(31) The equal measure of violence Talionic
law meted out--an eye for an eye--meant that 'Pain, like money, was a payment', and revenge, Woodbridge argues, functions within a 'culture of credit', so that the suffering of violence becomes a debt, to be repaid with interest.
Christophe Nihan examines different versions of the talionic
law not "as fundamental principle of the law in ancient Israel" (p.
My claim is not that a growing, advancing society will have no need to develop much more elaborate rules of law than the simple talionic
principle, but that the lex talionis represents a foundation or a floor, without which everything else will be highly unstable.
Miller argues that under the talionic
logic of revenge, taking payment in cruor is not a substitution of blood for money (25).
ranges, varying from the talionic
(99) to the very moderate penalty
law sought to moderate punishment, not encourage retribution.
Figured as wildly unpredictable yet instinctually governed, as if but a bit of mechanical nature; perverse and untamable yet to a degree politically domesticable; vengeful and cruel yet possessed of a sense of natural justice; pliable and exploitable yet prone to talionic
vengeance; nomadic yet enraged by the dispossession of their traditional homelands; anarchic yet politically inscrutable; (58) a prehistorical relic impeding the progressive march of history yet a doomed race naturally fated to extinction; wolves in sheep's clothing, the fantasy of the indigenous beast was made to bear the burden of colonial/American abjection, to encapsulate all that would need to be eradicated or repressed in the colonial and later American pursuit of autonomization from nature and thereby of purity.
Because human beings should enforce justice as instruments of God's justice, how should a Noahic political-legal theory understand the nature of justice in light of the talionic
principle in Genesis 9:6?
Furthermore, given the nature of international crimes such as war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, Robert Sloan indicates that proportionality based on the lex talionis principle "would apparently require punishments that contemporary human rights law prohibits." (40) He consequently indicates that since no punishment from a crude talionic
perspective can fit serious human rights atrocities, justice only demands that more serious crimes should receive stronger disapproval then the less serious ones.
By contrast, TFT is evidence of the lowest (preconventional) stages of moral development, where what is right is expressed in talionic
terms (rewards and punishments).
(59) This canonical context carries two implications relevant for our purposes: first, Jesus' rejection of the lex talionis refers to the legal practice of the covenant community (i.e., not interpersonal relations); and, second, that context links the talionic
formula directly to sanction of capital punishment (as we observed above).
Sharia law may fully acknowledge the talionic
principle, but Islamic clergymen play an important role in persuading victims to be moderate in requesting blood money or to engage in other acts of mercy or reconciliation.