Author Topic: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?  (Read 8547 times)

chaskavitch

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When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« on: September 19, 2018, 06:50:18 AM »
In addition to the current accusation against Brett Kavanaugh being everywhere on the news, I just listened to an episode of NPR's podcast Invisibilia about "Callout" culture, and how once someone is ostracized for bad behavior, they are often never accepted back into their former life and friends, and it brought up this question in my mind.

When is it enough?  I'm absolutely NOT saying Kavanaugh has done anything to engender forgiveness or sympathy if he assaulted even one person in HS, especially given the rest of his life choices regarding women's rights.  However, what sort of apology or turning your life in a new direction IS enough?

If a public figure was a terrible person in high school, but has since made statements (in passing, regarding slightly related topics, or very specifically) that they recognize that fact, are saddened by and sorry about it, made a general public or specific private apologies, and has made choices that reflect that change of heart, what happens when they're accused by someone from their past?  If they committed an actual crime, and they admit to it, I think they should receive the appropriate punishment.  But what if they were a jerk who intimidated women with lewd jokes or something, and never actually assaulted or threatened anyone?  Does turning their life around and trying to make amends in the intervening years mean anything? 

I feel like there's got to be some tipping point, that we can't indefinitely punish someone for past mistakes that they've tried to correct, but I can't decide within myself where that point is.

Kris

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 07:00:51 AM »
Well, part of the difficulty in responding to your question is that we have so precious few of those examples in current public life.

Apologizing only when your behavior is publicly called out, as an expedient way to jump over it in pursuit of your own goals? Not enough. (And that’s what we’ve been seeing, if even that, for the most part.)

A non-apology apology? (“I’m sorry if any behavior in my past offended anybody...”) Not enough.

Actually recognizing, on your own, that you did something wrong, actually apologizing to the person (privately, sincerely), actually taking steps to atone for and grow from your mistakes, and not just as a way to push it out of the way so you can get on with your life unimpeded? Maybe even, as a public figure, confessing this before it is found out, and using your example to try to make things better in the world? Now we’re getting there.

But wow. I’m racking my brain trying to think of one of those anytime recently.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 07:03:11 AM »
I think that the answer to the question is complicated.

If someone was a pedophile convicted of assaulting a dozen kids 20 years ago (and has had no problems with the law since), should they be allowed to teach a kindergarten class today?  Most would probably say no, because the risk is too great and the crime was so severe.

If someone was caught shoplifting something 20 years ago (and has had no problems with the law since), should they be allowed to work as a security guard at a bank today?  Most would probably say yes, because the crime was so minor and the risk is relatively small.


Rehabilitation is certainly possible, and people can turn their lives around.  Having a person who makes a mistake and tries to fix their life be forgiven is vitally important to keeping our society running productively.  That said, it's very important that people in positions of power and authority be trustworthy . . . and I'm not sure that it's ever possible to fully regain trust for certain crimes or actions.

Individual circumstances of a case and what they reveal about a person's thought process matter a whole lot too.  Take cannibalism.  If you murder the postman and cut him up and eat him because you didn't want to go to the corner store and pick up bread . . . that's going to be viewed differently than if you were stranded in the arctic and you ate some of your dead copilot to survive.  The former indicates a particular mindset that I'm not sure can ever be rehabilitated, the latter is forced by circumstances.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 07:06:39 AM by GuitarStv »

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 07:30:04 AM »
Never taken back into society?  Do you have any public examples?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, perhaps?  Ostracized all these years.  So sad.

Former President Bill Clinton, perhaps?  Ostracised all these years.  So sad.

chaskavitch

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 07:40:31 AM »
Never taken back into society?  Do you have any public examples?

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, perhaps?  Ostracized all these years.  So sad.

Former President Bill Clinton, perhaps?  Ostracised all these years.  So sad.

The "never taken back into society" was more in reference to the podcast I listened to.  The examples they gave were in regard to people in a specific, but large, music/lifestyle scene, I believe.  People who were accused of sexual assault or gender-related violence or bullying were often dropped by all of their friends, not allowed to enter any concerts or events, and generally yelled at/hated/ignored by everyone they came in contact with, until they ended up leaving that life completely behind and building a new one elsewhere, often in a new city.  This happened regardless of if it was years in the past and they'd done a 180 in their actions.  One girl was even an influential person starting the movement of female rights in the music scene that ended up kicking her out for being a bully in HS. 

I don't have any really public examples, no.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 07:53:28 AM »
People who were accused of sexual assault or gender-related violence or bullying were often dropped by all of their friends, not allowed to enter any concerts or events, and generally yelled at/hated/ignored by everyone they came in contact with, until they ended up leaving that life completely behind and building a new one elsewhere, often in a new city.

Individuals are well within their rights to hate, refuse to associate with, and completely cut out of their lives someone who has hurt them or others in the past.  Each person is responsible for their own actions, and the repercussions of those actions.

My personal view on the matter is that it takes a lot of energy to hate that would be better employed on more productive pursuits (forgiving someone else who appears truly contrite tends to benefit both parties in most cases), but I certainly wouldn't try to force anyone else to my viewpoint on this.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2018, 08:44:47 AM »
One example is Christian Picciolini.  You can read about his history on Wikipedia or in Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead.

The short summary is that he was a high ranking skinhead, leader in the white power movement, and did some truly appalling things.  He completely renounced his past and has been working to pull people out of hate groups for the past two decades and has done a tremendous amount of good in that time.  I think part of what has helped him overcome his horrific past is that he fully admits to what he did and doesn't shy away from it at all.  In addition he's dedicated his life to exactly the opposite of his skinhead beliefs.  I have to go to work so I can't write more, but - wow, his life has been crazy and I think it would be hard to find many people who put themselves right in the middle of dangerous situations to pull people out of the violent white power movement. 

Dabnasty

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 09:24:13 AM »
One example is Christian Picciolini.  You can read about his history on Wikipedia or in Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead.

The short summary is that he was a high ranking skinhead, leader in the white power movement, and did some truly appalling things.  He completely renounced his past and has been working to pull people out of hate groups for the past two decades and has done a tremendous amount of good in that time.  I think part of what has helped him overcome his horrific past is that he fully admits to what he did and doesn't shy away from it at all.  In addition he's dedicated his life to exactly the opposite of his skinhead beliefs.  I have to go to work so I can't write more, but - wow, his life has been crazy and I think it would be hard to find many people who put themselves right in the middle of dangerous situations to pull people out of the violent white power movement.

I think that working against the wrongs you committed in the past should play a role in coming back to normalcy. One aspect that makes me feel some shouldn't fully ever get back to what they once were (and of course this depends on the egregiousness of the crime) is that they person they harmed may never get their prior life back either. In the alleged case with Kavanaugh his victim has brought the incident up throughout her life with therapists and could very well have harmed her in ways that even she is not aware of.

