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ESSAY 3: About Forgiveness:

marzo 19, 2014

The concept of forgiveness is a curious one in human cultures, maybe even a contradictory one. Because in a world where natural selection, psychological battles of supremacy in the group, tribe or whatever is it, have always taken place for everyone, the humility (in both senses) of forgiveness has embedded with it the notion of weakness. This is especially true in Arabic cultures, for example. But there are some exceptions; mainly in the Western civilization our catholic roots have given us some respect or admiration to this feeling.

To forgive and forget is indeed considered sometimes subconsciously maybe like a form of moral superiority. Oscar Wilde said once ‘Forgive your enemies, there is nothing that annoys them so much’. You can see in this way, but also there exists the forgiveness simply because of moral ideology. A, for some strange, completely disinterested decision that would contradict the principles of nature itself. In theory, in the natural world there is no pardon. The winner gets bigger, the looser disappears. And the world progresses.

Why forgive? Why act apparently weak? In this apparent contradiction we can see that there is something that explains it. It is called Human nature, which is different from all other nature in the universe.

We are subject, because the existence of our consciences allows it, to the choosing of good and evil. And many people realize that everybody does things wrong sometimes, and themselves too, and they choose to act integrally. They forgive other people because they know that they could do whatever the other one did too, and they want to be just, and not ‘see the speck in your neighbor’s eye and not the beam in their own’.

This tendency, however, to forgive, but not forget, is plainly immaturity, and shows that pardon has not really been given. Pardon consists on what I explained above. If one forgives, but doesn’t forget, it is merely more like a ‘truce’, more like a ‘I won’t do you wrong, but only because it interests me, or even a ‘I genuinely pardon you, but only by now, because I might change opinion if it suits me. This is nothing less than not pardoning in the sentimental feeling, only a rational strategy, and thus false.

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