Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Redemption vs Admission

For someone with a big enough ego who screwed up, it can be very difficult to fix the problem, especially when the fix requires admission. If we honor the humanity of someone who screwed up, we can skip the part that bashes their ego, and expect them to recognize and correct their error in the future. That recognition embodies the assumption that, deep down, this is a good person who shares the common goal of peace and prosperity for everyone. Requiring an admission or some other externally imposed public humiliation just makes it harder for them to make things right.

Our motivation to create suffering in someone that screwed up is shortsighted but we still feel it because it is very effective in the short term. An expanded awareness will allow the long term negatives to eliminate that motivation. If we want more redemption, we should stop making it so difficult. I certainly would like to see more redemption. The shortsighted creation of suffering seems to mostly be fueled by anger and a desire for vengeance. I partially addressed how we can handle being angry without increasing the difficulty of redemption for someone who screwed up yesterday.

You may feel that I'm ignoring the important concept that some people are just evil. I'm not ignoring it. I'm rejecting it. Again, it's a shortsighted view. Often, the person who gets tagged as evil will, because of it, be even worse than they were when they did whatever got them tagged. The label stands in the way of redemption and it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I am pushing for a view of crime as a misunderstanding of how things ought to work. If someone intended to defraud me and reversed course at some point because they got caught (or worried they were going to get caught), the only responsibility I put on them is to undo any harm they've done. It will cost them more than they benefited. If it doesn't, then why is what they did called a crime? It sounds more like a business opportunity. As long as they actually undo any harm they caused, they may as well do more of it, and possibly even share the profit with people who don't want them to do it - the people who suffer from that shortsighted desire for vengeance.

When crime is associated with misunderstanding instead of evil, things will get better fast.

No comments: