If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

This is a discussion forum topic for the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.


Everyone thinks what they believe is true at the time they believe it.

Everyone does what they think is best at the time they do it.

If they knew better, they'd do better.

This is true of others in space, and others in time, including your so-called past self.

For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

You always think you are right, but that's what people who are wrong think. That's what everyone thinks.

If you were fully in someone else's shoes, you would do exactly as they do.

If you were in the exact same situation as them, both inside and out, meaning you had their memories, their body, their feelings, their taste buds, their bodily urges, their trauma, and so on, you would do exactly as they do.

The illusion that you could or would behave differently if you were fully in their shoes is the same as the illusion that the past could be different. Find inner peace by letting go of the illusion that it could or would be any different. The same conditions lead to the same outcome.

Whether it is so-called others in time (e.g. your past self) or so-called others in space, you can always forgivingly say, "If I was them, I would do exactly as they do."

For anyone and anything, you can let ago of any and all resentment, and with unconditional forgiveness and love, honestly and truly say, "If I was them, I would do exactly as they do."

When taken to its full logical conclusion, we then see that, although our many bodies and their conditioning are different, our true selves are identical. Our bodies may be different ages, with different hair colors, different heights, different memories, different taste buds, and so on so forth. But those bodies each have a corresponding spirit, and that spirit is identical. Spiritually, it is your own identical reflection that you forgive or not, that you love or not. Then we can even remove the "if" from the statement, "If I was them, I would do exactly as they do." In terms of the real you and the real them, you are them.

Whether it is your others in time (e.g. your past self) or your others in space (e.g. your siblings, your parents, your kids, your neighbors across the street, people living in another country, etc.), ultimately the real person you are forgiving or not--the spirit--is you. The one you love or hate, the one you forgive or resent, is you. If you say anyone who would do XYZ deserves hate, and you would do XYZ, then the conclusion is clear of what you are actually saying. Fundamentally, all hate is self-hate. Fundamentally, humanity is one, the outer world is a mirror, you see what you want to see, and the one you love and forgive or not is yourself, your true self, in disguise.


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My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Hazel Mae Bagarinao
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Hazel Mae Bagarinao »

Scott wrote:Fundamentally, humanity is one, the outer world is a mirror, you see what you want to see, and the one you love and forgive or not is yourself, your true self, in disguise.
Exactly, when I hate, truly, I hate myself because no one benefits from this hate, that is only me. When I love, that is I love myself first because if I dont, how can I show love? The outer world is the mirror of the inner world, the outer is the reflection/or result of the inner world.
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Covenant Olusegun
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Covenant Olusegun »

This is true, and it sounds like a biblical quote too, but truly, we need to forgive people because most times they probably don't know that they are wrong, or if they do, they have not come to the consciousness and acceptance of how wrong it is.
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sam_rahman12
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by sam_rahman12 »

I agree wholeheartedly. Alot of people don't know that they are wrong because they believe that what they are doing is right. This may be because of their different perspectives, understanding, or simply because they are not aware. And this is where forgiveness comes in. To be able to understand that humanity is one and forgiving others is also an act of forgiving yourself is a wonderful thing.
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by NadiaBoateng »

I used to be an unforgiving person in the past. When I realized that I was starting to become a bitter person, I had to practice the act of letting go. It is so much easier to live with a free mind. Even though sometimes it may seem like forgiving is a difficult thing to do, it pays on the long run. Also, when I have difficulty letting go of bad attitude, I usually read the Bible, and direct scriptures towards that aspect, then like a soothing river, it becomes easier to be better.
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by JUSTIN CHRISTENSEN »

YES! I resonate with this so much - everyone all the time is trying to do the best they can with the knowledge that they have. If someone says or does something that upsets you, it's not like they went out of their way to try to hurt your feelings. They said or did what they thought was right, because "right" is subjective.
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brit
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by brit »

Yes, I agree with this much. I have bad experience with someone, but instead of hating the person, as every other normal people should do, I even try to fit in this person’s shoes and try to understand the perspective from this person. There is nothing positive about what this person did to me, but the strangest thing is: I can’t hate this person, even I have tried it so much. I think I have forgiven them?
Nletachi Otuokere
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Nletachi Otuokere »

This is accurate, and it seems like a quotation from the Bible as well, but we must forgive others since, in most cases, they are either unaware that they are wrong or, if they are, they have not yet realized and accepted how terrible it is.
Nletachi Otuokere
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Nletachi Otuokere »

Everyone constantly tries to do the best they can with the information they have, and this is something I can really relate to. It's not like someone intentionally tried to offend you if they say or do anything that makes you angry. Given that "right" is a relative concept, people said or did what they believed to be appropriate.
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Mari Inez »

This is an interesting quote, but it has me questioning.

Better? Who decides what is "better." I believe that we live in a very complex world. Situation and context can really alter the perception of things. Additionally, I am sure many people have been in situations where they "knew better" but adamantly decided against it. And yes, sometimes that leads to a situation in which a person should have done better, but on the other hand, sometimes that was the correct decision for them.

At times what seems to be "better" in the moment may later not have actually been "better."
Nicky Rita
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Nicky Rita »

The quote echoes Jesus' words, reminding us that understanding often precedes forgiveness. By acknowledging that others "know not what they do," we practice radical compassion, paving the way for healing and transformation in ourselves and the world around us.
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Elizabeth Atieno 7 »

It emphasizes forgiveness by recognizing that if individuals had better knowledge or understanding, they might choose differently. The sentiment encourages empathy and understanding for others' shortcomings.
Florence Daniel
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Florence Daniel »

Indeed, it does have a biblical resonance. Yet, it's crucial to extend forgiveness because often people may not realize their wrongs, or if they do, they haven't fully acknowledged the gravity of their actions.
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Moranga Dominic »

By acknowledging this lack of knowledge, the phrase encourages a compassionate response, urging forgiveness rather than judgment. It underscores the idea that with greater understanding, individuals might make better choices.
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Sameeha Ismail
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Re: If they knew better, they would do better. For anyone and anything, say, "Forgive them, for they know not what they

Post by Sameeha Ismail »

'If you were fully in someone else's shoes, you would do exactly as they do.' Sometimes the above line had emerged in the edges of my mind. But this is the first time I read it and recognize it.
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