Is it possible for most people to understand what forgiveness actually is? I mean, can the vast majority of people come to an accurate understanding of what forgiveness is, without distortion?
I adhere to the philosophy of Aristotelian realism. This philosophy assumes that people can use their rational faculties to understand the world. For example, we can distinguish horses from cats because both are real and so are accessible to our reason. Although much more abstract than horses or cats, forgiveness is accessible to us as are all of the moral virtues such as justice or patience. Yet, it takes effort and practice to truly and deeply know, for example, how forgiveness differs from the other virtues (forgiveness is offering goodness specifically to others who have been unjust). In other words, without the persistent effort to know what forgiveness is, people could confuse it with “just letting the unfairness go” or abandoning justice. Yet, with the persistent effort, yes, most people should be able to understand what forgiveness is.