General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

Who should be forgiven?

Asked by ninjacolin (14238points) June 12th, 2011

What does a good forgiveness candidate look like?
What does a bad forgiveness candidate look like?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

Blueroses's avatar

More information needed.

ninjacolin's avatar

It’s pretty straight forward but it’s okay if you personally don’t have a theory on it.

Blueroses's avatar

Forgiveness isn’t the opposite of anything.

There are always mitigating factors.

ninjacolin's avatar

Forgiveness is an act.
Who deserves it and who doesn’t? I’m just repeating the question at this point.
Try answering it.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Vortico's avatar

Is this of a religious sense? If so, which religion or deity? If not, which group of people are being forgiven and doing the forgiving?

ninjacolin's avatar

Sorry, maybe @Blueroses was right: I’m asking for your opinion. Not sure how that wasn’t clear but I apologize and ask for your forgiveness.

In your opinion: What kind of apologetic people deserve forgiveness and what kind of apologetic people don’t?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Everyone who asks should be forgiven. But they should also be expected to pay the price society has set for their transgressions.

The granting of forgiveness should not be a get out of jail free card.

You should probably move this to the Social section if you want opinions

Blueroses's avatar

Not everybody who asks should be forgiven. Sorry, @WestRiverrat but that is not my job. I don’t have to grant forgiveness to anybody who wants it.

I see forgiveness in a couple of lights.
One being: Forgiveness for the reward of the act.
This would be; I don’t really, in my heart forgive your reprehensible behavior, but if I say that I do, I get rewarded by the people who tell me how selfless I am for forgiving you.

The other is an act of true selflessness. An understanding and real forgiveness for a human frailty. I’ve met very few people. Very few. Capable of this.

Nullo's avatar

Everyone can be forgiven. Christians are encouraged to be forgiving because they themselves have been forgiven. See the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant..

Do note that being forgiven is not the same thing as being shielded from the consequences of one’s actions.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Some things are easier to forgive than others. That being said, I agree with @WestRiverrat that everyone that seeks forgiveness should find it. That doesn’t mean the forgiveness should be immediate, just that in time, it should come. As hard as it is to imagine forgiving someone for certain horrible actions, it’s actually a very therapeutic thing to do (at least in my experience it is).

Forgiveness does not mean one just forgets what happened. It’s just a sign that they are ready to learn from it and move on from it.

Kardamom's avatar

Some people deserve to be forgiven and other people do not. It is all dependent upon all of the circumstances surrounding the actions of the offending person.

The degree of the offence, in and of itself, is not the mitigating factor. In one instance you might forgive someone who killed another person, and in another instance you might not forgive someone who told a minor lie. It depends on all of the circumstances involved with the offence. So to answer your question, there is not a profile for people that should be forgiven and for those who should not. It all has to be figured out on an individual basis, for each offense.

Things to consider with regards to forgiving people (at least for me, and maybe not for anyone else) are: Did the person commit the offense knowingly? Did the person realize that their actions would be hurtful/damaging when they committed the offense? Did the person even know that they had comitted the offence or caused damage after the fact? Did the person try to make amends for their offense? Were the amends that they proposed or the apology that they made, worthy of forgiveness or were they just giving lip service? Did the offender ask for forgiveness just to get me back into their good graces or so that they wouldn’t look bad or have to be punished? Does the person even want forgiveness from me? Is what the person did, so heinous or so mean or so careless, that they aren’t worthy of forgiveness? Has the person done other things (maybe a bunch of minor offences) that make you think they are liars, or people who don’t give a damn?

There are circumstances when you might forgive one person and not the other for doing the exact same thing, but the rest of the information (because they are separate people) might be completely different for all sorts of reasons. You have to weigh each situation separately.

wundayatta's avatar

Those who make reparations and who show evidence that they have learned from their mistakes and will make every effort to avoid making that mistake again. They can be forgiven.

On the other hand, there is interior forgiveness. If you wish to get past your anger and hurt, then you must forgive those who have hurt you. If you remain stuck in your anger, that’s where you’ll stay. Maybe you like being angry. Maybe you enjoy having grievances. Most people don’t. Most people want to get on with their lives. That means they have to let the hurt go. That means forgiving those who have hurt them.

Forgiveness doesn’t make something right. It just lets you get past your pain. Making things right is very different from forgiveness, but often confused with it. I just hurt someone fairly significantly. She pointed this out to me and said she forgave me in advance. I guess that was for her, so she could let go of the anger she felt at me hurting her.

