Justice and Forgiveness

  • May 5, 2013 · 5:00 PM

I originally titled this "Blame and Responsibility" but thought this was more interesting. The question goes to a topic another Deep Thinker posed, and I think warrants exploration - Which core values to you hold most deeply?

I will stipulate that much of this is will depend on the situation. But think about both personal and public cases where this question arose. Is it more important to ascribe blame and extract a modicum of justice, or are you better-served by turning the other cheek and granting forgiveness? My own sense is that justice is a form of retribution, while forgiveness represents a more existential - dare I say "Zen?" - way of dealing with wrongdoing.

How many times have you sped up to prevent a lane-cutter from getting in front of you? Should we prosecute George Bush for torture? Or President Obama for not prosecuting President Bush (as proscribed in the UN mandate)?

No matter how you characterize it, it seems that justice and blame are intrinsically connected. But why is it that we donate millions to victims of natural disasters, but without differentiating between those who built in secure locations or had insurance and those who knowingly live in flood plains or forgo insurance? Is there come cathartic reason for assigning blame? And is blame really worthwhile without consequences? Does forgiveness really allow one to "forgive and forget?"

We're back at the back room of IHOP in Westchester for a somewhat ad hoc gathering. Hope you can make it!

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  • Larry S.

    Very interesting subject

    May 6, 2013

  • Larry S.

    Very good meeting. I especially like the earlier hour as it allows for more time to continue the discussion

    May 6, 2013

  • Susan

    Wonderful as always!

    1 · May 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It's Pascha (Orthodox Easter) so I will be too busy at Church that day.

    May 4, 2013

  • terri

    sorry, company coming into town.

    May 4, 2013

  • Joe

    I can't make it, but I wish I could. Just keep in mind that justice is relative and forgiveness is not. Justice is a determination of exterior right and wrong; two determinations actually. No one can say for sure what is just, but if we are honest, we determine something close and that is worth struggling for. Unfortunately most aren't willing to be honest. Because of that fear to determine 'human justice' we end up killing millions for a few thousand or jailing a pot smoker with a murderer. Forgiveness is genuine and specific mental functionality. It is something you actually decide. The problem is we very easily lie about that too and end up saying we forgive when it didn't actually happen. Raymond is right that they aren't mutually exclusive. I'd just add that they aren't what we often make them out to be either.

    May 4, 2013

  • Josie

    I might be able to get there late, after a conference & hackathon @LACC. In case the group is interested, the next Future Salon is on how to apply Aerospace engineering to everyday risk management, http://futuresalon19.eventbrite.com/ also here http://www.meetup.com/culturecircle-99/events/116968892/. Last month we had +60 peeps - some photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151544942190040.1073741826.718650039

    May 4, 2013

  • Raymond F.

    One can have justice and forgiveness for the same incident. The two often coexist.

    May 4, 2013

  • Raymond F.

    I can make this one.

    May 4, 2013

  • Susan

    I'm not sure if I'll be home in time as I have to take my foster dog to his new home in Bakersfield. Unfortunately, that makes this a maybe.

    May 1, 2013

  • Judith N.

    Looking forward to it.

    May 1, 2013

  • Sally R.

    Have another commitment that day but will look for the next one!

    May 1, 2013

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