The Pros and Cons of Revenge Essay

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What is revenge? Revenge is defined as the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands (Oxford definition). It can also be described as the act of a person inflicting wrong on something that previously inflicted wrong to it, with the purpose of trying to restore justice. Revenge has been a part of humans for as long as they have existed. In fact, even before the emergence of humans, primates showed to have intragroup relationship conflicts. Primatologists (from Primatology, the study of primates) Frans de Waal and Lesleigh Luttrel conducted a study in which they would test for revenge in three species of primates. One of the species (chimpanzees) demonstrated a noticeable …show more content…
Thus, by punishing the offender (usually with the intention of rehabilitation) the criminal pays its debt to society. However, some people are against the act of revenge, having the mentality that “by trying to hurt another, you only hurt yourself” Thane Rosenbaum (2013), author of Payback: A Case for Revenge asks: “What, if anything, distinguishes punishment at the hands of the government from a victim’s individual desire for retribution?” (p.?) He argues that revenge is not a problem, but a healthy emotion that law systems express inadequately. (Rosenbaum 2013) Revenge, although characteristic of emotional response, cannot be (or at least, has not been) explained using psychological analysis, but rather theorized upon. One can argue that revenge is merely an instinct that was preassigned to us with basic evolution; a product of natural selection. The mechanism in which revenge works is worth discussing since it revolves around social psychological themes. Since revenge intended to be a form of restoring justice, the threat of retaliation can deviate one from committing a wrongful act. A person will most likely be less inclined to inflict wrong if it is conscious of the possibility of getting wronged in return. In other words, one might not be so inclined to shoot someone if one knows that the person can return fire. Therefore, revenge can serve as a protective, human internal social code that

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