Tagged: “Enright Forgiveness Process Model”

You just said that forgiveness centers on “those who are not good to you.”  COVID definitely is not good to us and so it seems to follow that we can forgive the virus.  What do you think?

Actually, no.  I still maintain that we cannot forgive a virus because the rest of the sentence I wrote is this: “To forgive on its highest level is to struggle to offer goodness…..”   You do not offer goodness to a virus.  Do you show, for example, generosity or kindness to a virus?  The answer is no and so you do not forgive a virus.

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I hope I am not pressing my point too hard, but you have a book entitled, FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE.  If I choose to forgive the COVID virus because it lowers my anger, then it is my choice, right?

Choosing through your own thinking and will to forgive a virus does not mean that you actually are engaging in what forgiveness is in its essence.  As an analogy, if a person thinks that eating snow is a good choice for excellent nutrition because it is organic and so has an exclusive diet of snow for 6 months, would this be an example of good nutrition even if the snow-eater insists that it is?  There is a very large difference between what forgiveness is and what some people think it is.  From your ideas, I do think you are misunderstanding what forgiveness is even though you are using that word.

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So, are you saying that forgiveness is something “fixed” that does not change?  What about cultural variations of many kinds that center on different beliefs and customs.  You seem to be too inflexible in how you view forgiveness.

Forgiveness does have a fixed essence.  It is one thing and not whatever people’s subjective impressions are regarding it.  To forgive is to try as best one can to be good to those who are not good to the forgiver.  There are cultural variations in how this goodness is expressed, but the essence of forgiveness is not changed by these different customs or norms.

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So, in your view, one’s subjective views of forgiveness are unimportant.  You seem to discount personal opinion.

Subjective views need to be scrutinized relative to what is true about the concept of forgiveness or about many issues in the world.  For example, if a person insists that 1 + 1 = 5, should we take that as this person’s truth?  I think this would be an act of disrespect for the person as we are not aiding this person to properly know mathematics.

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To be sure that I understand you, are you saying that all subjective experiences of forgiveness are irrelevant. Do I understand you correctly?

Actually, no.  Subjective views of forgiveness are very important.  How a person is feeling needs to be honored, especially when that person is in much pain over what happened.  Each person’s subjective experience may be somewhat different in terms of intensity, duration, and kind of emotion experienced when treated badly by others.  Yet, if this person now wants to go on a forgiveness path, it is very important that this person understands what forgiveness is and is not so that a wrong path is not chosen.  As an example, if someone equates forgiving with summarily dismissing another person as less than human, and nurtures hatred within, this person’s subjective experience will need correction to get on the right forgiveness path.

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The Missing Piece to the Peace Puzzle