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- This topic has 23 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 6 months, 2 weeks ago by mdd1.
November 14, 2022 6:10 am at 6:10 am #2137766rightwriterParticipant
Why were civilizations of the past more barbaric and cruel as a whole than nowadays. What are some factors that softened the human heart and mind to be more conscious of others and of finding alternative ways of punishments for crimes?November 14, 2022 6:59 am at 6:59 am #2137897Yabia OmerParticipant
America is obsessed with solitary confinement and supermax prisons. Isn’t that barbaric? Isn’t watching 20 first graders being mowed down and ignoring the gun and mental health issues barbaric?November 14, 2022 9:43 am at 9:43 am #2137917philosopherParticipant
Chopping off healthy organs from teenagers is totally rishus, giving puberty blockers to children is rishus, parents and “educators” brainwashing kids that they are the opposite gender is rishus. That this all is legal and encouraged by government officials is disgusting. Humanity is disgusting.
Creating viruses (they are STILL doing that) that kill people is not rishus? Millions of people died because so many scientists are obsessed with creating viruses that kill people. Killing people and giving them chronic diseases by forcing them to get shots that were not proven to be safe or efffective to satisfy the barbaric elements of society is not rishus?
Often there’s no justice in the courts; some people with protektzia get away with crimes while others get disproportionately sentences for their crimes.
I don’t think civilization “softened”. Instead of fighting in wars they watch violent and cruel movies that fill their lust for killing. They play violent video games; not only teens, but adults and seniors too.
I don’t believe supermax prisons for murderers and prisoners who are murderers and disrupt other prisoners, and are dangerous to them, is barbaric. They got there because of their own actions. They are there for others’ safety. It’s when murderers are realeased early from prison and criminals don’t even land in prison, that’s when we see how how barbaric civilization is that they don’t care about justice for victims (and that’s when crime skyrockets). Not caring about innocent victims is barbarism.
We are lulling ourselves to complacency. This civilization has plenty of murderers and those ready to kill. Anti-Semitism is on the rise. It is a scary world and getting scarier. Hashem should continue watching over us but I think we should prepare ourselves like Yaacov Avinu did before meeting Eisav. We have not fully met the face of Eisav and I pray that we should never meet it. We should daven that we never experience the full barbarism that humanity is capable of.November 14, 2022 9:46 am at 9:46 am #2137933akupermaParticipant
A lot of the reasons the major countries became less barbaric, starting in the 19th and especially the 20th century had to do with Jewish influences (sometimes directly, or by way of goyim “appropriating” ideas from us), as well as the growth of mass media putting a spotlight on barbarity and making the barbarians look bad. There were always people who though that genocide was morally wrong and should be banned, or that drawing and quartering was savage – but it is only recently that these views can to predominate.
To Yabia Omer: You need to consider what was done to criminals until the invention of modern prisons in the early 19th century. If you think killing a bunch of children is barbaric, what do you think of American and British “ethnic cleansing” in the 17th to 19th century, where the murderers were hailed as national heroes. Baruch ha-Shem we live in a world in which criminals no longer plea bargain for a merciful death, and that genocide and torture result in one being labelled “Hostis humani generis” (“enemy of all mankind” – a legal term the until recently was only applied to some pirates and that only some of the time).November 14, 2022 9:46 am at 9:46 am #2137938
YO, why is punishing reshoim barbaric? They’re a menace to society. They’re people who have forfeited their right to live among decent people, showing no regard for human life. Let them rot; according to the 7 mitzvos, most people in high security nails are chayav misa – is that barbaric too?
Why should they care about the mental health of a murderer? He should have gotten help before going crazy.November 14, 2022 9:54 am at 9:54 am #2137940
Right, i think society is somewhat more cruel, because in being softer on criminals, they’re being cruel to victims, because there’s less of a deterrent. Kol hamerachem al ha’achzari…November 14, 2022 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #2137986moishekapoiehParticipant
less barbaric? are you kidding? you forgot the Holocaust??November 14, 2022 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm #2137992Yabia OmerParticipant
If they are Chayav Misa then give them Misa. I’m not against that. But solitary confinement for 25 years is cruel and unusual punishment. Your answers make me question if you guys are from Zera Yisroel. No rachmanus.November 14, 2022 1:17 pm at 1:17 pm #2138009rightwriterParticipant
I mean less barbaric as a whole. When you look at some of the punishments invented by Rome and others its spine chillingNovember 14, 2022 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #2138041Yserbius123Participant
From a Torah perspective, it’s the challenge of modern “civilization”. Three hundred years ago, and all the 5400 years preceding that, war was the glorious conquest of the barbaric enemy by our heroes who may heroically die in battle. People with different looks were inferior to us and they would probably serve best as eternal slaves. In that sort of atmosphere, Torah thrived. We were forced to fight for our survival day to day and every ounce of mitzvos was precious to us.
In modern times, civilization has long reached the point were we don’t have to worry about our children reaching adulthood, nor about droughts making food scarce, nor roving gangs grabbing our possessions and leaving us penniless. In that type of world, art and philosophy thrived since people were able to afford to sit and do something that’s not immediately productive to society. Philosophers realized that in modern times, wars are stupid an unnecessary and we’ve spent too much time and energy on murder and ignoring science. This is the Enlightenment and is the basis for our current secular society. This of course led to the Haskalah Yidden, nebbuch.
