The Sunflower on the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal

The Sunflower on the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal

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Forgiveness is to stop feeling angry, to stop blaming someone for the way they made a person feel, and stop feeling victims of whatever wickedness was directed towards them. Is forgiveness necessary? Can everyone be forgiven despite the circumstances? If forgiveness depends on the situation, then is it necessary at all? Does forgiveness allow someone to continue their life in peace? Is forgiving someone who causes physical pain to someone, as a pose to forgiving someone who murdered a member of the family the same? If someone can forgive one of these acts so easily can the other be forgiven just as easy? Forgiveness allows for someone to come to terms with what they have experienced. In the case of murder forgiveness is necessary because it allows for someone to be at peace with themselves knowing they no longer have to live with hatred. It also allows someone to begin a new life with new gained experience and different perspectives on life. Forgiveness is necessary from a moral perspective because it allows someone to get rid of hatred and find peace within him or herself to move on with their lives.
In Simon Wiesenthal’s The Sunflower on the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness the author is asked to fulfill a dying solider last wish to forgive him because of the crimes he has committed against the Jewish people of the Holocaust. When Wiesenthal is asked for forgiveness, he simply leaves the room. Wiesenthal states that the encounter with the dying man left “a heavy burden” (Wiesenthal 55) on him. The confessions in which he admitted to have “profoundly disturbed [him]” (Wiesenthal 55). As Wiesenthal tries to make sense of what he has encountered he begins to make excuses for why the man might have done what he did. He say...


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... Flannery” in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. New York: Schocken, 1997. Print.
Griswold, Charles L. "On Forgiveness." N.p., 26 Dec. 2010. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Hughes, Paul M. "Forgiveness." Stanford University. Stanford University, 06 May 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
“Matthew Fox” in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. New York: Schocken, 1997. Print.
Nelson, Dean. "An UNFORGIVABLE Act?." Science & Spirit 15.3 (2004): 26-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Overload, Semantic. "Chronosynclastic Infundibulum." Chronosynclastic Infundibulum. N.p., 20 Aug. 2010. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
“The Dalai Lama” in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. New York: Schocken, 1997. Print.
Wiesenthal, Simon. The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. New York: Schocken, 1997. Print.

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