On the other hand, if the perpetrator takes an active role in preventing the future occurrence of similar abuse, to what extent does that negate their wrongs?

Also, this may be more difficult for sexual abusers. A registered sex offender working with women to prevent sexual abuse? Maybe they should just give some money and pick another issue to tackle like starving children.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 09:25:56 AM by Dabnasty »

BookLoverL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 03:17:22 PM »
I think it's a complicated issue.

Overall, I'd say: can the person turn their life around? Yes, and if they do so, are genuinely remorseful about what they have done (not just the fact they got caught), have stopped doing the things which they did which were wrong, and have served any sentences given to them by the law, then they should be allowed to live their life. However, the people that they originally wronged are not required in any way to forgive them, so if the person really wants to start a new life and has fixed their clearly previously broken moral compass, then they're probably better moving to a new city or something where they won't be running into the people they wronged all the time (though they should possibly send them an apology letter or something, with no obligation to reply).

electriceagle

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2018, 05:28:25 AM »
Rehabilitation is certainly possible, and people can turn their lives around.  Having a person who makes a mistake and tries to fix their life be forgiven is vitally important to keeping our society running productively.  That said, it's very important that people in positions of power and authority be trustworthy . . . and I'm not sure that it's ever possible to fully regain trust for certain crimes or actions.

I'm responding to the title 'When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?' rather than the specific issue of sex accusations or the more specific issue of Kavanaugh.

I think that requiring perfection of government officials is unrealistic and ultimately self-defeating. Everyone has both crimes and misdeeds in their past. Outside of extreme cases, of which there are not many, the main factors that determine the outcomes are the personal characteristics (race, gender, wealth) of the individual -- not what they did or didn't do, or whether their pattern of actions has changed.

I don't think that any sane person would want to run for or be appointed to high office in an environment where i) personal attacks are used to achieve political objectives and ii) there is no forgiveness. If the sane people quietly tiptoe away, the insane will be in charge -- people who have have such big axes to grind that they're willing to walk through all kinds of fire in order to achieve their objectives. We could also produce a cadre of professional super-liars. If people who make mistakes are disqualified, the only folks who will be able to present themselves as perfect are the very best of liars and con-artists.

Going to the issue of Kavanaugh, I think that he would be a bad supreme court justice, but that he will be confirmed anyway. My personal biases lead me to feel like we end up with justices like him in part because the more balanced folks have quietly tiptoed away.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 05:31:03 AM by electriceagle »

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 05:40:36 AM »

I think that requiring perfection of government officials is unrealistic and ultimately self-defeating.

Agreed.


Everyone has both crimes and misdeeds in their past.

Not agreed.  There are a lot of good people in the world.  Let's not normalise "everyone has crimes in their past".  Not every 17 year old male is an attempted rapist.  Not everyone has a criminal record.  Not everyone even should have a criminal record.  The societal norm is law-abiding and non-violent.

Other than crime, yes we all make mistakes, but those mistakes do not necessarily rise to the category of "misdeeds".

I don't think that any sane person would want to run for or be appointed to high office in an environment where i) personal attacks are used to achieve political objectives and ii) there is no forgiveness. If the sane people quietly tiptoe away, the insane will be in charge

Agreed.  Good people are too often discouraged.  It does seem though that in current US politics there is a new cadre of candidates, often women and minorities, who have been emboldened to make the effort as the result of the election of Trump and the utter turpitude of the old guard.

Regarding the Supreme Court, none of the many proposed justices between Thomas and Kavanaugh were accused of sexual misdeeds.   The credible accusations against those two people appear to be a function of the people they are/were.  There is no indication that similar accusations would be levelled in circumstances in which they were not credible.

electriceagle

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2018, 06:06:55 AM »

I think that requiring perfection of government officials is unrealistic and ultimately self-defeating.

Agreed.


Everyone has both crimes and misdeeds in their past.

Not agreed.  There are a lot of good people in the world.  Let's not normalise "everyone has crimes in their past".  Not every 17 year old male is an attempted rapist.  Not everyone has a criminal record.  Not everyone even should have a criminal record.  The societal norm is law-abiding and non-violent.

I disagree here. If every crime were detected and prosecuted, nearly everyone would have a criminal record. The two most common are probably use of drugs in a place where it was not legal and driving with enough alcohol in their system that they would fail a breathalyzer if one were given. Those two probably cover 90% of the population.

These are not the same as sex crimes, but then I was talking about our overall approach to misdeeds rather than anything to do with sex or Kavanaugh. Going into politics here: In the long run, the real weight of a drive to more punishment and less "normalization" will fall on poor minorities rather than potential supreme court justices.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2018, 06:08:29 AM »
Aside from criminal issues, which need to be dealt with by the justice process, it's between the offender and the victim, and not the business of the rest of us.

Now, when you are not the victim, but are just disgusted by the person's behaviour, well anyone is free to associate or not associate with someone as they wish. I've let friends drift away because I didn't like how they lived their lives, even though their victims (if we may call them that) forgave them.

I think that requiring perfection of government officials is unrealistic and ultimately self-defeating. Everyone has both crimes and misdeeds in their past.
I signed a petition sponsored by a minor political party which is unlikely to get any seats in the coming state election, and they recently sent out a mass email asking for candidates; just having lots of candidates helps a party's overall profile and gets their ideas out there even if they don't win a single seat. Now, I don't agree with enough of this party's policies to stand for them, but even if I did, it's not something I'd do.

Being a political candidate makes you probably, and actually winning makes you certain, to come under the kind of scrutiny almost none of us could get through without looking very bad. The social media age is the Age of Public Shaming, and some people are not content until you lose your job or business, your spouse and children, and everyone who associates with you.

The nature of mob justice is that it's uneven. One man murders his wife and a few years later is able to continue drawing on his wealth to live an idle life of luxury, another man grabs a woman's arse and is reduced to lonely ruin and commits suicide. The family of the man who defended the murderer go on to become famous for being famous, and indeed one is able to, with a straight face, ask the world to donate to her so she can become the world's youngest woman billionaire, and this wealthy person's panhandling does not lead to her being smacked down in the press, but indeed she gets praise for it.

We have all done something nasty or at least inappropriate, said something prejudiced, excluded someone unfairly, associated with someone who turned out to have done something truly awful, or annoyed someone enough for other reasons that they might decide to become creative with the truth. Many of us have been drunk, and all of us have been stupid. Becoming a member of parliament or the like is, for the common citizen, simply too risky in this Age of Shaming.

The other day I took my toddler daughter to the park, and took her to the toilet. A woman with a daughter the same age accosted me and demanded to know where I was taking that child, and why. Being a stay-at-home father makes you the target of suspicion from busybody strangers. Being a member of parliament would be even worse.

