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Discussion 1 to Reflection 27
A Comment

by Hugo

Re: Reflection 27

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In Reflection 27, we find:

"However, very near the end, one of the characters proposes that forgiveness is a form of arrogance; and extreme forgiveness, the ultimate arrogance."

and later:

"forgiveness implies a feeling of superiority while vengeance is the natural response of equality"

I do not think this is always true. I may forgive someone simply because there is no reason for me to seek revenge. If forgiveness is simply the act of not taking revenge or bearing a grudge, then forgiveness is passive and the natural thing to do if nothing is gained from revenge.

Forgiveness in this case is simply not taking any action, physical or mental, and cannot be perceived as arrogant.

In the other instance, of actively thinking "I forgive you", I do not think this arrogant.

As Sherlock Holmes says "I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one's self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one's own powers."

If one actively thinks "I forgive you", then one is indeed morally superior. You may construe this as arrogance; I think it accuracy. The forgiver's motive for forgiving is because this is the morally superior thing to do; not so they can think "I am morally superior".