The Moral Powers of Victims

Claudia Card

in The Atrocity Paradigm

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195145083
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833115 | DOI:
 The Moral Powers of Victims

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The moral powers of victims include the negative power of blame, which can sometimes evoke guilt and a sense of obligation in wrongdoers, and the positive power of forgiveness, which can relieve burdens for both victims and wrongdoers that may be otherwise unrelievable, even by punishment. Punishment is an attempt at rectification and restoration of the balance disrupted by wrongdoing. But not all wrongs are rectifiable or completely rectifiable; moral remainders are what is left after all has been rectified that can be. This chapter extends the concept of remainders to include not only unexpiated wrongs but also emotional and attitudinal responses to them, such as forgiveness. But is forgiveness always good or even always possible? This chapter explores issues in the nature and ethics of forgiveness, with an extended look at Simon Wiesenthal's dilemma in his narrative, The Sunflower.

Keywords: apology; blame; forgiveness; guilt; mercy; punishment; rectification; reparation; victim; Simon Wiesenthal

Chapter.  10342 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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