I didn't realize that we're hard-wired for forgiveness as well. Forgiveness comes under the Golden Rule I believe - in mathematical models, known as "Generous Tit-for-Tat". Tit-for-Tat with forgiveness so that people can move on from destructive cycles of conflict. Forgiveness in ourselves raises the standard of behaviour that we can expect from others. This is why it contributes to social cohesion I believe. We can look at these things from a brain level or a social level, or both, depending on what's most useful. Atheists do love to have rational answers, and that's a good thing.
Certainly, both forgiveness and empathy are person-centred and pro-social - positive social behaviours that help everyone get along well.
Just a little thing - "practical empathy". A paragraph is all that's needed.
Forgive me for hijacking the column.
"if its not nurtured it corrodes." - we can forget that we're essentially the same as other people. Forgiveness and empathy go together. We can say "yes, we all make mistakes, and we all need to be given the chance to earn forgiveness".
Any ideas, chuck 'em my way.
Simon, a key point about Jesus. At the crucial moment, when he was up on that cross, HE did not forgive anybody. He asked GOD to forgive everybody.
I'd say it amounts to the same thing - or it's even more generous.
I disagree, If he said "I forgive you" it would be a social, humanistic act. But no, he passed the buck. It's ok to do as we will as long as we believe, God will sort it all out later. Typical ancient, outdated morality.
WWJD doesn't exist in the UK - I had to look it up. What a bizarre concept!
"afraid of opinions that differ from yours?" - not at all Arch, I seek them out. I just didn't want to take over the thread with a personal project.
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