People believe revenge or "violence" to be illogical, impractical and immoral; illogical because the "violence" is executed in impulsive rage, impractical because the wheel of "violence" spins without end and immoral because the "violence" humiliates the opponent rather than win his or her understanding

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind" and "two wrongs don't make a right" they say to reject revenge as a response to another's transgression

An injured person would injure their opponent to compensate for damages. And the opponent would take their turn to injure them back. It’s a "vicious" cycle, or is it?

Could revenge, the product of anger and hatred, be logical and moral?

  • 4
    Does this answer your question? What are the ethical ramifications of Revenge?
    – tkruse
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 19:19
  • 2
    Like most question on morality, the answer depends on the moral framework.
    – tkruse
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 19:21
  • 3
    Revenge is for emotional satisfaction. It's not appropriate to apply logic and morality to a purely emotional need.
    – user64314
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 19:39
  • 3
    It is not "logical" to seek anything, logic derives conclusions from premises, what is to be sought has to be provided in the premises separately. That is the task of ethics and there are many moral systems with widely ranging ideas about "moral". Including those that embrace revenge, like the Old Testament that you are quoting. Without specifying which moral system you want applied this question is just an opinion generator.
    – Conifold
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 0:51
  • 1
    Note that revenge used to be the fuel of many a tragedy in literature. There is no shortage of stories showing that revenge used to be considered not only as morally acceptable, but a moral duty (Romeo & Juliet, Corneille's The Cid, the myth of Electra...). It looks like the utilitarian reprobation for revenge ("an eye for an eye leaves every one blind") is a recent development.
    – armand
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 9:22

15 Answers 15


You use the word 'logical' in the sense of rational. Thus, you are looking for rationales for the use of revenge. Philosophical analysis by Hobbes who characterized this world as violent in his Leviathan said famously:

No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short".

Violence today is often conceived of in terms of game theory, and this is because violence more often than not has a good rationale, independent of its morality. For instance, to kill witnesses to a crime prevents testimony at a later date. Another example of strategy of violence is to kill officers in the opposing military force to degrade command and control capabilities. Is revenge rational? I think in many cases, yes. But first, examine two notions of violence that are related to revenge are:

  • The Hobbesian trap - a theory that explains why preemptive strikes occur between two groups, out of bilateral fear of an imminent attack.
  • Mutual assured destruction - a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy which posits that a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by an attacker on a nuclear-armed defender with second-strike capabilities would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender.

In both scenarios, there is thought about how to deter violence. The first is to attack preemptively rendering a threat incapable of doing violence back. Genocide is often conducted in such a fashion, but the roots of the Hobbesian trap go back to hunter-gatherer groups who vied for resources in the environment. MAD is an example of a military doctrine based on revenge of a sort. "If you attack us, we will escalate and assure everyone and everyting is destroyed." Thus, there is a balance in logic between using violence preemptively to incapacitate an opponent and having to worry about revenge leading to obliteration. In military doctrine, this is called deterrence theory. While deterrence theory is military doctrine, it also applies to small-scale human interactions, where displaying signs of willingness to seek revenge is to deter aggression, a function that far predates humans with animals developing signals in their appearance, such as bright colors, to warn other species of deadly consequences. In this regard, the human impulse to revenge is very much inline with chimpanzee politics and the use of violence to secure benefits in bands of chimps.

So, is revenge logical? I suspect most political and military theorists would say yes, even if it generally viewed as unethical, particularly in political systems where the state claims a monopoly on violence. Of course, if it is moral depends on your meta-ethical theory, of which I would suggest that most reasonable humans rely on consequences partially to make a determination. Certainly, the law recognizes legal and moral uses of violence as outlined in the Castle Doctrine.

