Religious Studies


The dilemma of divine forgiveness


a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Auckland, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand


The dilemma of divine forgiveness suggests it is unreasonable to be comforted by the thought that God forgives acts that injure human victims. A plausible response to the dilemma claims that the comfort derives from the belief that God's forgiveness releases the wrongdoer from punishment for her misdeed. This response is shown to be flawed. A more adequate response is then developed out of the connection between forgiveness and reconciliation.