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Context

This famous line was (not really) talked by Mahatma Gandhi.

You are watching: Eye for an eye and the world goes blind

It"s always nice once things job-related out fairly. However we"re guessing the authors of Exodus weren"t being at sight literal as soon as they talked about "an eye because that an eye"—someone shedding an eye in exchange for someone else shedding an eye probably isn"t in anyone"s finest interests.

It basically way that as soon as something horrible is excellent by someone, they deserve to have actually the very same thing excellent to them. Like…if part goober drops and breaks your MacBook, then it"s just fair for you to take his MacBook and also break it.

Well, Gandhi wasn"t top top board v that. His quote "an eye because that an eye provides the whole people blind" is saying the if we save punishing those we deem cruel, then we"re no far better than the bad guys ourselves. It"s the whole "you can"t resolve violence v violence" spiel. 

To it is in fair, over there is some uncertainty as to whether Gandhi actually ever said this words, and also even if he did, how it walk exactly. Right here are a few versions:

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.An eye for an eye just makes the people blind.An eye for an eye will make the world blind.An eye because that an eye leaves the whole human being blind.

Whether this to be his heat or not, Gandhi more than likely did enough good stuff in his lifetime to do the question moot. In the meantime…we"ll just provide it come him. He"s earn it.

Where you"ve heard it

People simply loooove to quote Gandhi. No that that"s a negative thing. He had a lot of uplifting, hopeful stuff to say. If the was ever before in a crabby mood, he sure didn"t let the show.

You"ll uncover this expression in a lot of areas where someone"s trying to be inspirational or encouraging others to "turn the other cheek," prefer in this political article or in this anthology the poetry.

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Pretentious Factor

If you to be to drop this quote at a dinner party, would certainly you acquire an in-unison "awww" or would certainly everyone role their eyes and also never invite girlfriend back? here it is, top top a scale of 1-10.

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We"d usually give a line choose this a 6 or 7, considering just how grandiose the declare is—and the fact that it"s taking a common figurative adage and making the literal. Yet it"s Gandhi. He"s allowed to obtain away v a bit more than most.