Aside from criminal matters, it's between the offender and the victim.

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2018, 06:32:01 AM »

I think that requiring perfection of government officials is unrealistic and ultimately self-defeating.

Agreed.


Everyone has both crimes and misdeeds in their past.

Not agreed.  There are a lot of good people in the world.  Let's not normalise "everyone has crimes in their past".  Not every 17 year old male is an attempted rapist.  Not everyone has a criminal record.  Not everyone even should have a criminal record.  The societal norm is law-abiding and non-violent.

I disagree here. If every crime were detected and prosecuted, nearly everyone would have a criminal record. The two most common are probably use of drugs in a place where it was not legal and driving with enough alcohol in their system that they would fail a breathalyzer if one were given. Those two probably cover 90% of the population.


Can we please not normalise behaviour which is in the minority?  Going around saying "90% of people take illegal drugs or drink and drive" is particularly harmful to young people who are unable to judge what is normal adult behaviour and what isn't.

As far as I am aware there are no statistics which sugggest that anything other than a small minority of the population take illegal drugs (around 9% in the UK, maxing out at 19% among young adults) https://www.drugwise.org.uk/how-many-people-use-drugs/

Also in the UK, about 4% of road accidents involve drink driving.  If you consider that accidents are more likely when someone has been drinking, the drink-driving population is probably below 4%.   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635345/road-accidents-illegal-alcohol-levels-2015-final.pdf

Anecdotally, most of the people I know do not take illegal drugs and have never taken illegal drugs.  You may of course live among a different section of the population.

merula

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2018, 07:12:28 AM »
I disagree here. If every crime were detected and prosecuted, nearly everyone would have a criminal record. The two most common are probably use of drugs in a place where it was not legal and driving with enough alcohol in their system that they would fail a breathalyzer if one were given. Those two probably cover 90% of the population.


Can we please not normalise behaviour which is in the minority?  Going around saying "90% of people take illegal drugs or drink and drive" is particularly harmful to young people who are unable to judge what is normal adult behaviour and what isn't.

As far as I am aware there are no statistics which sugggest that anything other than a small minority of the population take illegal drugs (around 9% in the UK, maxing out at 19% among young adults) https://www.drugwise.org.uk/how-many-people-use-drugs/

Also in the UK, about 4% of road accidents involve drink driving.  If you consider that accidents are more likely when someone has been drinking, the drink-driving population is probably below 4%.   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635345/road-accidents-illegal-alcohol-levels-2015-final.pdf

Anecdotally, most of the people I know do not take illegal drugs and have never taken illegal drugs.  You may of course live among a different section of the population.


@electriceagle didn't say that 90% of the population takes drugs and drives drunk regularly. They said that probably 90% of the population has done these things at some point in time.

Personally, I think if you throw in traffic laws (speed limit, crossing against a signal, jaywalking), you get to 100% of adults.

So, former player, if you have never, not even once, used illicit drugs, driven after drinking, or broken a traffic law, bully for you. But representing this as some sort of standard adult behavior is disingenuous.

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2018, 07:25:07 AM »
I disagree here. If every crime were detected and prosecuted, nearly everyone would have a criminal record. The two most common are probably use of drugs in a place where it was not legal and driving with enough alcohol in their system that they would fail a breathalyzer if one were given. Those two probably cover 90% of the population.


Can we please not normalise behaviour which is in the minority?  Going around saying "90% of people take illegal drugs or drink and drive" is particularly harmful to young people who are unable to judge what is normal adult behaviour and what isn't.

As far as I am aware there are no statistics which sugggest that anything other than a small minority of the population take illegal drugs (around 9% in the UK, maxing out at 19% among young adults) https://www.drugwise.org.uk/how-many-people-use-drugs/

Also in the UK, about 4% of road accidents involve drink driving.  If you consider that accidents are more likely when someone has been drinking, the drink-driving population is probably below 4%.   https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635345/road-accidents-illegal-alcohol-levels-2015-final.pdf

Anecdotally, most of the people I know do not take illegal drugs and have never taken illegal drugs.  You may of course live among a different section of the population.


@electriceagle didn't say that 90% of the population takes drugs and drives drunk regularly. They said that probably 90% of the population has done these things at some point in time.

Personally, I think if you throw in traffic laws (speed limit, crossing against a signal, jaywalking), you get to 100% of adults.

So, former player, if you have never, not even once, used illicit drugs, driven after drinking, or broken a traffic law, bully for you. But representing this as some sort of standard adult behavior is disingenuous.

I agree with you on traffic laws generally: if you drive you've probably broken a law.  But only 45 million of the UK population have a driving licence, so nowhere near 100%.  There are even adults in the USA without driving licences, so again not 100% (although a lot closer).

Proportion of UK population who have ever taken illegal drugs is 31%.  One third.  Again, nowhere near a majority, let alone 90%. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/05/-sp-drug-use-is-rising-in-the-uk-but-were-not-addicted  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/05/-sp-drug-use-is-rising-in-the-uk-but-were-not-addicted.  Even assuming the 4% or less each year who drive drunk aren't in the same population as the illegal drug takers, over a lifetime they aren't going to bring that 31% figure up to 90%.

I'm not saying everyone's perfect.  I'm not even saying I'm perfect.  I am saying that the statistics for illegal drug use and drink driving don't add up to 90% of the population and that implying that everyone, or nearly everyone, does these things is both inaccurate and problematic.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2018, 07:30:24 AM »
There's some crazy false equivalence going on in this conversation.

Saying that everyone breaks the law, therefore we shouldn't hold that judge a person's behaviour by their criminal past is silly.  Not all crimes are equal.

Getting a fine for jaywalking is very different from being arrested driving drunk.  While neither are good, the second shows much more worrying judgement than the first.  While both are examples of breaking the law (and of the specific traffic section of the law), the second is not a common occurrence, is more likely to cause property damage/death to other people . . . and warrants greater scrutiny for that reason.

I can accept that most people break one law or another during their lifetime.  It would be unreasonable to spend a lot of time on a supreme court nomination talking about having a speeding ticket for going 5 miles an hour over the limit.  It is not unreasonable for a supreme court nominee explain why they attempted to rape a woman.  These are not equivalent crimes.

It's also not unreasonable for a person being selected for an important position of trust to be held to a much higher standard than the average person.  This isn't a random person, they will have power that only a tiny minority of those in the country ever will . . . they should be selected from the best of the best to avoid abuses of that power.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 07:32:05 AM by GuitarStv »

cats

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2018, 07:40:59 AM »
I agree that you need to do more than just say "I'm sorry".  There needs to be some sort of "penance", and even then, yes, there may be some avenues that remain closed off. e.g. the example of whether or not a pedophile should ever be allowed to teach kindergarten...I think in that case the offender would hopefully realize that such a position is too much temptation and I'd be pretty suspicious of a one-time pedophile insisting they wanted to teach kindergarten.  Would you trust a former alcoholic to run a liquor store?  Would an alcoholic who is serious about staying sober even ATTEMPT to run a liquor store?  I sure hope not.

