Hammurabi's Code: Was it just?
By Anna Austin
I think Hammurabi's Code was just at the time it was in effect. If it was used now, definitely not. Why? One example of why I feel this way is back then, slaves were only tools to be bought and used, and they weren't really considered people, so it makes sense it shouldn't be as harsh a punishment for injuring them as a free man. Now, it is terrible to even discriminate in any way, let alone enslave people.
Why the Laws were There
All the laws were to protect people, even if it isn't necessarily the greatest way possible. For example, law #195: "If a son has struck his father, his hands shall be crit off." It's harsh, but protects the dad from being hit again. Also, laws #215 and #218 basically say if a surgeon operates on a man with a bronze lancet and saves his life, he gets 10 shekels of silver, and if the man dies, the surgeon's hands will be cut off. Once again it's all to protect people. If a man's life is saved the surgeon should be rewarded, and if he lets the person die he should be stopped from ever operating again.
Even if it wasn't necessarily the kindest way to punish people for their crimes, Hammurabi's Code did its job and helped enforce some rules on Babylonia. It was all to protect people, after all. Hammurabi had a method to his madness!