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#39846 - 07/03/10 06:33 AM Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?"
Meq Offline
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This was a post I contributed on the Mensa International forums.

I've abridged my post slightly to remove any references to other posts, as it is a closed forum, however this was my position on the topic of debate - "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?":


Self-defense is a distinct issue to after-the-event vengeance.

A psychotherapist I once knew (in thrall to neo-Stoic/Spinozist philosophy) gave the opinion that revenge is nothing but an irrational reaction to one's lack of understanding of the other person's motives. However, although there may be a grain of truth here, by and large I disagree with such a reductionistic approach.

Vengeance (as distinct from self-defense) is important for many whom personal power is important, for the following reasons:

Gaining a reputation as someone who can be harmed with impunity is likely to make one an attractive target for those seeking to exploit one for personal gain, or simply harm one out of sadism. Being excessively forgiving not only gives the message to an amoral perpetrator that "I can get away with harming this person", it may lead them to generalise this to others in general. "Some people are forgiving, I can get away with harming the right ones if I am smart." (Contrary to the views of many liberalists or mystics, I don't see a sweet angel lurking inside the hearts of every such perpetrator merely needing 'education' or 'knowledge' to spread its wings.)

In contrast, judicious use of revenge may lead to a reputation as someone who cannot be harmed with impunity. To those seeking to exploit or harm such a person, this course of action suddenly looks less attractive. Furthermore, not only does taking revenge send out the message: "There are negative consequences for harming this person", it may also send out a more general message: "Harming other people in this manner carries a penalty."

The latter is particularly true when both the original offense and retaliation fall outside the scope of unlawful activity. To give an example, exploiting a vulnerable yet consenting adult for sex (stringing along their feelings) resulting in massive emotional hurt, is often completely legal. Given that social sanctions against such activity are often weak in many quarters, such a perpetrator may only 'learn the lesson' when faced with direct retribution, particularly when the latter is carried out lawfully. Call it lawful vigilantism if you will. The emotional satisfaction received by the bringer of vengeance and/or initial exploitee (whether the same person or a loved one) is another advantage, and a desire for justice may also play a role. However, it may be more about personal power, an important goal for many.

Christian dogma encourages the still-perpetuated prejudice that forgiveness is always "good" and revenge is always "bad" or "evil" (unless God does it), which is often evidenced by many people's overly emotional reactions to the very notion of revenge. However, the above illustrates that this is not always the case, and that excessive forgiveness can lead to more harm than good, when a little revenge would be more appropriate. Promoting such "blanket" forgiveness may even have the effect of eroding already weak social sanctions against certain harmful actions, giving unscrupulous perpetrators free reign. Such a perpetrator's paradise is not my idea of the kind of society I'd like to live in, much less promote.

"A little revenge is more humane than no revenge at all." - Friedrich Nietzsche


Any comments? Critiques?

Meq

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#39847 - 07/03/10 06:58 AM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Meq]
Morgan Offline
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Interesting......

"that excessive forgiveness can lead to more harm than good, when a little revenge would be more appropriate. Promoting such "blanket" forgiveness may even have the effect of eroding already weak social sanctions against certain harmful actions, giving unscrupulous perpetrators free reign. Such a perpetrator's paradise is not my idea of the kind of society I'd like to live in, much less promote."


M
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#39871 - 07/03/10 04:39 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Morgan]
GillesdeRais Offline
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Fucking-A, Morgan. A succinct quote that gets right down to the brass tacks. I don't really consider myself as being intellectual enough to perceive the true tenets of LaVeyan Satanism, but I can tell right from wrong when it is spoken/written...Or at least I hope so...
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#39874 - 07/03/10 05:00 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Morgan]
Jake999 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Morgan
Interesting......

