Are some things unforgivable?
Hey, friends! It’s an ethics topic this month.
Forgiveness is an important component of many religions. And most Americans, religious or not, think it’s important to forgive. There are good reasons for this. The popular arguments you usually hear in favor of forgiveness usually make sense. If you’re hanging onto a grudge, your friend might say, “Well, you’re not perfect either.” Or, they might say, “This grudge is eating you up and ruining your life. You need to just let it go.” In the first case, we say forgiveness is important because everyone does bad things and we’re all in the same boat. Therefore forgiveness is an important part of a functioning society–we all hurt each other, so we have to give each other a break if we want a break. In the second case, we look at the damage that not forgiving inflicts on the person who was originally wronged. If I’m the victim of some harm, and that harm sticks in my head and my heart and continues to affect and infect how I view the world and live my life, that harm lives long beyond the person’s initial action. And if I continue to have it affect me, I’m participating in my own victimization.
So, the popular “why you should forgive” arguments that you hear in America make sense most of the time. But if you’re really hurt, they stop making sense. The arguments break down, on an intellectual and/or emotional level. Why is this? Are there some crimes that are so bad that they cannot and perhaps should not be forgiven? Are there reasons that people should seek to forgive no matter what?
Let’s talk. For some interesting (sometimes accurate!) background on forgiveness to feed our discussion, visit forgiveness’ wikipedia page. See you Thursday.
Blogsurfers who found this post at random: This discussion topic is intended for folks who attend this meetup in Verona, Wisconsin. You’re welcome to come to that if you’re in the area, and you’re welcome to comment here if you’ve physically been at our meetup at least once.
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