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Thread: To forgive is to approve?

  1. #1 To forgive is to approve? 
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    To forgive is to approve?

    If you forgive a person for something they did, does this mean that you approve of what they did?

    Is the other person, if they are forgiven, to think that if they are forgiven something, then this is also approved?

    If you think that to forgive is to approve -- Why do you think so, what are your arguments for thinking this way?

    If you think that to forgive and to approve are two different things -- Why do you think so, what difference do you make between forgiveness and approval, what are your arguments for thinking this way?


    Discuss.


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  3. #2 Re: To forgive is to approve? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    To forgive is to approve?

    If you forgive a person for something they did, does this mean that you approve of what they did?

    Is the other person, if they are forgiven, to think that if they are forgiven something, then this is also approved?

    If you think that to forgive is to approve -- Why do you think so, what are your arguments for thinking this way?

    If you think that to forgive and to approve are two different things -- Why do you think so, what difference do you make between forgiveness and approval, what are your arguments for thinking this way?


    Discuss.
    I don't think you approve of what you did. I think it means that you've moved on with your life and you don't want to deal with the burden of your past anymore. Of course, if someone doesn't accept that apology, that's a whole other issue. Look at the late Pope John Paul II. He forgave his would-be assassin. I doubt he approved of what he did.

    I forgave my friend who went off on me because she went off on me for not telling her a secret. She's still a evil woman. I've done it. I've moved on. From what my friends tell me, she still holds a grudge on me.

    Forgiveness does not equal approval.


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  4. #3  
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    I agree with poly_nightmare, forgiving and approving are two different things. I would say that approval also entails a kind of encouragment, or at least the approved thing is thought to be good in some way.
    In short, approval is a positive sanctification of something.

    If you just forgive someone, you tolerate his actions, and decide not to react on the same grounds. But it can be negatively connotated, contrary to approval.
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  5. #4  
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    To forgive is not to approve, or condone, or to appease; it simply means that you understand the action that has been commited and the person that perpetrated it and because of your love of the person and your understanding of the situation, you decide to let it go and not let it hamper your relationship and your own well being.

    The act of forgiveness is a liberating experience that actually does you good and makes you feel better, lifting a great weight that if left to its own devices is capable of bringing you down and making you depressed, sad, angry, bitter and hateful.

    Sometimes of course, in our quest for justice, we find it very hard, if not impossible, to forgive and what tends to happen in our frustration is that our negative feelings are directed towards ourselves, causing us even more misery. The thing to understand, is that some some things are just too hard to resolve, or maybe too time consuming, too frustrating or just too unworthy. In these cases, we must resolve to learn from our mistakes to avoid future problems and learn to live with the harm that's been caused, but most importantly we must forgive ourselves for falling into the trap in the first place.

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  6. #5  
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    they are most different things indeed. for example, many people forgive their childs killer in cases of manslaughter. but they wolud not say to the person "nice going mate, how abotu a beer".
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  7. #6  
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    I thank you all for your responses.

    I am more interested in this spin of the issue -- but didn't want to say so in the opener so as to not narrow down the field too much:


    Why do people refuse to forgive?


    It seems to me that if we look at forgiveness and approval from this direction, there exists a connection between the two that wasn't previously mentioned.
    I think we have all experienced situations where people refuse to forgive; even when the offense doesn't seem so grave.

    I had a friend who offended me. I refused to forgive him, as I felt that if I would do so, I would condone, approve of his behaviour, and he could offend me again. Had I forgiven him, he could think it is alright what he did, and would feel justified going on the old way.
    In this situation, to forgive would be to approve.
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  8. #7  
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    you say you had a friend who offended you, like in the past tense, does that mean you don't have this friend any more? If not, they're not likely to offend you again, but you'll never enjoy their friendship again either; so what did you gain by not forgiving them?
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  9. #8  
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    Well, answering that question in my personal situation, I lost someone who double-crossed me time after time to save his own hide. Now, it is said that being insane means doing the same and expecting different results. I doubt forgiving or not forgiving will have much effect on someone who has proven his willingness to lie to you. He will probably do the same in a similar situation.

    Personally I see forgiveness as acknowledging that it has happened, that it was regrettable, but that it will no longer play a role in the future.

