'n Sistematies-teologiese ondersoek na die rol wat emosie mag speel

Jacobs, Jacques Warrant (2020-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Emosies kan ʼn belangrike rol speel in die vestiging van samelewings van geregtigheid en indien negatiewe emosies nie aangespreek word nie, kan dit destruktiewe gevolge hê, soos vervat in die woorde van die Anglikaanse priester, Michael Lapsley: “If we are filled with anger, hatred, bitterness and a desire for revenge, we will never create a just and compassionate society.” Kwessies oor geregtigheid staan as brandpunte uit in die heersende politieke en etiese diskoers in Suid-Afrika. Dit sluit kwessies in rakende sosiale en ekonomiese geregtigheid soos die herverdeling van grond, ekonomiese ongelykheid, en die regte van vroue en persone in die LGBTIQ+-gemeenskap1 . Hierdie studie ondersoek die rol wat emosies in die verwesenliking van geregtigheid binne hierdie konteks kan speel. Die soeke vir geregtigheid word binne die raamwerk van ʼn etiek van verantwoordelikheid geplaas, omdat verantwoordelike optrede vereis dat die gevolge wat handelinge in die hede op die toekoms mag hê, verreken moet word. Teologies veronderstel ‘n etiek van verantwoordelikheid dat Christene aan God toerekenbaar is wat betref hul verantwoordelikheid teenoor hul naaste. Die kognitief-evaluerende teorie betreffende emosies, soos geskep deur Martha Nussbaum, word bespreek omdat dit die moontlikheid van die vestiging van gewenste emosies en die uitwis van ongewenste emosies bied. Die kognitief-evaluerende teorie stel dat emosies intelligent is en dus waardevolle inligting oordra oor wat vir mense belangrik is. Prominente emosies wat aan die orde kom, is simpatie, empatie, deernis en liefde, asook skuld, skaamte en afguns. Die sentrale vraag wat hierdie studie poog om te beantwoord, is waarom emosies so ’n beduidende rol in die vestiging van samelewings van geregtigheid kan vertolk, ondanks die feit dat daar reeds goeie beginsels in plek is. Emosies mag ’n belangrike motiveerder vir die najaag van geregtigheid wees, omdat die bereidheid tot en strewe vir geregtigheid op ’n emosionele basis berus. So stel liefde en genade persone byvoorbeeld instaat om lydendes en verontregtes raak te sien. Die teenwoordigheid van emosies soos liefde impliseer nie volmaaktheid, of geen gronde vir kritiek nie, want publieke liefde kan betoon en geregtigheid nagestreef word, ten spyte van publieke onvolmaaktheid.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Emotions can play an important role in the establishment of just societies and negative emotions, if unaddressed, can have destructive consequences, as indicated in the words of the Anglican priest, Michael Lapsley: “If we are filled with anger, hatred, bitterness and a desire for revenge, we will never create a just and compassionate society.”Justice is a burning issue in the current political and ethical discourse in South Africa. It includes issues concerning social and economic justice like land redistribution, economic inequality and the rights of women and people in the LGBTIQ+ -community2 . This study investigates the role emotions may play in the realisation of justice within the context mentioned. The pursuit of justice is placed within the framework of an ethics of responsibility, since responsible actions require that the consequences that current actions may have in the future, be taken into account. Theologically an ethics of responsibility presupposes that Christians are accountable to God with regards to their responsibility towards their neighbour. The cognitive evaluative theory of emotions as developed by Martha Nussbaum is discussed, since it provides the possibility of establishing desirable emotions and extirpating undesirable emotions. The cognitive evaluative theory of emotions holds the view that emotions are intelligent and thus convey valuable information concerning that which is important to people. Prominent emotions which are discussed include sympathy, empathy, compassion and love, as well as guilt, shame and envy. The central question this study seeks to address, is why emotions can play a significant role in the establishment of just societies, even if good principles are in place. Emotions could be an important motivator for the pursuit of justice since the willingness to pursue justice rests on an emotional base. For example, the emotions of love and mercy enable people to see those who are suffering and those who are treated unjustly. The presence of emotions like love does not imply the absence of imperfections and critique, because public love can still be demonstrated and public justice pursued despite public imperfections.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107890
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