Posted by Kathy F. on September 26, 1997 at 08:27:54:
In response to Forgiveness, written by Marsha on September 23, 1997 at 21:34:33
] I do not believe in unconditional forgiveness for everything (but then I am not Christian). If you forgive someone he will think he could do it again with no problem and do it (I mean serious things, not insulting someone when mad). I.e. according to the doctrine of forgiveness and turning the other cheek, if A kills B, B's relatives forgive him, and also, so does the law-since no one brings a suit against him, and the whole idea of law becomes useless, since law is for punishing not forgiving. Then A goes and kills C, and so forth.
I think you're combining a Christian's personal code of ethics and the law, to the detriment of both. Christianity is *not* meant to be practiced by the government (if that were the case, if LA were nuked, Bill Clinton would have to say, "You want NYC, too?"). If Andrew kills Bob, Bob's relatives forgive him, but the law still demands justice. The law works outside of people's forgiveness (or at least it should). Unless Bob's relatives ask for clemency for Andrew at the sentencing phase of the trial, Bob's family would not participate in the trial, except perhaps as witnesses. If the government didn't have a trial, then, yes, things could disintegrate into anarchy, but at that point, the government would not be functioning any longer as it is supposed to do, and we would technically be living in anarchy anyway (anarchy being the absence of government).
(p.s. if this is getting too Ramble-y, we can take it there, or keep it here, or take it to e-mail.)
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