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  10. #9  
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    Cool. You're obviously better off without that type of person in your life, trick now is not to make the same mistake again (as in choice of friends) without shunning everyone you meet. It's regrettably very easy to lose trust in people.
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  11. #10  
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    Hmmm.. I am attending a school much below my level right now, and most of my peers are moronic. This means that I can play them quite easily, as they are oblivious to my reasoning (I can bullshit my way out and into anything), and I don't get screwed over, as I don't let them screw me over (though they have tried mind you).
    I wouldn't say I have trust issues, I just believe in trusting those people whose interests are the same as mine. When I know that people have nothing to gain in selling me out, I don't have to worry.

    Still, it's a failing strategy, since I'll end up being screwed eventually, but than trust is a weakness.

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  12. #11  
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    I am not friends with that person anymore. I outweighed the benefits and the drawbacks of being friends with him, and decided it is better to break up; that offense was the drop over the brim.

    The point is that if the two parties have incompatible moral codes, it can easily happen that they will view the same situation very differently.
    What to one party is forgiveness, the other may view as approval.

    With incompatible moral codes, forgiveness becomes equal with approval.
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    Ok well forgiveness is often given too easily - and that's where any sign of approval might come into play. If the issue isn't got off your chest first, isn't made understood to those who have offended, then what they see with their eyes would be a totally different level to what you do.

    Unless you explain it all to them they'll never appreciate exactly what they've done. They can apologise because they know you're upset, but they wont really understand the finer details of it unless you inform them.
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  14. #13  
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    What do you think of the saying, "If someone let's you down once, it's their fault; if they let you down twice, it's your fault."

    I understand that you should forgive people, and so if someone let's you down you should forgive them, because holding a grudge sucks for both you and that person. But does that mean you should never trust them again? No second chances? Just wondering what you guys think.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    I am not friends with that person anymore. I outweighed the benefits and the drawbacks of being friends with him, and decided it is better to break up; that offense was the drop over the brim.

    The point is that if the two parties have incompatible moral codes, it can easily happen that they will view the same situation very differently.
    What to one party is forgiveness, the other may view as approval.

    With incompatible moral codes, forgiveness becomes equal with approval.
    I disagree with that viewpoint. I think that if you forgive someone and move on, you know in your heart how it is. That is what is the most important.

    If this person you forgave, sees it as approval, it is his problem, not yours.

    Better to forgive and move on, then to look back in anger and hate. At least, you will have peace of mind if you can forgive, no matter how others view it. People have a tendency to view things the way it suits them best anyhow. People assume too much. Often those assumptions are not correct.
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  16. #15  
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    Better to Pardon then to Forgive. To forgive implies almost a friendship, to pardon not so much so. I suppose either could be skewed. To forgive followed by a hug, to pardon followed by a signed document. Not to be taken as an absolute.
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  17. #16 Yet another proposition 
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    What if I assert that forgiveness is condescending? After all, it's not mine to judge, right?
    "A red rose absorbs all colours but red; red is therefore the one colour that it is not." (Perdurabo)
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  18. #17 Re: To forgive is to approve? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    To forgive is to approve?
    No.

    If you forgive a person for something they did, does this mean that you approve of what they did?
    No.

    Is the other person, if they are forgiven, to think that if they are forgiven something, then this is also approved?
    No.

    If you think that to forgive and to approve are two different things -- Why do you think so, what difference do you make between forgiveness and approval, what are your arguments for thinking this way?
    Approval is celebratory. It's active. It's embracing.

    Forgiveness is not that. It is "I will not hold your bad act against you." It doesn't mean you approve. In a sense it's "I wash my hands of your badness". Being alive doesn't necessarily mean you have to burden yourself with everyone else's "sins"....

    In fact, your sins are your problem unless they threaten me, in which case I take the authority to act in my own best interest. I can forgive you and kill you. I cannot approve of what you did and kill you.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    With incompatible moral codes, forgiveness becomes equal with approval.
    Hmm.. that's an interesting thought but I disagree.

    Forgivenss doesn't have to have anythign to do with the other person. You could have forgiven him for your own sake, yet still gotten away from him so as not to incur further annoyance or offence.

    You're right though that as long as you continue to judge him by your moral code with no consideration to his own, you can not forgive him. It seems to me that relegating it to moral incompatability and "no hard feelings" because remorse is a waste of time would be a better course of action that continuing to sit in condescension as T put it.

    To me, it belittles you to condescend... and since you've done nothing wrong but employ your own morals, you shouldn't lessen yourself with such behavior.

