- Reaction score
Peter, let me pass this on to you; I hope you may find it relevant and helpful!
Right right, I think I'm grasping the view now Smoklins, as to before I didn't I admit. What Bahaullah actually ment was that if one burns something then by some karamatic justified balance of the universe they have made themselves susceptible to the same crime?
In England where I live capital punishment is illegal, I have grown up to believe the American penal system is wrong.
I wish I could fix the obvious typo--'it should be 'yoke of oppression' which is a quote from Baha`u'llah, not 'JOKE of oppression' as it is in the document
What also disturbs me is "If a man were falsely condemned to die, can we not believe Almighty God would compensate him a thousandfold, in the next world, for this human injustice?"
In England where I live capital punishment is illegal, I have grown up to believe the American penal system is wrong. It goes to show for me that a society can take a different approach to criminals and that prescribing death or burning even as an option is wrong. The time Bahaullah wrote it, it might have been valid but I will use the progressive truth card against Bahaullah on this issue. Also to me it shows people do not need guidance on this issue. As we know the Koran is full with social laws and punishments, whereas the bible isn't.
Hmm. The way I look at it, it seems to me that Baha'u'llah is saying that we can't not punish people just because in rare cases innocent people get punished. To me, it doesn't matter whether the innocent person endures life imprisonment or the death penalty because in both cases they're innocent and God will compensate them.
First let me site a comparable example - where Baha'u'llah also says He will be an agent to compensate someone killed unjustly - "I Myself shall atone for the loss of her son - a son who now dwelleth within the tabernacle of My majesty and glory, and whose face beameth with a light that envelopeth with its radiance the Maids of Heaven in their celestial chambers, and beyond them the inmates of My Paradise, and the denizens of the Cities of Holiness. Were any eye to gaze on his face, he would exclaim: "Lo, this is no other than a noble angel!""
But "it doesn't matter" is a bit over simplified - even callous. If a system or person were to have a weakness, or even a habit, which tended to put innocent people to death surely it would be tyrannical and numerous Baha'i Writings would then apply - both from the perspective of this world and the next. For example, from those in this world....
Note "The foundation of the Kingdom of God is laid upon justice, fairness, mercy, sympathy and kindness to every soul. Then strive ye with heart and soul to practice love and kindness to the world of humanity at large, except to those souls who are selfish and insincere. It is not advisable to show kindness to a person who is a tyrant, a traitor or a thief because kindness encourages him to become worse and does not awaken him. The more kindness you show to a liar the more he is apt to lie, for he thinks that you know not, while you do know, but extreme kindness keeps you from revealing your knowledge."
So people in this world would be bound to adjust the behavior of this tyrannical system. We have to do our best and if we do it wrong we ourselves are bound to fix it. But it goes further, from the next world justice is waiting for the tyrant too -
"O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH! Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man’s injustice. This is My covenant which I have irrevocably decreed in the preserved tablet and sealed with My seal."
So passing from this world we ourselves are held accountable for our tyrannies.
I suppose some people might think that it's impossible to have a just system in which the Death Penalty exists. From Baha'u'llah's words, it seems possible in my opinion that it is. Perhaps I am misinterpreting or there are other factors to consider, I am not sure.