Ethical Aspects of Self-Forgiveness

SATS 15 (2):237-256 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper, I discuss some central ethical aspects of self-forgiveness. A first comparison is made between interpersonal forgiveness and self-forgiveness. It would seem that self-forgiveness follows much of the same structure as interpersonal forgiveness, although with some exceptions. One noticeable difference is that with self-forgiveness, the forgiver and forgiven is one and the same person. The main ethical question discussed is when self-forgiveness is morally permissible. I argue that self-forgiveness is only morally permissible when the wrongdoer acknowledges wrongdoing and display genuine repentance. He must also, insofar as possible, ask the victim for forgiveness before contemplating self-forgiveness

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Espen Gamlund
University of Bergen

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