    I'd probably go away thinking about it quite simply as "wow what a jackass"... "I wonder if they'll be less of a jackass later, or why they think that being such a jackass is okay now".
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  20. #19 Re: Yet another proposition 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiassa
    What if I assert that forgiveness is condescending? After all, it's not mine to judge, right?
    Actually I think it is yours to judge. It's just not yours to insist your judgement is relevant in another frame of reference unless you have no choice.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesmorris
    Actually I think it is yours to judge. It's just not yours to insist your judgement is relevant in another frame of reference unless you have no choice.
    I'll meet you halfway inasmuch as I don't exactly disagree with you, and it seems to be a simple matter of terminology.

    In other words, I might be attaching presumptuously certain moral aspects to the idea of "judgment" versus a more practical or clinical notion of "assessment".

    Like we've discussed of hatred in the past: yes, we might imagine that we would hate the person who is shooting at us, but what rational good comes from giving over to that judgment? A cold assessment of fact will most likely provide more certain avenues for surviving the situation…

    <blockquote>• "Jack died trying to kill the shooter for being human scum."

    • "Sure, the shooter may be human scum, but it's good you found a way out of there alive, Jack."

    • "Jack killed the shooter because there was no other way to stop the disaster."</blockquote>

    Does Jack let loose a bloodcurdling scream and rush the shooter? Does he carefully crawl behind cover to freedom and safety? Does he take up a sheltered position and wait for the chance to take down the shooter? (We can presume he's suitably armed for the purposes of this consideration.)

    Would Jack rationally take a position if he had no line on the shooter? Would he rationally take an exposed position? Are Jack's actions guided by a moral assertion or a factual reality? 'Tis a fine line between judgment and assessment sometimes, but the reasons we do what we do often make a tremendous difference.

    However, as I could be reading you entirely wrongly, it seems unwise to toe across the midpoint.
    "A red rose absorbs all colours but red; red is therefore the one colour that it is not." (Perdurabo)
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  22. #21  
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    It seems to me that when assessment commands action it is judgement. So the two are basically equivalent. Just wanted to blurt that out before I forgot it.
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  23. #22  
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    I Saw 'the interpreter' tonight -skipping out on a chance to hear Richard Stallman speak. The movie put a huge emphasis on the act of pardoning. Supposedly, theres this tribe in Africa has a unique ceremony when it comes to murder; one year after the crime, they throw the murderer into a river, hands and feet bound, and give the family of the murdered the choice of rescuing him, or allowing him to die. If they let him die, they get justice, but will spend the rest of their lives grieving. If they rescue him, they accept that life is not just, but will be free from grief(generally). This is how it should be done here in the west.

    It makes sense that one would be happier accepting the fact that life is not just rather than trying to IMPOSE justice through a fucked up legal system that tries to rise above natural law. Thus, forgiveness is not approval, but affirmation of natural law. And that can only be a positive thing.
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  24. #23  
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    Wes,

    With incompatible moral codes, forgiveness becomes equal with approval.
    Hmm.. that's an interesting thought but I disagree.

    Forgivenss doesn't have to have anythign to do with the other person. You could have forgiven him for your own sake, yet still gotten away from him so as not to incur further annoyance or offence.
    This is what I did.
    The problem emerges if the relationship is to be continued as it was before -- and the other person insists that they have committed no offence, and that my claims are "unreasonable".
    But then there was no good basis for a healthy relationship anyway, so it's better to leave it.


    * * *

    Snakeystew,


    Ok well forgiveness is often given too easily - and that's where any sign of approval might come into play.
    Exactly.


    If the issue isn't got off your chest first, isn't made understood to those who have offended, then what they see with their eyes would be a totally different level to what you do.

    Unless you explain it all to them they'll never appreciate exactly what they've done. They can apologise because they know you're upset, but they wont really understand the finer details of it unless you inform them.
    I seem to have had a lot of bad luck then. I know people who would expect and demand forgiveness, without allowing me to explain how they offended me. Almost an "If I have done something to offend you, forgive me, but I don't care for your petty reasons for being offended" ...

    Uh.

    * * *

    Locke,


    What do you think of the saying, "If someone let's you down once, it's their fault; if they let you down twice, it's your fault."

    I understand that you should forgive people, and so if someone let's you down you should forgive them, because holding a grudge sucks for both you and that person. But does that mean you should never trust them again? No second chances?
    Good problem.

    For one, I think the saying supposes more control of a relationship than I believe one can have.
    For two, it suggests an air of negativity -- it's like, "If someone has let you down once, be careful, for they might do it again, so be wary and break up with them at the first sign that they could let you down again."

    So, if anything, the saying should be, "If someone keeps letting you down, it is time to break up."
    But of course, it also depends on what the let-down is, and why it happened.


