To Forgive, or Not Forgive

I have considered the question, “Should punishment have a forgiveness component to it?” Many have compassionately written about the need to forgive those who have hurt us. They argue that to withhold forgiveness to the offender, only keeps the offended person from healing. Are there some crimes (rape, murder, or bodily destruction) that should not be forgiven? Are some shocking evils indefensible, unpardonable, and unforgiveable?  Are there excruciating cruelties that one can’t get beyond and forgive? I know it is controversial, but I propose that we have a right not to forgive or to forget certain vicious deeds. I argue we have a right to continue to be angry with those dishonorable doers of evil. In such cases, if one chooses not to forgive or forget, the goal should be to not become so obsessed with anger that the victim can’t move forward in life. Is that possible? Are some evil deeds so painful that they can’t be, shouldn’t be forgiven? It is of great ironic interest and dismaying hypocrisy to me when I hear certain Christian sanctimonious do-gooders talk about the importance of forgiveness. Interesting and hypocritical to the extent that these are the same incredulous individuals who sardonically worship an unforgiving revengeful God, and paradoxically advocate for an agonizing deontological punishment of Hell and the nightmare of eternal damnation. Alas, such are the absurdities and the ironies of the human condition! What do you think?


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