"that excessive forgiveness can lead to more harm than good, when a little revenge would be more appropriate. Promoting such "blanket" forgiveness may even have the effect of eroding already weak social sanctions against certain harmful actions, giving unscrupulous perpetrators free reign. Such a perpetrator's paradise is not my idea of the kind of society I'd like to live in, much less promote."


M


Interesting indeed, Morgan, but I think it's more a matter of "life in his mind," rather than life in reality in which it can (and should) be applied. Of course, one can come up with all kinds of mitigating factors when one brings the philosophical into the realm or reality. It becomes a game of semantics, but it looks just as hypocritical.
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#39879 - 07/03/10 05:23 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Meq]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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The slave religions generally share in slogan, but ignore in practice, the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." [I know this from reading the first few pages of the Gideon Holy Bible in hotels when there's nothing on TV.]

Anton LaVey amended this to the Satanic "Do unto others as they do unto you."

I prefer: "Do unto others before they do unto you." And also: "Forgive your enemies - but don't forget their names."
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#39880 - 07/03/10 05:26 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Jake999 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
The slave religions generally share in slogan, but ignore in practice, the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." [I know this from reading the first few pages of the Gideon Holy Bible in hotels when there's nothing on TV.]



LOL! Fates protect me from ever being caught in ANY hotel when there's nothing on TV. One of the main reasons I tend to stay in hotel/casinos whenever possible.
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#39888 - 07/03/10 09:05 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
GillesdeRais Offline
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Whenever I see this clip, it reminds me of a bizarre Setian ploy to trick good, honest people into a state of moral ambiguity. \:\)

Edited by GillesdeRais (07/03/10 09:06 PM)
Edit Reason: quantum mechanics
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#39891 - 07/03/10 10:19 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Meq]
BFranklin Offline
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I think the most important issue to consider with respect to revenge is the power arrangement between the avenger and the avengee. For example, I would love to get revenge against the governments of Massachusetts and the United States for forcing me to buy health insurance which I do not want and cannot afford, and for wasting my tax money on wars I did not declare, against strangers who have never harmed me personally. But a lone wolf trying to get revenge against the Massachusetts Snake House or the presi-king of the United States would be an act of stupidity.

On the other hand, I was once a high-school teacher in a school where the students had zero respect for teachers. (ANY teachers). What about the times that a student did something vile to me in front of my entire class? In that case, where I am supposed to be the authority, NOT reacting would be an act of stupidity. (I perceive a reaction coming down the pipe, that disciplining a minor isn't exactly revenge. But you probably get the point. Float a better example if you want.)

Revenge against a higher power is stupidity. Revenge when you are the one in a formal position of authority, is vital. Muddy ground in between the two.
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#39892 - 07/03/10 10:32 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
BFranklin Offline
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I own a T-shirt from one of the cheesey tourist shops in New Orleans, which has a black skull and reads "Voodoo unto others before they Voodoo unto you." It's 15 years old now, but you might still be able to get one. (If the shop is still standing.)
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#39923 - 07/04/10 06:52 AM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: BFranklin]
ceruleansteel Offline
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 Quote:
Revenge against a higher power is stupidity.


I disagree wholeheartedly. Revenge against a higher power, to me, is even more important than revenge against those who are basically powerless against you. You have everything in your life to thank for this particular opinion, as is evidenced here:

 Quote:
...when a long train of abuses and usurpations...evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future.


Where would we be without these ballsy muthas? Suckin' England's ass?

I have to agree with the idea that revenge is a good way to tell someone to quit fuckin' with you. Just be prepared for the idea that there may be consequences to your actions.

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#39930 - 07/04/10 09:13 AM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: ceruleansteel]
BFranklin Offline
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My reference to “power arrangement” implies that sometimes the other power is so much greater that it would be stupid to act against them, i.e. impossible to win. I did say there is “muddy ground in between”. Americans initiated their revolution because they had a fair chance of winning, given the power they knew they had at their disposal. I was referring to a single individual standing up to a government. You could theoretically win a lone-wolf battle in court, but don’t hold your breath.

