Forgiveness and Reconciliation
The discussion of Rick Warren’s participation in the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States has stirred up a number of thoughts. These ideas were given more focus by listening to an episode of Philosophy Bites on Derrida’s idea of forgiveness:
While Derrida says that national reconciliation is a separate matter, forgiveness itself, is worth some serious thought. In short, Derrida’s thoughts of forgiveness run as follows. A forgiveness that has no cost, is not worth much. It is forgiving the unforgivable that is the essence of the act. And also seemingly impossible to accomplish; it asks us to do the undoable.
This is a very disturbing idea because it seems to run counter to the idea of justice, or at least a rough form of justice. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – these practices can lead to an infinite negative feedback loop. For a change to occur, one side must do the impossible.