  • 4
    Yes well framed. I feel I didn't cover the 'logical' angle explicitly enough, but you've covered. Worth adding Machiavelli's: "Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot." Mutually Assured Destruction, & Cixin Liu's Dark Forest Deterrence also count.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 0:57
  • @CriglCragl Outstanding!
    – J D
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 7:33
  • The concepts of 'ultimatum' and 'credible threat' are relevant here. The fear of revenge is a deterrent but only if you believe it will be carried out. I wonder if biological or social evolution has led people to implicitly want to seek revenge even when it is not in their best interests.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 20:03
  • @JimmyJames Thanks for the link. The way I see it, "best of friends, worst of enemies" is to variously degrees part of everyone's cognitive strategy, and that the primary function of religion is to either encourage it (Old Testament "eye-for-eye" thinking) or to discourage it (New Testament "forgiveness" thinking). Successful alpha males in chimp bands behave in the former in interband conflicts and the latter in intraband conflicts, so in-group-out-group thinking is part of the evolutionary eusocial dynamic. I'd say that it's certainly biologically based and history is one long litany of such
    – J D
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 20:54

The possibility of revenge prevents attacks against you because they are risky. Always going for revenge makes life more dangerous for you because an attacker knows they must make it impossible for you to take revenge.

The best strategy is to take revenge randomly, with a certain optimal probability.

About “Revenge is a dish best served cold”: of course no a 100% rule. Where it helps: 1. It prevents thoughtless revenge, or worse “revenge” against something you just imagined. 2. It prevents you from taking revenge in an unplanned stupid way that will cost you. 3. If the revenge is an illegal action, you will be less suspect.

  • This is what I was thinking -- revenge theoretically should be a deterrant. And we have to (at least occasionally) take revenge when wronged or everyone will know that it's a hollow threat.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 13:53
  • 1
    "Revenge is a dish best served cold". There are (potentially) logical reasons for always going for revenge (e.g. reputation), just not necessarily right away.
    – JamieB
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 17:37
  • 2
    "The best strategy is to take revenge randomly, with a certain optimal probability." - what is the justification for this? There are other strategies besides "always do it", "never do it" and "do it randomly with probability p". For example, you could take revenge against people who do X to you but not against people who do Y.
    – kaya3
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 1:21
  • 2
    @kaya3 if X and Y are unpredictable this is like a probability; if they are not unpredictable gnasher729's argument still applies Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 6:22

In the book Systems of Survival Jane Jacobs puts forward the thesis that humans have two fundamental systems of ethics. She calls them syndromes. Wiki Link

The first, and probably the older, she calls the guardian syndrome. The second she calls the commercial syndrome.

The basic idea is that these correspond to two fundamental ways humans have of getting a living. The guardian syndrome corresponds to getting hold of a territory and extracting a living from it. The commercial syndrome involves making things (goods) or providing services, and trading those goods or services with others.

The book continues by showing that if you follow one syndrome consistently, your society will be stable. This is the "survival" part of the title. If you are not consistent, mixing across the syndromes for example, or not following all of it, then problems arise quite rapidly. She has several examples in which the problems are so severe as to threaten the survival of the culture.

A guardian culture and a commercial culture can coexist in a single territory by carefully dividing how things are allocated. The guardians are the government, police, border guards, operators of the criminal justice system. The commercial culture runs the making and trading activities, the schools, the factories, the supermarkets, and so on. If an action requires physical violence then it's guardian (presuming it occurs). If an action is incompatible with physical violence then it's commercial (again, presuming it happens). The guardians make and enforce the law. The commercial folk make and do the stuff we usually call the economy.

The guardian syndrome includes revenge. The commercial syndrome does not.

It is therefore part of her thesis that, in order to have police, courts, border guards, a military, and so on, we must have revenge. It must be part of the system. If you do not include revenge then, and quite quickly, the guardian component of your culture will be corrupted.

There is much more to it. For example, the guardians are also supposed to treasure honor, and dispense largesse. Vengeance is supposed to fit into the rest of the syndrome. (See the Wiki link for a more complete listing of the syndrome.) Vengeance is not simply hatred and anger. It must be done in a way that is honorable. And it must be carried out by a guardian acting according to the law.


