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Old 8th February 2021, 07:18 PM   #161
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
You can't be a saint if you have 'sins' so therefore, they need to be forgiven and you too have to forgive others, as in theory, forgiveness belongs to God, as does vengeance...

To sin is human, to forgive is divine.
Here's the bit where I lose it. If forgiveness belongs to God, why do I have to do it?
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Old 8th February 2021, 08:58 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You just want to try and claim the high moral ground by saying "I forgave them" while still punishing them. That is not forgiveness.
Why do you think forgiving is a moral act? In what way is it?
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Old 8th February 2021, 09:43 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Why do you think forgiving is a moral act? In what way is it?
You obviously think that it is a moral act otherwise you wouldn't be so keen to call it "forgiveness" even though you are still determined to punish the wrong doer.
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Old 8th February 2021, 10:33 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You obviously think that it is a moral act otherwise you wouldn't be so keen to call it "forgiveness" even though you are still determined to punish the wrong doer.
Silly me for thinking you might actually answer a question instead of obfuscating with strawmannig.
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Old 9th February 2021, 02:53 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Here's the bit where I lose it. If forgiveness belongs to God, why do I have to do it?
To be Godlike...? Remember, you have free will and choice.

Think about it. Do you have a high opinion of people who carry out vendettas? No, we do not, even if when examining the history, the person/s carrying out a vendetta, even from generation to generation, has the moral high ground.
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Old 9th February 2021, 08:53 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Remember, you have free will and choice.
Free will isn't actually a proven thing. IMHO even if it exists and there is some physical/metaphysical mechanism for it (quantum mechanics?), there is very little of it. Too many internal and external factors influence our behavior, worldview and decisions, such as genetics, mother's health and bad habits during pregnancy, upbringing, culture, surrounding people, education, past experience, etc.

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Old 9th February 2021, 09:08 AM   #167
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If free will isn't a thing, then personal responsibility isn't a thing, and forgiveness is doubly irrelevant. Once, because it doesn't matter to the wrongdoer (who actually did no wrong, since wrong doesn't exist). Twice, because if you're gonna forgive, you're gonna forgive; you have no choice in the matter.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:16 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If free will isn't a thing, then personal responsibility isn't a thing, and forgiveness is doubly irrelevant. Once, because it doesn't matter to the wrongdoer (who actually did no wrong, since wrong doesn't exist). Twice, because if you're gonna forgive, you're gonna forgive; you have no choice in the matter.
Even if free will is completely nonexistent it won't be a threat to personal responsibility. Punishments will still be justified, since they still prevent or at least lower the probability that the people will repeat the wrongdoings.

We can still live as if free will exists regardless if it really exist. This is the point of (semi)compatibilism.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:31 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Even if free will is completely nonexistent it won't be a threat to personal responsibility. Punishments will still be justified, since they still prevent or at least lower the probability that the people will repeat the wrongdoings.
It's not even about the punishments, it's that personal responsibility would not even exist to be punished. Do you punish the wolf for murdering the sheep? Of course not. The wolf cannot murder. It has done nothing wrong, to be punished for.

And the "punishments" would not be "justified", because there is nothing to punish, and no need to justify things that were going to happen anyway. Does the lion have to justify killing the male cubs in its pride? Of course not.

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We can still live as if free will exists regardless if it really exist.
If free will doesn't exist, then we have no choice. If we live as if it exists, it's not because we can, it's because we must.

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This is the point of compatibilism.
As far as I can tell, compatibilism is just determinism with extra waffles. You float through each day in an illusion of free will imposed on you by deterministic forces outside your control and largely outside your ken.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:35 AM   #170
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I'll never understand the free will problem as it is usually applied to questions of ethics.

If the initial actions are predetermined, surely the reaction to them is equally determined. Nothing changes.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:38 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's not even about the punishments, it's that personal responsibility would not even exist to be punished. Do you punish the wolf for murdering the sheep? Of course not. The wolf cannot murder. It has done nothing wrong, to be punished for.

And the "punishments" would not be "justified", because there is nothing to punish, and no need to justify things that were going to happen anyway. Does the lion have to justify killing the male cubs in its pride? Of course not.


If free will doesn't exist, then we have no choice. If we live as if it exists, it's not because we can, it's because we must.


As far as I can tell, compatibilism is just determinism with extra waffles. You float through each day in an illusion of free will imposed on you by deterministic forces outside your control and largely outside your ken.
By 'punishment' I mean moral responsibility. I should be more precise, I'm talking about semicompatibilism.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:56 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'll never understand the free will problem as it is usually applied to questions of ethics.