Incidentally, the person who started this thread distinguished between defense and revenge…Remember that the rank and file American revolutionaries thought of their actions largely as revenge, but the people who actually called the shots – people like Benjamin Franklin – were thinking of it mainly as defense.

As to your point about whether Americans are better off as Americans TODAY, as opposed to being British citizens…well, neither of us can tell what the unified nation would have looked like. But if you want to compare the conditions of British citizens today vs. that of Americans today, I would take British citizenship with all of its imperfections IF I had to make that choice. But, I’m a Canadian with a green card living in the U.S.A.
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"Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb deciding what to eat. Liberty is a well-armed lamb"
-B Franklin

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#39947 - 07/04/10 05:10 PM The Colonists are Revolting! [Re: BFranklin]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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 Originally Posted By: BFranklin
Remember that the rank and file American revolutionaries thought of their actions largely as revenge, but the people who actually called the shots – people like Benjamin Franklin – were thinking of it mainly as defense.

There was a fascinating discussion on KPFA, the Bay Area's pet troublemaking radio station, this morning about the "backstory" of the American Revolution. 600Cers might enjoy a listen.
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#39969 - 07/04/10 10:11 PM Re: The Colonists are Revolting! [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Dakota Offline
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Forgive but not forget, since the silly people do not know what they do. And the reason not to forget is to empower yourself when you feel like you are losing your goal. The more enemies someone has, the better.

The ultimate revenge isn't the act of revenge either, since anyone can do "revenge" on someone. I could always strike revenge by spreading a nasty rumor, or hurt them emotionally with some action. So, therefore the ultimate revenge is “make that person hate your guts”. Improve yourself so much that when they look at you, they will think “I am an inferior”. That’s it. That’s power, it’s not what you do, it’s what you become. It’s you, that’s the revenge.

What will I gain though even if I strike revenge? All that extra mental, physical, emotional energy spent on someone who isn't worth a second of my time after I am done with what I needed.



Edited by Dakota (07/04/10 10:12 PM)

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#39986 - 07/05/10 04:50 AM Re: The Colonists are Revolting! [Re: Dakota]
GillesdeRais Offline
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I prefer what I like to call the patient Machiavellian plan when it comes to pay-back.. Striking upon one who has wronged you takes time, planning, and stylistic creativity. It always helps to disseminate as much information as you can collect, glean it, then begin to design the sequential set of actions that will ensure your machinations are legal, yet unforgettable.
These are a few of my favorite things...:)
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#39996 - 07/05/10 05:04 PM Re: The Colonists are Revolting! [Re: GillesdeRais]
ceruleansteel Offline
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If a person is truly seeking revenge, it can't be swift unless you already have intimate knowledge of the person you are striking out against. Revenge is wasted if it doesn't have maximum effect with minimal effort on your part. So I agree, you have to be patient enough to learn the person's every move and what their weaknesses are, then either exploit those weaknesses or use them to cripple your enemy.
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#46900 - 01/16/11 05:59 PM Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: ceruleansteel]
Fabiano Offline
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Mmmmmm I think it's a bit more complex than this and some point were not adressed.

Looking at the definition I find:
 Originally Posted By: wikipedia
Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.


So there is one part related to justice (claim for punishment/restitution) and on other part is about "feelings management".
Yet an other facette doesn't appear obviously in the definition: self-forgiveness...


 Quote:
A psychotherapist I once knew (in thrall to neo-Stoic/Spinozist philosophy) gave the opinion that revenge is nothing but an irrational reaction to one's lack of understanding of the other person's motives. However, although there may be a grain of truth here, by and large I disagree with such a reductionistic approach.


So the above view is more about feeling management than justice but all the thread is articulated arround the justice side.

Of course giving the image of a pigeon and being the scapegoat is surely not recommended but entering an endless ping-pong revenge game can also be destructive.