" "He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.

"He abused me, he struck me, he overpowered me, he robbed me." Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal law.

There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels"

-from The Dhammapada, sayings of the Buddha

The 'treadmill' of revenge, leads to the propagation of bad acts, in ways that potentially won't cease.

The oldest and most widely shared moral principle, The Golden Rule, points us towards the importance of intersubjectivity - treat others as you would wish to be treated. See this answer: Is the Categorical Imperative Simply Bad Math? :) But if you would seek vengeance, might you not expect it, demand it from others, in order to respect them?

Jonathan Haidt identifies broad differences in ethics between herding pastoralists, and agrarians who must sow and harvest together. Feuding and vengeance culture, seems to go with groups that herd animals. A single animal rustler, could potential steal generations of wealth from a family, in a way that would be much more difficult with a grain store usually shared by a community and easily held permanently in a fortified area. So a threat posture, of unlimited vengeance, can be understood as more necessary for herders. For the hiltribes in Afghanistan, the 'hot trods' of the Scottish Borders, the blood feuds of the Viking Njals Saga, and culture of Genghis Khan's Buddhist Mongolian army, all seem to illustrate this. It is notable that Europe is an especially disunited landmass, with a fine-grained mix of pastoral and agrarian communities. The positive side of pastoral feuding could be self-reliance and more individualism, which agrarian ethics may suppress for collective benefits, so perhaps a balance is helpful (see the Needham Question on why the Modern Age didn't start in China, despite it's key inventions arising there, gunpowder paper magnetic-compasses and canals).

In this answer I touch on some positive roles for vengeance: What are the arguments for revenge and retribution? And you can make a game theory argument that threat of destruction if the Social Contract is violated is key to preventing free-rider problems and tyranny: Is the tyrannicide perpetrated by William Tell morally legitimate?

It is interesting the a certain proportion of psychopaths are found among all societies, and this links to the fact that evolutionarily intersubjectivity is not enough alone to explain human morality. Game Theory is always a factor, there must be disincentives for the most heartless from using any means to seize power. We might note in modern times, that Putin and Russia must face lasting and serious consequences, for violating 'do as you would be done by'.

  • The Dhammapada quotes don't seem to be related at all with the rest of your answer.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 16:43
  • @RonJohn: “Man hands on misery to man”. It was intended to be a presentation of the core argument by which people condemn revenge, an alternative to "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind". A contrastive.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 19:21
  • "Man hands on misery to man” is nowhere in your answer.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 20:55
  • @RonJohn: Indeed. It was another example if a parallel sentiment.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 23:08

"Seeking revenge" is alogical, not illogical.

You can easily construct a logical reason to seek revenge. Roughly:

I want to destroy this society; seeking revenge sparks an escalating cycle of violence that destroys societies; I don't care about the costs to me; therefor I will seek revenge.


Honor demands I seek revenge; seeking revenge sparks an escalating cycle of violence that destroys societies; my sense of honor is worth more to me than the sum total of everything else combined; therefor I will seek revenge.

(Both examples are obviously cartoons, not serious attempts to justify anything)

You can also use different priors and come to an opposite conclusion, or bad reasoning from any set of priors to come to an illogical conclusion.

The reasoning chain behind selecting a course of action is logical or illogical. The course of action in isolation is no more logical or illogical than a rock or a cloud.


Revenge is logical as a way to prevent the other from doing more harm. Somebody killed someone you love? You kill him in revenge so he won't kill more people you love. Perfectly logical. It isn't always to compensate for the thing that is done, but to prevent more wrong-doings in the future.

