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Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?

Which is a better quality: Forgiveness or Loyalty?


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Helvidius

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I was watching Mad Men and this quote came up: "Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?"

I'm not necessarily looking for answers based on the context of the show. In general what do you think?
 
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The Mark

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To me, it obviously "depends on the situation".
 

digsbe

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What if your loyalty to someone compels you to forgive them ;) I think both are essential qualities.
 

The Mark

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Examples? I actually don't think it is that obvious.
Hmm...

It depends greatly on what, precisely, the "loyalty" is to, and what, precisely, the "forgiveness" is for...

If you had been "loyal" to the ideals of a torturer of the Spanish Inquisition, then "forgiveness" towards those you would normally torture would be a better quality.

On the other hand, if you were a policeman/detective willing to give up your loyalty to the law and forgive child molesters their crimes...Then the loyalty would be a better quality, IMO

Thus, "Depends on the situation."

Edit: Also, this:
What if your loyalty to someone compels you to forgive them ;) I think both are essential qualities.
In some cases, both (or some combination) would be the best quality.
 
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Helvidius

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Let us say they are conflicting. To forgive someone would mean breaking your loyalty to something. If someone intentionally murders a family member or friend of yours, but later feels guilty and apologizes to you, do you accept the apology? Would accepting the apology be seen as betraying the friend/family member?
 
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The Mark

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Let us say they are conflicting. To forgive someone would mean breaking your loyalty to something. If someone intentionally murders a family member or friend of yours, but later feels guilty and apologizes to you, do you accept the apology? Would accepting the apology be seen as betraying the friend/family member?
Depends on the situation.

If the person who intentionally murdered your family member or friend is in jail, life sentence or death row, and you are convinced they have realized the error of their actions, I don't think so. Depending, of course, on how vindictive the murdered person was, but it's not really up to them, now is it?

OTOH, if the person who intentionally murdered your family member or friend is now the brutal dictator of the small country you live in, and your murdered family member or friend was the former leader of said country...
 

hazlnut

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I'm pretty sure Jesus put forgiveness at the top of the list, while Don Corleone rewarded loyalty.

 

The Mark

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I'm pretty sure Jesus put forgiveness at the top of the list, while Don Corleone rewarded loyalty.

And likely, Jesus would approve if his followers loyally followed his teachings of forgiveness, while Don Corleone would be more likely to forgive those who were loyal to him.
 

hazlnut

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And likely, Jesus would approve if his followers loyally followed his teachings of forgiveness, while Don Corleone would be more likely to forgive those who were loyal to him.
Please show me where Jesus ever used the word 'loyalty' or any connotation. Faith is different than loyalty.

My point is that loyalty can be impure, corrupting the soul. People were loyal to Hitler. Forgiveness is something higher, righteous.
 

1069

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I was watching Mad Men and this quote came up: "Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?"

I'm not necessarily looking for answers based on the context of the show. In general what do you think?
I'm not sure "forgiveness" is a "quality" at all.
I mean, I don't think "loyalty" and "forgiveness" are two equivalent terms.
One's a quality, one's an act. Beyond that, they're sort of similar.

You might as well ask, "Which is a better quality, courage or sky-diving?"
 

The Mark

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Please show me where Jesus ever used the word 'loyalty' or any connotation. Faith is different than loyalty.
I didn't mean loyal to Jesus, I meant loyal to the ideals of his teachings.

My point is that loyalty can be impure, corrupting the soul. People were loyal to Hitler. Forgiveness is something higher, righteous.
I disagree with the last. I think "Forgiveness" can also be impure. Dunno about the "corrupting the soul" part.

It depends on WHY you are forgiving someone something.

Unless you are defining "Forgiveness" specifically as the act of forgiving someone, without any expectation of a reciprocal act.

I don’t think it’s that simple.
 

Orion

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It depends on the situation, but on the whole I'm not sure I see a difference. One quality in loyal friends is that they forgive you when you mess up.

If you have to choose between loyalty and forgiveness, does that mean that forgiveness is disloyal? I don't understand. Or are we talking about forgiving people who are enemies of mutual friends? (i.e. you and I are friends, and someone has hurt us both.) If that's the case, then forgiving someone is about individuals moving on.
 

rathi

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I don't really see them as conflicting ideals. Forgiveness is more about personal acceptance than a specific action. A police officer could forgive someone and then imprison or kill them because of loyalty to the law. I can't really think of situation where you couldn't personally forgive someone while still staying loyal to a person or cause.
 

Helvidius

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I'm not sure "forgiveness" is a "quality" at all.
I mean, I don't think "loyalty" and "forgiveness" are two equivalent terms.
One's a quality, one's an act. Beyond that, they're sort of similar.

