Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I was quite moved by Paul Horwitz's reaction to Eugene Volokh's paean to hatred. The moral emotions are complex phenomena and not always under our control. Proper love of self, however, requires that, when we have suffered an offense, we try to overcome the hatred we understandably feel with love in the form of forgiveness, and without precondition. Forgiveness does not entail reconciliation, and sometimes proper self-love will preclude reconciliation with the forgiven offender. I have defended the obligation of unconditional forgiveness from a Thomistic virtue-theoretic perspective here . Forgiveness is not supine. It is an act no one can perform for us, and it is an act that conforms us to what we have received from the God who has forgiven us our trespasses and debts.