TED Conversations

Arjuna Nagendran


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In the aftermath of war, genocide, or exploitation - Forgiveness helps more than justice.

Saw a fantastic TEDx talk today about the reactions of people after the ends of wars and genocides.. Examples from north Uganda, Sri Lanka and countless other conflicts worldwide.

What do you feel is the best way to address peoples' suffering?

Retribution from the judicial system? Or simply to forgive your enemies and move on?

Interested for opinions on this one..


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    Oct 16 2012: I think that a more clear distinction is required in your source questions. Fair judicial retribution is not revenge but an expression of cherishing humanity, human life and human values for those who suffered by war crimes or lost their lives.

    IMO, anything done blindly is wrong. Revenge can be very blind and that’s why it’s wrong. But also blind forgiveness is wrong. Blindly forgiving anybody who committed horrible crimes is very wrong. Retribution by judicial system is very necessary against those who committed war crimes or other crimes during a conflict. But this retribution should be restricted only against those who were actively involved in committing those crimes, including those who had instructed to commit those crimes or openly endorsed them.

    This type of judicial retribution is not revenge but a justice. But the retribution should not be turned inclusively or blindly against all the individuals of that crimes-committing side, because if so, it becomes revenge.
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      Oct 20 2012: I agree, judicial retribution is indeed necessary - the major purpose really serving as an example to others, to ensure that others realise that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions and that those who suffered can see this too.

      I think the punishment of the individual does not accomplish very much, they may change they may not, depending on multiple factors. They are also people of this world, and in my own opinion (against capital punishment) therefore also deserve a chance at rehabilitation, if not freedom to move outside of jail.

      The choice not to be specific in the question was deliberate. In the sense that when I refer to "peoples'" suffering, this can be interpreted as the suffering of the individual or the collective victiims.

      Judcial retribution, I feel, offers benefit for the collective victims of such crimes; however, IMO I believe that forgiveness is what will help the individual the most.

      Hatred of anything only serves to cause yourself to suffer further.

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