  • 1
    Welcome to SE. Revenge can certainly spring from mixed motives. A balanced idea of compensation (as in and eye for an eye) or an intention to prevent more offences in the future would be rational if either outcome is likely to be achieved. But I don't see that an eye for an eye is any compensation, except symbolically, and punishment is notoriously ineffective as a deterrent. Both motivations will be ineffective unless the offender accepts the punishment as justified, which is often not the case.
    – Ludwig V
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 9:04
  • The offender doesn't need to accept it as justified. They could also accept it as something they have no ability to survive further revenge.
    – majinnaibu
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 19:50

In the iterated prisoner's dilemma there's a famous algorithm called Tit-for-tat (which curiously has the same meaning of the proverbial "an eye for an eye" you quoted), written in FORTRAN by Anatol Rapoport. The algorithm simply repeats the other player's move, and cooperates if it is the first to play.

In short, what the algorithm does is this:

  1. Always start cooperating;
  2. If the other player betrays, betray him (id est, retaliate) immediately;
  3. If the other player cooperates, resume cooperating.

We can consider 2 as revenge. More importantly, after forty years Tit-for-tat is still the best algorithm for this class of game in game theory, so we can assume that there is a sound logic supporting revenge (in some specific cases).

In other words, revenge is highly logical.

  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 8:23
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    Tit-for-tat is best only under very constrained circumstances, and gets beaten by tit-for-tat with forgiveness under most others.
    – fectin
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 13:46
  • @fectin hi, can you share some links? This is a genuine question, not a provocation. When I studied game theory (a long ago) I remember that Axelrod made other rounds of the competition, with different settings, and Tit-for-that always won or was in a draw at the top position. Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 3:41
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    @GerardoFurtado sure: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat and scroll down to the "problems" section. It has a quick explanation of when TfT works and doesn't, some derivative strategies, and a few links.
    – fectin
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 12:03
  • Does that mean tit-for-tat is still the best choice at some point? I don't know enough about game theory, but I think tit-for-tat with forgiveness would beat pure forgiveness or altruism.
    – majinnaibu
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 19:56

People believe revenge or "violence" to be illogical, impractical and immoral

Yes, you find people who subscribe to any and all beliefs one could imagine. You would have to define what you mean by "people". Do you mean the overwhelming majority? Everyone? A few?

There most certainly are or have been many, many people who believe the exact opposite: that revenge and especially violent revenge is very logical, practical and not only moral but a sine-qua-non.

Could revenge, the product of anger and hatred, be logical and moral?

Absolutely, yes. First of all, revenge is not necessary related to emotions like anger and hatred. Revenge is best served cold, and can be a strategy driven purely by non-emotional arguing, often formalized in a revenge-based Honor System which can absolutely be driven by some kind of internal logic.

For example, let's assume that I am a villager in a small Sicilian village, far off any larger city, sometime in the early 20th century. I am part of a normal-sized (i.e., sizeable) family, and am regularly communing with other similar families. Now let some member of a different family harm me or someone close to me in some manner; let's say they call my sister a bad name in a village fair, implying she had premarital intercourse.

This may or may not drive my emotions, but most importantly, it can lessen the chance of her ever finding a caring husband. In the early 20th century this could easily have destroyed the life of my sister and make the rest of her life miserable indeed. Further, assume that I am not present during the event, so cannot directly interact with the perpetrator. I am now, by the honor system of that time, forced to enact revenge.

By revenging my sister, I can restore her honor in the eyes of other people, or at the very least make sure that the other families know that if they hurt my family, their family will be hurt right back. This will make it, even if I cannot clear my sister's name, make it less likely that something similar happens against me or my family in the future. In a society like this, it is my moral obligation to act, lest my family is wiped out sooner or later. How exactly I do that does not matter - I could go and spread lies about one of their females, or I could use violence; in any case it must be quite known that it was me (or someone from my family) doing this for the slight enacted upon my sister, to be functional.

Contrary, if I do not revenge her, me or my family will become a welcome target for not so enlightened other families. We might develop a reputation of being an easy target. Maybe next time they will not just call us names, but instead steal our cattle, or rob our jewelry.

All of this can be formulated in proper, formal logic. No matter whether you think it's good or evil, practical or moral, it is absolutely logic in the sense that every step along the bloody way can be perfectly explained; and any member of that society would be able to predict what would happen if they act against the other family and get caught. Little of this is random or unforeseeable, or purely driven by blind emotion.

