Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


FORGIVING - MOSTLY IT IS JUST PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE VIRTUE-SIGNALLING

There is a difference between 1 forgiving somebody who hurts you but who who has done kind things for you and 2 somebody who has not.

So you should forgive 1 if there is a choice between 1 and 2. In the real world, forgive 1 first and then try 2. 1 has priority.

Forgiving a person is selfish, perhaps malicious or immoral, when it ignores how it enables the person to do more harm. If forgiving is just or largely about you not wanting to feel bitter and hurt then that is definitely selfish. The bad person will see that you are giving in to them so that you can feel okay or good and are not going to check the terrible behaviour. To make it about feeling good tells the perpetrator that is all you care about so you will “forgive” again for an easy life. To feel at peace, you are not going to want to upbraid it! You will not bother. It is clear that unless the other person is clearly and sincerely remorseful and contrite, you are willing to let them be bad and use none of your power to try to talk them out of evil. You have to influence them anyway. Saying something and saying nothing still communicates a message.

Real forgiveness is not about getting rid of bad feelings but is about you changing towards the other person. It is about you becoming open to think only good of them now and give them only good for it is about now and not what happened in the past.

So the good benefits are what come after you forgive but are not what forgiveness is about. Forgiveness must not be confused with its outcomes. It’s a response to the dignity of the other person and accepts that dignity and refuses to risk defining them by the bad thing they have done.

Forgiveness is granted in spite of what the other person has done and what they truly deserve. It is not and cannot be granted because of what they have done. For that reason real forgiveness is open to and willing to tell the person to do wrong no more and will involve a refusal to tolerate it. Forgiveness can be very painful and perhaps worse than resentment but it as forgiveness has to be linked to love of the other and to justice for the other that is to be expected.

To forgive a person means to offer them good or do good for them when they did bad for you. Understood this way, forgiveness is not about getting rid of the emotional hurt. That is a separate matter. It would be selfish to be good to the other person just so that you may deal with your feeling of hate for them and feel much better. Forgiving would then be a lie. If forgiveness is a virtue then it is for the other person. It is trying to see that the other person has a wound and that was why they hurt you so compassion will be an element. You are doing it for the other person not to be the bigger person yourself.

This is about forgiving just because it is good. It is like you choose to do loving things for the bad person in spite of the pain and in spite of what they truly deserve.

What about forgiving for yourself and the other person? What is stopping you from doing it only for the other person? If you are going to do it at all then why not? This is forgiveness with a but. It is not the real deal. You are looking for a sort of friendship with the other person but that means that unless they change you will not fully or properly forgive.

What about forgiving not for you or the other but because there is already enough pain in the world? You forgive to make something generally better for the world and its not about you or the other person as individuals.

When somebody is brutally murdered, how many people will do the Christian thing and call for forgiveness immediately?  Nobody does.  This is clear proof that most Christians are not really Christian at all for it is a core matter.  It proves that they do not love all sinners and hate their sins.  It proves that Jesus and his religion is a failure.  Going along with those failures makes things worse.

The threat by Jesus not to forgive those who do not forgive is terrible. Some argue that it only asks that you be in love with God so much that naturally you will love his creature as well which he loves and has made. So it is not intended as a threat.  But if there is no loving God then it is a threat.  Intention cannot change what it is.  It might only be true of somebody who loves God as much as a God would deserve but the love God gets amounts to a little liking not love.  Why did Jesus not explain it the way his interpreters do?  Why did he treat forgiveness as a transaction and speak of it that way?  What else are we going to think when we read, "Unless you forgive you will not be forgiven yourself"?

Religion says, "God forgives as soon as we sin but we have to respond to his mercy and forgiveness." But you don't have to respond to get the forgiveness. You just get it.  Accepting God’s forgiveness is not permitting him to forgive.  If it is then we can be self-righteous and insist that our choice has done that.  So you will get no compassion for refusing to accept God's forgiveness.  Any bad results will be seen as your own creation and your own doing.  This teaching pressures and bullies you.  It is not truly a doctrine of love and forgiveness but passive aggressive.  You should not be treated like that over a being who might not exist or who might not care what you do.