Is forgiveness justifiable?

Cpt_pineapple
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Is forgiveness justifiable?

So I was thinking about the whole religion and behaviour arguments I've seen and then came across this BBC article.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14199078

 

Basically some guy shot a store clerk for being Muslim [also killed two others], was put on death row, and now the survivor is advocating that he not get the death penalty and be an "educator against ignorance."

 

So how far should forgiveness go? Should he be forgiven and be "an educator against ignorance" or just be executed?

 

I would like to note, that I don't think "forgiven" means released from jail.

 

What motivates people to forgive [the victim] and change [the shooter]?

 

 

 

 


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For some, the logic can be

For some, the logic can be that greater good can come from the tragedy in the way of education of others and hopefully prevent others from committing the same mistake, where simply killing the perpetrator would do none of that, and in some sense cause others to do more of the same, as the perpetrator can be viewed as a martyr to some. I will say that it does take a lot to forgive someone of murder, especially if it is the family of the victim. But if they can see a greater good of that person living than killing them, well, there you go. That's just my take on it.


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Depends on what you mean by

Depends on what you mean by "forgive" and "change".

To forgive can mean the release of resentment and hurt feelings without relinquishing the need for justice or reparation, and without minimizing the event or the situation. 

It can also mean the total relinquishment of reparation and justice.  The debt is forgiven - you no longer owe a dime.  Jesus forgives you - you are now as clean as snow.  I think most people think this way when they think of forgiveness. 

It seems to me this guy would like to be forgiven in both senses.  To atone and attempt to provide some justice for his victims and to wipe out the death sentence.  I have no opinion on whether he should or should not be forgiven in any sense as I don't know him, his victims, their families, and so on.  He may have "changed" and it may be a con.  Can't tell from this distance.

I do think people can change.  And change in significant ways.  But I am skeptical of the massive changes necessary to go from killing in cold blood to Johnny SweetnessAndLight.  What does his psychiatrist say?

 

 

 

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cj wrote: I do think people

cj wrote:
I do think people can change.  And change in significant ways. 

That would be the exception and not the rule.

 

Considering this guy's particular history, and what's at stake for society....best to err on the side of caution and fry him...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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The death penalty is a giant

The death penalty is a giant waste. It's ridiculous, and people who support it should be charged as accessories to murder 1.

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Vastet wrote:The death

Vastet wrote:
The death penalty is a giant waste.

No.

It's called 'Taking out the trash'.


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Vastet wrote:The death

Vastet wrote:
The death penalty is a giant waste. It's ridiculous, and people who support it should be charged as accessories to murder 1.

I have often wondered exactly where I do stand on the death penalty. For instance, if someone broke in my house, raped and murdered my girlfriend, I would want them dead.

But, if I had a family member that shot someone in cold blood or committed a horrendous crime, and let's say it is a family member that I have always been really close to, would I be able to say that they deserve to die ? I guess there would be no true way for me to answer that unless faced with it.

Me personally, I don't think that I could forgive someone for murdering someone close to me, unless it was an accident, like a car wreck or something unintentional, I believe I could eventually forgive that once I got through the whole grieving process thing.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
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 OK, so the dude responded

 

OK, so the dude responded to 9/11 by attempting to rid the world of convenience store clerks. He admits it guilty as charged.

 

Now I am happy that the sole survivor forgives him. But the fact remains that the number of dead guys was determined by how fast the SWAT team was able to take him down. Perhaps we should ask other potential victims how glad they are that traffic was not worse that particular day.

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harleysportster wrote:Vastet

harleysportster wrote:

Vastet wrote:
The death penalty is a giant waste. It's ridiculous, and people who support it should be charged as accessories to murder 1.

I have often wondered exactly where I do stand on the death penalty. For instance, if someone broke in my house, raped and murdered my girlfriend, I would want them dead.

But, if I had a family member that shot someone in cold blood or committed a horrendous crime, and let's say it is a family member that I have always been really close to, would I be able to say that they deserve to die ? I guess there would be no true way for me to answer that unless faced with it.

Me personally, I don't think that I could forgive someone for murdering someone close to me, unless it was an accident, like a car wreck or something unintentional, I believe I could eventually forgive that once I got through the whole grieving process thing.

The arguments for/against the death penalty should not have anything to do with personal forgiveness or not, but should only be about "Does the death penalty do more good than harm to society as a whole?" By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment), while drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

Aside from that, the question of personal forgiveness remains an interesting one.

Personally, I think forgiveness can be a very helpful way of improving one's mental health, if constant brooding over some issue is causing mental health problems like depression, uncontrolled anger/rage problems, abuse, self-abuse, and potential suicide, among others.

Also, I didn't read the article or whatever it was, but the survivor seemed to be advocating for the murderer to take on some positive role in society. I can get behind that kind of forgiveness, especially if the 'alternative' is death. Just because someone committed a horrible crime doesn't mean that they are incapable of voluntarily providing some beneficial service to society. In fact, that's the paradigm of rehabilitation that we should be pushing for in criminal enforcement. Wherever I've seen rehabilitation provided, the overall social benefit (including reduced overall crime from reduced recidivism) has been very large.

