Does anyone have a working definition of "forgiveness"?

What the (emotional) decision to refrain from further vengeance (often) feels like from the inside.

Given that definition, do you find it to be a useful thing to do?

Sometimes. Certainly not all the time. Tit-for-tat with a small amount of forgiveness often performs well. Note that tit-for-tat (the part where the other defects and then cooperates you then proceed to cooperate) also sometimes counts as 'forgiviness' in common usage. Like many cases where game theory and instinctive emotional adaptions intended to handle some common games (like what feels like 'blackmail') the edges between the concepts are blurry.

That's interesting, because I think I usually refrain from vengeance by default, but I do try to like ... limit further interaction and stuff. Maybe that's similar.

The way I was thinking about it is that there's an internal feelings component -- like, do you still feel sad and hurt and angry? Then there's the updating on evidence component -- are they likely to do that or similar things again? And then there's also a behavioral piece, where you change something in the way you act towards/around them (and I'm not sure if vengeance or just running awaaay both count?) So I wasn't sure which combination of those were part of "forgiveness" in common usage. It sounds like you're saying internal + behavioral, right?

Open thread, August 12-18, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read12th Aug 2013125 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.