On feeling management, I'm not sure nourishing feelings of anger and hate for a long time is always advisable. Understanding the other's motivation can be usefull for diminishing these feelings... without preventing rendering justice.

So I think opting for a case by case approach is better than choosing revenge systematically.


Edited by Fabiano (01/16/11 06:00 PM)

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#46974 - 01/17/11 11:17 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: Fabiano]
paolo sette Offline
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If the irrefragability of forgiveness means the predetermination of a moral life, it is pure and simple. It is true that our present life is the result of forgiveness, and that as long as forgiveness preserves its vitality there is no chance to escape its consequences: good or Evil. Secondly, it is true that if our intellect were not ill-considered as it is, we could reduce the complexity of conditions under which our life exists into its simplest terms predicting with mathematical precision the course of life through which it will pass; hence, using forgiveness is an adjunct.

If we could record all of our previous acts of forgiveness from time immemorial and all its consequences both on ourselves and those who come in contact with us: there would be no difficulty in determining life with utmost certainty. The human intellect is incapable of undertaking a work of such enormous magnitude--we cannot perceive the full force of determinism.

It is from the human point of view that we feel uncertain about our disposition, and endeavor to explain existence from a mechanical, teleological standpoint. At the bottom of our Selves, we feel that there is something mysterious which makes us cry: 'Let Thy Will Be Done.' While this confidence in 'Thy Will' proves in our inmost consciousness and outside intellectual analysis a belief in order. This order is not controllable by our partial, fragmentary Minds and that forgiveness must not be understood in the strictest sense of the word.

666
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#47198 - 01/22/11 07:27 PM Re: Mensa forum topic: "To Forgive or Not to Forgive?" [Re: paolo sette]
whisper Offline
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I believe in do unto others as they do unto you. So many Chrisitians have said to me "Oh, forgive them, you'll be a better person." Oh, yeah? I got tired of being nice all the time.
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#47335 - 01/25/11 04:13 AM Re: The Colonists are Revolting! [Re: ceruleansteel]
myk5 Offline
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Well, let me think about what my feelings are in relation to forgiveness. The challenge for me is that while I don't have a problem with revenge and would suggest an eye for an eye is entirely appropriate. In practice i simply don't get angry very often. People that offend me generally lead such miserable lives already my revenge is simply letting them be. I know that I'm hard to upset but if you do upset me, I never forgive. But it's been ages.

While the automatic mandatory forgiveness of the white light fluffy variety will make you an easy and delicious target for abuse, that's not an argument against forgiveness in every context. Forgiveness can be a healing thing and be entirely positive, but generally of a person you that has you consumed with hate - not just anyone.

the downside to revenge, is that the hatred remains even if they are dead. Or such is my experience.

That which we don't like in others, too often is what we do not like in ourselves. Forgiveness then in a way can become less about the other person and more about self acceptance.


Edited by myk5 (01/25/11 04:16 AM)
Edit Reason: another thought

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#47337 - 01/25/11 06:04 AM Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: Meq]
Dimitri Offline
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It seems to me a universal and correct answer cannot be given since many social factors are involved. One time events without a lasting negative impact can be forgiven. Others which are having a negative impact (duration aside), are to be measured and seen what the exact consequences are and the choice to forgive/not forgive after taking a look at it.

It's always in the best interest to think for a while and put everything in perspective. Within Satanic philosophy it is commonly said to "to smash the others' cheek". I interpretate it as revenge may be possible when the deed was way off its limits and "to show them a lesson". It does not mean to always take revenge when something bad happens (and if the event persists then perhaps it has something to do with a taken attitude), it simply means the option is free to take without feeling any guilt or shame.
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#47338 - 01/25/11 06:29 AM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: Dimitri]
Fabiano Offline
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I think the example Diavolo gave in this post well fits in this thread. It shows that dumb application of the eye for eye principle is not always a good idea. For the ease of reading, I copy here the relevant extract:

