FORGIVENESS - an incoherent mirage that gets worse when religion is brought into it

Forgiveness is defined as ceasing to hold resentment towards a person who did you some real or perceived wrong or ceasing to blame them and to judge them as deserving of punishment. Another part of it is the restoration of the relationship that has been broken.


For atheists, forgiveness is person to person.  For religion it is person to person yes but because God wants you to forgive and offer reconciliation.  Love your neighbour as yourself means forgiving is only the start and reconciliation is the real goal.  And religion speaks of God forgiving human beings too.
The Church encourages people to tell their enemies and those who hurt them badly that they forgive them. The forgivers are misled to see this as the way to heal anger and get freed from it as well as from hate and fear.  But as human nature is prone to seeing what it wants to see this is going to lead to being too soft in the face of the enemy.  This is really about making the Church and God and Jesus look like instruments of peace at your expense and that of your loved ones.  Forgiving the enemy cannot change them.  If you think it might then you are irresponsibly overrating yourself.


Tolle writes that we are all one being ultimately so forgiving the enemy is an act of self-love.  Now the complaint about this is that to forgive the other is admitting the other is the other and that reconciliation is needed.  To see the other as literally yourself and to then forgive is not forgiveness but a selfish act.  If you cannot be good to another unless you project yourself onto them then you are making it about you alone. 
To redefine forgiveness as realising you and the other person are not separate beings at all but one person is emptying the word of its meaning.  If you make forgiveness about you and it is true you have dangerous selfish tendencies then this scheme is destined to go wrong.  Peace and love will not be the end result.


Now take the Christian doctrine that we are each of us separate beings and that God who makes us unites us.  The Christian notion is that God is our father and thus closer to each of us than we are to ourselves.  This actually makes the separateness less relevant.  Sometimes the individuals in a group are erased by treating the group as a unit.  This can in practice and in our mentality be as bad as what Tolle is doing.