In cases like Kavanaugh's, he is going to be in a position of moral authority, and what he's accused of doing goes beyond just behavior that's in poor taste.  I would argue it is also much worse than something like smoking weed a couple of times in HS because another person was harmed.  There also now seems to be a suggestion, based on things like the societies he was in at university, that if the allegations are true, they aren't an isolated out-of-character incident--he was part of a "boys will be boys" culture of partying and demeaning women.  That's a bit different from getting drunk at a party once.  Even if there are no other victims, it says a lot about his views on women and he's now going to be on the highest court in the country where the population is 50% female?  While he has said a lot about his wife and daughters and mentioned things like hiring more female clerks, he is also denying the accusations and so far hasn't said anything to address the culture he was apparently part of and participating in in high school/university.  No saying that he regrets the hard partying, drunken, atmosphere, no evidence that he has done anything to contribute to a change in that culture (instead we have quotes of him saying "what happens at Georgetown prep stays at Georgetown prep, har har").  He might be an intelligent and well-behaved person now and I'm sure there are jobs he is well-suited for, some of which probably pay very well and would allow him to live a nice lifestyle.  Nobody would argue Kavanaugh was a "failure" if "all" he ever did was make partner at a law firm.  But Supreme Court justice?  I would say if these allegations are true he 100% does not belong there.  If they are not, he still ought to be showing some awareness that the culture he belonged to in high school/university is not okay and not one he condones now.

There's another active thread on here about a woman who had her first child at 16 and has been struggling ever since.  People are piling on her saying she made bad decisions to have too many kids with deadbeat partners and now she has to live with the consequences.  She is paying for her teenage bad behavior every single day and probably will pay for the rest of her life, because our society doesn't provide decent support for the poor or single parents, to help them dig out of their holes.  And there are apparently plenty of people who are 100% okay with that state of affairs.  But the GOP wants me to just forgive what appear to be multiple years of hard-partying lifestyle (that could have potentially resulted in a teenage pregnancy, if Ford's allegations are true) and be okay with this guy getting a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court?  No thanks.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 07:43:32 AM by cats »

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2018, 09:20:53 AM »
Did anyone read the Caitlin Flannagan story or hear her interviewed on The Daily recently about her story in The Atlantic? That's what a sincere apology should look like. But even if Kavanaugh had apologized to Ford the very next week, the fact that he had an accomplice, turned up the music to cover his crime, and put his hand over her mouth would make it hard to forgive. It seems too premeditated to be forgiven as just a drunk mistake or rough horseplay. It indicates a deeply flawed character and an assumption that his priviledge would protect him even if he committed serious crimes.

Another (but different) case that comes to mind is Derek Black (if you just google him, you'll see tons of stuff). White nationalist kid goes to college, meets people different from him, and changes his mind, even though it alienates him from his family. When you make such a thorough change and then talk about it publicly, I'll buy that it's real and forgive you.

Kavanaugh? It's too late for him to ask for forgiveness. If he did, it would be obvious that it was in the name of political expediency without an iota of sincerity.

SunnyDays

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2018, 02:56:12 PM »
It really bothers me that people in general refer to wrong-doings as a "mistake."  To me, a mistake is something that happens unintentionally.  The above are examples of poor judgment and purposeful harm to others.  In my opinion, this is on par with people apologizing with a statement that they are sorry for "what happened," rather than for "what I did."  Both ways, people are not taking responsibility.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2018, 04:16:47 PM »
It's also not unreasonable for a person being selected for an important position of trust to be held to a much higher standard than the average person.  This isn't a random person, they will have power that only a tiny minority of those in the country ever will . . . they should be selected from the best of the best to avoid abuses of that power.
Perhaps the scrutiny needs to be less of their past to see if they are "worthy" to have the power, and more of... how they actually use their power.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2018, 07:03:11 PM »
It's also not unreasonable for a person being selected for an important position of trust to be held to a much higher standard than the average person.  This isn't a random person, they will have power that only a tiny minority of those in the country ever will . . . they should be selected from the best of the best to avoid abuses of that power.
Perhaps the scrutiny needs to be less of their past to see if they are "worthy" to have the power, and more of... how they actually use their power.

Yeah, that's largely how I'd judge 'worthiness'.

A person who chooses to drink and drive is abusing the power that their car gives them (and risking other's lives while doing so), a guy who attempts to rape a woman alone at a party is abusing the power that the situation and his physical strength gives him, a person with a history of stiffing illegal workers for pay is abusing his power, etc.

J Boogie

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2018, 08:07:45 AM »
Lance Armstrong has an interesting podcast that is not too far off from this topic. It's called the forward, and it's about people who have made mistakes and how they choose to move forward in their lives.

Lance himself seems to have earned a reputation as a bully and a psychopath (and I think he thinks/thought the hate was just for cheating, and that he was singled out and punished because he was the best) but also seems to have come a long ways in terms of realizing how he let people down.


GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2018, 10:38:00 AM »
Lance Armstrong has an interesting podcast that is not too far off from this topic. It's called the forward, and it's about people who have made mistakes and how they choose to move forward in their lives.

Lance himself seems to have earned a reputation as a bully and a psychopath (and I think he thinks/thought the hate was just for cheating, and that he was singled out and punished because he was the best) but also seems to have come a long ways in terms of realizing how he let people down.

Lance is a charismatic and manipulative person, who is hyper-aware of his public image.  He knows that the image control attempt he made with Oprah failed spectacularly so has reformed his strategy.  I have zero doubt in my mind that given the same scenario he would do exactly the same thing again.  Not really sure that's something I'd consider reform.

BookLoverL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2018, 02:01:26 PM »
Lance Armstrong has an interesting podcast that is not too far off from this topic. It's called the forward, and it's about people who have made mistakes and how they choose to move forward in their lives.

Lance himself seems to have earned a reputation as a bully and a psychopath (and I think he thinks/thought the hate was just for cheating, and that he was singled out and punished because he was the best) but also seems to have come a long ways in terms of realizing how he let people down.

Lance is a charismatic and manipulative person, who is hyper-aware of his public image.  He knows that the image control attempt he made with Oprah failed spectacularly so has reformed his strategy.  I have zero doubt in my mind that given the same scenario he would do exactly the same thing again.  Not really sure that's something I'd consider reform.

Which brings us back to the concept of redemption through public prostration and apology, which is often done as a required part of trying to rehab an image.

There’s no surprise that people need more than words from someone who had broken the public trust before the public is willing to respect them again. Of course they will try and say all of the right things because if they can, they will pay PR experts to tell them exactly how and when to say all of the right things.