Obviously many people believe that other systems are better (for example, replacing individual revenge by formalized punishment, put firmly in the hands of the authorities), but this does not change the fact that societies like the one described above exist or did exist, and that the act of revenge was or is perfectly logical within them.

Some further readings:


It isn't logical to seek revenge. It doesn't do any good. I can't believe that we have a specific instinct in regard to moral behaviour, which is not instinctive.

The best explanation I can think of for it is that it is a kind of displacement behaviour. The desire to prevent the wrong is frustrated and the behaviour that would have been directed to that reasonable goal is prevented. The resulting emotional turmoil results in an irrational display of what one would have liked to do but cannot.

That may perhaps bring some sort of psychological release from the emotional turmoil. It would be rational if the displacement behaviour did not itself provoke further problems.

It's worth rmembering that "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is not the principle of revenge. It is an early attempt to limit it. Revenge usually goes much, much further than that.

  • 2
    "It doesn't do any good." Of course it does good: the perpetrator of a wrong has suffered the same or worse as the victim had. The perp and those who saw the revenge will now think twice before attempting that type of behavior again. Thus, it deters future bad behavior.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 16:48
  • We may be using the words in slightly different ways. When I wrote the answer, I used to revenge to identify violence against the offender not motivated by any of the other justifications, one of which is deterrence. However, it is true that violence against an offender that is not motivated by any justification, but, say, anger, or fear, may incidentally deter some people.
    – Ludwig V
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 17:40
  • But if those other people do not think the violence was justified, they will respond to the "revenge" as if it were just violence, and respond. There's not much point in that. In fact it could easily result in vendettas or gang wars, so it would actually make the situation worse.
    – Ludwig V
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 17:40
  • Have you considered any of the evidence that punishment does actually reduce crime. There's a great deal to think about, though I hope you will want to consider it before believing me when I say that jail doesn't work (nor does the death penalty). You might like to start with link which an article in "Psychology Today".
    – Ludwig V
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 17:48
  • What does deter crime is getting caught. It's obvious, really. Most criminals are perfectly capable of working out the cost/benefit analysis of a crime and if they think they can get away with it, then there's no cost to the crime. The actual punishment is a minor consideration. That's why the death penalty doesn't work.
    – Ludwig V
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 17:53

Logic simply does not deal with things like revenge, love and hope. Those are emotions. Psychology, ethics and morals deal with those topics, not logic. It makes sense to ask if it is moral / ethical to seek revenge (I know nothing about those 2 areas of philosophy), but not if it is logical.

Therefore the answer to your question is no.

  • 1
    Revenge is not an emotion; it is a kind of action, one which is often motivated by emotion but need not be.
    – kaya3
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 1:23
  • If logic is primarily concerned with consequence or entailment, and love and hope have consequences or entail other things, how is it that logic does not deal with love and hope?
    – J D
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 5:31

My two cents.

We can start with two premises:

  1. It is perfectly rational for someone to seek restoration for some harm done.
  2. It is also perfectly rational for someone to act towards preventing harm or further harm.

Revenge in the sene of retribution or "eye for an eye" is a tactic that aims to inflict harm of comparable value to the harm done.

There are some cases where revenge takes the form of restoration (eg take back what is stolen) and other times acts as prevention (eg see what can happen if further harm is done).

Of course there are a plethora of cases where revenge is blind and leads neither to restoration nor prevention (eg a vendetta which instead of stopping harm leads to a vicious cycle of harms). In these cases the tactic of revenge has lost any link to the rational premises mentioned above.

My opinion is that the tactic of revenge may have started historically as a rational response to harm - especially in times when elaborated justice systems were non-existent - but has, since then, evolved mostly into an emotional response which neither helps restore harm nor prevent it.

