Kränkningar och förlåtelse. En etisk studie med hänsyn till föreställningar om offer, förövare, skuld och ansvar
Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on forgiveness, its meaning, implications and consequences in relation to violations, victims, perpetrators and responsibility. It questions wheter forgiveness is always the right answer when a person is subjected to evil and violence. Following Joseph Butler, forgiveness is defined as the overcoming of resentment, as well as a change of heart regarding the moral quality of the forgiven. Three standpoints regarding the value of of forgiveness represented by six philosophers (Murphy, Haber, Govier, Holmgren, Hampton and McCord Adams)are analysed and discussed. Is forgiveness always compatible with self-respect, with respecting the offender's moral value and with respecting the morality of society? Forgiveness, as well as feelings of resentment, guilt and shame, belongs to what P F Strawson call reactive attitudes and are essential in our apprehension of others and ourselves as morally responsible agents. Forgiveness is an involving attitude, since it is an invitation to dialogue and relation. I find the idea of separating sin from the sinner troubling and argue that an action reflects the agent's character. Only the wrongdoer is able to separate himself from the wrongful act through regret and by taking responsibility. By discussing violations as symbolic messages and the consequences of evil acts, for the victim as well as the offender, I propose that in some cases forgiveness is not the best option. Forgiveness takes place between persons in symmetrical relations. When a relation is asymmetrical and manipulative the objective attitude is to prefer.
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