Forbes released its list of the most disliked NFL players and that ex-dog fighter, Michael Vick, is at the top of their list. He served nearly 2 years in prison after pleading guilty to the crime. Since then he's disavowed dog fighting and has been working with the the Humane Society to end dog fighting.
This post isn't about Michael Vick. He just starts the discussion.
What about forgiveness? When does one deserve it? When does one give it? Does one do one's best to forget after forgiving?
What do you think?
It only makes sense when the person being forgiven has shown some indication that they've actually learned that they shouldn't do whatever it is again. The example you gave certainly looks like this.
I've known far too many people who use an apology as a way to "reset" so they can just treat you like shit all over again.
Vick wouldn't lift his hand for anything other than smacking a dog if he didn't care about his image. He learned he shouldn't do it, but not for the right reasons, which would be that animal cruelty is wrong, but because he realized you shouldn't get caught doing it. People who are capable of doing that kind of shit are sociopaths, and they don't suddenly develop compassion and empathy because they got scolded.
There are few things I can imagine that are less sincere than someone taking up a campaign against whatever crime they used to commit. It's such blatant bullshitting that it's almost insulting to witness.
Since one can't actually forget a serious offense, by "forgetting," I mean not bringing it up and rubbing the offender's nose in it over and over again, reminding them of their misdeed(s).
To forgive? I guess there is just something about that word which does not work for me. Jesus ruined it making it seem like such a pretentious act.
This. I remember a speech of Hitchens once, where he was talking about how someone told him that Mother Theresa forgave him for the things he said about her. And he went on to explain how arrogant and condescending that was of her to do, because a) he didn't ask for forgiveness and b) it implies that he was wrong.
Same thing goes for God. God's supposed to be all merciful and forgive even the most heinous crimes if you repent and beg for forgiveness. But that is a disgusting thought. So if a rapist repents, God will forgive his crimes? What gives him the right? On whose behalf does he forgive? His victims? What if they don't want to forgive the rapist? Does God give a shit about their opinion? Do they get a say in this at all? No.
Of course there is no god. So in reality all that happens is that this rapist talks himself into believing that he is forgiven. In this sense religion's bullshit "forgiveness" mechanism is nothing but a sociopathy-emulator. Commit crimes and wash yourself of the responsibility by having a magical being forgive you on behalf of your victims, who on their own wouldn't ever forgive you.
That being said, I'm not big on forgiveness myself. I don't expect to be forgiven, and I don't like it when people expect it from others either. I especially hate it when they do that bullshit turn-around scam where you're the asshole if you don't forgive them. Besides, for forgiveness to be useful it would have to mean the person had to change, and people very rarely, if ever, change.
All those horrible things that people say they wouldn't wish on their worst enemy? I do. Because fuck that guy.
This post isn't about Michael Vick. He just starts the discussion.
Okay, let's start with Mike Vick.
Specifically, Vick financed an interstate dogfighting ring named Bad Newz Kennels, during which time Vick and others personally killed eight "underperforming" dogs by electrocution (1), hanging (1), drowning (5), or bludgeoning (1).
The same year Vick was convicted, 9 billion animals were slaughtered in the US alone, including 150.4 million cattle, bison, sheep, hogs, and goats and 8.9 billion chickens, turkeys, and ducks. Globally, at least 100 million animals were shot for trophies, target practice, or fun, such as the live pigeon shoots that go on in Pennsylvania to this day.
Mike Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, plus a 3 year suspended sentence, plus four years of probation, in addition to filing for bankruptcy. One crackpot on Fox "News" actually called for Vick to be executed.
What Vick did was deplorable. But how did he end up sitting in prison, stripped of everything he owns, while animals were still dying by the billions, so fat Americans could enjoy overeating them, or gun nuts could experience the thrill of watching them die?
Vick doesn't need forgiveness. He paid dearly for what he did, and he is not doing it anymore.
(Warning: Don't press 'play' if you're squeamish.)
