I read this devotional yesterday about how women in the Ravensbruk Nazi concentration camp were able to forgive their oppressors:
which also brought to mind this story from late last year about how Botham Jean’s younger brother, Brant, was able to forgive the off-duty police officer, Amber Guyger for killing his brother:
and also the story about how survivors and family members of victims of the Charleston church shooting could forgive the shooter:
These stories lead me to ask: Where does this type of forgiveness come from?
This level of love and forgiveness seems supernatural to me, and is reminiscent of the type of love and forgiveness we see from God with Jesus on the Cross. However, I realize that my views on this topic are strongly influenced by my faith, since I became a believing Christian about 20 years ago.
Thus, I would like to hear other thoughts and perspectives on this question. I know that there are discussions about why humans might have evolved the characteristic of altruism. However, the ability to forgive is different than altruism. Do psychologists and evolutionary biologists also have theories about the evolution of forgiveness? Would there be naturalistic explanations for humans having the ability to forgive?