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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 03-07-2019, 11:20 AM   #26
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

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Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
I don't believe I've ever felt morally obligated to forgive anyone because of laws.

I have absorbed the norms of society though. I trust others in my group because they seem to have also absorbed the norms.

There are probably big differences between outsourcing vengeance to an all-seeing god and the justice system, but they have similar usefulness.
Sorry, I'm not being clear. I'm assuming that social groups with higher trust for other members are more likely to be successful. In older societies, religion was often the basis of this trust. In more modern societies, this trust is based more on secular law. I'm postulating that one role of forgiveness is to help distinguish between the ingroup and outgroup. My claim is that forgiveness has a more useful role in the older religion-based societies because distinguishing between the ingroup and outgroup to know who to trust is more important in a religious-based system for gaining social trust than in a legal-based system. Thus, I'd expect forgiveness to play a lesser role in modern secular morality than in older religious morality.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:59 AM   #27
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

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Echoing BTM, I'm not entirely sure I agree that trust in secular societies is based more in law than shared cultural norms and in-group membership. Law is certainly relevant but morality and social cohesion are larger than formal legal institutions.
I'm assuming that large social groups need some kind of enforcement mechanism punishing defectors to preserve these shared cultural norms. Divine punishment is a low-cost method of doing so, but we are richer now and so can afford the more effective and expensive government and law based enforcement of norms.
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But also law can have a role for forgiveness, at least in some sense. Judges have some discretion in sentencing and often base that discretion on whether the convicted show remorse. Early parole is based on behavior in jail and interviews with the parole board. We have some sense that ex-cons should be reintegrated into society after "doing their time". All of those serve somewhat similar functions to forgiveness rituals.
I guess. Seems to me that in general legal systems with more discretion are less effective as the opportunity for corruption is higher and punishments are less predictable. Since criminals are such a smaller segment of society than sinners it also seems less important to reintegrate them into society than for religious sinners. But I don't want to say forgiveness has no role now, just a lesser one.
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I think the idea that forgiveness rituals are needed in a religious context in order to promote group growth is interesting, but those rituals also exist historically in societal contexts where the religion is highly integrated and everyone is expected to share the same religion. Modern churches think about membership and growth in ways that the medieval Catholic church did not, and in religiously integrated societies the religious rituals tied to forgiveness are also generally tied to the execution of law. I don't think religious ideas about forgiveness developed in particular because of concern about group growth. I think they developed because of more general needs to resolve conflicts and preserve social cohesion. Secular societies still have similar needs.
Yeah, growth probably isn't the right framework here, I'm being kind of anachronistic. Maybe more as a way of signaling inclusion in a religion (and thus the attendent benefits of social trust) for those who don't follow its rules very well.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:53 PM   #28
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

I think this is relevant: https://www.earth.com/news/domestica...ack-mentality/
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:11 PM   #29
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

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Yes, nice find.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:36 PM   #30
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

The foundation of Christianity is that moral values are objective. Any attempt to base a moral system on subjective values is incoherent. This seems so self evident to me that I'm always surprised when people consider relative moral systems .

The Christian teaching is that God is willing to forgive, but it does require belief and acceptance from the forgiven. It requires no "works" as in good deeds to earn the forgiveness..
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:23 PM   #31
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

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The foundation of Christianity is that moral values are objective. Any attempt to base a moral system on subjective values is incoherent. This seems so self evident to me that I'm always surprised when people consider relative moral systems .

The Christian teaching is that God is willing to forgive, but it does require belief and acceptance from the forgiven. It requires no "works" as in good deeds to earn the forgiveness..
Reread John 5 and Romans 2. If you haven't been doing your good deeds, this would be a good time to start. I certainly wouldn't chance it.
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Old Yesterday, 05:47 AM   #32
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Re: Forgiveness and morality of the moment.

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Originally Posted by pulvis View Post
The foundation of Christianity is that moral values are objective. Any attempt to base a moral system on subjective values is incoherent. This seems so self evident to me that I'm always surprised when people consider relative moral systems .

The Christian teaching is that God is willing to forgive, but it does require belief and acceptance from the forgiven. It requires no "works" as in good deeds to earn the forgiveness..
Do you have the objective truth for every possible moral situation you come across? If not what do you rely on when you dont know the objective moral truth and you have to make a decision?
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