Roman Calendar

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On Attitudes To Wrongdoing (From "The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy")

" . . . [C]ontemplation of determinism, the idea that human actions are definitely caused by a complex network of multiple preceding factors, mitigates our anger toward other people and leads us closer to a healthy sense of understanding and forgiveness. We are also more enlightened regarding our practical responses and more inclined to reform than punish wrongdoers. When [the character] Socrates argued in The Republic that the sage wishes to do good even to his enemies, he meant that the sage ought to educate and enlighten others, seeing that as the highest good. That harmonious attitude is the polar opposite of the one that seeks revenge through moralizing punishment. It leads to a sense of generosity and equanimity, and resolves anger, resentment, and contempt."

     This quotation explains quite well why I have always maintained that the sage would rather turn "enemies" into "friends" than to triumph over them by force.

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