Pretty and thoughtful words don’t entitle anyone to forgiveness or respect that has been lost. They are simply the minimum first step towards regaining footing to try and repair and reestablish a reputation through consistent positive actions.

A well crafted PR strategy can definitely work to restore someone’s reputation, but only if they consistently back it up with improved behaviour and don’t get caught continuing to be a fuck up.

Hmm, it's definitely true that merely saying you have changed is not enough. You have to actually back it up by not doing whatever the bad thing was that you did before, even in situations where you think nobody is watching - i.e., your internal beliefs on the issue need to have changed enough that you are no longer at risk of doing the bad thing, if you want people to hire you/respect you/befriend you based on the fact that you have changed and don't do that type of thing any more.

(I should note, by the way, that, being UK-based I also have no real idea who this Brett guy is, and so am addressing the more general question of the OP.)

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2018, 10:31:03 PM »
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend recently.

Context: We are both professionals, college educated, with certifications, and paid pretty well to 'think.'

We were talking about the dumb things we did in HS, college, at music festivals, and how we have friends who got caught doing those same things. Those friends, who we consider just as smart as ourselves, don't have similar jobs now. These professional careers with certifications won't consider someone who got caught with marijuana in college, someone with a DWI, someone who was charged with assault when they got in a fight at 18, etc. The more we talked about it the more we realized how many of our friends without nice jobs got caught doing something stupid, and how many of our friends with great jobs did the same things but didn't get caught.

Summary: most people do things that society has designated 'illegal,' especially between the ages of 16 and 24. Some are obviously significantly more serious than others, but one minor mistake at 18 can still have a drastic impact on someone's employment and income over the rest of their life.

If almost everyone has done something dumb, why do we have such harsh punishments for the people who were unlucky enough to get caught?


Just so it's said; I'm not referring to violent crimes(outside of a fist fight) or sex crimes at all here. If you ruin or end someone's life there should be serious consequences.

sol

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2018, 10:56:52 PM »
Here's a crazy idea:  you have made sufficient amends for your sins when all of the people you have wronged have personally and sincerely forgiven you for everything you have done.  Maybe let the victims decide what is "enough"?

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2018, 09:35:12 PM »
Victims & victimizers. It's so awful. But after teaching for close to 4 decades at the high school level and dealing with so many victims and victimizers, and then seeing them as adults, (and some of them are now in their middle 50's), I've come to a conclusion. For the most part, everyone turns out. The victims turn out and so do the victimizers. Even the rotten ones. It's not fair that they don't suffer as much as their victims, but by all appearances, they don't. NOT FAIR!

But the victims who have done the best (according to my anecdotal information) made forgetfulness more important than forgiveness. Oh, and the victimizers also practice a lot of forgetfulness of what they did! Again, NOT FAIR!

« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 09:44:39 PM by familyandfarming »

PDXTabs

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2018, 10:47:23 PM »
In addition to the current accusation against Brett Kavanaugh being everywhere on the news, I just listened to an episode of NPR's podcast Invisibilia about "Callout" culture, and how once someone is ostracized for bad behavior, they are often never accepted back into their former life and friends, and it brought up this question in my mind.

When is it enough?  I'm absolutely NOT saying Kavanaugh has done anything to engender forgiveness or sympathy if he assaulted even one person in HS, especially given the rest of his life choices regarding women's rights.  However, what sort of apology or turning your life in a new direction IS enough?

For a public figure? Possibly never, and that's probably appropriate.

For an interpersonal relationship? That obviously depends on what they did. Some things are truly unforgivable.

But I absolutely see the danger of trying people in the court of public opinion when they are 53 for the things they did when they were 17. In general, if the statue of limitations has ran out, or they have served their term, I do think that society should move on. Not that we really do that today, you try being a convicted felon. But that might not apply to Senators, Presidents, and supreme court justices. After all, we deserve the absolute best candidates for those jobs, right?

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2018, 06:59:16 AM »
In addition to the current accusation against Brett Kavanaugh being everywhere on the news, I just listened to an episode of NPR's podcast Invisibilia about "Callout" culture, and how once someone is ostracized for bad behavior, they are often never accepted back into their former life and friends, and it brought up this question in my mind.

When is it enough?  I'm absolutely NOT saying Kavanaugh has done anything to engender forgiveness or sympathy if he assaulted even one person in HS, especially given the rest of his life choices regarding women's rights.  However, what sort of apology or turning your life in a new direction IS enough?

For a public figure? Possibly never, and that's probably appropriate.

For an interpersonal relationship? That obviously depends on what they did. Some things are truly unforgivable.

But I absolutely see the danger of trying people in the court of public opinion when they are 53 for the things they did when they were 17. In general, if the statue of limitations has ran out, or they have served their term, I do think that society should move on. Not that we really do that today, you try being a convicted felon. But that might not apply to Senators, Presidents, and supreme court justices. After all, we deserve the absolute best candidates for those jobs, right?

If a 17 year old tortured, raped, and eventually murdered a dozen toddlers and the statute of limitations has run out . . . you believe that there's no problem with this same person being a teacher at the age of 53?  Or maybe a doctor in a maternity ward?  Or an early childhood educator in a daycare?  What about working in a kids amusement park as an entertainer?

PDXTabs

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2018, 09:30:04 AM »
If a 17 year old tortured, raped, and eventually murdered a dozen toddlers and the statute of limitations has run out . . . you believe that there's no problem with this same person being a teacher at the age of 53?  Or maybe a doctor in a maternity ward?  Or an early childhood educator in a daycare?  What about working in a kids amusement park as an entertainer?

I believe that we are a nation of laws. You can't just form a lynch mob after the statute of limitations has expired, keeping in mind that the statue of limitations main purpose it to prevent wrongful convictions after evidence has gotten old and witnesses have died. With that said, statutes of limitations date back to Athens where there was no statute of limitation on murder. I know of no state with a statute of limitations on murder for adults. Furthermore, the people are sovereign. If we wanted to have no statue of limitations on rape and kidnapping, we could make that choice, and I would respect it (if not support it).

Now, the juvenile case is more complicated. In many states for hundreds of years juveniles could not be punished for their crimes after their ~25th birthday.* This was the case until 1994 in Oregon.** The theory being that the juvenile justice system did not exist as a means of punishment, but as a means of raising full and complete citizens. If we brought back this idea it would have a damning effect on the school to prison pipeline. I fully support a more traditional juvenile justice system where you could indeed be a teacher when you are 53 even if you murdered a child when you were 17. After all, children are a product of their environment.

