Is it wrong to forgive?

Ethics, Morality, and Sin

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William
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Post by William »

[Replying to post 27 by twobitsworth]
It is an injustice to forgive a person who did wrong to another.
So the argument is about justice?
Say a person molests a child, and is sentenced to prison for it. As a neighbour of the molester, I go ahead and forgive him for his crime. I let him out of prison a free man.
How do you "let him out of jail"?
That is what forgiveness is--a wiping of the slate.
No. It is about not getting caught up in the drama that perpetrators try to rope you into. Forgiveness largely isn't about the person who offended. It is about those who were offended. How to untie the knots which bind one to the perpetrator.
Lets take an example. Say there is a man named Saul, who has hunted down and murdered innocent people because of their faith. Is it right that an unrelated person forgive him for those murders? Any moral person will say no, it is not right at all. It is the exclusive right of those directly affected to forgive or not.
Is it justice or morals? Either way, morals are like the sifting sands. I see no need to either condemn or condone Saul's actions in his political duty to Rome, any more than I feel the need to either condemn or condone Robin Hoods actions in killing deer that wasn't his.

Saul's actions are beyond our ability to seek justice over, and we are not directly victims of his actions so how they require our condoning or condemning seems irrelevant.

The same would have to apply to all historical figures, factual or fictional.

Christians today may argue that Saul - as Paul - renounced his old murderous ways and took up a new vocation, and see such as virtuous. Even so, Paul may have had to face his victims in the afterlife where they required justice for his wrong-doing against them...we do not know, but if one is to believe no such thing happens - because death is the end - then I would say there is even less reason one should fuss over such examples.

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amortalman
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Re: Is it wrong to forgive?

Post by amortalman »

marco wrote: Often when people do very bad things, someone forgives them and not always the victim. A father in Northern Ireland famously forgave the man who murdered his daughter. We can see the goodness in a victim forgiving an attacker but surely it is wrong for others, not involved in the attack, to forgive.

Is it wrong to forgive when one is not the sufferer?
I don't think one can legitimately forgive someone unless they, themselves, have been wronged. But there is a situation where the non-offended person may feel the need to forgive. That is when they, themselves, have such an emotional reaction to the offense that they are personally suffering hatred toward the offender. Then, it would be best for them to forgive. That way they can live in peace. Forgiveness is primarily for the forgiver, not the offender.

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marco
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Re: Is it wrong to forgive?

Post by marco »

amortalman wrote:
marco wrote: Often when people do very bad things, someone forgives them and not always the victim. A father in Northern Ireland famously forgave the man who murdered his daughter. We can see the goodness in a victim forgiving an attacker but surely it is wrong for others, not involved in the attack, to forgive.

Is it wrong to forgive when one is not the sufferer?
I don't think one can legitimately forgive someone unless they, themselves, have been wronged. But there is a situation where the non-offended person may feel the need to forgive. That is when they, themselves, have such an emotional reaction to the offense that they are personally suffering hatred toward the offender. Then, it would be best for them to forgive. That way they can live in peace. Forgiveness is primarily for the forgiver, not the offender.

One can forgive someone for the personal suffering they have caused by their actions. But I said "Is it wrong to forgive when one is not the sufferer?" Is it wrong for someone to say: "You murdered that child but I forgive you for it" which would seem to be the Christian thing to do, maybe multiplied by seventy seven.

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William
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Post by William »

What about the other way around marco?

"Is it wrong to condemn when one is not the sufferer?"

Maybe if that question can be answered, the OPQ might also be answered.

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Post by marco »

William wrote: What about the other way around marco?

"Is it wrong to condemn when one is not the sufferer?"

Maybe if that question can be answered, the OPQ might also be answered.

That's a clever approach, William, but I don't think condemnation is the opposite of forgiveness. We can do both.

It is obviously right to condemn wicked acts. The person who suffers from them might well condemn them (I can't see them approving) but might graciously forgive. The onlooker can condemn but it's not the onlooker's right to forgive....as I see it.

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Re: Is it wrong to forgive?

Post by amortalman »

marco wrote:
amortalman wrote:
marco wrote: Often when people do very bad things, someone forgives them and not always the victim. A father in Northern Ireland famously forgave the man who murdered his daughter. We can see the goodness in a victim forgiving an attacker but surely it is wrong for others, not involved in the attack, to forgive.

