posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by manykapao
Well, most legal systems today can trace their roots back to Hammurabi's Law Code. He relied heavily on the principle of lex talionis
retaliatory punishments for crimes. The punishment fit the crime. This is where we get "eye for an eye". His and similar legal codes were developed
to cope with the stresses of running an empire comprised of dozens of different conquered cultures. Until these vast empires were forged, people
tended to live in small self-sufficient communities where everyone shared in the common goal of surviving.
The mixing of cultures brought an imminent need to get everyone to cooperate even though they all had very different outlooks on life.
Our present system of laws and punishments comes more from the Roman and Greek ways of doing things than Hammurabi. The concept of trial by a jury of
peers for example originated in Athens.
Speaking of Athens, I think the answer to your question of why we need punishment can be answered by looking at the execution of Socrates. Did you
know that more people voted to execute Socrates than voted him guilty of any crime? He was only judged guilty by a very small margin of votes, but
then many of the same people who declared him innocent of any crime voted that he should executed.
Even from the very beginning of the legal system, it's clear that punishment is somehow satisfying to the masses I think.