And Tolle argues that there is no real evil, no real harm and no real wrong.  Religions that say ultimately all is not about right and wrong or good and evil but all that is transcended would agree.  Christianity by saying God does not make evil but evil is just good being good the wrong way is not really much better.  If you cannot believe in evil properly you cannot forgive properly either.  And if you see children being raped and murdered and it is implied that it is your perception not the actions that designates it as an example of absolute evil that puts the blame on you.  It says you want to use the suffering of the children in order to see an evil that is not there.
If you are mad at evil people and those who abused you you end up feeling tied to them and that makes you feel worse. It is a horrendous experience. There is a feeling of being in bondage until you find a way to let go.  Forgiveness is sold as the solution.  It is clearly not always.  People who don't forgive can handle it in a very productive way.  The rape victim may not forgive the attacker and channel the energy into helping others.
Those who forgive are trying to get around the terrible experience instead of trying to get through it. That involves recognising that the other has wronged you and seeing this wrong as it truly is - not better and not worse. Accept to live through the pain and sense of loss. When you face reality with such courage it will help you feel that you do not have to run from reality. That helps some of the fear and pain. You get a better sense of strength and control. Resolve that if you cannot make yourself feel any less hurt or feel better that you will avoid doing anything that makes you feel worse.
So forgiveness then solves no problems but is trying to deny the problems. Religions of forgiveness are manipulating you so that they can look good.
The person who forgives will reason, "That person hurts me for he sees me as a danger. He hates his perception of me and not me and so I forgive. I understand and understanding is necessary for forgiving."
In fact a person who has warped perception is worse than the person who sees you as you are and hates you for it. That person is more dangerous. It is more rational to forgive the person who hates you because he knows you.
To say somebody deserves something is to say they must be punished if possible. Christians believe that God does the punishing. Resentment involves the desire to hurt them for what they did or to see them punished. Often resentment may draw you to withdraw yourself from them in some way and hurt them spitefully. Forgiveness is not excusing evil or condoning evil. It admits that evil is evil but it chooses to let it go for everyone’s sake. That is what we are told anyway especially by religionists.
Ceasing to blame the person is simply condoning or rewarding what you think was done wrong. Condoning is not blaming what should be blamed. If God does that then he is just being a silly hypocrite for being opposed to the person in the first place.
Forgiveness then makes no sense for it says a person should be treated as they don’t deserve which really amounts to saying you will not treat a person as a person so it is hardly loving. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness. Augustine tried to solve the problem by saying you must love the sinner and hate the sin. If you love the sinner and hate the sin then you must forgive the sin and not forgive the sinner! Loving the sinner and hating the sin is impossible if you have the honesty to see that and it makes nonsense of forgiveness.
If believers should forgive one another as their God instructs then what do they need to believe in free will for? It is a needless exercise.
There is no point in believing in free will if you are going to treat a sin as something that is not part of the person. And if you buy the lie that you love the sinner and hate the sin then why are you calling the sinner a sinner? Isn’t that saying the person and the sin are one and the same? The command really means that you are going to reward a sinner by pretending that he or she does not sin and that the sin is like a bug that got latched on to them without their doing. You can only forgive if you believe in free will. When you don’t need to believe in free will and then believe in it you are accusing people of freely doing wrong without evidence meaning that forgiveness cannot be practiced. I mean you can only forgive what you believe was done wrong. But if you have invented the wrong you have accused them of then if you forgive the forgiveness is not real forgiveness at all.
What then about those who forgive a murder but who are still devastated by the killing? They are saying that it matters that the murder happened but not that a person did it which is totally schizophrenic and incoherent. They hate the loss of life but not the sin. Weird.
Cancelling the punishment is cancelling what the sinners have asked for. Punishment is meant to make you pay your debt and grow as a better person in doing so. So forgiveness does not set you free so that you can do better. To be punished is to be respected as a person.
The reason that condoning crime is bad is that it lets the criminals off and stops resenting them. It rewards and encourages crime while claiming that crime is bad. It is what condoning results in that makes it bad. When forgiveness does that too it follows that it and condoning are one and the same thing and or as bad as each other.
Forgivers look down on people who condone. They should cast the plank out of their own eye if they want to see clearly to remove the speck from anybody else’s eyes.
It is said that forgiveness is not the same as condoning crime. The difference is supposed to be that forgiveness still allows you to punish while condoning forbids it.
With forgiveness, you can’t punish because of the crime because you have forgotten the crime so you have to find other reasons to punish. In fact you are not punishing at all for punishment is making the wrongdoer pay for the crime. It is still condoning. Forgiveness is just condoning in a new guise. Even people who condone may send the people they condone to jail for some reason other than for the crime. Condoning and forgiving both have no concern for punishing the crime so they are the same thing.
Mercy says a crime should not be punished as much as it should be and in so far as it does that it rewards the crime. Punishment is evil if mercy is right. So, God cannot be merciful and cannot want us to be so belief in a good God who made us is unreasonable.
You forgive because you feel like it not because you think you should therefore you are condoning the crime for you forget the crime because you feel like it without any real concern for its inherent badness. We are naturally sensual creatures. Reason only influences our actions when we feel devotion to it.
All this applies to God as it does us, too.

My conclusion is that God forgiving you makes no sense.


There is a link between gratitude and forgiveness.  You will not forgive x unless there is something about x to be grateful for.  And what about being grateful for the opportunity to move on?  The idea of God being grateful to us is mad but is implied by how we ask him for forgiveness and love.  Religion says he can't be grateful for he gives us all that we have.  And yet without the stirrings of thankfulness how can we learn to love God or forgive or ask his mercy?  Christian love for God is really a disguised love for a humanised version of God.  It is an idol and we are pretending that we don't think we deserve anything from God.  In fact we think God should be about us.  We think God owes us everything.


God does not have feelings or passions for feelings and passions are what happen to you so you are passive in a real sense. But God as creator, maker of all from nothing, is self-sufficient and is always active. Nothing can happen to him but only because of him.  Would you thank a robot that has no feelings even if it simulates them or pretends it has them?  You would be damaged or crazy if you did.  The idea of thanking a being who has no feelings and who cannot understand or experience feelings shows that believers are not thanking him at all but an idol version of God in their heads.


Interestingly, animals are programmed but are not the same as robots.  It is sensible to thank your pet.  We can be programmed and not notice it for we don't really know how we work only that we work.  But God is not a living being like us and the animals so it is not the same thing.


We will not to let our feelings about people who do grave harm treat them as if we are sure they have free will. Free will cannot be proven so we choose to give them amnesty. Amnesty is giving the benefit of the doubt. It is not judging the person as needing condemnation and then deciding to be merciful instead.

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