 Originally Posted By: Diavolo
Let me give you the example of one of the guys I know here. Denny is a sweet guy, large as an ox but in general a sweet chap. What he doesn't like is to be pissed off. No slapping his cheeks. So one day he sells his car to some dude, and they agree he's going to pay him X many months, X amount of cash. Pretty silly; if you sell something make sure you get all the cash before you deliver because sooner or later they'll fuck you over. So yes, that is what happened to Denny, at one point the other dude stopped paying. So Denny got pissed and bitch-slapped some sense in the guy (the kind of slapping that makes awful noises), the guy presses charges and Denny goes to jail.
Now Denny is really pissed.

So after some time Denny comes out of jail and being very very pissed he gets a gun and pays his 'friend' a visit. It ends with him shooting at the dude; missing and then after deciding that large objects don't miss that easily, runs him over with his car. 4 times.

Denny never turned the other cheek and while he's one of the amusing but at some level rather harmless acquaintances I got here, the real question is if you'd turn the other cheek if Denny slapped it. It all depends on how far one is willing to go but most people, satanists included, live enjoyable but rather 'average' lives and concepts of retaliation are, of course, situated in this same averageness.

Everyone strikes back as long as striking back is situated in their realm. Once it is outside of it, most back down and endure, often even presenting the other cheek.

D.

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#47409 - 01/26/11 06:50 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: Fabiano]
Morgan Offline
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I put a comment on the first page but I would like to add to it.

It all depends on the situation.

Some things you can forgive.
Some things you can forgive and forget.
Some things you can never forgive.
Some things you can never forgive or forget.

Some people who act out do it because they crave the attention that a public castigation will give them. They fuck up so bad repeatedly because even that bad behavior will give them some measure of recognition that they need in order to feel validated.

For those people, the worse thing you can do to them is ignore them while fucking up their lives behind the scenes. They will always wonder when the shoe will drop or who will knock on their front door and wonder about the next time they are shoved by a stranger in their corner bar.

Yes, they may deserve a beatdown, and a sidewalk sandwich, but sometimes physical violence is just too easy for what someone has done. It's better that they suffer mentally for a few years, then get a random beatdown that is untraceable.

Morgan
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Fuck em if they can't take a joke
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#47485 - 01/28/11 02:26 PM Re: The Colonists are Revolting! [Re: ceruleansteel]
Room 101 Offline
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Ironic subject title seeing as Meq is no longer here.

But jokes aside, I see no use in forgiveness. As far as im concerned, once bitten, there is no way back.

Revenge is a must.
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#47489 - 01/28/11 07:36 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: Morgan]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Morgan
Some people who act out do it because they crave the attention that a public castigation will give them. They fuck up so bad repeatedly because even that bad behavior will give them some measure of recognition that they need in order to feel validated.

For those people, the worse thing you can do to them is ignore them ...

There's always a Pancho Pillow around ...
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#47530 - 01/29/11 07:07 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
myk5 Offline
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Room 101: No use in forgiveness? You sure? I mean, if a small child calls you a name, you can't dismiss that as irrelevant?

And if a small child calling you a name can be dismissed as irrelevant, is it not possible that who you require vengeance upon actually reveals that you are weak enough that what they say or do is more meaningful than a child saying or doing that same thing?

Of course if someone attacks you or harms you in a substantial way, this sense of forgiveness betraying your weakness isn't relevant - but your vengeance in such a context may be more easily interpreted as self defense, are at least righteous and justified, as well.


Edited by myk5 (01/29/11 07:08 PM)

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#47534 - 01/29/11 07:32 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: myk5]
Morgan Offline
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Do you talk just to hear yourself speak?

Do you understand the concept of common sense?

Do you understand that "most" of the Satanists here understand how to blend common sense into all their actions especially the idea of forgiveness or vengeance?

Some actions are unforgivable, and deserve vengeance.
If you can't understand that then maybe you are in the wrong place.

