Repentance?

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  _Robert_ 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #30982

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    My 10 year old son and I had a discussion about restitution… making something right that you have wronged.  We then got into the definition of repentance. This word has a religious connotation, but in general is just defined as remorse, right? So as an atheist,  I feel that if I fuck up… repentance would be having the awareness that I did something that hurt or wronged someone or a situation and can make restitution for it or change my behavior next time. What do you guys think about the word ‘repentance’? Is it a word only used when one believes in ‘sins’ and in a religious context?

    #30983

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    For me, repentance means to change one’s mind about what one is doing: what I previously did and enjoyed, I now publicly admit is wrong.  If I was a wife beater, and then had a change of heart and turned over a new leaf, and publicly stated this, I would be repenting.

    #30984

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Hi Jody,

    I think repentance has a strictly religious provenance. It can be used more broadly but rarely is. If ya feel ya fucked up and feel shitty about it i would go with contrition or a synonym. Repentance is just too strongly and sickeningly religious for my liking. There is something depraved about it as the sinner bows to the great authority of the church.

    Restitution is typically used in a legal context but may not have been used that way originally.

    #30985

    JadeBlackOlive
    Participant

    What’s the problem with just using remorse?

    #30986

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Would a true determinist feel actual remorse? That is to say they simply feel sad over what had to happen versus remorse over choices made. The answer hinges on that. I still feel I have some control and thus feel remorse when I cause harm. I prefer restitution over repentance as I have come to understand that term.

    #30987

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    @jake

    Contrition even has somewhat of  a religious connotation to it as right? We need a word revolution! Lol

    #30988

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    @robert

    I’m still evaluating my personal level of determinism. At this point in time, I DO still feel guilt for some wrong doing on my part. I understand though what you mean. A hard determinist would likely not feel remorseful.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Jody Lee.
    #30990

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Yeah Jody i guess you are right. I don’t know origin of contrition. But a sinner in the hands of an angry god will feel contrite. So will an atheist though who has done somebody wrong song. My distaste for repentance is probably mostly emotional.

    #30991

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Robert, i think there is of necessity a dualism for a proponent of determinism. None of us can escape its hold over us and our affairs. We know that when we calmly reflect and are being philosophical. At same time as we live our lives we feel all of the emotions and inevitably dislike, condemn, hate, love, like. cuz we have no choice in the matter. The web is spun.

    #30992

    Most of these words only have a religious connotation because their meaning have been usurped into religious speak.

    You can feel remorse even if your had no hand in causing the event, determined or otherwise. Repentance is the wrong word though for what I think you mean. We should try to make amends for our actions if we feel remorse.  It means we are taken ownership for the part we played in the event and are actively doing something about it. What we do should be for the benefit of the aggrieved party rather than to make us feel better. It is better than moping about the past and not doing anything about it.

    I think the Christian idea of “scapegoating” our sins though “vicarious redemption” is wrong. Asking a god to forgive us and then thinking we are forgiven, without the person who we wronged ever knowing about it, is not ethical. Hitchens makes the point well.

    I think it is a process. First comes remorse. That might come immediately after the event. It will linger until we do something about it. Once we work out why we feel remorse we should consider making contact with the person we caused the hurt to. If that happens then it is likely (except in extreme cases) we will be forgiven. Then we can make amends. Then, the important part, we can forgive ourselves…….and move on, feeling a lot better and a little wiser.

    #30993

    You want a word revolution Jody? Count me in!! Not enough of them. Smash the system!!! 🙂

    #30994

    Trump fires Michael Atkinson for doing his sworn duty? That will take some forgiving. Oh wait, no remorse so it will never happen. That means “revenge” is on the cards.

    #30995

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Piper piped a song for Trump so he stained the populace with his rural pen.

    #30996

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    Ah, Hitchens. 🥰

    Yes, the act of taking responsibility and making necessary amends was the lesson  I was conveying to Liam, my son…No vicarious redemption of asking God to wash away my sins.

    I wonder if words with similar meanings in other languages have religious connotation as well?

    #30997

    jakelafort
    Participant

    That same sentiment of the penitent in doing penance is present when ancients and not so ancients make sacrifices. But i have a feeling when the transition from polytheism to theism was made a concomitant intensity was exacted both in terms of terms and intensity of feeling.

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