TAKING BACK AMERICA!

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    The Code of Hammurabi


    The Code of Hammurabi, circa 1700 BC from ancient Mesopotamia, is one of the earliest set of law documents found. There are just two problems with this set of laws that I would have removed - the section pertaining to slaves (everyone should be free), and the section that changes the penalties depending on what class (there were three) you were in (the law should apply equally to all). Otherwise, they would make great laws for the good of the good people.
    It shows rules and punishments if those rules are broken. It focuses on theft, farming (or shepherding), property damage, women's rights, marriage rights, children's rights, slave rights, murder, death, and injury. The laws do not accept excuses or explanations for mistakes or fault: the Code was openly displayed for all to see, so no man could plead ignorance of the law as an excuse. So for example, a person that blows up other people wouldn't be able to give some reason why he did that action - it would be illegal. Some examples with the law number given:
    #3 - If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.
    Responsibility for ones' own words - Hmmm - watch out Dan Rather. Wonder how the crew at Newsweek would fare.
    #14 - If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.
    Anti-pervert responsibilities - guess they had to keep child kidnappers and molesters at bay back then too.
    #22 - If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death.
    Respect for the property of others - I bet people didn't have to have to bolt their doors back then.
    #109 - If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.
    Personal responsibility - guilt by association - I like that!
    #229 - If a builder build a house for some one, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.
    Professional responsibility - bet there weren't many rip-off contractors back then!

    If you really claim to care about your people, you make laws and enforce those laws for the good of the good people. Our country use to have some tough laws - until liberals weaseled into the justice system, heaving their compassion upon the criminal element while neglecting current and future victims that do obey the laws. Somehow I'm willing to wager that the concept of liberals didn't flourish around Hammurabi or his people! Ahhh, the good 'ole days.

    5 comments:

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    the Code was openly displayed for all to see, so no man could plead ignorance of the law as an excuse.

    Most people were illiterate. Reading/Writing was only taught to the upper strata.

    However, that's not the main critique. The problem is almost never with the rules as written; it's in their implementation. They generally are enforced to their fullest extent versus the peasants of any society and to a very limited extent for the uppermost classes.

    Poor people who commit crimes are arrested far more often than rich and powerful people who commit crimes. In other words, even in the days of the Code of Hammurabi, you had to be brought BEFORE the tribunal for such sentences to be carried out. If the authorities choose not to arrest you in the first place, you can get away with murder.

    : JustaDog said...

    All the more reason we allow the voucher programs to continue - then those not as fortunate can attend better private or charter schools!

    Pundit said...

    law #3 that you mention right at the top of the list would pose grave problems for many in this administration. This is especially true with respect to Saddam's "weapons of mass disappearance" as well as his alleged connections to al-Qaeda, which I have discounted at length in my site based on the results of our own governments repeated and extensive investigations.

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    All the more reason we allow the voucher programs to continue - then those not as fortunate can attend better private or charter schools!

    Following your OWN rules, the above comment should be deleted -- It's OFF topic!

    : JustaDog said...

    Not really, since the code was expected to be read and understood. Obviously a persons ability to read is required - an educational item. Since my post suggests we go back to following the law it stands to reason those that are expected to be aware of the law (in order to follow it) must be educated enough to read/understand the law - at least the basics.