Forgiveness is not the same thing as getting over the pain when somebody hurts you.  It is about refusing to punish the person on the personal level.  It means you do good to them as if they never ever hurt you.  It means that if the judge has to punish them then fine but you will at least ask the judge for mercy for them or for a pardon.

Is punishment related to forgiveness? Yes for forgiveness means refusing to give somebody the punishment they have brought on themselves. It is refusing to give them what you think they deserve.  A lot of this is what you have judged them to deserve.  Forgiveness is another word for mercy which means reducing or abolishing the punishment somebody deserves.  That's an overview of the principles.

But what about psychologically? That is a different matter.  It is possible on that level to treat the two as unrelated. There are people who don’t forgive no matter how much you are punished. Others forgive without considering if you should be punished or not. This seems to show that the two can be disconnected. Actually it shows how we can think we believe two opposites at the one time.

Religion says God does not have a psychology for he is not a creature or like a man.  Considering how important our psychology is to us, even more important than principle, God's mercy can hardly be very inspiring for us.  We cannot really relate to him though the Church trains us to pretend we do. This leads to pretending that a truce is forgiving.'

The Bible says that real love and forgiveness mean you are becoming a conduit for the love and mercy of God. Many virtue-signal by being nice to their enemies and saying they have forgiven them. Truces happen more than forgiving. So most of the forgiveness around us is really a truce. And many forgiveness examples are impure for they are a mixture of mercy and truce. A truce implies that I am bad and you are bad but we will stop fighting. That is nothing like forgiveness and will erupt into trouble again under the right provocation.

The Bible endorsement of love of neighbour is a waste of breath and time if forgiveness between neighbours is not countenanced.

When someone is bothering you, you may go to them and explain the problem with them nicely. You do not tell them off because they will get very angry and reject you. What happens is that they reconcile with you. Yet their attitude is that if you had upset them they would have told you to go to Hell though they started the trouble and were as bad as you as you would be for challenging them. How cosmetic! So that is a truce rather than a reconciliation. It is tolerance not forgiveness for forgiveness requires acceptance.

The Church brags about God and his great reconciling power that comes through the Church. It thrives on such hypocritical forgiveness. It is bragging about itself too for it sees itself as the means of divine peace making! So the reconciliation the Church believes in is a complete contradiction of the law of loving your neighbour as yourself. In this case it is more a matter of, “Degrade yourself to please your neighbour”.

Why teach that you must love God above all things and do all things entirely to please him and nobody else (though some will be pleased in the process)? Rather, why not teach that you must love humanity in general this way and treat it as a unit? That would be the sensible thing to do.

The Bible God never says that if anybody committing a crime shows signs of possession or madness that he should get away free. Across the board it prescribes the death penalty for many crimes and forbids you to let your eye pity the person. This is support for the notion many have that rules are worthless if you make excuses all the time for the lawbreakers. The Bible orders you to forgive but your chances will be limited if you take it seriously!

To forgive people means you start with the people easiest to forgive. Some dangerous people are critical of influencers and leaders. This makes them look like they are aware of the problem and thus look good and thus distracts others that they are the worst ones or as bad themselves. That makes sure they may be forgiven easier.

The feeling we have that there is something dodgy about forgiveness is correct.  Religion complicates things with its forgiving God thus making a bad thing worse.  And it gives us a God who approves of our self-serving "mercy."  Forgiveness is promoted in very pragmatic and practical ways – for example if you want to have a better life then let it go. In fact pragmatic forgiveness and principled forgiveness are totally different things. You can have one without the other. 


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