I didn’t want the forgiveness. I wanted to make it right first. I wanted her to understand I hadn’t meant it the way she took it. It had a very different meaning for me than it did for her. I wanted to hear that she understood this before forgiving me.

Then I realized that was all about me. I realized what she really wanted was to be understood. She wanted me to know what she felt and to understand it. So I practiced listening to her and trying to understand. I did not want this to come between us.

Clearly it’s complicated. And I can’t tell you who should be forgiven. I wanted to be forgiven, but not the way she did it. I wanted her to know I will not do this again. I apologized many times. But in the end, forgiveness is for her, not for me.

Who should be forgiven? Whoever you want to forgive.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Holy moly, this is how I will answer your question and surely there will be dozens to disagree, everyone will be forgiven by the Lord God if they should ask even if man is not big enough to forgive them. As @Nullo that doing so lets the person off the hook totally for his/her actions. God has made conditions on His forgiveness that you repent and sin no more, even though man is weak and will sin just by his nature, you are to do all you can to avoid sinning.

In a secular sense the person who should be forgiven is the person that an individual has to forgive less the rage and hate consume them, keeping them from using that energy towards positive things and on the love of their family. That is the way of man though. He would rather feed the hate and vengeance than drop that baggage and make the way of peace lighter.

Hopefully that is one opinion you can use in a reasonable way.

squirbel's avatar

Forgive everyone; when someone essentially spits on the forgiveness and trespasses against you again in the same manner, forgive sparingly.

zenvelo's avatar

Forgiveness is not for the person who did wrong, but for the person who was harmed. Forgiveness keeps vitriol and anger and resentment and revenge from polluting one’s heart and mind.

It is not easy, it is damned hard, but it is what cures us and allows us to grow emotionally.

Forgiveness is not forgetting, forgiveness is not letting the bad actor from living in one’s psyche.

LostInParadise's avatar

In practical terms, what is meant by forgiveness? If I forgive someone, does it mean that I will not seek revenge or wish that person harm? Does it make a difference if the person has already been punished? For example, does it make sense to speak of forgiving criminals who have served their time?

I would say that one requirement for forgiveness is the belief that the person will not repeat the offending act or do something similar.

I just viewed a lecture by Martin Nowak on cooperation. I highly recommend it, but it is kind of long, so let me tell the part that applies to forgiveness. The lecture speaks about cooperation and the incentives for it. He mentions the prisoner’s dilemma model. In this model, in a one time encounter between two people or two animals, it is always best to cheat. However, if both partners cheat, the reward is not as great as if both cooperate. Nowak then goes on to explain that the best strategy in multiple encounters by the same two individuals is payback with forgiveness. Basically, one should cooperate if the other cooperated the previous time and cheat with a certain probability if the other cheated the last time. In other words, the asymmetry shows that there is an evolutionary advantage to forgiveness.

King_Pariah's avatar

I can’t forgive anyone, I’ll say I do, but I’ll always remember and trust them less and less. Sorry is such a pathetic word.

Coloma's avatar

Forgiveness is for ones own inner peace, and does not mean that through our forgiving we choose to continue a relationship with someone who has harmed us.
Only with understanding for how ones behavior impacts another and sincere attempts to make amends do we allow another a second chance, dependent on the actions in question.

I believe everyone deserves a second chance, but, it just may not be with me. lol

My personality type is not one of grudge holding.

I may be angry, sad, disappointed, briefly, but I move on quickly.

Grudge holding and non-forgiveness are poison to the soul.

Coloma's avatar

I have always liked the mantra of ” hurting people, hurt others.”

Sure, we can all be ‘guilty’ of minor inconsiderations, thoughtless words that are assimilated in ways we did not intend, and all manner of small stuff from time to time.

A self aware person will ‘catch’ themselves quickly and apologize for any unintentional behaviors.

BUT…it is true, that most of the more serious breaches of trust, cruelties, and harm done to others, come from people full of self loathing and disconnect from our shared humanity, as well as some of the more serious personality disorders that foster abusive behaviors.

While I may understand, I also choose to swiftly remove myself from those with longstanding patterns of behavior that they have no interest in exploring.

Random moments of errant behavior are not the same thing as longstanding issues that will continue to create pain.

I take the psycho/spiritual approach…“Namaste, Fuck off!” lolol

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