If the initial actions are predetermined, surely the reaction to them is equally determined. Nothing changes.
Even the debate is equally predetermined.

But I'm not arguing that crime should go unpunished. I'm arguing that your sense of participating in a system of crime and punishment, where justice is served and mercy is granted, is an illusion. There is no crime. There is no punishment. There is no justice, and no mercy. There's just dumb mechanisms rolling down predetermined paths.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:58 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Even the debate is equally predetermined.

But I'm not arguing that crime should go unpunished. I'm arguing that your sense of participating in a system of crime and punishment, where justice is served and mercy is granted, is an illusion. There is no crime. There is no punishment. There is no justice, and no mercy. There's just dumb mechanisms rolling down predetermined paths.
Well yeah but that, again, changes nothing. If we're talking predeterminism on a philosophical level I can't control my thoughts anymore then I can control my actions.

Whenever we talk about free will we have a tendency to talk as if our thoughts are any less predetermined then our actions. I see no reason to assume they would be any different.
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Old 9th February 2021, 10:01 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
By 'punishment' I mean moral responsibility.
I thought you meant the opposite.

Moral responsibility would mean holding the wolf responsible for murder, and punishing them for that crime according to your sense of justice. But without free will, there is no crime. Without moral choice, there cannot be moral responsibility.

I thought you meant deterrence. You don't punish the wolf for killing the sheep; you deter it from killing again. Or maybe you don't. Without free will, it's not really up to you to decide whether the wolf gets deterred or not.

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I should be more precise, I'm talking about semicompatibilism.
That's just a claim. And as far as I can tell, it's essentially the same claim as compatibilism.
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Old 9th February 2021, 10:07 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well yeah but that, again, changes nothing. If we're talking predeterminism on a philosophical level I can't control my thoughts anymore then I can control my actions.

Whenever we talk about free will we have a tendency to talk as if our thoughts are any less predetermined then our actions. I see no reason to assume they would be any different.
Who's "we"? All of my talk about free will assumes that our thoughts are every bit as predetermined as our actions. Which sends the whole debate pretty much up its own ass. But what choice do we have?

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Old 9th February 2021, 10:13 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Who's "we"? All of my talk about free will assumes that our thoughts are every bit as predetermined as our actions. Which sends the whole debate pretty much up its own ass. But what choice do we have?
That's my point. There's no question here. Nothing changes, indeed nothing can change. The question of free will is absolutely pointless.

It only becomes a question if someone decides to pretend that we have free will some of the time which doesn't make any sense on any level.
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Old 9th February 2021, 10:23 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's my point. There's no question here. Nothing changes, indeed nothing can change. The question of free will is absolutely pointless.

It only becomes a question if someone decides to pretend that we have free will some of the time which doesn't make any sense on any level.
Yep! Bringing it back around:

Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
To be Godlike...? Remember, you have free will and choice.

Think about it. Do you have a high opinion of people who carry out vendettas? No, we do not, even if when examining the history, the person/s carrying out a vendetta, even from generation to generation, has the moral high ground.
Originally Posted by suren View Post
Free will isn't actually a proven thing. IMHO even if it exists and there is some physical/metaphysical mechanism for it (quantum mechanics?), there is very little of it. Too many internal and external factors influence our behavior, worldview and decisions, such as genetics, mother's health and bad habits during pregnancy, upbringing, culture, surrounding people, education, past experience, etc.
Suren's post adds nothing to the debate. It doesn't illuminate Vixen's arguments about forgiveness. It doesn't get us any closer to an understanding of what forgiveness is or how it works. It probably doesn't even belong in the thread. But since it's here, as far as the topic goes, if there's no free will then there's no such thing as forgiveness. Only chemical processes and sometimes noise from meat.

ETA: If there's no free will, then what exactly is language? Predetermined noises from meat?

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Old 9th February 2021, 11:21 AM   #178
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There was that experiment that "no free will" advocates champion ( or I guess mindlessly parrot without choice) where subjects were asked to push a button or not as they spontaneously felt the urge. Monitoring their brain activity, it was seen that the neurological run-up before they consciously felt the urge indicated that they were not exercising free will. What they don't much talk about is the same amount of "no-push" responses observed in the same study that had no run-up. Basically you could see the push response coming, but the negation response was sometimes spontaneous.
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Old 9th February 2021, 11:28 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
There was that experiment that "no free will" advocates champion ( or I guess mindlessly parrot without choice) where subjects were asked to push a button or not as they spontaneously felt the urge. Monitoring their brain activity, it was seen that the neurological run-up before they consciously felt the urge indicated that they were not exercising free will. What they don't much talk about is the same amount of "no-push" responses observed in the same study that had no run-up. Basically you could see the push response coming, but the negation response was sometimes spontaneous.

