Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Forgiveness or behavior modification?

  1. Forgive

    7 vote(s)
  2. Revenge

    1 vote(s)
  3. DIE!!!!!!!

    0 vote(s)
  1. Jul 4, 2004 #1
    Is it better to forgive others for wrongdoing or is it better to remember and treat them accordingly, or even seek to punish them to correct their faulty behavior as a parent might punish a child?
    What would happen if everyone agreed that either extreme was the way to go? What is your experience with these two methods?

    My own experience is that most often when I forgave someone I realized much later on that we were both wrong about 90% of the time, not that my opponent realized it but at least I did, and when I sought revenge it felt good, it always feels good but I'm sure I wasn't always in the right there either. My own dilemma is that if I'm always forgiving of others won't I always get used, won't people see it all over me and some of them see me as an opportunity maybe in some subconscious way?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Much experience with repeated "prosoner's dilemma" interactions suggests that a successful strategy is "tit for tat". Forgive others until someone betrays you, then betray that one until she goes back to fair play. Something along these lines may be hard coded in primates.
  4. Jul 4, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Treating a person in accordance with their behavioral patterns and making an attempt to correct them when they err is not akin to revenge. Someone needs to add another option to this poll.
  5. Jul 5, 2004 #4
    you should try as much as you can to forgive... but sometimes you just can't.
  6. Jul 5, 2004 #5
    exactley my point. it depends on the circumstances and the very person that is forgiving.

    the "ability to forgive" is closely bonded to understanding and empathy.
  7. Jul 5, 2004 #6
    Forgiveness is more of an attitude than a behavior. I can forgive someone for, let's say, mistaking me for someone else and attacking me. However, that does not mean I simply allow them to attack me or necessarilly attempt some kind of behavior modification on them. Without a clear context and situation, I can't tell you what I would do!

    I can tell you, should has nothing to do with the issue imo.
  8. Jul 10, 2004 #7
    Forgiveness is the most clever ploy of them all. It signals the end of your half of the game, and your unwillingness to play that game any more. It releases your energies back to your disposal again, and disengaged you can correct your path, and go forward. It takes two to tango, and if you don't want to dance any more, you don't have to.
  9. Jul 11, 2004 #8
    as the satanic bible would say "Do unto others as they do unto you"

    i would forgive someone if i had a relationship with them in which i expected them to forgive me. similarly, i would seek revenge on someone who i know would seek revenge on me for a similar crime. it varies so very much depending on the person and the situation, and how much that person is worth to me.

    just like with my life, im nice to people who are nice to me, and im a prick to those who are mean to me. im never mean in the first place, but i will retaliate and hold a grudge.

    im no satanist, but i believe in that. do unto others as they do unto you. im just that kind of person.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook