of every seminarian who would preach like Paul.  The writer to the Hebrews (12:4-13) quite likely took counsel from the Apostle when he wrote:

        In your struggles against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood… Suffering is part of your training… God is treating you as his sons.  Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? If you were not getting this training, as all of you are, then you would not be sons but bastards… Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant, but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness.  So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again.
    Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? ~ Canticle of Canticles 6:9

    Offline Judith 15 Ten

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 130
    • Reputation: +57/-252
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 08:43:58 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!2
  • Exodus 22:2
    Quote
    If a thief be found breaking open a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die: he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood.

    Proverbs 25:26
    Quote
    A just man falling down before the wicked, is as a fountain troubled with the foot and a corrupted spring.
    Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? ~ Canticle of Canticles 6:9


    Online Pax Vobis

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 4560
    • Reputation: +2772/-1261
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 09:05:25 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!0
  • Vengeance definition - infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person.

    Justice definition - Rightfullness or lawfullness.  The administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings.


    I think God does not allow vengeance because it is inherently emotional, therefore would lead to chaos.  However, God does allow and want justice, which is handed down by those in authority who can view the punishment without emotion and in a fair manner to all parties.  If vengeance were allowed, and people were running around handing out "personal justice", society would be very unstable.

    Calvinism was very extreme and he ruled with an iron fist.  It would be very easy for anyone to divide a country, state, or city or church between the just vs merciful mentalities.  Without due process, without an impartial justice system, without a "cooling off" period, there would just be anarchy.

    Offline forlorn

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1486
    • Reputation: +593/-892
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 12:59:18 PM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!0
  • Vengeance definition - infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person.

    Justice definition - Rightfullness or lawfullness.  The administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings.


    I think God does not allow vengeance because it is inherently emotional, therefore would lead to chaos.  However, God does allow and want justice, which is handed down by those in authority who can view the punishment without emotion and in a fair manner to all parties.  If vengeance were allowed, and people were running around handing out "personal justice", society would be very unstable.

    Calvinism was very extreme and he ruled with an iron fist.  It would be very easy for anyone to divide a country, state, or city or church between the just vs merciful mentalities.  Without due process, without an impartial justice system, without a "cooling off" period, there would just be anarchy.
    Agreed. Righting wrongs is always good of course, but vengeance is often done more for the emotional benefit of the avenger than for the sake of justice.

    This is also one of the important distinctions between "an eye for an eye" and "turn the other cheek". "An eye for an eye" is a way of dishing out justice. If you do wrong your superior or the courts or whatever else will punish you proportionally to the crime. "Turn the other cheek" is for minor slights, basically just telling you not to let every minor slight get to you - as if you stay cool you can take the moral highground and convince 3rd parties, and perhaps even the offender, that you are in the right, but if you instantly respond in like kind out of anger you'll end up looking just as bad.

    Offline TheJovialInquisitor

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 73
    • Reputation: +26/-9
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 04:19:22 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Vengeance definition - infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person.

    Justice definition - Rightfullness or lawfullness.  The administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings.


    I think God does not allow vengeance because it is inherently emotional, therefore would lead to chaos.  However, God does allow and want justice, which is handed down by those in authority who can view the punishment without emotion and in a fair manner to all parties.  If vengeance were allowed, and people were running around handing out "personal justice", society would be very unstable.

    Calvinism was very extreme and he ruled with an iron fist.  It would be very easy for anyone to divide a country, state, or city or church between the just vs merciful mentalities.  Without due process, without an impartial justice system, without a "cooling off" period, there would just be anarchy.
    Yeah, that was my understanding too, I was just asking to make sure.  It seems that seeking vengeance according to your own standards is wrong, but seeking justice according to God's standards isn't.


    Offline Judith 15 Ten

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 130
    • Reputation: +57/-252
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 05:15:28 PM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!3
  • However, God does allow and want justice, which is handed down by those in authority who can view the punishment without emotion and in a fair manner to all parties.  If vengeance were allowed, and people were running around handing out "personal justice", society would be very unstable.

    The problem is, in these latter days, the world order of authority is Anarcho-Tyranny. Top government officials and elitists in the banking and corporate sectors literally get away with treason, murder, and massive theft, while commoners go to jail for merely possessing a plant or not paying a traffic fine.