So now we are faced with a different challenge. Baruch Hashem there are very few countries were people are forced to celebrate a bris in a candlelit basement, or play dreidle to confuse the soldiers. But with all this food and luxury, time to listen to Hashem is no longer precious. It’s easy! And so we no longer value it like we once did.November 14, 2022 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #2138046yehudis21Participant
Avira: “why is punishing reshoim barbaric? They’re a menace to society. They’re people who have forfeited their right to live among decent people, showing no regard for human life. Let them rot”
Funny… I don’t see Avraham Avinu having that reaction about the people of Sedom when Hashem said He would destroy them.November 14, 2022 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #2138165
That was an entire city/state.
B’avod reshoim rina; Hashem doesn’t want to punish people, but it’s a kiddush Hashem and justice is necessary.
“Halitayhu lerasha v’yamus”
Do you have a way of reconciling these ideas, as I did, or do you prefer to prattle Bible stories which when cherry picked, suit whatever narrative you’ve picked up from social media?November 14, 2022 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #2138186
YO, there’s merit in that idea, because there’s a halacha of inui hadin, that we don’t push off a punishment, not even a little. Once someone is convicted, they’re killed or lashed immediately. So i hear you that prison is cruel, but it’s not barbaric. I don’t believe goyim are obligated in inui hadin, however, so the current system of appeals and death row isn’t the worst thing, because their system of evidence isn’t that great either, so innocent people will be sparedNovember 14, 2022 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #2138204
fascinating question, we need a barbarity index across civilization.
One example of civilization meeting across different levels – Aztecs, with their sacrifices, or Spaniards, who defeated Aztecs and who should know better …November 14, 2022 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #2138210
Avimelech was punished for boorish behavior (“who is this woman”) – because he did not take advantage of classes in derech eretz that Avraham was giving. Thus, culpability is according to knowledge that the person has, or has access to. Thus, who is more barbarian – a barbarian who is not aware that you can live peacefully with others, or a modern person who has access to Torah and all kind of other facts and books. Can we say that the latter can not find meaningful information in the sea of facebook so he is essentially at the same point as the original barbarian?November 15, 2022 9:34 am at 9:34 am #2138387yehudis21Participant
Avira: It’s pretty simple, really. Your definition of “reshoim”, as quoted in the verses you cherry picked (we do share the same Bible with the same stories, you know), doesn’t apply to most modern criminals. Your average inmate isn’t having a cold, calculated war against God. They mostly do have mental health issues, and have acted out in the past because those issues went unaddressed. They aren’t “reshoim” in the classical sense. They just need help.
As an aside – do you generally not think we are supposed to learn from Avraham Avinu in how he handled the issue of Sedom?November 15, 2022 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm #2138445
Please relax about Sedom. Avraham Avinu did not interfere. He prayed. And once he was told that there are no righteous people there, he stopped praying.
It was not up to him to judge or punish. He did his part, to seek kindness. Hashem did punish them, and we learn from that as well. In fact, Avraham went to watch the punishment, being such an important lesson.November 15, 2022 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #2138413
Yehudis, I have a hard time believing you’d look at things that way if you grew up in a high crime neighborhood, or if you saw how violent crime and its perpetrators are glorified in those high crime, racially specific cultures. Mental health is a factor, but as i wrote, a person has a responsibility to get help before going psycho and hurting others. Failure to do so, short of being a halachik shoteh, which almost none of them are, doesn’t cut it.
In halacha, if someone is a murderer, and not a halachik shoteh, beis din couldn’t care less about his depression, ADHD, abusive past, or anything else. Maybe beis din shel ma’aleh takes those things into consideration, but it’s not the job of beis din shel mateh.
Re, avrohom and sdom – we don’t, as far as i know, have a source for davening for a rasha not to get punished. Avrohom was davening for an entire city, and we find the same concept by ninveh and yonah.
For individuals, we have a gemara with rebbe Meir and bruriah arguing about whether or not we should proactively daven that they die, with the conclusion that we should daven that they (other jews who sin) should do teshuva. The rishonim say that this applies to reshoim and not apikorsim, as we daven for their immediate deaths in shemoneh esrei “vechol haminim keregeh tovaydu.”November 15, 2022 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2138433
The idea that since someone deserves punishment anything is justifies, it’s barbaric.
I think that one significant change happened in recent history which had a big impact. That is the atomic bomb. It is the first time that humans were awe struck at their own power of destruction. Up until then, they viewed the world as big enough to handle killing your enemies and gaining their territories. But now we suddenly felt responsible for human preservation.
The Romans would have the same reaction had they been facing the potential extinction of the human race.
Another thing is that only a society that feels safe can afford to entertain ideas of civil treatment of POWs. Even then, at the hint of a threat the whike facade is up in smoke.November 15, 2022 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #2138615
what about Beruriah suggesting to R Meir not to daven for criminals’ deaths?November 15, 2022 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #2138640
Aaq, see aboveNovember 16, 2022 1:20 am at 1:20 am #2138663
Ba’avod Reshaim Rina only applies to נתמלא סאתם, when they are full-fledged, through and through evil. Even then, if you have the choice you should obviously choose to daven that they repent.
Even someone deserving מיתה deserves compassion. ברור לו מיתה יפה. They do everything to minimize the suffering. They also fast. Torture is never an option.
The way prisoners are abused in this country is despicable. It is hard to rally for this cause, since people have this notion that once someone earned his way into jail he deserves absolutely anything that comes his way, and only hard bread every day.November 16, 2022 7:39 am at 7:39 am #2138668mdd1Participant
How about the mitsva of ‘lo sechaye kol neshama” regarding the 7 nations of Kena’an? Mitsva to execute those who are chayav misa? Kanolm pogim bo? Etc. AAQ and others, what do you say?November 16, 2022 7:39 am at 7:39 am #2138669mdd1Participant
Philosopher, vaccines have been saving lives! Stop with propaganda initiated by the barbarians.
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