Ending Anger is not the Same as Forgiving

People never make amends for the wrong they do. The past cannot be undone and even forgiveness cannot fix what has happened. It can only steer the now and the future in a happier direction. If forgiving sins just getting rid of bad feelings for a person then it follows you can punish a person until you feel they have served their sentence and you have no ill-feeling for them any more. Nobody calls that forgiveness. Forgiveness cannot be a way to change the past for the better or a way to forget or both. Forgiveness means nothing if it it is just about looking at the wrongdoer in a better light as a person.  Forgiveness cannot be about handling or removing or reducing negative feelings only - it must be more than that!  Healing the hurt feelings is not forgiveness at all and if forgiveness is good then that mistake is bad - very bad!

 

A religion you love and trust steals your money. You will never get it back. Do you get rid of the anger for it will torment you for the rest of your life for nothing or do you let it fester? It is obvious what the sensible course is. But it does not mean you have to forgive but it only means you can heal well even if not completely from the pain and anger.

A person can heal from the pain caused by another without having to forgive.  Forgiveness is packaged out today by many therapists as "forgiveness therapy."  The Church would not call what it does forgiveness therapy but it is the same concept.  This is not therapy.  It is actually damaging and potentially very harmful.  If an act is unforgiveable and if the person cannot shake off the instinct that it is not to be forgiven for it cannot be then they will be tormented by guilt and shame in addition to the problems they already have. 


Forgiving as in letting go of anger and hate is passive aggression for people do it in order to stop the bad person having any more power over them. It does not get rid of anger - it only hides it or changes it into a less ugly looking form.
 
Forgiveness should be spontaneous. But it is not. If you have to forgive to avoid self-torture that is not forgiveness.
 
Anger is a response to a situation that I think or feel should not be. It is tormenting myself over something that I cannot control. Even if I hit my car and damage it, that is done. Getting angry about it is not going to help. Anger is an attack on myself. It kids me that it will do something about it.
 
Forgiveness is defined as ceasing to hold resentment towards a person who did you some real or perceived wrong or ceasing to blame them and to judge them as deserving of punishment. To say somebody deserves something is to say they must be punished if possible. Christians believe that God does the punishing. Resentment involves the desire to hurt them for what they did or to see them punished. Often resentment may draw you to withdraw yourself from them in some way and hurt them spitefully. Forgiveness is not excusing evil or condoning evil. It admits that evil is evil but it chooses to let it go for everyone’s sake. That is what we are told anyway especially by religionists.
 
Ceasing to blame the person is simply condoning or rewarding what you think was done wrong. Condoning is not blaming what should be blamed. If God does that then he is just being a silly hypocrite for being opposed to the person in the first place.
 
Forgiveness then makes no sense for it says a person should be treated as they don’t deserve which really amounts to saying you will not treat a person as a person so it is hardly loving. Forgiveness without love is not forgiveness. Augustine tried to solve the problem by saying you must love the sinner and hate the sin. If you love the sinner and hate the sin then you must forgive the sin and not forgive the sinner! Loving the sinner and hating the sin is impossible if you have the honesty to see that and it makes nonsense of forgiveness.
 
If believers should forgive one another as their God instructs then what do they need to believe in free will for? It is a needless exercise.
 
There is no point in believing in free will if you are going to treat a sin as something that is not part of the person. And if you buy the lie that you love the sinner and hate the sin then why are you calling the sinner a sinner? Isn’t that saying the person and the sin are one and the same? The command really means that you are going to reward a sinner by pretending that he or she does not sin and that the sin is like a bug that got latched on to them without their doing. You can only forgive if you believe in free will. When you don’t need to believe in free will and then believe in it you are accusing people of freely doing wrong without evidence meaning that forgiveness cannot be practiced. I mean you can only forgive what you believe was done wrong. But if you have invented the wrong you have accused them of then if you forgive the forgiveness is not real forgiveness at all.
 
Many Christians say that when God forgives he is not ceasing to have a spiteful attitude towards somebody for he is not like that but he is simply cancelling their punishment and he only punishes because he loves and making peace with them to help them to do better in the future when they are set free from their sins. It is impossible to see how a God who is almighty could be spiteful for he does not need anything from us. If he cancels their punishment then we must do the same and so we cannot put criminals in jail. God is more important than us and if he can do it so should we. So the view that God simply cancels the punishment is ridiculous for it wants us to encourage criminals by doing nothing about them.
 
The claim that forgiveness is compatible with getting the wrongdoer punished is so laughable when it comes from the mouth of a believer in God. It is laughable enough when coming from an unbeliever because what it is saying is that the wrongdoing doesn’t matter to anymore. But evil does matter. To say that evil is evil and yet does not matter is to become as evil as the person who did the wrong in your innermost heart despite your noble exterior.
 
It is totally insulting to the intelligence to be asked by the hypocrites in our society to forgive criminals and then punish them as if not forgiving them would be more hurtful to all concerned than punishing them. Not forgiving was declared by Jesus to be a heinous crime that would stop God forgiving you because it implied ingratitude for the fact that he forgave you and gave you an undeserved ticked to everlasting salvation. Clearly then it is worse not to forgive than not to punish. Man was made for religion and religion was not made for man. All this is what belief in God logically implies. If you really forgive you will be upset to see the criminals punished even if you think they should be. Forgiveness then solves nothing. It gives the criminals more power to hurt you as if the criminal action can’t do enough of that on its own. To emphasise forgiveness more than letting criminals off is silly for if you forgive so that you can love them what good is your love going to be to them in jail? If forgiveness is what matters most then you should not let them be punished. If forgiveness does that then you should not need to forgive in the first place- just turn your blind spot to crime.
 