I've heard of that study. Pretty much creepy, at first glance. Don't know what to make of it, really. Could be there's no free will (however defined), as they say. On the other hand, it could just be that they've only recognized an earlier manifestation of that free will (however defined) -- not as you pushing the button (or not), but earlier on, as your brain pushing the button that makes your finger push the button (or not).

Of course that's just basic "common sense" critique of a vague idea of the actual experiment, and an even vaguer idea of the neuroscience behind it, so it could be off.
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Old 9th February 2021, 11:47 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I've heard of that study. Pretty much creepy, at first glance. Don't know what to make of it, really. Could be there's no free will (however defined), as they say. On the other hand, it could just be that they've only recognized an earlier manifestation of that free will (however defined) -- not as you pushing the button (or not), but earlier on, as your brain pushing the button that makes your finger push the button (or not).

Of course that's just basic "common sense" critique of a vague idea of the actual experiment, and an even vaguer idea of the neuroscience behind it, so it could be off.
I remember reading the actual study, and interpreting with the best of my laypersons understanding. Pushing a button when you "felt the urge" seems like that the subject would be actively looking for an urge, and the subconscious would of course be winding up for it. You are looking for an impulse within, so of course you will be at some level "setting that up", like preparing to spontaneously throw a jab when sparring. You would be preparing without telegraphing the intention.
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Old 9th February 2021, 12:55 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
To be Godlike...? Remember, you have free will and choice.

This is in direct contradiction to the common Christian message - man cannot be godlike. Man is sinful and undeserving, so our only path to redemption is to accept this and believe that Jesus died to absolve us. All makes perfect sense to the devout but to the rest of us ....... spinning heads.
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Old 9th February 2021, 01:26 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
This is in direct contradiction to the common Christian message - man cannot be godlike. Man is sinful and undeserving, so our only path to redemption is to accept this and believe that Jesus died to absolve us. All makes perfect sense to the devout but to the rest of us ....... spinning heads.
Somebody asked about why Christians give great store to 'forgiveness'. I was just trying to summarise what the theologists argue. It revolves around blood ransom, sacrifice and outwitting evil, to achieve victory over disease, wrongdoing and death.

The concept of sacrifice is a recurring one in religion even amongst pagans, even if it just involved throwing gold bits into a lake - as in Colombia - or leaving handfuls of grain on rocks with small cups carved into it, as in northern Europe, thousands of years ago. The idea is, in exchange for the offering you receive something in exchange. So acknowledge the pagan god of wheat and grain, for example, by leaving a 'sacrifice', and [you hope] you get favour from this god in return, perhaps in the form of an excellent crop next year.

I guess asking for forgiveness is a form of offering for-giving. Conferring forgiveness is giving somebody something positive, a release from burden.

So if you believe God is good, benevolent and forgiving, then you try to imitate this behaviour, as opposed to indulging in the material world and being tempted by negative examples to just live for today. So you have a choice: you can walk the straight and narrow or you can take a walk on the wild side.

We know which side ends well.
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Old 9th February 2021, 01:27 PM   #183
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Also it seems like one thing (human) brains like to do is offload established decision-making patterns to lower-level cognitive processes. I commute to work on autopilot, often with no clear memories of the trip.

So I sometimes think about a monitor-cpu analogy. What we see on the monitor is a deterministic output of decisions made by the CPU. We're reviewing the results of a bunch of choices already made. We don't really have a way to examine the CPU's decision-making directly, but we can review the results and issue instructions to the CPU that will affect its next round of decisions.

We think of our consciousness as the Decider, but what if it's more of a reviewer? What if the Decider is actually the combined Reviewer-Executor feedback loop?
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Old 9th February 2021, 01:30 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
This is in direct contradiction to the common Christian message - man cannot be godlike.
The Christian message is that man was intentionally designed to be godlike.

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Man is sinful and undeserving,
An accidental condition, that can be reversed for anyone who's interested.
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:55 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That's my point. There's no question here. Nothing changes, indeed nothing can change. The question of free will is absolutely pointless.

