The Grae Area is a series that tackles Morality (what’s right and wrong) and everything in between. I’m happy to present a pilot post with a little personal experience and a lot of lessons on how to keep things simple.

Like Pseudoscience and Overthinking Series, Grae Area Series posts will be long wall of texts that make you ponder upon and reconsider the things you think you already know.

This is going to be downright honest so expect swear words when I deem them necessary.

Something eventful happened today. I never expected that the saying “Karma is digital” is true, and I definitely didn’t expect that I’d get pleasure in someone’s misfortune. Schadenfreude is real, and I swear this is just one of those very rare moments.

I’m not going to delve into details because that person wasn’t really important, and there’s a reason why I closed off my entire life to such people. But perhaps I’ll talk about the incident by principle and learning, which is why this series was born in the first place.

Vengeance

So before something can be labeled as vengeance or revenge, there has to be a prior action. Vengeance or revenge is a willful negative action as perceived penance to a previous wrong-doing. Which means that, as far as being bad is concerned, revenge doesn’t happen unless somebody provokes it.

But does it change the fact that revenge is another wrong in itself? That’s usually where the moral debate starts and never really ends.

Vengeance comes in a lot of forms and has been a topic in a lot of literature and art pieces. A TV series called Revenge was even born out of said controversial topic.

So, for example someone steals your cellphone. You chase him down 3 blocks and eventually catch up to him. You want to beat him up but it’s wrong and possibly illegal.

However, I want to point out a few things and highlight the last:

  1. Took a possession of YOURS(that wasn’t his).
  2. Made you run down 3 blocks (you are tired).
  3. He could’ve gotten away with it if you didn’t decide to chase him down.
  4. If he hadn’t taken the possession in the first place, you wouldn’t have to beat him up. No incident would have occurred and you wouldn’t have had to do anything “bad”.

The in the first place statement that points out why beating up a snatcher is justified usually evades the minds of moralists and Christians. There are plenty of quotes that go to the effect of: “two wrongs don’t make a right” or “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind” – Ghandi.

But I like this one better: “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged” ― Heinrich Heine.

I’m not gonna go and condemn all wrongdoers because I’m no saint. However, there are things that people willfully do that should get them in trouble for it.

Did you know that when you catch a snatcher or pickpocket (in Cebu anyway) they only get detained for a maximum of 24 hours (they get released 12 noon the next day) unless you file charges. That means that you have to pay for a lawyer and go through all the hassle of filing and reliving the experience.

I often think that we have more rewards for criminals than actual consequences.

Catholic churches are basically “you’ve done something wrong? Oops! Come to God, he’ll forgive you.” But what about the punishment to the crime? If a person poisoned thousands and just goes to confess, say a couple of Hail Mary’s, Our Father’s? What about the people killed? What about the orphaned children? If some of the orphaned children or spouses of those killed exist and want vengeance, would you blame them?

I’m actually more amazed that I even have to make a discussion about this. I initially thought this was common sense, but hearing Human Right Commissioner chastising the Davao Mayor (Duterte) for having a strict policy against crime made me realize that the world’s (or the Philippine’s anyway) standards are more skewed than I initially thought.

People don’t really get the need for revenge until it happens to them. People are like “don’t do that please, be the better person.”

That better person has had to deal with a lot of demons caused by the crime/action, and has possibly lost a lot because of that.

Where the fuck is your sympathy?

I hope to whatever God you’re praying to that it doesn’t happen to you, that nothing really bad would happen that makes your heart hard and bent for revenge; because some people had to bear psychological, mental and emotional burdens because of certain crimes and negative actions.

If there’s one thing I learned in life, it’s this.

While people think they can get away with something, they would. If there’s no CCTV or Police, people are most likely going to steal. If your house doesn’t have a high fence with barbed wires, people will most likely burgle.

Statistically-speaking, you are most likely going to get raped by someone you know, regardless of where you are or what you’re wearing. That’s at any age. The youngest recorded are babies less than a year old who die after being raped by an uncle or relative. If nobody chops off a rapist’s dick or arrests said rapist, he’s going to rape another infant or worse.

As long as the possibility of “getting away” with a crime is imminent, people will abuse and take advantage. Flawed justice systems, favoritism in police forces and other corruption-induced practices are evidence of this.

Someone rapes, chop his D off. Someone steals, chop his fingers off. Someone kills, kill him. Should be simple enough right?

People have to be held accountable for their actions unless circumstance gives them no choice but to commit a crime.

This concludes Part 1 of The Grae Area between Vengeance and Forgiveness.

What do you think about revenge? Is it a crime? Is it justified? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you think this talk was too one-sided, it’s meant to be. I’m going to add more parts to this discussion but I still like to know what you think.

 

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