* - But please note: if they stay clean between their 18th birthday and their 25th birthday, do we still need to "correct" their behavior?
** - This is still the case for children under 15. As a though experiment, say an 11 year old kills someone and you don't figure it out until they are 53. What should you do about it?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 11:32:05 AM by PDXTabs »

sol

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2018, 09:41:31 AM »
I think that part of forgiveness is acceptance of your sins.  I'm not sure you can or should be forgiven for rape if you go on television and deny that it ever happened, or brag about it to your friends, or promise to do it again.  No matter how long it's been since you last raped someone.

Yes, we have a statue of limitations for criminal conviction.  I didn't think this thread was about criminal liability, though.  Lots of people who have served their time for crimes they committed years ago are still active criminals who have offered no apologies, and have not tried to turn their lives around.

Note the statue of limitations for criminal liability is basically unrelated to when you've done "enough" to atone for your mistakes.  You can't just unrepentantly wait out a crime's liability window and have it not be wrong anymore.  And conversely, I think you can absolutely atone for your mistakes and be truly reformed while still serving a prison sentence.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2018, 09:48:33 AM »
If a 17 year old tortured, raped, and eventually murdered a dozen toddlers and the statute of limitations has run out . . . you believe that there's no problem with this same person being a teacher at the age of 53?  Or maybe a doctor in a maternity ward?  Or an early childhood educator in a daycare?  What about working in a kids amusement park as an entertainer?

I believe that we are a nation of laws. You can't just form a lynch mob after the statute of limitations has expired, keeping in mind that the statue of limitations main purpose it to prevent wrongful convictions after evidence has gotten old and witnesses have died. With that said, statutes of limitations date back to Athens where the was no statute of limitation on murder. I know of no state with a statute of limitations on murder for adults. Furthermore, the people are sovereign. If we wanted to have no statue of limitations on rape and kidnapping, we could make that choice, and I would respect it (if not support it).

Now, the juvenile case is more complicated. In many states for hundreds of years juveniles could not be punished for their crimes after their ~25th birthday.* This was the case until 1994 in Oregon.** The theory being that the juvenile justice system did not exist as a means of punishment, but as a means of raising full and complete citizens. If we brought back this idea it would have a damning effect on the school to prison pipeline. I fully support a more traditional juvenile justice system where you could indeed be a teacher when you are 53 even if you murdered a child when you were 17. After all, children are a product of their environment.

* - But please note: if they stay clean between their 18th birthday and their 25th birthday, do we still need to "correct" their behavior?
** - This is still the case for children under 15. As a though experiment, say an 11 year old kills someone and you don't figure it out until they are 53. What should you do about it?

I don't know what you should do about it, but determining what action is taken needs to depend to some extent on the type and severity of the crime.

For a great many crimes, mistakes can be made and forgetting them after a period of time makes sense.  For some crimes though it doesn't sit right to forgive them . . . because I suspect that they show the inner workings of a person's mind.  I don't know if it will ever be possible to rehabilitate someone who voluntarily tortures several other people to death (for example).  It's not possible to do the crime without being fundamentally broken in (what I suspect is) an unfixable way.  The person will always be a danger to society (although they may eventually get very good at hiding what they do).

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2018, 11:23:09 AM »
This article speaks specifically of the Jewish perspective on atonement, but I thought it was an excellent way to look at the issue, in terms of what should be expected of the offender:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/famous-abusers-seek-easy-forgiveness-rosh-hashanah-teaches-us-repentance-is-hard/2018/09/06/c2dc2cac-b0ab-11e8-9a6a-565d92a3585d_story.html?utm_term=.6f682d24c3fa



BookLoverL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2018, 03:50:46 PM »
If a 17 year old tortured, raped, and eventually murdered a dozen toddlers and the statute of limitations has run out . . . you believe that there's no problem with this same person being a teacher at the age of 53?  Or maybe a doctor in a maternity ward?  Or an early childhood educator in a daycare?  What about working in a kids amusement park as an entertainer?

I believe that we are a nation of laws. You can't just form a lynch mob after the statute of limitations has expired, keeping in mind that the statue of limitations main purpose it to prevent wrongful convictions after evidence has gotten old and witnesses have died. With that said, statutes of limitations date back to Athens where the was no statute of limitation on murder. I know of no state with a statute of limitations on murder for adults. Furthermore, the people are sovereign. If we wanted to have no statue of limitations on rape and kidnapping, we could make that choice, and I would respect it (if not support it).

Now, the juvenile case is more complicated. In many states for hundreds of years juveniles could not be punished for their crimes after their ~25th birthday.* This was the case until 1994 in Oregon.** The theory being that the juvenile justice system did not exist as a means of punishment, but as a means of raising full and complete citizens. If we brought back this idea it would have a damning effect on the school to prison pipeline. I fully support a more traditional juvenile justice system where you could indeed be a teacher when you are 53 even if you murdered a child when you were 17. After all, children are a product of their environment.

* - But please note: if they stay clean between their 18th birthday and their 25th birthday, do we still need to "correct" their behavior?
** - This is still the case for children under 15. As a though experiment, say an 11 year old kills someone and you don't figure it out until they are 53. What should you do about it?

I don't know what you should do about it, but determining what action is taken needs to depend to some extent on the type and severity of the crime.

For a great many crimes, mistakes can be made and forgetting them after a period of time makes sense.  For some crimes though it doesn't sit right to forgive them . . . because I suspect that they show the inner workings of a person's mind.  I don't know if it will ever be possible to rehabilitate someone who voluntarily tortures several other people to death (for example).  It's not possible to do the crime without being fundamentally broken in (what I suspect is) an unfixable way.  The person will always be a danger to society (although they may eventually get very good at hiding what they do).

I think this is the thing with forgiveness, repentance, etc. If someone raped and murdered toddlers when they were 17, then, logically speaking, it would in fact be safe to allow them to teach toddlers when they were 53, IF AND ONLY IF they were genuinely repentant and remorseful, regretted their past actions deeply, and had managed to change their moral system and/or emotional stability far enough that they would never do anything like that again. But the thing with this type of horrific crime is that the type of person who would commit it is not a type of person particularly likely to feel genuine remorse about it, so for most people who had done that, then it wouldn't be safe to have them be a teacher.

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2018, 04:22:55 PM »
Here's a crazy idea:  you have made sufficient amends for your sins when all of the people you have wronged have personally and sincerely forgiven you for everything you have done.  Maybe let the victims decide what is "enough"?
But that would give all the power to the victim...clearly not acceptable. What if they never forgive  you?

When you’re use to taking whatever you want, why not force forgiveness too? Make rules to force victims to forgive, call it statute of limitations. Tell them they’re unreasonable for holding a grudge, it’s their fault they feel horrible.

(I agree with Sol)

Kyle Schuant

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2018, 09:07:09 PM »
For a great many crimes, mistakes can be made and forgetting them after a period of time makes sense.  For some crimes though it doesn't sit right to forgive them . . . because I suspect that they show the inner workings of a person's mind.  I don't know if it will ever be possible to rehabilitate someone who voluntarily tortures several other people to death (for example). 
The organisers of the Women's March disagree with you.


