Forgiveness and excusing.

Provoked by Jamie’s response to a question about Jean Genet*, I want to ask if there is anything that you would never forgive or excuse another person for?


It’s almost undoubtedly easier said than done, but the command is to forgive. If we don’t forgive, how can we expect to be forgiven? This does not mean we bend over to take it up the yin-yang again, however – ya don’t say “Yes, please bomb us again” for instance.


Yes, easier said than done, but I think the effort is at least worth something. Is there anything which you would definitely not forgive someone for?

Molly, you seem to be equating forgiving with excusing. They are definitely not the same thing.

Are they totally independent in meaning and application?

Maybe we use a different thesaurus, Jamie.

Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus
Main Entry: forgive
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: To grant forgiveness to or for.
Synonyms: condone, excuse, pardon, remit, forgive and forget

Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition

They are substantially separate and are not the same thing.

So your statement about artists and intellectuals had nothing to do with forgiveness, right?

Moving on: is there anything which you would not excuse a person for?

I would excuse a child for blowing milk out his nose when he laughed at the table.

And for a thousand other schoolyard tricks, I’m sure, but the question was this: is there anything which you would not excuse a person for?

Infidelity and betrayal.

So, if a partner were unfaithful to you, you’d get rid of him/her right away, right? No second chance? 8)

No. Would you?

Drawing from the source of this topic, I’d say any sort of child abuse, sexual or physical should neither be forgiven nor excused.

How about when the attacker is mentally disabled or mentally ill?

Maybe. We all make mistakes. :oops:

Not this kind of mistake. And that sounds like an excuse to me.

It is. :oops:

The fact that the abuse happened is already an indication of mental problems. This doesn’t make it any less severe or more allowable. An excuse isn’t a defacto reason to excuse somebody offhand.

A person in his/her right mind doesn’t abuse children. Period. If they do, then they should have to face the consequences.

Can you in good faith tell your child “It’s okay honey, he didn’t know what he was doing”, or “It’s okay, she couldn’t help herself.”?

Still want to give such a person a second chance Molly, let them roam around just because ‘they’re not quite right’?

Maybe as long as it’s not your child, it’s forgivable, eh?

Forgive but never excuse. And never let children near him.

How about “diminished capacity” when used by defence lawyers? Do you see such defence as a conspiracy of the legal and medical professions to release increasingly guilty offenders into the community and is driven by money and socialists?