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Just and Unjust Poster
Transcript of Just and Unjust Poster
By: Ajay Kamalakannan
About 4,000 years ago, there was a king named Hammurabi who was known for creating a set of laws called the Hammurabi's Code. He created the Code for the city-state called Babylonia which is in Mesopotamia. He ruled for 42 years and his empire was called Babylon. He won many wars with his troops, and one of his countries he defeated in battle is Mesopotamia, so he took control of Mesopotamia as well. (Giokaris) Hammurabi's Empire was located in Babylon, along the Euphrates and Tigres RIvers, during 1792 B.C.E. to 1750 B.C.E. Soon Hammurabi would take control over 1,000,000 people. As Hammurabi conquered Larsa and Mari, he created laws which were known as the Hammurabi's Code. These set of laws were created for justice among all people. The laws punished all people violating it. I titled this Hammurabi's Code Project as Just or Unjust because it provided harsh laws for the people of Babylon. For example, in Law 195 of Hammurabi's Code, it said "If a son has struck his father, his hands shall be cut off." This law states that if a son of a father hits his father, then the son's hands will be cut off. At the same time, this law would be just because the son does deserve a punishment for hitting his father. If Hammurabi didn't have established the Hammurabi's Code, there would have been many bad things happening in Babylon. Also, the Hammurabi's Code provided fairness on the three levels which are fairness to the accused, fairness to the victim, fairness and security for society as a whole. Hammurabi based his Code on these three laws.
Reasons Why it Was Just
I think that Hammurabi's Code was Just because it created strict laws for the criminals and thefts at Babylon for them to follow. These laws taught discipline to the criminals and thefts in Babylon because they had imposed strict laws to the criminals. For example, in law 209, "If a man strikes the daughter of a free man and causes her to lose the fruit of her womb, he shall pay 10 shekels of silver...". This law shows that if a man hits a pregnant daughter of a man, and kills the baby, then he/she has to pay 10 shekels of silver. Ten shekels of silver costs a lot of money, so the criminals will know to not mess with a pregnant daughter of a man. Another reason is thatome laws of Hammurabi's Code require compensation which makes it fair for the victim and the accused because it compensates for what the victim needs. For example, there are laws where if a person opens up his/her irrigation trench, then that person had to regrow the crops to compensate for the victim's ruined crops. The crops compensates for the victim's ruined crops. Another point that Hammurabi's Code is just is that people will learn to respect others and always do what is right. In many of the laws, respecting elders is emphasized because it is important in the outside world. These laws also teach the people to do what is right because that is what people should learn to do especially if they could get in trouble for it.
Reasons Why it Was Unjust
I think that the laws of Hammurabi's Code were unjust because they were too harsh in that they brutally hurt people if the people did something wrong. For example, one of the laws said that if a surgeon couldn't save someone's life, then his/her hand were to be cut off. The surgeons do their very best to provide the treatment that the surgeon is supposed to give, but if the patient's body does not cope up with the medicine and the patient's body was already weak, then it is not the surgeon's fault if the patient dies. This states the fairness to the accused. Another point is that some laws give harsh penalties for small problems. For example, in one of the laws it said that if a person breaks into someones house to steal something, then that person is to be hanged in the hole he has broken through. Just because he broke into the house does not mean that he should die. These punishments should have a limit. This statement provides fairness to the victim. Another reason is the "accidentally did it" situation. For instance, as in Law 196, "If a man has knocked out the eye of a free man, his eye shall be knocked out." Well, what if someone accidentally elbowed someone else in the eye. Does that mean that he will get his eye knocked out? I don't think it's fair if the accused didn't mean to do it. All of these laws can be unjust and they affect society as a whole because it is the type of punishment that will treat the criminals and thefts to do things in the right way. This is why I think these laws of Hammurabi are unjust.