    * * *

    Jam,


    I disagree with that viewpoint. I think that if you forgive someone and move on, you know in your heart how it is. That is what is the most important.

    If this person you forgave, sees it as approval, it is his problem, not yours.
    It is my problem if they think it is alright to break promises they give me.

    I cannot "move on" and still think them my friends then.
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  25. #24  
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    Tiassa:
    Like we've discussed of hatred in the past: yes, we might imagine that we would hate the person who is shooting at us, but what rational good comes from giving over to that judgment? A cold assessment of fact will most likely provide more certain avenues for surviving the situation…

    A cold assesment of fact, given the shooter is human 'scum, is that no matter the method one cannot reason with scum..

    Would it kill you to hate just a little?

    “Yes, but you wouldn't begrudge me a little protection. A drop."- Wonka

    On topic:

    To think "forgive" is "approve" is to set up the idiot getting fucked in the ass again.
    Sincerely,

    Your Conscience.
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  26. #25 Just ask Eddie 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abraxas
    A cold assesment of fact, given the shooter is human 'scum, is that no matter the method one cannot reason with scum.
    Perhaps you miss the point.

    "Human scum" is far too subjective a concept for a cold assessment of fact.

    Would it kill you to hate just a little?
    Depends on the situation. Where I can afford such indulgences, I do occasionally partake.

    After all, is someone shooting? Why did you duck? Because that bullet went whizzing past your ear? How dare you judge that bullet.

    Or is the bullet whizzing past the ear a bit more coldly relevant than your personal sentiments concerning the guy setting the rounds to flight?

    The bullet is a real fact of life and death. How you feel about the shooter is merely that. In such a case, it would be best to save the hatred for a time when it wouldn't get a person killed.

    Consider Crispin Glover's (Danny) demise in the second-tier drama, Teachers (1984, dir. by Arthur Hiller). The whole reason we're supposed to feel some pathos toward the character is that he most likely wasn't going to shoot anybody but himself. Perhaps with rational handling, he could have made it through alive. But the situation escalated so quickly that potential force was met with real force according to "necessary" presumption, and poor Danny never had a chance from the word, "go".

    Nor do we begrudge the cop who isn't going to wait around and see if the punk shoots him. But we, the audience, can know through that mystical quirk of storytelling that the presumption of danger was overstated to the point of falsehood. Was Danny's action rationally-motivated? Hardly. The whole situation broke under the strain of irrationality.

    Would it kill someone to hate just a little? Just ask Eddie. One day his best friend hated someone. The next day, the friend was dead.

    And the waves roll on.
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  27. #26  
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    I agree with you T.

    Hate the shooter or don't, survival is the imperative and IT is based most soundly in cool headed threat analysis.

    Which is kind of what I was saying, but it took me a while to decode what you were saying into my own reference frame.

    It IS yours to judge... but running screaming at the guy from hatred would be as I stated, insisisting that your judgement is relevant in another frame of reference... in which the guy with the gun may decide you're a threat and shoot you.

    Whether or not the guy is scum is irrelevant. I may think he is.. I may in fact be certain that he is... but that is only a factor in the decision making regarding action in the scenario.
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  28. #27 Re: To forgive is to approve? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by water
    To forgive is to approve?

    If you forgive a person for something they did, does this mean that you approve of what they did?

    Is the other person, if they are forgiven, to think that if they are forgiven something, then this is also approved?

    If you think that to forgive is to approve -- Why do you think so, what are your arguments for thinking this way?

    If you think that to forgive and to approve are two different things -- Why do you think so, what difference do you make between forgiveness and approval, what are your arguments for thinking this way?


    Discuss.


    It is up to you to tell whoever it is you're forgiving what you are forgiving them for and why you are forgiving them. Since they did it to you , you must explain that just because you can forgive them other people may not be as so forgiving and do something to them for what they did. They must learn that sometimes their actions will bring upon them reactions that they might not expect rather that the forgivness you have shown them.


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  29. #28  
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    Hello to all refugees!.

    What to one party is forgiveness, the other may view as approval.
    Water I think that you have hit the nail on the head. One tends to forgive someone they may see it as an aproval of their action.