It only becomes a question if someone decides to pretend that we have free will some of the time which doesn't make any sense on any level.
Seems to me that a lot of modern philosophy isn't people talking about issues, it's people talking about people who talked about issues.
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Old 10th February 2021, 02:51 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Heh, going to court is probably the fastest way to accelerate tensions and hostility.
Not quite as much as, say, beating the crap out of someone. Courts have the advantage of introducing a neutral third party and legal sanctions, at least in theory, such that any penalties are applied by society, not an individual.
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Old 10th February 2021, 03:23 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
Not quite as much as, say, beating the crap out of someone. Courts have the advantage of introducing a neutral third party and legal sanctions, at least in theory, such that any penalties are applied by society, not an individual.
I don't see how courts can supply forgiveness. Sure, they can arbitrate and find in favour of one side or the other. Imagine the cause of most legal disputes, apart from being owed money/faulty goods/personal injury claims, as being associated with large sums of money (="Where there is brass there is muck"). Amongst a group of siblings, one or two or all have been left out of a will. Each suspects the other of having manipulated the deceased into cheating them out of 'their share'. No court in the world will ever bring peace to this type of situation. These guys are never going to kiss and cuddle each other after going to court. They will be seething with rage. Especially when they get the legal bill.
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Old 10th February 2021, 04:55 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I don't see how courts can supply forgiveness.
The legal system is designed to do the opposite. It is not in the interests of lawyers for litigants to reconcile.
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Old 10th February 2021, 05:37 AM   #189
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It depends--not the lawyers, no, but it is in the interest of the court system itself for the litigants to reconcile. It reduces the caseload.
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Old 10th February 2021, 08:35 PM   #190
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Forgiveness is the letting go of the anger created by a perceived wrong done to you and a resolution that you will not attempt to gain revenge on the person you believed wrong you.

It is not forgetting about the wrong. It is not preventing any repercussions outside of your wanting revenge. It is not even something you need to tell the other person, in fact in most cases it is something that shouldn't be told to them.

Why it should be done, outside of a religious thing, is that living with anger and upset is bad for us, and may even really cause illnesses such as cancer. It has also been linked to the likes of hypertension which can lead to heart disease and strokes, among other illnesses.

So yeah. Physically and psychologically it seems better for us to forgive people and put aside the anger over slights and perceived and actual harms. It makes us better people, mentally and physically.
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Old 10th February 2021, 08:51 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The legal system is designed to do the opposite. It is not in the interests of lawyers for litigants to reconcile.
Lawyers broker reconciliations all the time.
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Old 10th February 2021, 10:53 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Forgiveness is the letting go of the anger created by a perceived wrong done to you and a resolution that you will not attempt to gain revenge on the person you believed wrong you.

It is not forgetting about the wrong. It is not preventing any repercussions outside of your wanting revenge. It is not even something you need to tell the other person, in fact in most cases it is something that shouldn't be told to them.

Why it should be done, outside of a religious thing, is that living with anger and upset is bad for us, and may even really cause illnesses such as cancer. It has also been linked to the likes of hypertension which can lead to heart disease and strokes, among other illnesses.

So yeah. Physically and psychologically it seems better for us to forgive people and put aside the anger over slights and perceived and actual harms. It makes us better people, mentally and physically.
Same thoughts. Forgiveness is just you don't want your offender to suffer or pay something back, that's it. You can still mistrust him. This also doesn't mean that people shouldn't be responsible for their actions otherwise we would live in chaos. This holds even if we don't have a libertarian free will.
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Old 10th February 2021, 11:19 PM   #193
psionl0
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Forgiveness is the letting go of the anger created by a perceived wrong done to you and a resolution that you will not attempt to gain revenge on the person you believed wrong you.

It is not forgetting about the wrong. . . . . .
Which dictionary did you get that definition from?
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Old 11th February 2021, 12:10 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Forgiveness is the letting go of the anger created by a perceived wrong done to you and a resolution that you will not attempt to gain revenge on the person you believed wrong you.
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Which dictionary did you get that definition from?

Well I like the definition PhantomWolf gives. Maybe a dictionary or two may take it up.
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Old 11th February 2021, 10:59 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Forgiveness is the letting go of the anger created by a perceived wrong done to you and a resolution that you will not attempt to gain revenge on the person you believed wrong you.

It is not forgetting about the wrong. It is not preventing any repercussions outside of your wanting revenge. It is not even something you need to tell the other person, in fact in most cases it is something that shouldn't be told to them.

Why it should be done, outside of a religious thing, is that living with anger and upset is bad for us, and may even really cause illnesses such as cancer. It has also been linked to the likes of hypertension which can lead to heart disease and strokes, among other illnesses.