The one danger I see in forgiveness, though, is when people 'forgive' horrible crimes as a way of 'forgiving and forgetting', which amounts to simply sweeping bad shit under the rug where it festers and grows. This can happen in the criminal justice system, but it also happens in personal abusive relationships where the victim of abuse too quickly 'forgives and forgets' the abuser's transgressions, and stays in the relationship. That kind of forgiveness ... ahem... cannot be forgiven... or something.

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natural wrote:The one danger

natural wrote:

The one danger I see in forgiveness, though, is when people 'forgive' horrible crimes as a way of 'forgiving and forgetting', which amounts to simply sweeping bad shit under the rug where it festers and grows. This can happen in the criminal justice system, but it also happens in personal abusive relationships where the victim of abuse too quickly 'forgives and forgets' the abuser's transgressions, and stays in the relationship. That kind of forgiveness ... ahem... cannot be forgiven... or something.

I totally agree with that statement.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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natural wrote:By any

natural wrote:

By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment), while drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

That's a fallacy. Reduce the penalty for murder to a fine, and get back to me on how the numbers of murders don't spike.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Well, a fine might work

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redneF wrote:natural

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:

By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment), while drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

That's a fallacy. Reduce the penalty for murder to a fine, and get back to me on how the numbers of murders don't spike.

That's a fallacy (two actually, Straw Man and False Dichotomy.) I said "compared to life imprisonment." What part of "compared to life imprisonment" do you not understand?

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redneF
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natural wrote:redneF

natural wrote:

redneF wrote:

natural wrote:

By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment), while drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

That's a fallacy. Reduce the penalty for murder to a fine, and get back to me on how the numbers of murders don't spike.

That's a fallacy (two actually, Straw Man and False Dichotomy.) I said "compared to life imprisonment."

You must have forgotten what you wrote.

My mistake for not quoting you properly...

What you actually said is:

natural wrote:
The arguments for/against the death penalty...  should only be about "Does the death penalty do more good than harm to society as a whole?"

The obvious answer is that destroying anything that kills innocent members of society is beneficial to society as a whole.

Murderers fit that category.

natural wrote:
What part of "compared to life imprisonment" do you not understand?

I understand the enormous distinction between being put to death, and being allowed to live and not have to worry ever about having 3 squares and a roof over your head.

What part of that huge continuum escapes you?

natural wrote:
By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment)

I'll repeat it again. This is a fallacy.

Whenever the threat of death increases, the amount of average people willing to engage in an activity, decreases.

There are any number of examples in the real world, from handling rattle snakes, to walking tightropes over Niagara Falls that clearly demonstrate that fact.

Attempting to debate that fact, is patently absurd. Sorry.

Ask anyone why they won't go licking high tension wires, and the answer is ' Because I'm not mental'.

natural wrote:
 ... drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

This is an inane argument against the death penalty. Taken to it's logical extension, everything from surgery to operating a motor vehicle could be argued against the 'practice' of, for the 'reason' that it could inadvertently result in 'innocent people dying'.

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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redneF wrote:natural wrote:

redneF wrote:
natural wrote:
By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment)

I'll repeat it again. This is a fallacy.

Whenever the threat of death increases, the amount of average people willing to engage in an activity, decreases.

You would expect that to be true, but the surprising fact is that it's not true, especially in the case of the death penalty.

You will, for example, have a very difficult time finding any serious research supporting the effectiveness of the death penalty in prevention of crime. In most cases, you'll actually find the opposite correlation, that states that use the death penalty have higher incidents of capital offenses, for example.

But I'll leave you to it. It's actually a detour from the topic of the OP (which is the question of forgiveness and its justifiability). If you want to continue on this vein, start another thread; these debates tend to be derailments.

Quote:
There are any number of examples in the real world, from handling rattle snakes, to walking tightropes over Niagara Falls that clearly demonstrate that fact.

Attempting to debate that fact, is patently absurd. Sorry.

Yes, because immediate threats of death are exactly the same as potential long-term consequences of possibly getting caught committing a crime. Obviously. Only not actually. Again, start another thread if you want to continue this.

Quote:
natural wrote:
 ... drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

This is an inane argument against the death penalty. Taken to it's logical extension, everything from surgery to operating a motor vehicle could be argued against the 'practice' of, for the 'reason' that it could inadvertently result in 'innocent people dying'.

You're not addressing the argument: It is a question of whether the benefit outweighs the risks. Not a question of if there are absolutely no risks. Due to your mangling of my sentences, you're losing sight of the context. Here's what I said:

natural wrote:
"Does the death penalty do more good than harm to society as a whole?" By any objective standards, it has been shown to be ineffective at preventing crime (compared to life imprisonment), while drastically increasing the risk of killing innocent, wrongly convicted people.

If you feel the need to reply to this, please do start another thread.

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natural wrote: You would

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