Forgiveness Definition Paper

Write a 3 – 5 page paper (double spaced)

describing the definition of forgiveness.

Make sure that you include the following:

• What is the definition of forgiveness that you now hold? (include: What is forgiveness? What is it not? Are there unforgiveable acts (why/why not)?).

• Provide support for your opinion (you must reference at least 3 scholarly

journal articles, these can be assigned course readings).

• Is your definition the same as the definition you held at the beginning of this

course (make reference to your original definition from Assignment 1)?

• In what way is your definition similar/different to your original definition?

• Why has your definition changed or not changed?

Your paper must follow APA guidelines. You will need a title page and a reference

page (title page and reference page DO NOT count toward your page limit).


What is forgiveness?

For me, forgiveness is positive attitude towards people or things that hurt you before. It is a voluntary process- replace negative emotion like resentment and revenge as down past the tangle. Just like if others have harmed you, you can use your integrity, honesty to treat this matter.

What is not forgiveness? Forgiveness is not about help repair bad relationship or reconciling, but a better way releases the anger and pressure. I think it is important to learn letting go the bad things happened to you; or it will become a “shadow” which depress you incessantly, it can be a waste of life. Forgiveness is not for pleasing others but relieve your pain and make you a better man. Furthermore, forgiveness can be a best way to fight back and the most powerful rebuttal to those who hate you.

Unforgiveable acts

In my opinion, unforgiveable act is when someone’s disrespect behavior touches your bottomline or law. Because the society needs rules to keep away from criminals; you need to have own rule as well to keep away from offenders. By the way, keeping your own principle and baseline can avoid a lot possibility of getting hurt.

Lecture Outline: Forgiveness Definitions 1

Agreements between Researchers

· Forgiveness is only applicable to people

· Forgiveness entails a release of negatives

· Much agreement about what forgiveness is not…

Forgiveness is Not…

· Forgetting

· Condoning

· Excusing

· Justifying

· Pardoning

· Reconciliation

Does the General Population Agree?

· Generally agree with the notion of letting go of negatives

· But tend to include ideas of forgetting and reconciliation (Kanz, 2000)

Is Letting Go of Negatives Enough?

· If only let go of negatives, are you left with indifference?

· Occurs simply with the passage of time

· Adoption of positives

· Can you feel love toward the person who hurt you?

3 Big Names

Enright (1998, p. 140)

· Forgiveness = cognitive + behavioural + affective

· Forgiveness is a process

· Replace negatives with positives

· Forgiveness = an altruistic gift to offender

Worthington (1998, p. 108)

· 2 types of forgiveness

· Decisional forgiveness: Change in behavioural intentions

· Emotional forgiveness: Replacement of negative, unforgiving emotions with positive, other-oriented emotions

McCullough (2000, p. 44)

· Reduction in motive to avoid

· Reduction in motive to seek revenge

· Increase in motive to act benevolently toward offender

Are There Unforgivable Acts?

· Unforgiveable acts: Child abuse; killing of a child; terrorist attacks; torture

· Unforgiveable people: Sociopaths; Hitler

Components of an Unforgivable Act (Govier, 1999)

An act is unforgivable if:

A) The direct victims are dead

B) The act is absolutely inexcusable

C) The deed is of such enormity that victims could never be properly compensated

D) The consequences of the act = enormous harm

E) The act is of such enormity that resentment of it will forever be justified

F) The act violates profoundly important moral principles

What FEELS like an Unforgivable Act? (Flanigan, 1992)

· A betrayal

· Committed by an intimate offender

· Shatter concept of morality

· Assault your fundamental beliefs/worldview

· Deeply personal – so vary from person to person

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