24 December 2012

Forget, Don't Forgive

P. E. Digeser, Political Forgiveness (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), p. 15:
Friedrich Nietzsche found the whole idea of forgiveness objectionable. From his perspective, forgiving is a matter of the weak making a virtue out of necessity. Because they cannot avenge themselves, they call their weakness "forgiveness". In contrast, more noble types have no need to forgive. They see the resentment that is connected to forgiveness as a poison that they must purge as quickly as possible through an instantaneous, perhaps violent reaction. Nietzsche recommends forgetting instead of forgiving. As an example, he presents Mirabeau, "who lacked all memory for insults and meanness done him, and who was unable to forgive because he had forgotten". Forgiveness that is linked to resentment is either a form of weakness or is unnecessary. Far from trying to recover an alternative vision of forgiveness, Nietzsche calls for its abandonment.