Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits

Oxford University Press, 27 mrt 2003 - 152 pagina's
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We have all been victims of wrongdoing. Forgiving that wrongdoing is one of the staples of current pop psychology dogma; it is seen as a universal prescription for moral and mental health in the self-help and recovery section of bookstores. At the same time, personal vindictiveness as a rule is seen as irrational and immoral. In many ways, our thinking on these issues is deeply inconsistent; we value forgiveness yet at the same time now use victim-impact statements to argue for harsher penalties for criminals. Do we have a right to hate others for what they have done to us? The distinguished philosopher and law professor Jeffrie Murphy is a skeptic when it comes to our views on both emotions. In this short and accessible book, he proposes that vindictive emotions (anger, resentment, and the desire for revenge) actually deserve a more legitimate place in our emotional, social, and legal lives than we currently recognize, while forgiveness deserves to be more selectively granted. Murphy grounds his views on careful analysis of the nature of forgiveness, a subtle understanding of the psychology of anger and resentment, and a fine appreciation of the ethical issues of self-respect and self-defense. He also uses accessible examples from law, literature, and religion to make his points. Providing a nuanced approach to a proper understanding of the place of our strongest emotions in moral, political, and personal life, and using lucid, easily understood prose, this volume is a classic example of philosophical thinking applied to a thorny, everyday problem.

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Responding to Evil
What Is Forgiveness?
Two Cheers for Vindictiveness
Vindictiveness and the Law
Forgiveness as a Virtue
Repentance Punishment and Mercy
Forgiveness in Psychotheraphy
Forgiveness and Christianity 87
Christianity and Criminal Punishment 95
Concluding Remarks
Further Reading

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Populaire passages

Pagina 34 - But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Pagina 34 - But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence ; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Pagina 65 - I do not know how many of you keep a list of the kinds of fool you make of yourselves. It is advisable to use systematic aids, of which there would appear to be three at least. I list them here in order of availability to the layman. First we may use the dictionary quite a concise one will do, but the use must be thorough.
Pagina 36 - ... silence. They all looked startled, and as if they felt that they were in the presence of some unseen power. Then Helweh said, ' What more did you say ? ' I continued the Lord's Prayer, and when I came to the words, 'Give us day by day our daily bread,' they said, 'Cannot you make bread yourself?' The passage, ' Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us...
Pagina 36 - And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
Pagina 8 - Would it have been worth while If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, And turning toward the window, should say: 'That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all.
Pagina 36 - SOILS of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. And that Jesus made into the second part of the great Commandment. The other verse — and I would like to close with this — is a verse from the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Over de auteur (2003)

Jeffrie G. Murphy is Regents Professor of Law and Philosophy and Affiliated Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on legal and moral philosophy, with a particular emphasis on theories of punishment, mercy, forgiveness, and the moral emotions.

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