    Do you think what happened to Randy Weaver's family and dog was justice by the authorities? Do you think what happened to the poor folk in Waco, Texas was justice by the authorities? What about what happened to LaVoy Finicum?

    The order of governments is allowing iniquity to fester - infanticide, faggotry, blasphemy, robbing workers of their due wages, oppression of decent people who fear God and practice their inalienable rights/liberty, etc.

    People can no longer rely on civic authority to render and bestow justice.
    Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? ~ Canticle of Canticles 6:9

    Offline TheJovialInquisitor

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 73
    • Reputation: +26/-9
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 06:02:18 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • The problem is, in these latter days, the world order of authority is Anarcho-Tyranny. Top government officials and elitists in the banking and corporate sectors literally get away with treason, murder, and massive theft, while commoners go to jail for merely possessing a plant or not paying a traffic fine.

    Do you think what happened to Randy Weaver's family and dog was justice by the authorities? Do you think what happened to the poor folk in Waco, Texas was justice by the authorities? What about what happened to LaVoy Finicum?

    The order of governments is allowing iniquity to fester - infanticide, faggotry, blasphemy, robbing workers of their due wages, oppression of decent people who fear God and practice their inalienable rights/liberty, etc.

    People can no longer rely on civic authority to render and bestow justice.
    That's another contention I have. Obviously, revenge is an emotional response, done according to one's personal standards, not God's, and is not a valid motive for going after someone, but what about to uphold justice and order, especially, as you said, in the system we currently have?

    Offline poche

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 14896
    • Reputation: +687/-2516
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 12:03:40 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!1
  • Exodus 22:2
    Proverbs 25:26
    In the Fathers of the Desert there is a story of a monk offering the other cheek when a young woman possessed by the devil slapped him. The demon screamed, "His obedience to the commands of Christ forces me to go!!!" And then the demon departed.  


    Offline Judith 15 Ten

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 130
    • Reputation: +57/-252
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #11 on: February 20, 2019, 01:41:09 AM »
  • Thanks!1
  • No Thanks!3
  • In the Fathers of the Desert there is a story of a monk offering the other cheek when a young woman possessed by the devil slapped him. The demon screamed, "His obedience to the commands of Christ forces me to go!!!" And then the demon departed. 

    Bible canon (the word of God) trumps stories of desert fathers.
    Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? ~ Canticle of Canticles 6:9

    Online Pax Vobis

    • Hero Member
    • *****
    • Posts: 4560
    • Reputation: +2772/-1261
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #12 on: February 20, 2019, 11:52:34 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!2
  • Quote
    People can no longer rely on civic authority to render and bestow justice.
    Justice allows you to protect family, property and life.  Aside from this, the Church has never supported vigilante actions which were not in self defense.

    If we live in a country that is unjust, with unjust rulers/laws, we have to accept this to large extent because bad leaders are given as a punishment for sin.  And as a country, the US (and Europe, etc) have all sinned against God.  Countries cannot be punished in the next life, therefore they must be punished presently.

    Offline TheJovialInquisitor

    • Newbie
    • *
    • Posts: 73
    • Reputation: +26/-9
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #13 on: February 20, 2019, 10:44:04 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Justice allows you to protect family, property and life.  Aside from this, the Church has never supported vigilante actions which were not in self defense.

    If we live in a country that is unjust, with unjust rulers/laws, we have to accept this to large extent because bad leaders are given as a punishment for sin.  And as a country, the US (and Europe, etc) have all sinned against God.  Countries cannot be punished in the next life, therefore they must be punished presently.
    The thing with forbidding "vigilante actions" is that most of us live in states where "Caesar" takes everything, that which is due to him and which is not, and openly states that his authority does not come from God, and is even opposed to him.  Why would such authorities be legitimate?

    Offline forlorn

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 1486
    • Reputation: +593/-892
    • Gender: Male
    Re: Is Vengeance Actually Inherently Evil?
    « Reply #14 on: February 21, 2019, 09:12:01 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • The thing with forbidding "vigilante actions" is that most of us live in states where "Caesar" takes everything, that which is due to him and which is not, and openly states that his authority does not come from God, and is even opposed to him.  Why would such authorities be legitimate?
    The real Caesar did most of that. 

     

    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16