Some conflicts have a history which makes them impossible to resolve. Do you agree? Does a point come where too much blood has been shed, too many lives have been lost or too many hurtful words...

Some conflicts have a history which makes them impossible to resolve.

Do you agree? Does a point come where too much blood has been shed, too many lives have been lost or too many hurtful words have been said for there to be forgiveness?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This depends very much upon what you are going to call “resolving” a conflict.  This question seems to imply that resolving a conflict necessarily involves forgiveness, but this is not necessarily true.  If conflicts can be “resolved” without one side “forgiving” the other, then all conflicts are resolvable.  If sincere forgiveness is needed, then there may be some conflicts that cannot be resolved. 

Every conflict can be resolved if resolution does not require a given state of mind.  For example, the conflict that led to the American Civil War could easily have been resolved if the North had simply allowed slavery to spread or if the South had allowed it to be abolished.  The two sides would not have needed to forgive one another.  All that would be necessary is for one side to decide that its best interests lay in giving up.

However, if resolution is defined by the state of mind of the two sides, then there will be many conflicts that cannot be resolved.  It does not appear possible in the short run, for example, that Israelis and Palestinians as a group will ever love and forgive one another.  If, then, these sorts of emotions are required in order to resolve a conflict, there are conflicts that cannot be resolved.

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