Are Hammurabi's laws fair?
Decide for yourself.
Hammurabi was ruler of Babylonia from 1792 to 1750 B.C. and he created rules for the whole empire to follow and he called them his code. The code was based off of earlier Sumerian laws and the idea of "an eye for an eye." It contained 282 laws organized in different categories. This idea meant that the punishment should be similar to the crime commited. However this did not apply equally to everybody. The harshness of the punishment depended on how important the victims were. For example if a slave was hurt the punishment wouldn't be as bad as if a free man was hurt. Do you think this is fair? Read on to see what I think.
I think that Hammurabi's code/laws were unfair. For example, in law 196 it says that if a man has knocked out the eye of a free man, his eye shall be knocked out. But in law 199 it says that if he has knocked out the eye of a slave... he shall pay half his value. Even though back then people thought slavery was okay the punishment should still have been the same as if it was a free man who had gotten hurt, because slaves are still people. It is especially unfair that if a surgeon has performed a major operation on a citizen with a bronze lancet [knife] and has caused the death of this citizen...his hand shall be cut off. That is outrageously unfair because everybody makes mistakes and nobody should have a punishment that big, that would end your career. Do you think that's fair? I sure don't.