Posted by Brett Zamir (184.108.40.206) on August 13, 2002 at 16:40:03:
In Reply to: For Brett posted by Marie Lortie on August 13, 2002 at 06:54:27:
Nice to hear your thoughtful concerns.
An important principle of the Faith is that there are no contradictions between the various authoritative Writings we have. How could there be if we believe Baha'u'llah is infallible (as we do), as well as the Successorship He set up as infallible (as Baha'u'llah Himself promised it would be)?
However, as you allude to, it may be difficult for us at times to find the reconciliation of two teachings--even by the same author--so, it is helpful to look at the full context of other Writings (and if necessary the elucidations of the Universal House of Justice) in order to find the inevitable reconciliation.
In this case, I would recommend reading Chapters 76 and 77 of Some Answered Questions on-line here at this site at:
The essence of the argument is that there is a distinction between what an individual should do, and as to what the community should do in order to protect its citizens (rather than for the purpose of taking vengeance).
It should be pointed out that the quotation in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is not encouraging vigilante action of individuals against other individuals, but rather something to be carried out within the Baha'i legal system of the future (and possibly encouraging it within the non-Baha'i system, though Baha'is would not push this even if our institutions did determine to encourage it).
The Baha'i position in support of the death penalty (along with its reservations about how the law has been unfairly or cruelly carried out in many cases) is available at:
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