The issue of criminal responsibility is a different one to moral culpability and forgiveness and so on. As I said earlier, that's between the one who committed the act and the victim. And yes, the Jewish perspective is a useful one, you must actively make restitution, if such is possible. I'm reminded of the story of the Hindu-Moslem riots, where Ghandi told a Hindu killer and a Moslem killer that each had to take an orphaned child of the opposite faith and bring them up in that opposite faith. It's one of those stories that's too neat to be true, but it's still a useful way to think of things.


For example, the torturer I linked above, Donna Hylton, is an advocate for prisoners. Now, this is a good thing to do, as many prisoners have unfair conditions, and are not given a fair chance after release. Nonetheless, her advocating for prisoners is essentially her advocating for herself. We would be more convinced of her remorse if she were an advocate not for criminals but for the victims of crime.

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2018, 05:32:35 AM »
I think this is the thing with forgiveness, repentance, etc. If someone raped and murdered toddlers when they were 17, then, logically speaking, it would in fact be safe to allow them to teach toddlers when they were 53, IF AND ONLY IF they were genuinely repentant and remorseful, regretted their past actions deeply, and had managed to change their moral system and/or emotional stability far enough that they would never do anything like that again. But the thing with this type of horrific crime is that the type of person who would commit it is not a type of person particularly likely to feel genuine remorse about it, so for most people who had done that, then it wouldn't be safe to have them be a teacher.

Surely someone who genuinely felt remorse for raping and murdering toddlers would recognise that it would be completely inappropriate for them ever to have a professional role relating to toddlers or children of other ages?  If for no other reason, that it is unfair to the children to have that association in their young lives.  So I would be deeply suspicious of such a case, and cannot see the moral argument for allowing it or for the perpetrator wanting it.

BookLoverL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2018, 05:52:22 AM »
I think this is the thing with forgiveness, repentance, etc. If someone raped and murdered toddlers when they were 17, then, logically speaking, it would in fact be safe to allow them to teach toddlers when they were 53, IF AND ONLY IF they were genuinely repentant and remorseful, regretted their past actions deeply, and had managed to change their moral system and/or emotional stability far enough that they would never do anything like that again. But the thing with this type of horrific crime is that the type of person who would commit it is not a type of person particularly likely to feel genuine remorse about it, so for most people who had done that, then it wouldn't be safe to have them be a teacher.

Surely someone who genuinely felt remorse for raping and murdering toddlers would recognise that it would be completely inappropriate for them ever to have a professional role relating to toddlers or children of other ages?  If for no other reason, that it is unfair to the children to have that association in their young lives.  So I would be deeply suspicious of such a case, and cannot see the moral argument for allowing it or for the perpetrator wanting it.


Well, I'm not exactly a psychology expert, so I'm not sure if any of that type of person would have a good reason for it or not. It would, indeed, be very hard to tell if such a person was truly remorseful, though.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2018, 07:02:57 AM »
For a great many crimes, mistakes can be made and forgetting them after a period of time makes sense.  For some crimes though it doesn't sit right to forgive them . . . because I suspect that they show the inner workings of a person's mind.  I don't know if it will ever be possible to rehabilitate someone who voluntarily tortures several other people to death (for example). 
The organisers of the Women's March disagree with you.


The issue of criminal responsibility is a different one to moral culpability and forgiveness and so on. As I said earlier, that's between the one who committed the act and the victim. And yes, the Jewish perspective is a useful one, you must actively make restitution, if such is possible. I'm reminded of the story of the Hindu-Moslem riots, where Ghandi told a Hindu killer and a Moslem killer that each had to take an orphaned child of the opposite faith and bring them up in that opposite faith. It's one of those stories that's too neat to be true, but it's still a useful way to think of things.


For example, the torturer I linked above, Donna Hylton, is an advocate for prisoners. Now, this is a good thing to do, as many prisoners have unfair conditions, and are not given a fair chance after release. Nonetheless, her advocating for prisoners is essentially her advocating for herself. We would be more convinced of her remorse if she were an advocate not for criminals but for the victims of crime.

That's an interesting example you bring up, and it shows how important context is in the discussion of forgiveness.  I think that we can all agree that her murder/torture of the man who tortured her for years is on a different level than someone who randomly follows someone home and murders/tortures them.  The former is certainly not a desirable outcome . . . but somewhat understandable.  Letting her go free produces minimal risk for the general population, as she acted in response to a very unusual event.

sol

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2018, 11:15:47 AM »
Letting her go free produces minimal risk for the general population, as she acted in response to a very unusual event.

I'm wavering on this one.  If your defense of this lady is "she tortured someone only because she herself was tortured" then that doesn't seem too different from all of the pedophiles who were themselves molested as children, or the prison rapists who were themselves raped.

In her specific case, this lady served 27 years of a prison sentence for 2nd degree murder even though there is basically no evidence she participated in any torture or murder.  She was arrested for knowing the the people who committed this crime, and for agreeing to deliver a ransom note, not for kidnapping or torture or murder.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2018, 11:25:17 AM »
Letting her go free produces minimal risk for the general population, as she acted in response to a very unusual event.

I'm wavering on this one.  If your defense of this lady is "she tortured someone only because she herself was tortured" then that doesn't seem too different from all of the pedophiles who were themselves molested as children, or the prison rapists who were themselves raped.

In her specific case, this lady served 27 years of a prison sentence for 2nd degree murder even though there is basically no evidence she participated in any torture or murder.  She was arrested for knowing the the people who committed this crime, and for agreeing to deliver a ransom note, not for kidnapping or torture or murder.

I thought that she tortured and killed the person who had been torturing her.  This is quite different from a person who was molested molesting someone new, as one is an action in retaliation for harm done and the other is doing new harm on someone innocent.

calimom

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2018, 08:53:01 PM »
My husband was killed by a drunk driver in 2007. In early 2008 when the sentencing trial occurred, I gave the reccommeded Victim Impact Statement, outlining the irreparable harm he had caused my family.I have one child who would remember her father very well, one who would have only very hazy memories and the youngest would have none at all. The driver was allowed a moment after sentencing to give an apology. While it was clear he regretted the incident and was truly sorry for his actions, the prison sentence was set at the allowable 10 year period in California, starting at that date. Due to his prior DUI convictions, no time was given for the prior jail time. During this period, his wife divorced him and removed any claim he might have on their child. There were parole hearings at several junctures during the next 10 years which I attended, and resulted in his continued stay in prison system.

Finally last year the mandated sentenced was served in full. I was made aware of this by the DA and the hardworking advocates that tracked this every step of the way (they're fabulous).