Is it wrong to forgive when one is not the sufferer?
I don't think one can legitimately forgive someone unless they, themselves, have been wronged. But there is a situation where the non-offended person may feel the need to forgive. That is when they, themselves, have such an emotional reaction to the offense that they are personally suffering hatred toward the offender. Then, it would be best for them to forgive. That way they can live in peace. Forgiveness is primarily for the forgiver, not the offender.

One can forgive someone for the personal suffering they have caused by their actions. But I said "Is it wrong to forgive when one is not the sufferer?" Is it wrong for someone to say: "You murdered that child but I forgive you for it" which would seem to be the Christian thing to do, maybe multiplied by seventy seven.
I probably didn't make myself clear. On purely moral grounds the answer to the two questions above is no. However, it doesn't make much sense to issue forgiveness to someone who has not wronged you in some way. The process of forgiveness requires an offender(s) and the one(s) offended. If I am not personally offended by one's actions I have nothing to forgive them for. BUT, let's say that the Holocaust, for example, so angered me toward Hitler that my hatred for him kept me up at night. Then, by bringing myself to forgive him it would all but erase my hatred and my insomnia. So, to forgive when one is not the sufferer is not necessarily wrong, only unnecessary in most cases.

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William
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Post by William »

[Replying to post 35 by marco]
That's a clever approach, William, but I don't think condemnation is the opposite of forgiveness. We can do both.

It is obviously right to condemn wicked acts. The person who suffers from them might well condemn them (I can't see them approving) but might graciously forgive. The onlooker can condemn but it's not the onlooker's right to forgive....as I see it.
Then what about examining the role of the onlooker in more detail to see what might be found there marco.

And

What makes one thing obvious and the 'not in-your-opinion the opposite thing' not so obvious?

Do you think that the only people who get hurt are the ones who are actually physically hurt? How is it then that a whole nation can be affected by a few peoples behavior, decades after the last of the hurt have died out?

It is because we are all affected through sharing the same space as one another.

This means that the obvious offense we will take towards wicked acts is for the purpose of protecting ourselves from the dangers that is known to cause.

The less obvious defense would be to forgive the wicked acts - even as for unknown reasons - one is affected by them...


...directly or indirectly as the case may be.

This is also for the purpose of protecting ourselves from the dangers that non-forgiveness is known to cause.

Generally the obvious is focused upon while the less obvious is ignored.

That can be dangerous.

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William
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Post by William »

Farid Ahmed lost his wife in the Christchurch terror attack. Instead of hating her killer, he's choosing forgiveness - it's what she would have wanted, he says.

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Spirit of forgiveness...

Post by kcplusdc@yahoo.com »

I think that often mankind misses the mark with forgiveness. Is not really about others or releasing someone from the guilt of there actions or any of that jazz.
To me forgiveness is putting the bagage of an event behind you. Letting go of its wieght, moving back to the present moment.

There is a story of two devote monks that come to a water crossing and there is a beautiful woman there who requests to be assisted. Without thinking one of the monks puts her on his shoulders, long legs wrapped around his head and he wades across the river. Reaching the other side he puts her down bids her fair well and waits for his companion to make it across.
When he does they continue thier journey together except the monk that didnt help the woman is acting strange. Eventually his traveling companion asks hin whats wrong.
His friend explains that it is forbidden for them to associate with women not to mention carrying one on your shoulders.
His companion shrugs and said, I stopped holding on to her after crossing the river, why are you still carrying her with you?

Lighten your load. Things come and go, you cant hold on to yesterday, you will never reach tomorrow. If something is weighing you done, let it go. Forgive yourself for burdening the natrual path of events. Cant go with the flo if you wont let go.

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Re: Is it wrong to forgive?

Post by Menotu »

marco wrote: Often when people do very bad things, someone forgives them and not always the victim. A father in Northern Ireland famously forgave the man who murdered his daughter. We can see the goodness in a victim forgiving an attacker but surely it is wrong for others, not involved in the attack, to forgive.

Is it wrong to forgive when one is not the sufferer?
I wonder if this is more bandwagoning than anything else (which is very popular to do today). What would be the point of me forgiving someone for stealing from another? They didn't take from me, so why? For me to feel good and to be 'part' of the whole situation?
In itself, forgiveness is foremost a selfish act. It makes the forgiver feel better. And that may not always be a bad thing, but let's see it for what it really is and accept that.

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