Moral Powers and Forgivable Evils

In Kathryn Norlock & Andrea Veltman (eds.), Evil, Political Violence and Forgiveness: Essays in Honor of Claudia Card. Lexington (2009)

Authors
Alice MacLachlan
York University
Abstract
In The Atrocity Paradigm, Claudia Card suggests we forgiveness as a potentially valuable exercise of a victim's moral powers. Yet Card never makes explicit just what 'moral powers' are, or how to understand their grounding or scope. I draw out unacknowledged implications of her framework: namely, that others than the primary victim may forgive, and -- conversely -- that some victims may find themselves morally dis-empowered. Furthermore, talk of "moral powers" allows us to appropriately acknowledge the value of refusals to forgive and the issue of "forgivable" evils, in ways that talk of forgiveness as a duty or virtue cannot.
Keywords Ethics  Claudia Card  Evil  Forgiveness  Moral Powers  Unforgivable
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