Forgiveness is a very, very tricky thing. I certainly can't forget this, nor will I ever fully forgive it. But I do know that obsessing over it and fostering bitterness is ugly.  The deal I made with myself is to make peace with it, and truly some days are easier than others. It will always be a work in progress.

EricL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2018, 10:42:06 PM »
Criminal actions are complicated. 

But call out culture seems to me more about accusers signaling their virtue than the accused or offense committed.  Offering forgiveness or even reasonable conditions to forgiveness is not an option if it might make you look less than virtuous inside your chosen hothouse admiration society.

It hasn’t gotten to the point where they’ll burn you at the stake. But you can almost see it from here.

galliver

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2018, 01:48:10 AM »
For those looking for an example of a decent public-figure apology (not for sex crimes): https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/james-gunn-exits-guardians-galaxy-vol-3-1128786

Paraphrased: "I sucked before, I really did. I have been trying to do better and think I'm succeeding, but I still said those things and they sucked and reflected my sucky personality at the time. I totally get why I was fired and I respect that. I'll continue trying to be a better person anyway."

I don't think I'd mind seeing him direct another movie after that, though I'm not at all saying they should have taken him back right away or anything. But that was a legit apology (for a celeb/public figure, anyway).

I do hope as internet communication and social media becomes more ubiquitous, we will become better at being good people online, but also not holding the occasional regrettable statement or joke against someone 20+ years later.

However, a pattern of behavior (bullying), or physical misbehavior or crimes, including property damage, physical assault, sexual harassment and assault, etc I think are more serious and more indicative of character flaws. Consent is not that hard; many dudes manage to figure it out: https://twitter.com/behindyourback/status/1045864179171766272

I don't know what it would take for someone to make amends for these crimes and demonstrate a turnaround. But it would have to be in the form of actions as well as words. I would have a hard time believing Sir Patrick Stewart or President Jimmy Carter had assaulted women, given the activism and work they do against domestic violence and advocating for women's rights.

former player

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2018, 01:48:36 AM »
Criminal actions are complicated. 

But call out culture seems to me more about accusers signaling their virtue than the accused or offense committed.  Offering forgiveness or even reasonable conditions to forgiveness is not an option if it might make you look less than virtuous inside your chosen hothouse admiration society.

It hasn’t gotten to the point where they’ll burn you at the stake. But you can almost see it from here.


"Accusers signalling their virtue"?  Don't you mean "victims stating their pain"?  And why should victims give a flying fuck about the perpetrator? 
(These are rhetorical questions, by the way, EricL.  Because the tone of your post is so completely tone deaf I think you need that stated directly.)

Kyle Schuant

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2018, 06:37:02 AM »
That's an interesting example you bring up, and it shows how important context is in the discussion of forgiveness.  I think that we can all agree that her murder/torture of the man who tortured her for years is on a different level than someone who randomly follows someone home and murders/tortures them. 
What? This guy hadn't tortured her, and in fact she'd never met him before participating in his unlawful imprisonment, torture and murder. She joined in because she was promised $9,000. She claims a history of having been abused as a child, but this no person writing articles about or interviewing her has mentioned making any effort to confirm this (she says reports were made, etc), and in any case her victim was completely unrelated to the man she helped kill.


Read the articles properly. She got 25 years for a reason.

GuitarStv

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2018, 07:07:30 AM »
That's an interesting example you bring up, and it shows how important context is in the discussion of forgiveness.  I think that we can all agree that her murder/torture of the man who tortured her for years is on a different level than someone who randomly follows someone home and murders/tortures them. 
What? This guy hadn't tortured her, and in fact she'd never met him before participating in his unlawful imprisonment, torture and murder. She joined in because she was promised $9,000. She claims a history of having been abused as a child, but this no person writing articles about or interviewing her has mentioned making any effort to confirm this (she says reports were made, etc), and in any case her victim was completely unrelated to the man she helped kill.

Yeah, I skimmed some stuff over and misunderstood the facts of her case when I posted that.
Read the articles properly. She got 25 years for a reason.

Just Joe

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2018, 09:03:21 AM »
One example is Christian Picciolini.  You can read about his history on Wikipedia or in Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead.

The short summary is that he was a high ranking skinhead, leader in the white power movement, and did some truly appalling things.  He completely renounced his past and has been working to pull people out of hate groups for the past two decades and has done a tremendous amount of good in that time.  I think part of what has helped him overcome his horrific past is that he fully admits to what he did and doesn't shy away from it at all.  In addition he's dedicated his life to exactly the opposite of his skinhead beliefs.  I have to go to work so I can't write more, but - wow, his life has been crazy and I think it would be hard to find many people who put themselves right in the middle of dangerous situations to pull people out of the violent white power movement.

Different guy - good listen: https://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/2018/09/24/651011229?showDate=2018-09-24

EricL

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Re: When does an apology/turning your life around become "enough"?
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2018, 04:33:04 PM »
Criminal actions are complicated. 

But call out culture seems to me more about accusers signaling their virtue than the accused or offense committed.  Offering forgiveness or even reasonable conditions to forgiveness is not an option if it might make you look less than virtuous inside your chosen hothouse admiration society.

It hasn’t gotten to the point where they’ll burn you at the stake. But you can almost see it from here.

"Accusers signalling their virtue"?  Don't you mean "victims stating their pain"?  And why should victims give a flying fuck about the perpetrator? 
(These are rhetorical questions, by the way, EricL.  Because the tone of your post is so completely tone deaf I think you need that stated directly.)

No actually.  I don't need you to restate it for me.  That's fucking rude and condescending.  I'm not talking about actual victims - unless it's those that wear their victimhood like a crown.  I'm talking about the accusers who do it on their behalf and the jump on the band wagon types.  Actual victims are often more forgiving to actual perpetrators trying to make amends than the "I have to signal my virtue because my entire identity is in question if I don't" set. 

Going OT, so OK to skip:
I will say that I used a right wing term because I honestly don't know another way to describe it.  At first I thought it was just a Facebook thing where you had to assert you were pro-diversity/pro-gay rights etc. just in case someone caught your feed for the first time and didn't know.  But I made some friends who are proudly "woke" as fuck and they virtue signal in their own conversation with their own set at least once a minute.  They mean well and they're genuinely good people.  It appears fear based and can't be a good thing.  And while I don't have as many conservative friends, I've noted that online they're prone to their own virtue signaling.  But the whole thing is perplexing as fuck.  Why do you have to repeatedly state your beliefs to your own friends and ideological fellow travelers?   Didn't you do it a long time ago?   I'm very careful interacting with them online for the same reason I don't kick in the front doors of friends who are gun nuts. 

Edit: PM me your virtue signals so we don't derail the threat.  If I get enough I'll start a new topic and we'll virtue signal the whole board.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 04:45:18 PM by EricL »