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Forgiveness and Lies

 
 
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 06:30 pm
Traditionally forgiveness involves an acknowledgement of truth. First you make confession, then you receive absolution. The truth and reconciliation concept is another example. Any parties can be reconciled, but first the truth of any misdeeds must be acknowledged. Is forgiveness possible in the face of lies? If someone betrays you, then lies about it, can they be forgiven?
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 2,176 • Replies: 34
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 06:44 pm
@James Lewis,
Sure, it depends on what the lie is about. Different people have different tolerance levels about lies. It also depends on the relationship between the two people - I would guess.

James Lewis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 07:45 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Can you think of any examples? To me it involves the Watergate principle, that the coverup is worse than the crime. Whatever the initial act of betrayal is, maintaining the lie never lets the betrayal die. You not only have to forgive the initial betrayal, but the ongoing "coverup".
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 08:52 pm
@James Lewis,
I'm inclined to agree with you on this. Also, I would have trouble forgiving that which has not been acknowledged.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2014 08:59 pm
@James Lewis,
You're giving an example that most will agree with your conclusion, but the lie we're trying to consider is still really not known. Watergate involved many people and harmful effects. How do we know a) what the lie is, b) how important the lie is, and c) who the players are.

These are all considerations that cannot be ignored.
James Lewis
 
  0  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 06:16 am
@cicerone imposter,
I wasn't citing Watergate as an example, but only as a principle, just as with the examples of the confessional and the truth and reconciliation process. Certainly the degree of harm and the specifics of the relationship enter into the picture. If, for example, it involved small children, and one lied about some minor matter (you took the toy I was playing with! No I didn't!) that could be forgiven and forgotten immediately without any admission. I'm talking about serious matters involving great harm and many conflicting interests.

Your conclusion seems to be that yes, under certain circumstances, you could forgive a serious betrayal when the betrayer has lied about their guilt. Can you think of any example that agrees with your conclusion? Even an imaginary one?

I thought perhaps the situation with Mehmet Ali Ağca and Pope John Paul II might be such a case, but apparently he did admit to shooting the Pope. He just told a great many conflicting stories as to why he did it.


Germlat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 06:29 am
@James Lewis,
I think lies beget more lies. After some time, there is a crack in the mirror which distorts reality. Lies can have painful and confusing consequences for those involved. By perpetuating a lie, you are building an unsteady bridge. Betrayal comes with signs/symptoms. The one betrayed usually has a sense things are not right or things simply don't add up. Even if the behavior is not repeated, the one betrayed sees a crack in the mirror. We know the subconscious mind can be programmed by repetition, so a story can be repeated over and over again. When something doesn't make sense, we tend to continue to examine it in our minds to reach clarity. The severity of the lies, the frequency of the lies, and reasoning behind them point out the real problem. If someone outright asks if you have betrayed them...there is a huge unavoidable crack in the mirror. I think honesty paves the way to a healthy relationship.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 10:49 am
@James Lewis,
Your question was,
Quote:
Any parties can be reconciled, but first the truth of any misdeeds must be acknowledged. Is forgiveness possible in the face of lies? If someone betrays you, then lies about it, can they be forgiven?


The answer is a non-qualified yes based on the individuals involved and the lie. This happens in families all the time. You're more apt to forgive a loved one more freely than most others. As I've said before, it also depends on what the betrayal is, because we all have our own subjective limits.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 10:52 am
@Germlat,
No truer words said,
Quote:
I think honesty paves the way to a healthy relationship.
However, humans are weak and we all have different levels of honesty and ethics.
Even those who may fail once can become outstanding contributors to society if given a chance.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 11:48 am
@James Lewis,
James Lewis wrote:
Traditionally forgiveness involves an acknowledgement of truth.
I doubt your premise.

James Lewis wrote:
First you make confession, then you receive absolution.
Maybe; not necessarily.
All that is required is a decision by the victim
against avenging himself upon the perpetrator,
a choice to manifest magnanimity.

I remember an instance about 4O years ago when my friend, Donald,
committed an offense against me and I simply chose to let him get away with it.
THAT is forgiveness. He said nothing, nor did I ask.
Subsequently, poetic justice fell upon him, but not by my hand,
nor by my mouth. "The wheels of the gods grind slowly, but thay grind exceeding fine."


James Lewis wrote:
The truth and reconciliation concept is another example.
Any parties can be reconciled, but first the truth of any misdeeds must [????] be acknowledged.
What is the authority for that allegation ??
U offer it naked, with no supporting evidence.


James Lewis wrote:
Is forgiveness possible in the face of lies?
Sure, Y not????????
For instance, President Ford spontaneously granted Nixon
an absolute pardon for any crimes that he MAY HAVE committed.
Nixon said nothing. He just waved good-bye.


James Lewis wrote:
If someone betrays you, then lies about it, can they be forgiven?
Yes; both for the betrayal and for the lie.
The choice is in the mind of the victim.





David
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 11:50 am
@cicerone imposter,
We all lie at some point for various reasons. Self-protection, self-promotion, protecting others....we are human. Motivation is a key factor as to why and when it happens. Betrayal in my opinion is a altogether different thing. It tends to place our personal benefit against that of one or others closest to us. Also--deceit is used to maintain the illusion others are still most important. It is the Judas kiss per se.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 12:03 pm
@Germlat,
Germlat wrote:
We all lie at some point for various reasons.
Self-protection, self-promotion, protecting others....we are human.
Motivation is a key factor as to why and when it happens
.
Betrayal in my opinion is a altogether different thing.
It tends to place our personal benefit against that of one or others closest to us.
Ergo, its altogether IMPOSSIBLE betray anyone,
UNLESS he is closest to us ??
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 12:17 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
You're right. You can also betray your beliefs, country. etc...
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 12:21 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:



The answer is a non-qualified yes based on the individuals involved and the lie. This happens in families all the time. You're more apt to forgive a loved one more freely than most others. As I've said before, it also depends on what the betrayal is, because we all have our own subjective limits.


