Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cheap forgiveness

I'm going to comment on a post by a Barthian universalist:

I happen to think universalism is quite morally demanding, and requires a kind of strength that the ordinary person does not have. 

Like Josef Mengele. Apparently, Nemeș is talking about how morally demanding universalism is for universalists. It requires "extraordinary strength."

Problem is, if universalism is true, then it's true for everyone–yet everyone is not a universalist. Only an infinitesimal elite. 

Clearly, then, universalism isn't morally demanding on Mengele, even though universalism, if true, is equally beneficial to everyone.  It makes no moral demands on anyone in particular. 

But this conception of the world is morally demanding, because it requires that we conform ourselves to God's image.

No, it means God will conform everyone to himself, resorting to coercive remedial punishment when necessary. 

Universalism is hardly wimpy; it demands an ethic of unilateral goodness which is beyond the strength of those who fancy themselves harder, stronger, in touch with reality because they believe some will be deservedly damned forever. They care about themselves and their "justified" sentiments of resentment and moral condemnation too much to open themselves to the demand of forgiving the wicked, of praying for bastards like the ISIS decapitators, to feel for the pain of those who deserve punishment. 

Why should I "feel for the pain" of ISIS decapitators?

This is an excuse for them to be unforgiving and mean, for them not to make efforts and sacrifices for the sake of reconciliation and forgiveness. 

What heroic sacrifices is Nemeș making?

It's just like rich liberals who consider themselves virtuous because they seize money from one group and give it to another, while they have tax shelters for their own fortune.

All I'm getting from Nemeș is self-congratulatory rhetoric. What does he actually have to show for his high-sounding words?

The entire post is larded with self-deceptive self-flattery. Nothing is easier than forgiving perpetrators for atrocities they committed long ago and far away. Suppose I say: "I forgive Attila the Hun."

See how easy that was? He died 1500 years ago. His victims weren't friends or family of mine. He did nothing to me personally. Forgiving people in history books. Abstract victims of abstract perpetrators. That's morally demanding? That requires a kind of strength which the ordinary person doesn't have? 

Likewise, suppose I say "I forgive Pablo Escobar" (of the Medellín Cartel). How hard is that? He didn't order the torture and/or murder of any relatives of mine. The victims pay the price for my cheap forgiveness. Didn't cost me a thing. To the contrary, it's self-congratulatory.

Notice, too, how Nemeș has cast the universalist in the role of a Nietzschean Übermensch. A spiritual superman. Unlike mere Christian mortals. 

It's revealing how some people can work themselves into this moral posturing. It's very tempting to think better of ourselves than we ought to.

1 comment:

  1. He doesn't seem to be able to gin up as much forgiveness for the "mean" particularists as he has for ISIS. That's telling. The real enemy is the Bible believing Christian. Funny that.