The Duty to Forgive Repentant Wrongdoers

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to consider the question of whether we have a duty to forgive those who repent and apologize for the wrong they have done. I shall argue that we have a pro tanto duty to forgive repentant wrongdoers, and I shall propose and consider the norm of forgiveness. This norm states that if a wrongdoer repents and apologizes to a victim, then the victim has a duty to forgive the wrongdoer, other things being equal. That someone has a pro tanto duty to forgive a repentant wrongdoer means that he or she ought to forgive unless other considerations outweigh the norm of forgiveness. Furthermore, a distinction is made between what are termed 'general considerations' and 'case-relative considerations', and it is argued that only after all the relevant considerations have been examined can it be determined whether there is a duty to forgive, all things considered.
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References found in this work BETA
Lucy Allais (2008). Wiping the Slate Clean: The Heart of Forgiveness. Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (1):33–68.
Christopher Bennett (2003). Personal and Redemptive Forgiveness. European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):127–144.

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