So yeah. Physically and psychologically it seems better for us to forgive people and put aside the anger over slights and perceived and actual harms. It makes us better people, mentally and physically.
Then again, in letting go the anger, it enables those who did the wrongs to repeat.

Maybe if we held the anger against those who harmed us, there would be fewer to harm us, which would be better for our health.
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Old 11th February 2021, 11:06 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
So yeah. Physically and psychologically it seems better for us to forgive people and put aside the anger over slights and perceived and actual harms. It makes us better people, mentally and physically.
It is, and it isn't.
Holding grudges is generally bad for you.
On the other hand I can't help but be reminded of people who were raped as children, and then dragged up in front of their church to 'forgive' their rapist, or any of a number of other similar situations.
The notion that forgiveness is owed has been used by a lot of abusers to escape the consequences of their abuse, and to continue those actions.
The notion of forgiveness as an inherent good leads to coddling abusers, and to suicide from people pressured to 'let it go' who can't.
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Old 11th February 2021, 12:48 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Which dictionary did you get that definition from?
There are more things in heaven and earth, psionl0, than are dreamt of in your dictionary.

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Old 11th February 2021, 12:53 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Then again, in letting go the anger, it enables those who did the wrongs to repeat.
Only if you accept the premise that forgiving someone involves waiving the consequences of their actions.

Nothing about forgiving someone for stiffing me on a loan requires enabling them to take out more bad loans with me.

"Hey, can I borrow fifty bucks?"

"Haha, nope! I'm still out the two hundred I loaned you last year. And you know what? That's okay. I don't even want it back anymore. Water under the bridge. Let's all move on. I'll happily buy the next round, but no way in hell am I loaning you money again."

Is a perfectly cromulent expression of forgiveness and consequences.

Quote:
Maybe if we held the anger against those who harmed us, there would be fewer to harm us, which would be better for our health.
Maybe. But I doubt it. You don't have to harbor anger towards the scorpion, to decide it's a foolish risk to ferry him across the river again.
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Old 11th February 2021, 01:08 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Then again, in letting go the anger, it enables those who did the wrongs to repeat.

Maybe if we held the anger against those who harmed us, there would be fewer to harm us, which would be better for our health.
Whether or not you are holding onto anger about something is irrelevant to it happening again.
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Old 11th February 2021, 01:33 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Irony View Post
It is, and it isn't.
Holding grudges is generally bad for you.
On the other hand I can't help but be reminded of people who were raped as children, and then dragged up in front of their church to 'forgive' their rapist, or any of a number of other similar situations.
The notion that forgiveness is owed has been used by a lot of abusers to escape the consequences of their abuse, and to continue those actions.
The notion of forgiveness as an inherent good leads to coddling abusers, and to suicide from people pressured to 'let it go' who can't.
I suggest you re-read my post, mostly the things that forgiveness is not.

What you describe is not forgiveness, it's further abuse. Forgiveness cannot be demanded, it is something that is genuine and from a person's own will and own heart. No one can make you actually let go of your anger and the want of revenge, other than yourself. Forgiveness is also not a remedy for consequences outside of personal revenge, and in my opinion, any Church leader that hides criminal actions behind the idea of forgiveness needs to be in the cell next to the offender.

This moves into the other side of forgiveness, the getting forgiveness.

The way I was taught about how gaining forgiveness works is that you need to genuinely be sorry for your actions and as such not only cease from doing those actions but also accept any consequences of them. Thus if your actions were criminal in nature, to truly gain forgiveness, then a part of showing that you are genuinely sorry and are taking responsibility is the acceptance of any legal consequences of your actions, including going to jail if that is what society demands. This is where Church leaders need to be stepping up to the mark, in both the counseling of those offenders and the victims. Rather than dragging victims in front of the church and revictimizing them, they need to explain that when the person is ready that they need to let go of the anger, and rather than shielding the offender, they need to make it quite clear that a part of forgiveness is accepting those consequences and paying the debt to society.

Romans 13 tells us that we are under and subject to the laws and punishments of our Governments and that we are to accept and obey those laws and accept the consequences of breaking them. Church leaders need to remember that and make sure that their congregations understand it too. Too often these days, I see Churches that seem to believe that they are above man's laws and so don't need to follow them. That is anti-Scriptural and anti-Christian.

In the situation, you describe the correct way to handle the situation would be for the offender to be brought before the Church and have them ask for forgiveness from un-named victims, and then to have them turn themselves over to the police. Sadly this seems to be the rarity and not the rule. It needs to change.
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