    I had a friend.
    Once he didn't pay the rent, instead he ganbled it away. We got evicted, I lived in the streets for a few weeks. That was once. I forgave him because he was an alcoholic, a gambler, and even him/kids & wife/and me were all screwed by his actions. He made amends with me, by letting me sleep at his friends house, when he finally got another appartment I moved in with him. The situation is I've known this individual for many years, we were the best of friends. He was divorced and it was just the two of us, his kids came for week-end visits, everything was fine and dandy.
    But since the life of a drug user is weird, and at that time, I was into crack I fell into some bad times, I had big fight and argument with him basically after that I had a nervous break down. I ended up in the hospital rehab. I moved out, but never forgot what the argument was about. (his wife).

    Two years latter, He envites me to live with him, by this time I was out of drugs had been clean for the past two years. I lived with him here in Las Vegas apx 2 months and he ended up throwing me out. Reason?. We were incompatible, he still used drugs, and was a drunk, I had straightened my ass out, and only wanted a chance to move here to Vegas. I'll never forgive that fucking bastard again.

    If I see him, now that I live in Las Vegas on my own recongnosense, he better not approach me and ask how I'm doing. I'll let him know, that he don't have any f*cking buisness of asking how I'm doing, because the day that he threw me out, he stoped caring of how I'm doing, so I don't like hipocrates. It's been ten years, I in a away forgave his actions, but I sure as hell will never forget. And if I meet with him by chance he will know I still hold a grudge.

    I feel I have every right to do so.

    So to forgive someone is closely related to approving. You forgive for your own well being, but the other party may see it as an approval, it depends on the gravity of the situation. I think that one would fully have to claim forgiveness but not approval of the actions, and on that matter I may forgive you, but don't ask me to forget.

    We pardon a child molester after he served his 20 years, but society does not forget his past actions. We keep close tabs on the individual, there are list of past sex offenders on several websites. So we may pardon an individual for some crime, but we still remember his/her past. Thus it holds true, one may forgive, but don't forget. How else would you learn?.

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  30. #29  
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    Tiassa:
    After all, is someone shooting? Why did you duck? Because that bullet went whizzing past your ear? How dare you judge that bullet.

    Or is the bullet whizzing past the ear a bit more coldly relevant than your personal sentiments concerning the guy setting the rounds to flight?
    Yeah but you and Wes have lopsided platforms, you speak only of the defensive.

    If cornered, and therefore confronted with a Life or Death at the threat of a bullet, who but the senile would place his grudge over defending himself?
    Survival is no place for policy; a republican who'd waste his reason begrudging a democrat's politics and not his own dilemma with his skull seconds from impact deserves to be shot. His useless hate for that Democrat would have killed him anyway.

    But I’m talking offensive here, detached malice. Revenge.

    Consider Dantes- imagine those 13 years he spent falsely imprisoned by what he believed to be his best friend Fernand.

    Now, would his revenge on Fernannd be effective at all had he spent those years simply wondering why?
    Imagine him, a loving Job, up in that tower for 13 years praying, hoping, dragging his soul towards an oriental enlightenment and oh so reasonably cultivating a politic of forgiveness.

    He did not forget but discipline and reason helped him forgive.

    Would this not give Fernand, a character who not only cannot speak the language of forgiveness but perceives the very vocabulary of the "righteous" as his arsenal, the authority to fuck Dantes again?

    Would revenge be effective at all without a kernel of hate to focus it?

    To say hate is useless or irratoinal then is someone saying it in his leasure.

    (Hate, like all emotion, is not rational but for point's sake...)

    Godless:
    so I don't like hipocrates
    Guffaw.

    The man gave his life to studying yours, and you hate him?
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abraxas
    If cornered, and therefore confronted with a Life or Death at the threat of a bullet, who but the senile would place his grudge over defending himself?
    I have not been met with such a threat, but I tell you that in serious life-threatening situations, one does not think much.

    That that dog you met in the woods is just a stupid animal, and that that cow that chased you has been mistreated -- these things come afterwards.


    Survival is no place for policy;
    Actually, I think people who somehow live detached from reality, would go and try to negotiate even with a rabid dog.

    I've seen this -- a serious natural threat, and they don't recognize it, and then shit happens.

    There are people who would not avoid a snake, thinking it is stupid and harmless and that it certainly won't bite them.

    Or the braveries in fights: When two men fight, and someone interferes. Sheesh.


    so I don't like hipocrates
    Guffaw.

    The man gave his life to studying yours, and you hate him?
    So hypocritical, that misspelling. It amuses me to no end when someone accuses someone else of hypocracy
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  32. #31  
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    May 2005
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    4
    You forgive someone if you are confident that that person is remorseful and will not repeat his actions. Forgiving someone who is not remorseful is approval.
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