Hammurabi’s Code


Hammurabi’s Code was a set of laws that ruled the people of Mesopotamia in 1750 B.C. Although that was a long time ago, this code is famous and often applicable even today. The Code’s basic principle was “an eye for an eye”. This ensured that a person caught committing a crime will never want to repeat it again. Some people may argue the effectiveness of this approach and some of the punishments allowed by the Code, but the Babylonian society of that time saw it as the most efficient way to deal with the problem of crime without being overtly cruel.

The Code is indeed harsh when one looks at it from the point of view of a person raised in contemporary society. If an accident were to happen today, there is so much blame to pass around that it is almost impossible to have just a single person punished for it. Ancient Babylon was a much simpler place. If a carpenter did a poor job of constructing a roof in Babylon and this resulted in it falling down and killing the owners of the house, he would be charged with murder. With the “eye for an eye” policy, the carpenter in question will be put to death. This will ensure that his colleagues heard and even witnessed the sorry fate of what happens to a poorly skilled man. They will see what exactly they will face, should their work standards fall. As a result, the society gains some very motivated carpenters who are willing to go over their work numerous times to make sure it is perfect.

Crimes against children were also punishable by death. The ancient Babylonians did this so that youngsters can play outside without a care in the world. Their streets were safe for children, and this is exactly how it should be like. The number of kidnappings that occur today would not have reached their extent in Ancient Babylon.

Some people say this code is too cruel, but hardly anyone can argue its efficiency. With the human rights movement on the rise today, it will definitely be impossible to introduce some chapters of Hammurabi’s Code into contemporary law. Therefore, one can only wonder what kind of changes this could have brought.

The Code of Hammurabi is too harsh for many people today to even contemplate using it on a nationwide scale. Some of its points are clearly inapplicable, as one cannot simply subject a team of builders, engineers, and material manufacturers who may be indirectly responsible for an accident occurring in a newly built house to death. However, some of the Code’s charters should definitely be revisited and considered for future use.

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