What then about those who forgive a murder but who are still devastated by the killing? They are saying that it matters that the murder happened but not that a person did it which is totally schizophrenic and incoherent. They hate the loss of life but not the sin. Weird.
 
Cancelling the punishment is cancelling what the sinners have asked for. Punishment is meant to make you pay your debt and grow as a better person in doing so. So forgiveness does not set you free so that you can do better. To be punished is to be respected as a person.
 
The reason that condoning crime is bad is that it lets the criminals off and stops resenting them. It rewards and encourages crime while claiming that crime is bad. It is what condoning results in that makes it bad. When forgiveness does that too it follows that it and condoning are one and the same thing and or as bad as each other.
 
Forgivers look down on people who condone. They should cast the plank out of their own eye if they want to see clearly to remove the speck from anybody else’s eyes.
 
It is said that forgiveness is not the same as condoning crime. The difference is supposed to be that forgiveness still allows you to punish while condoning forbids it.
 
With forgiveness, you can’t punish because of the crime because you have forgotten the crime so you have to find other reasons to punish. In fact you are not punishing at all for punishment is making the wrongdoer pay for the crime. It is still condoning. Forgiveness is just condoning in a new guise. Even people who condone may send the people they condone to jail for some reason other than for the crime. Condoning and forgiving both have no concern for punishing the crime so they are the same thing.
 
Mercy says a crime should not be punished as much as it should be and in so far as it does that it rewards the crime. Punishment is evil if mercy is right. So, God cannot be merciful and cannot want us to be so belief in a good God who made us is unreasonable.
 
You forgive because you feel like it not because you think you should therefore you are condoning the crime for you forget the crime because you feel like it without any real concern for its inherent badness. We are naturally sensual creatures. Reason only influences our actions when we feel devotion to it.
 
All this applies to God as it does us, too.
 
My conclusion is that God forgiving you makes no sense.
 
Moral systems and especially religious ones say that love is sacrifice. Sacrifice is meaningless if we should not forgive. They also say that there is nobody who is not a sinner. Forgiveness is a scam for getting us to live our lives in torment and/or self-righteous hypocrisy. Love would be a forbidden feeling.  The will to love or sacrifice for others would be an iniquity then for it would be really encouraging the evil of others if all are still considered guilty of sin. If we refuse to give people the consequences of their actions then we are doing our best to encourage their evil. If forgiveness is immoral and two-faced then God did not put us here to become virtuous for then it is dead easy to be virtuous. If it is that easy, then there is no need for discipline or suffering. God is cruel for sending them if they are not just for retribution.

When we ask why we forgive we see that forgiveness implies that if God forgives then he is evil and is not God but insane.
 
Why do we forgive?

* Because the past cannot be undone.

People only forgive when the enemy is sorry but this says people should be pardoned even when they are not. The implication is that people should not will or want them to be hurt for their crime for the wrong cannot be helped anymore. This is actually condoning or rewarding the crime and it makes punishment wrong. It is making it best for the criminal to look for this reward. If the crime should be rewarded partly or fully, then the criminal needs compensation for being punished in which case he should never have been punished in the first place.
 
This is not really forgiveness because it is really saying that a bad act is made harmless and made nothing by the mere fact that the perpetrator cannot change it.
  
* We forgive not for the sake of the enemy but because our anger and hate hurt only us and we want to stop the bad feeling.

Forgiveness like this is selfish so it is just dropping the horrible feelings but retaining the uncaring attitude towards the enemy. You are not doing it for the enemy so you still couldn’t care less about them though you may trick yourself to think that you do. It isn’t really forgiveness at all. And it selfishly rewards yourself for your uncharitable attitude by getting rid of the non-essential distress and anger so it is an affront to the enemy.
 
Forgiveness that is only practiced for not forgiving has so many bad results does not sound much like real forgiveness. It is like accepting an apology from somebody who has victimised you because you will lose your job if you don't. Yet all people who have suffered greatly at the hands of another only forgive to avoid the bad results!
 
If you really cannot help being angry and hating a person but you would not harm them because you think it is wrong to then you have forgiven them. You do not consent to the bad feelings therefore they are not your fault. Forgiveness only requires that you abandon resentment when you can. If you find the resentment does you good then you could still say you forgive for you do not hold it to hurt the person but for another reason.

It is possible to be unforgiving in a way that does you more good than harm. We all have mild resentments. So when you are so generous to the criminal as to forgive totally you are condoning his crime. You are treating him as special because he did wrong while you go out and hurt other people for like us all you have your faults.
 
When you forgive a criminal you will trust him if you have really forgiven him. To say his sin does not matter is to logically say that you will not mistrust him any more. So the gospel of forgiveness of Jesus Christ wants you to leave yourself wide open to abuse by a person who cannot be trusted. You would be better off with your anger and hate than that. Forgiveness is not for your benefit at all. You condone the crime of the criminal accepting your forgiveness though he knows you are endangering yourself and perverting your mind which knows he is dangerous. When you do that you should condone all his evil. If you still hate his sin you still hate him for you are hating the act that you should condone to be consistent and you are not doing that. Forgiveness is not meant to help you even if it does. If you really loved your enemy you would not be encouraging him to attack forgiving people like you.

 

We conclude that forgiveness means you regard the bad person as now in good standing and as one who must not be punished any more or feared.  Forgiveness is a religious scam for it is enough to end anger for your own sake.  Forgiveness and quenching the anger are not the same thing.