For a non-qualified 'yes', you've certainly stuck in some pretty big qualifications.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 12:38 pm
@roger,
Most everything in life is conditional; no two groups of people will arrive at the same conclusion even for the same lie.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 02:12 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
I'm inclined to agree with you on this.
Also, I would have trouble forgiving that which has not been acknowledged.
Theoretically, the perp might have granted u benefits
far beyond the value of the lies, such that u remain in his debt,
even considering the lies.

Suppose that a man has saved your life and your property from fire
and then he lies to u qua a matter of little importance.
U will be petty enuf that WITH THE LIFE THAT HE SAVED,
u will bear him a grudge, Roger ?????????? Tell us. Is that who u r ??????

Incidentally, the fellow whom u r refusing to forgive
might not necessarily in all cases be the guilty party.
Sometimes people blame the rong guy,
who UNDERSTANDABLY will refuse to confess
and he will tolerate your enduring hatred for the offense whereof he is innocent.




David
0 Replies
 
James Lewis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2014 10:17 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
James Lewis wrote:
Traditionally forgiveness involves an acknowledgement of truth.
OmSigDAVID wrote:
I doubt your premise.
I should have said "certain traditions". What I'm really seeking is traditions which don't have this requirement. I'm not advocating for truth as a prerequisite for forgiveness, or trying to defend the idea.

James Lewis wrote:
First you make confession, then you receive absolution.
OmSigDAVID wrote:
Maybe; not necessarily.
I'm pretty sure you're required to tell the truth in the confessional booth in order to receive absolution.

James Lewis wrote:
The truth and reconciliation concept is another example.
Any parties can be reconciled, but first the truth of any misdeeds must [????] be acknowledged.
OmSigDAVID wrote:
What is the authority for that allegation ??
U offer it naked, with no supporting evidence.
I was referring to the South African commission headed by Bishop Tutu. I've seen him interviewed on the subject. I'm not suggesting it operated perfectly. I'm just saying that acknowledging the truth was supposed to be the prerequisite for forgiveness.

James Lewis wrote:
Is forgiveness possible in the face of lies?
OmSigDAVID wrote:
Sure, Y not????????
For instance, President Ford spontaneously granted Nixon
an absolute pardon for any crimes that he MAY HAVE committed.
Nixon said nothing. He just waved good-bye.
An interesting example. Not quite what I had in mind, though. There was obviously a form of forgiveness involved, but I was asking about interpersonal relations, not criminal pardons or national betrayals.

James Lewis wrote:
If someone betrays you, then lies about it, can they be forgiven?
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Yes; both for the betrayal and for the lie.
The choice is in the mind of the victim.
I guess it's a matter of how you define forgiveness. If a betrayal destroys your faith in someone, then what does forgiveness mean? Can you carry on as before, without any change in your relationship? Does the degree of damage done factor into the situation? The reasons for the lie?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2014 02:22 am
@James Lewis,
James Lewis wrote:
The truth and reconciliation concept is another example.
Any parties can be reconciled,
but first the truth of any misdeeds must [????] be acknowledged.
OmSigDAVID wrote:
What is the authority for that allegation ??
U offer it naked, with no supporting evidence.
James Lewis wrote:
I was referring to the South African commission headed by Bishop Tutu.
There is no reason to do THAT,
so far as I am aware
.


James Lewis wrote:
If someone betrays you, then lies about it, can they be forgiven?
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Yes; both for the betrayal and for the lie.
The choice is in the mind of the victim.
James Lewis wrote:
I guess it's a matter of how you define forgiveness.
If a betrayal destroys your faith in someone,
then what does forgiveness mean?
It means that the victim
will not avenge himself upon the perpetrator.

I exhort that u love everyone. Trust NO ONE,
at least not with more than u r willing to lose.


James Lewis wrote:
Can you carry on as before, without any change in your relationship?
Yes. I have done it.

James Lewis wrote:
Does the degree of damage done factor into the situation? The reasons for the lie?
Yes, if the victim wants them to
and if he chooses to include them into his evaluative thought processes
.
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2014 07:00 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I definitely agree that one can forgive even in the face of lies. But--trust and faith won't be there. It is not possible to rebuilt trust in the face of lies. Behind an admission of betrayal, there is healthy remorse rather than guilt. The action of confessing speaks loudly of the intentions of the perpetrator. It says: I own my mistake, I want your forgiveness, I'm not trying to protect myself but our relationship. Relationships can actually be stronger after a betrayal. If honesty is not part of the design, there will be a crack or hole in the relationship dynamic. Guilt/shame doesn't stop bad behaviors...only healthy remorse does. People often rationalize behaviors to avoid guilt . Guilty people often deflect blame on those they've victimized in order to feel better. It's a distortion of truth to self-protect. It's not uncommon for the perpetrator to continue to mistreat the victim, and place blame on them in order to avoid the unsavory
guilt . That pesky thing that bothers the perpetrator is called a conscience. Healthy remorse focuses on not repeating the same mistakes.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2014 07:26 am
@Germlat,
Germlat wrote:
I definitely agree that one can forgive even in the face of lies.
But--trust and faith won't be there. It is not possible to rebuilt trust in the face of lies.
We shud learn to avoid trust in people as early in life as possible. I learned it at 11.


Germlat wrote:
Behind an admission of betrayal,
there is healthy remorse rather than guilt.
Was Hess remorseful over his betrayal of nazism, when he flew to Scotland?
Was Boris Yeltsin remorseful over his betrayal of communism ?
 

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