Is It A Virtue To Be A Forgiving Person?

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18-year-old Brandt Jean of Dallas made viral waves recently with his public forgiveness of the police officer who had killed his brother after erroneously entering her apartment. While many praised his actions, there were critical voices as well. Those who did so focused on the racial aspects of the case – Brandt and his brother were black, while the officer was white. Given the larger context of historic and recent racial injustices, they argued, forgiving really just swept all wrongs under the carpet.

Is it good, then, to be a forgiving person? Is it something that brings peace and tranquility to what could be an endless cycle of bitterness and revenge? Or is it something that overlooks the harm that has been done and allows it to be perpetuated? Can one forgive, yet still demand accountability and justice? Is it inconsistent with punishment?

Does it matter if someone acknowledges their wrongs and asks to be forgiven? What should our attitude be when no one ever acknowledges the wrongs that have been done? Is it still healthy to let go of it when the other person does not seek reconciliation? And what if we had been the person that had seriously wronged someone else? If we are remorseful, would we hope that the other person would forgive us?

Join us for another lively discussion, and join us for dinner/drinks at The Independent afterwards!