  • 1
    +1 Nice distinctions.
    – J D
    Commented Mar 27, 2023 at 15:51

Most of the arguments against seem to assume that the initial harm stops and won't be repeated or continued by the other party. What if getting away with the initial harm causes them to commit more harm. In this situation I propose it is both logical and moral. If the incident is minor and the actual first incident, then respond in kind to show them you will resist. If the incident is repeated or not minor then respond with overwhelming force. Either way follow up with an offer to negotiate. If you can talk your way out without risking further harm from the other party or third parties, then you should probably try that first.

Logical: This one is easy. Somebody hits you so you hit them back harder and they don't hit you again.

Moral: An overwhelming show of force can cause cause less overall harm (death/destruction/pain/lost GDP) than a long slow battle. Pearl Harbor -> Hiroshima -> Saved way more Japanese and US lives than the bombs took because the US didn't have to slowly take the country in a land war.


It is a basic human impulse. In my opinion, it is a survival trait (left over as a maladaptive trait today) from the time when humans first began clumping into tribes for protection. In that sense it might not have been illogical 100,000 years ago even though it might well be completely so today.

And yes, it is the cause of endless tit-for-tat warfare- which cycle can only be broken if you can find some other way of stopping someone from hurting you further besides hitting back.

I have no workable idea about how to accomplish that.

  • 1
    Delegate the hitting back to an authorized and acknowledged agent, such as the government, seems to do a reasonably fair job as a working system as long as the government is effectively doing its part.
    – jmoreno
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 2:24
  • @Jmoreno except that "the government" rarely "hits back" at bullies.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 16:50

I remember this passage came up on the SEP's page for retributive justice

Perhaps retributive justice is the sublimated, generalized version of the thirst for revenge. The two are nonetheless different. As George Fletcher wrote (2000: 417), retributivism “is not to be identified with vengeance or revenge, any more than love is to be identified with lust”.


I find that idea somewhat unsettling (it may be linked to other questions like who can punish) the idea of a perfection of revenge in 'punishment'.

For man to be redeemed from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms.

Naively, I often wonder which is worse, someone that doesn't have the wit etc. necessary to sublimate their need for revenge into a very sophisticated moral system of responsibility and punishment, versus a social sanctioned 'justice' that leaves no room for human flourishing. In reality, I suppose that the two go hand-in-hand, and we all aspire for clearer thoughts about who has harmed us rather than our freedom from them.


I've thought of this question plenty of times while studying law and retributive justice.

Answer: It is not logical to seek revenge because no rational trier of fact can know without the possibility of error whether or not any information encountered by such rational trier of fact is representative of actual evidence (such as to some standard of proof) of a person having committed a wrong in order for such rational trier of fact to take such information into consideration as representative of actual evidence of whether or not a defendant is guilty of having committed a wrong in order for such rational trier of fact to determine whether or not such defendant is guilty of having committed a wrong based on any such information in order for such rational trier of fact to take revenge against such defendant for having committed such presumed wrong.

Critical thinking question: How do you know it was that person who wronged you?

The invasion of Iraq after events of 9/11 in the U.S.A. is a good example of this question not being asked enough. George Bush invaded Iraq under the presumption it was Al-Qaeda that attacked the twin towers. I was intelligent enough, at the age of 15, to grasp they didn't have absolute (nor very sufficient at all) evidence to argue that Al-Qaeda did it.

  • That's not a problem of revenge. That's a problem of false accusation. It's not logical not to seek revenge either, if you don't have enough evidence to prove that the person you have in mind is not guilty
    – ActualCry
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 12:15
  • It is a problem of revenge. Who are you taking revenge against, and how do you know that it is that person of whom you need to take revenge against? There is also the issue of justifying whether or not a wrong occurred, which you've stated. But, I presume, that a person designates whether or not a wrong occurred based on his or her personal opinion rather than accepting whether or not a judge says so: "Personal law," if you will, that dictates whether or not a wrong occurred, whereby you are the judge as to whether or not a wrong occurred. Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 18:17

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