You might as well ask, "Which is a better quality, courage or sky-diving?"
I think the ability to forgive someone is a quality. Just like staying loyal to a friend can be a quality or being kind to people is a quality. I don't find your sky diving comparison valid.
 

hazlnut

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I didn't mean loyal to Jesus, I meant loyal to the ideals of his teachings.
That's a loose use of the term loyal. I know we sometimes say 'loyal followers', and you can add 'of his tenets', but it's IMO a slight misuse of the term and not representative of what Jesus wanted. He was not asking for a sense of duty or wanting us to act out of obligation. As christianity became formalized in practice, devotion became part of it. But Jesus died for us, because we were imperfect, then his message was more about striving toward the ideals of faith, hope, and charity.

I disagree with the last. I think "Forgiveness" can also be impure.
Give me an example.


It depends on WHY you are forgiving someone something.
The more horrible the crime against you, the more profound the forgiveness.

Unless you are defining "Forgiveness" specifically as the act of forgiving someone, without any expectation of a reciprocal act.
Forgiveness = the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense.

I don’t think it’s that simple.
If you could give some concrete negative examples of forgiveness... I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, but the way I define forgiveness, as long as its genuine, then its always positive.
 

Kali

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Loyalty is best and how you know someone is really with you.

Forgiveness? I would probably never have to forgive someone that is really with me in a loyal way and if I have to? Well they may need to go for a swim.
 

tlmorg02

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Forgiveness. For it provides for one to be loyal if you possess a forgiving heart.
 

The Mark

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That's a loose use of the term loyal. I know we sometimes say 'loyal followers', and you can add 'of his tenets', but it's IMO a slight misuse of the term and not representative of what Jesus wanted. He was not asking for a sense of duty or wanting us to act out of obligation. As Christianity became formalized in practice, devotion became part of it. But Jesus died for us, because we were imperfect, then his message was more about striving toward the ideals of faith, hope, and charity.
Perhaps our definitions of “loyal” differ somewhat.


Give me an example.
I thought I did, earlier, with the “Don is more likely to forgive those loyal to him than those not” idea.

Perhaps our definitions of “forgiveness” differ.


The more horrible the crime against you, the more profound the forgiveness.
Most likely.


Forgiveness = the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense.
Then perhaps my previous example of “impure forgiveness” is incorrect.


If you could give some concrete negative examples of forgiveness... I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, but the way I define forgiveness, as long as its genuine, then its always positive.
I think we simply define forgiveness differently.

In your mind, is forgiveness genuine if someone “forgives” another (as in, perhaps, forgiving someone a debt) with the expectation that they will receive something in return at a future date?

That might be pushing it, but that’s what came to mind when I thought of it.
 

digsbe

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My point is that loyalty can be impure, corrupting the soul. People were loyal to Hitler. Forgiveness is something higher, righteous.
I know we never agree, but I think this is very profound and spot on. I agree with you on this one :thumbs:
 

hazlnut

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I thought I did, earlier, with the “Don is more likely to forgive those loyal to him than those not” idea.
In that example, the entire system is corrupt and impure. The loyalty is based on immorality and skewed values. The 'forget about it' forgiveness, when the henchman loses the drop bag, or get pinched by the cops, is only based on the henchman's continued loyalty to an illegal endeavor and not ratting out the Don.



In your mind, is forgiveness genuine if someone “forgives” another (as in, perhaps, forgiving someone a debt) with the expectation that they will receive something in return at a future date?
Forgiving a debt in exchange for something is a negotiation.

Letting go of a resentment for a perceived offense, nothing is exchanged. It's internal. Forgiving a debt as part of forgiving the offense is an external expression of that.
 

The Mark

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In that example, the entire system is corrupt and impure. The loyalty is based on immorality and skewed values. The 'forget about it' forgiveness, when the henchman loses the drop bag, or get pinched by the cops, is only based on the henchman's continued loyalty to an illegal endeavor and not ratting out the Don.





Forgiving a debt in exchange for something is a negotiation.

Letting go of a resentment for a perceived offense, nothing is exchanged. It's internal. Forgiving a debt as part of forgiving the offense is an external expression of that.
It appears that our personal dfinitions of "forgiveness" differ.

Under yours, you would be correct.

Under mine, I would have had a point.
 

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Loyalty, hands down. Turning the other cheek just leads to getting slapped again.
 

Aunt Spiker

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I was watching Mad Men and this quote came up: "Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?"

I'm not necessarily looking for answers based on the context of the show. In general what do you think?
Foregiveness isn't a quality - it is an action or a thought process. For many it's rooted in morality, ethics, spirituality - etc.
Loyalty is more related to personality, conviction or belief, psychology, etc.

Two very different things. Apples and oranges.

Forgiveness is pointless if the person being forgiven doesn't value it or uphold their end of the deal (depending on what your construct of forgiveness is)
 
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tacomancer

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I have always found loyalty to be a lesser trait than forgiveness, but I tend to believe that everyone should be their own person and not the follower of someone else.
 
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