“Nothing Good Ever Comes Of Violence” Essay Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Violence, Crime, Martin Luther King, Internet, Criminal Justice, Victimology, Victim, Sexual Abuse
This well-known and often-quoted statement is attributed to Martin Luther, a German priest and scholar (1483-1546) who is best known for his opposition to the Catholic Church (“Martin Luther” 2014). As far as you and I – ordinary, law-abiding citizens – are concerned, his statement is probably just as valid today as it was when Luther made it almost 500 years ago. In interpersonal relationships for example, it is often said that violence occurs when the person committing the violence has run out of reasoned arguments. In other words, the inflicted violence is in some ways an admission of defeat on the part of the aggressor. The outcome is invariably that the rift between the two parties deepens as a consequence, so that the violence has achieved nothing positive in the sense of resolving the original differences. It is far more likely that the violence puts the previous relationship beyond repair.
Not only that, but both the person committing the violence and the victim of it are likely to suffer as a result. In the case of adults, the violent person may face punishment in the form of a fine, or probation, or even being sent to prison. The victim might suffer not only physical injury, but if the offending person was the husband, the wife could suffer extreme financial hardship if he is sent to prison, depriving her and any children of financial support. In some cases of adult violence within a family, the effect could be lifelong feuds, splitting up previously close-knit family bonds.
In the case of juvenile violence (juvenile against juvenile), the offender could be suspended or expelled from school, while the victim might not only be injured, but could develop a fear of others and as a consequence be permanently affected in his or her everyday life.
Having said that, in international affairs there can be exceptional situations where the violence inflicted may in the end bring a positive outcome. One such that comes to mind is when Britain and America and their allies went to war against Hitler’s Germany in the last century, thereby ending that regime’s attempts to exterminate the entire European population of the Jewish people. Thus the Second World War (by definition a form of violence) prevented genocide, even though it cost many lives to bring about what Hitler had called “The Final Solution” (Fleming 1984).
Another exception in more recent times concerns the extreme Muslim militant group called ISIS or Islamic State. They have been beheading hostages in the name of a religion-motivated campaign to bring about their political objectives. Those violent deaths of the hostages (most recently the burning alive this year of a Jordanian Air Force pilot while he was imprisoned in a locked steel cage) have triggered a backlash that is uniting many countries – even Muslim regimes – against ISIS, which may ultimately bring their brutal savagery to an end. If that does indeed happen, it could be claimed that their much-publicized and escalating violence will – at the expense of those murdered hostages – bring about the downfall of an evil movement, thereby causing good by bringing greater stability to that part of the world.
Whilst I do support the original statement by Martin Luther, and agree that in general violence can only bring bad outcomes, I believe that in exceptional cases, like the two mentioned above, there is a case for pursuing violent means to bring about a greater good. However, as ordinary citizens, we have no direct control over our leaders, our governments, and their policies, so we have to trust that they will do the right things on our behalf.
Do you share these views?
Fleming, Gerald. (Nov. 1984). Hitler and the Final Solution. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA. (Print on Demand). Web. Accessed 8 February 2015. URL: <http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qPV_rGdhYpkC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false>.
“Martin Luther (1483-1546).” (2014). BBC. Web. Accessed 08 February 2015. URL: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/luther_martin.shtml>.