If I do something evil to you – and only to you – then there is only one person who can forgive me.This one possible person is you.
Imagine if someone else could forgive me for what I did to you.Let us say that God claims that He can forgive me for something I have done to you. That would be very convenient, because then I would no longer have to ask you for forgiveness.
With this you would be deprived of your free will.Because you can decide whether I will be forgiven, or you can decide against it. This can only be done voluntarily, I cannot blackmail you or force you to do so. Otherwise I would continue to humiliate you and do you something evil again: “Forgive me, for otherwise I will be you…”. No one should force you to forgive me.Not even God.
But whether God or anyone else forgives me, that is completely irrelevant to you.This cannot or must not affect you. But if you do not forgive me, I have not been forgiven.
No one should do this for you on your behalf.No God can or must have the power to forgive me – especially not without asking you. Because this makes you virtually incapacitated. In addition to the damage, you have been deprived of something that is actually only subject to your disposal.
Sam Harris once asked: Is there a moral act that only a believer, but no atheist, cando?
The answer is yes.Only a creditor can presume to award on a proxy basis. There is nowhere else to go, and it is impossible for an atheist to do so. If, as an atheist, I want forgiveness for my iniputables, I can only ask those affected by it, no one else. No one is entitled to forgive by proxy. God could forgive me for transgressing His commandments, even though I do not know how an Almighty could be affected by my transgression. But he cannot forgive me on behalf of you, because he disproportionately interferes with your autonomy, declassifies you, makes you a thing, and takes away all moral decisions from you. Taking a moral choice from someone by forcing them is itself an immoral act.
So if God forgave me if I had done something to you, he would act immorally.Taking away moral autonomy from someone is an immoral act.
That is why murder is an act that cannot be forgiven.Because no one can know whether the victim forgives the perpetrator. The relatives, who are also victims, can forgive for exactly what has been done to them.But they, too, cannot forgive the murder itself, because they are thereby overcoming the victim.
Therefore, the correct answer is: God cannot forgive anything at all that does not harm himpersonally.Since one cannot harm an almighty being, such a being cannot forgive anything.
So those who want forgiveness – real forgiveness, not imaginary ones – must ask for forgiveness or forgiveness from the victims and no one else.Because the act of forgiveness is the last thing that remains for the victims. Because forgiveness is a voluntary act.
One can still forgive oneself – after experiencing the forgiveness of the victims – because one has also harmed oneself.But no one else can do that than you.
Vicarious forgiveness is an immoral act that is not even due to a God.Jesus did nothing through his sacrifice, his sacrifice was pointless. Because it would be arrogant if I told you, “For what I have done to you, I have already been forgiven by Jesus”. We no longer accept such sacrifices – that is called moral progress. We can no longer accept that someone else should be punished for acts that he has not committed, because that is an act of injustice.
If I tell you that you have committed an evil act, but I would have forgiven you as an unaffected person by torturing my son in my basement, you would think I was wrong.But what exactly is the core of Christianity – a mad act, an unjust act, of a being that is supposed to be the basis of our morality! Those who do not think this is wrong have no proper understanding of morality and therefore fail as a moral guide or guideline for me. You cannot undo an injustice by commiting another injustice unrelated to the first iniquity. You can’t undo or forgive something evil by executing an irrelevant second evil act. If that is to be moral, there is no morality. Only an antimoralist might think this is a good thing, but I do not let an antimoralist tell me what is good and evil.
Deputy forgiveness is a morally insane concept, as is the sacrifice of an innocent person for the guilt of another.The punishment of innocents is considered evil by us, because it is.So it would be unfair for someone to take your forgiveness away from you.
It is not for a God, no matter how powerful he may be, to forgive something byproxy.No one is morally empowered by the fact that they have power. On the contrary, power corrupts the powerful, and absolute power absolutely corrupts.This applies to gods as well as to humans.This is a quote from Lord Acton, the second sentence is unfortunately mostly omitted.