In my experience, reason neither enables nor supports empathy or social justice.
Let’s argue the other side of things. What good do your judgements do for you? Has anyone had a better life from things they judged?
I could say they help you avoid danger. Wasn’t that your experiences? I have heard many stories of people who made a judgement and it cost them their life. One particularly harsh example. In the Vietnam war they would stuff a grenade down a babies diaper and then set it to wander in a town they knew soldiers to be in. The soldier, thinking he was being heroic, would go to save the abandoned baby, and they would both die. Had they reserved their judgement, they would have watched the baby more closely, perhaps noticed something strange on it, and actually saved the young persons life. But instead they were too hung up on the “evil” of the enemy. What good does knowing what evil is do for us?
For many to recognize the good? You can recognize the good without fixation on the evil. Can fighting evil give us good? Let’s take the war in the Middle East. They feel they are fighting terror. Is any terror going away? If they were instead looking for effective ways to neutralize a group that has a threatening agenda, would there be this actual war?
No, they won’t stop it. We reinforce what we fight, and I suppose therefore we reinforce what we don’t forgive. Diplomacy often pulls all the power out of an enemies hands. When all your enemies potential friends are actually your friends, then this threat has no power to effectively do anything.
Fighting evil does good for your soul. It reinforces your ethics and morals, which again for many are pre-programmed thought processes, sure, but for some legitimate knowledge. But we don’t just target the specific group, we target the culture. Now, conflict has its virtues, yes. Sometimes you can teach the futility of the opponents hostility by taking direct action on them, a controlled demonstration of their own weaknesses, but there need not be generalized aggression.
When two sides fight, there is dying on both sides. Death is death. Death for virtue has virtue? To kill “bad” people good people have to die? Isn’t this self-defeating? So, even if universal forgiveness is not possible, it can be practiced to allow ourselves a core of sanity.
They try to teach you death for the cause is honourable, tell that to their families. Yes, tell that to the little girl or boy who doesn’t understand that daddy or mommy is never coming back. I myself prefer peace, not weakness. But craving power is not strength, demonstrating power is not wisdom. You don’t need power over your life to live your life. You just need to be willing to live, and likewise to let live. I prefer to just live my life. I don’t have time for getting caught up in moralistic agendas. If an ideal doesn’t better life itself, how much of an ideal is it really?
Anyone have anything they would like to share on forgiveness?
“If you don’t like my fire. Then don’t come around. Cause I’m gonna burn one down! Yes, I’m gonna burn one down!” Even in that song, forgiveness is making that choice. If you can give someone nothing else, you can at least give them the space to be. And if you can’t give them the space to be, then how can you live your life?
My grandmother’s words I live by are, “Know yourself and be a person.” Those are good words. It’s important to be a person and not an idea. Be a person and not a prejudice. Be a person and not a cause.
Aye, and knowing yourself… Well, that may truly be hardest of all. Knowing oneself can be truly the most difficult thing, yes.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.