Morgan
_________________________
Courage Conquering Fear
Fuck em if they can't take a joke
Don't Like What I Say, Kiss My Ass



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#47537 - 01/29/11 08:26 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: Morgan]
myk5 Offline
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@ morgan: I am properly admonished, my apologies. I was replying to a specific comment and meant to imply no blanket assumption.
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#47610 - 01/30/11 04:47 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: myk5]
paolo sette Offline
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I think Morgan was directing her reply to Michael (En-Rah-Hah-Set). I can type and type about what she might be feeling, experiencing and thinking; however, I'm not Morgan. She's in charge of her-Self. I'll refrain from saying anything else, except this discussion caused the condition of 'the wheels' turning in my Mind.

Forgiveness that humankind feels must have two aspects: an interhuman aspect within humankind, and an aspect which concerns human responsibility to the objective universe (reality). A human community (e.g. the 600 club) serves humankind by going beyond distinctions between, for example, races or between people generally. Satanism and/or Setism which is established therein takes a look at the community in their respective particularity.

Such groupings without restraing people, allow for free, creative activity and naturally serve human society (e.g. the community at the 600 club) and enrich the content of culture (e.g. Satanism and/or Setism. People can only become the bearer of forgiveness by the realization of the mediating person who is free to act on the basis of their own cultural identity.

666

p.s.- Morgan, you're are a firebrand! \:\)
_________________________
tathagata-svapratyatma-aryajnana-adhigama
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[nig]-ge-na-da a-ba in-da-di nam-ti i-u-tu

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#53490 - 04/25/11 08:26 PM Re: Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun. [Re: paolo sette]
Hegesias Offline
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I would like to add something.

causing an enemy emotional trauma is lackluster and unnecessary because the enemies mental state is irrelevant, only to affirm that he is incommunicable, only the destruction of his body is important, his ability to harm is lessened.

I will tell of something. I care for my family, I don't want them to be hurt, I have seen my mother plastered over the walls when I was a boy, I feel I will go to jail all the time because this world is a place of unstable people who get drunk and do sick stuff, I have lots of sisters to look after, I feel I can't avoid the inevitability of someone who will pose danger to my family and I'll do something very bad. I don't have any interest in having fun because of this. I am a dangerous person and constantly feel lethal, yet I have never wanted to hurt anyone, I react to stressful situations.

It's never been about revenge for me, mature negotiations do not always work. I don't feel anything except that the end is here and that it is time to die, so I fight this way. Then I feel sad as I wait for the police to come because there was no choice given to me. I don't drink or take any substance, I cannot be around others that do. Many of the reasons domestic violence gets to be so bad is because of drink and drug abuse. I grew up in those surroundings and saw much bloody violence and encounters with sociopaths, hammers, blades all kinds of hostage type situations within the home, this is why I react with full force to any kind of threat. I just decide, and then feel bad afterwards that I had no choice. I'm the nicest man you could meet, I'm well mannered, it's not even a case of getting on the wrong side of me, I ignore peoples behaviours and only respond to problematic scenarios. I don't get offended and don't seek to offend, such is irrelevant to my thinking.

My brother had to have plastic surgery till he was 14 because of what an ex army soldier done to him when he was a little boy. I simply see that there are many many of the same people and treat any threat as worthless rubbish that deserves to die. This is why I am big on respect and privacy, anyone who shows a threat to somebody else is asking to be killed. Only sheltered and vulgar bullies feel safe in making susceptible people suffer, when they receive unstoppable violence they turn pale an urinate. I have seen this happen twice.

Women who let such men abuse them in their homes, put their children second to entertain bizarre abusive relationships with the sociopaths, the kids can grow up to be dangerous people.

So for me it's nothing to do with revenge or forgiveness, it's affirmation that if you have loved ones to protect, violence is unavoidable in this world of sick human beings.
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