In the interest of keeping the discussion on topic, I guess the question here is this, I'm having meat for dinner tonight. If I need forgiveness, whom do I need it from, assuming there is no God?
In the interest of keeping the discussion on topic,
We're on topic. Vick's crime was making animals suffer and die for pleasure and amusement. That's ostensibly why he tops the 'needs forgiveness' list.
This, compared with other active NFL players, including Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (recreational drugs), Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Rothlisburger (two alleged sexual assaults), Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress (criminal weapon charges), and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (multiple drunk driving arrests).
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (double murder, obstruction) didn't make the list, but he did retire in February 2013 after winning a super bowl, and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (three murders) was left off because he landed in jail right before the 2013 season.
Ray Lewis-- being the greatest middle linebacker ever to walk this earth-- was forgiven and remained popular long after his ugly story broke. I doubt Lewis would have topped the list for murder any more than Rothlisburger would ever get there for forcing himself on a female hotel clerk.
No, neither rape nor murder tops Mike Vick and his cute little puppy dogs.
I guess the question here is
I already stated the question here: "[H]ow did [Vick] end up sitting in prison, stripped of everything he owns, while animals were still dying by the billions, so fat Americans could enjoy overeating them, or gun nuts could experience the thrill of watching them die?"
Restated: consider three acts where animals suffer or die for human pleasure; dog fighting, thrill killing, and overindulgence in food. The first is considered to be a horrendous crime that requires justice, punishment, and (I suppose) forgiveness. The others are not.
Why is that?
I'm having meat for dinner tonight. If I need forgiveness, whom do I need it from, assuming there is no God?
I don't know. I said I don't think Vick needs forgiveness. If you think he does, then I suppose you need it from whomever you think Vick needs it from.
"gun nuts could experience the thrill of watching them die"
Hopefully I am classified as a responsible gun owner/hunter and not a gun nut, whatever that encompasses. I regularly harvest wild game off my property for sustenance. I have no sense of thrill in taking the life of a game animal. There is certainly a sense of satisfaction upon putting a tasty nutritious meal on the table and knowing I don't have to question about how it (the game) was raised and fed. As a hunter/gatherer I very much respect nature and it's capacity to feed me.
Gun opponents and vegan-tarians are given to hyperbole. If you hunt or enjoy a half rack of babybacks, you're a nut.
Gun opponents and vegan-tarians are given to hyperbole.
I am neither a "gun opponent" nor a vegetarian, and I posted detailed specifics, not exaggerations.
If you hunt or enjoy a half rack of babybacks, you're a nut.
But that line above? Now that's hyperbole.
Hopefully I am classified as a responsible gun owner/hunter and not a gun nut, whatever that encompasses.
I mean 'nut' as in 'one with specious reasoning, dishonesty or irresponsibility regarding a pet subject'. I said gun nuts, as in religious nuts, young earth nuts, climate change denial nuts, Fox "News" nuts, etc. I usually use the word 'crackpots'-- religious crackpots, young earth crackpots, Fox "News" crackpots-- but 'gun nut' is more established.
I regularly harvest wild game off my property for sustenance.
If you understand the difference between shooting animals for sustenance versus the thrill of watching them die, then as applied to this case, no, I would not qualify you as a gun nut.
Belle is spot on. Forget the offender - it is YOU who suffers if you do not forgive. However she goes on to say: "the right to get and feel angry. But channeling your anger appropriately is key". Sure, but really anger is the antithesis of forgiveness. You have the right to be angry but it is suggested that one should do their best not to exercise that right - for one's OWN sake.
Kris talks about the religious aspects. I'm very alone in this, but, in my opinion the sacrament of Confession is one of the better constructs out of Catholicism. Forget God's forgiveness - it's good to recognize one's own misdeeds and vocalizing or, in some way structuring or formalizing them helps.
To me this new age "forgive yourself" is approaching the problem backwards. If I commit a misdeed I need to remember it in order for me to avoid repeating it. I don't understand "forgive yourself". I'm guessing it's something women are told. Belle...???