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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Nature of Betrayal

Fairness requires that those we trust repay that trust. The sense of justice or basic fairness is deeply ingrained arising ultimately from the need for safety and the drive to survive. When someone cannot be trusted, the question is raised the lengths to which that perfidy might go. For example, a business owner trusts his comptroller, meets and greets him as a friend every workday. Then, the businessman discovers that the comptroller has been embezzling funds—in this way lying to his face daily. The reaction can be almost primordial for in a sense the survival of the business itself has been threatened. If the comptroller would do this, what might not he do? It would be the exceptional case indeed in which the victim did not pursue recourse through the sword of the state. 

In the Bible the crucifixion of Jesus involves a betrayer. He could have been crucified without it, but betrayal is a natural precursor to death itself and follows logically, ineluctably. And how did God retaliate for the death of his son? Jesus' resurrection was a redemptive form of retaliation and as such stamps upon creation for all time the divine response to betrayal. God outflanked natural man and provided a way out of retribution through belief in eternal life. 


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