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HAT Forum Topic: Amends & Atonement: The Flipside of Forgiveness Proposer: Richard Dowsett

  • The 519 Community Centre, Room 304 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

There has been a great deal of focus in the popular literature about the
importance of *granting* forgiveness but it only seems to be religious and
para-religious institutions who are talking about the process of *seeking*
forgiveness (a.k.a. atonement, amends, restitution etc.)

1. Is there a proper place for Restitution in the lives of Humanists?

2. How can Humanists benefit from studying the traditions of atonement
and amends and applying them to their lives?

3. How will Humanists handle the Restitution process (see below
example) differently than others? Strengths in the process? Weaknesses?

4. Can you relate a specific example of a time when you sought
Atonement and what you learned?

5. How far can you/should you go to atone or make amends?

Resource: Typical steps for Atonement & Amends

1. Honest examination of your behaviour and motives

2. Employ empathy to understand how your actions affected others

3. Sincere Apology and Plans for direct or indirect restitution

4. Accepting the feelings, reactions and input of the other in the plan

5. Consistent follow through on apology and plan with other

6. Firm intention to never repeat behaviour, learn from mistakes

7. Forgiveness of oneself