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!