(urth) Pirate Freedom and the Morals Of Gene Wolfe

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 18 13:21:44 PDT 2009

--- On Wed, 3/18/09, John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Jerry,
> My understanding is that, to a 1st century Jew, the
> teaching about turning
> the other cheek when slapped wouldn't be a teaching
> about self-defense at
> all--the slap wasn't a threat of physical injury so
> much as it was a profound insult.

I'd say that's still true.

> A more equivalent saying today would be
> that if someone
> spits in your face, don't strike him, but wipe it off
> and offer your face again.
> Clearly it isn't difficult to differentiate between
> retributive punishement
> ("eye for an eye") and self-defense.  Our law
> does it all the time.

I'd have thought the key statement was not to resist
evildoers, which would not be limited to the examples about
turning the other cheek, giving your cloak along with
your shirt, and walking the second mile.  But thanks to
you and others who explained how this passage doesn't
have to be taken as forbidding self-defense.

Jerry Friedman


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