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For other uses, see Merciful (disambiguation).

Mercy (Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, "price paid, wages", from merc-, merxi "merchandise") can refer both to compassionate behaviour on the part of those in power (e.g. mercy shown by a judge toward a convict), on the part of a humanitarian third party (e.g. a mission of mercy aiming to treat war victims) or divine mercy shown to the penitent.[1] Mercy is a word used to describe compassion shown by one person to another, or a request from one person to another to be shown such leniency or unwarranted compassion for a crime or wrongdoing. Some of the earliest recorded expressions of divine mercy are found in Ancient Egyptian literature.[2] One of the basic virtues of chivalry, Christian ethics, Islam, and Judaism, it is also related to concepts of justice and morality in behaviour between people.

  • In the Qur'an, The Prophet Muhammad is described as being sent as a [mercy to the worlds] (Al-Anbiyaa' 21:107).

In a legal sense, a defendant having been found guilty of a capital crime may ask for clemency from being executed.

To be "mercy", the behavior generally can not be compelled by outside forces. (A famous literary example is from The Merchant of Venice when Portia asks Shylock to show mercy. He asks, On what compulsion, must I? She responds:

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God's
When mercy seasons justice.

A number of organizations (e.g. the Mercy Corps, the Sisters of Mercy, Mercyful Fate and the Temple of Mercy and Charity) use the word "mercy" in their name to describe their work.

Ethicist Jacob Appel has noted a decline of mercy, and a concomitant increase in retribution, in American public life. Appel has written:

« One of the glaring -- yet too often overlooked -- failings of contemporary America is that we have become a nation obsessed with justice and retribution. We claim to be The Land of the Free, yet we have lost sight of what it means to be imprisoned: denied liberty and access to one's family, subjected to isolation and violence and unspeakable boredom. We have come to believe, in the most pernicious way, that people should get what they deserve. What a sea change it might be in our public discourse and our civic life if we focused instead upon mercy and forgiveness. A merciful and forgiving culture might find itself with less anger, less social disruption, and even less crime.[3] »</div>

References Edit

Wikimedia Commons'ta:
Merciful ile ilgili çoklu ortam kategorisi bulunur.
  • Jacob Appel. What I Want For Christmas: Mass Clemency, Dec. 23, 2009.
  • Ralf van Bühren: Die Werke der Barmherzigkeit in der Kunst des 12.–18. Jahrhunderts. Zum Wandel eines Bildmotivs vor dem Hintergrund neuzeitlicher Rhetorikrezeption (Studien zur Kunstgeschichte, vol. 115), Hildesheim / Zürich / New York: Verlag Georg Olms 1998. ISBN 3-487-10319-2
  • Sterling Harwood, "Is Mercy Inherently Unjust?," in Michael J. Gorr and Sterling Harwood, eds., Crime and Punishment: Philosophic Explorations (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 2000, formerly Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1996), pp. 464–470.
  • Jeffrie G. Murphy, "Mercy and Legal Justice," in Michael J. Gorr and Sterling Harwood, eds., Crime and Punishment: Philosophic Explorations (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 2000, formerly Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1996), pp. 454–463.
  • Lampert, K.(2005); Traditions of Compassion: From Religious Duty to Social Activism. Palgrave-Macmillan
  • Witt, David (2008); "Mercy"

NotesEdit

  1. "Magic in ancient Egypt", Geraldine Pinch, p. 44, University of Texas Press, 1995, ISBN 0292765592
  2. "The pyramid builders of ancient Egypt: a modern investigation of pharaoh's workforce", Ann Rosalie David, p86, Routledge, 1996, ISBN 0415152925
  3. Appel, Jacob. What I Want For Christmas: Mass Clemency, Dec. 23, 2009.

WikiquoteEdit

Mercy is the quality of showing restraint againt those whom one has the power to punish.

SourcedEdit

  • In the Qur'an, The Prophet Muhammad is described as being sent as a [mercy to the worlds] (Al-Anbiyaa' 21:107).

Quran 21:107 : We sent thee not but as a mercy for all creatures.

  • One of the glaring -- yet too often overlooked -- failings of contemporary America is that we have become a nation obsessed with justice and retribution....We have come to believe, in the most pernicious way, that people should get what they deserve. What a sea change it might be in our public discourse and our civic life if we focused instead upon mercy and forgiveness. A merciful and forgiving culture might find itself with less anger, less social disruption, and even less crime.
  • And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
  • The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
  • Consider this,
    That in the course of justice none of us
    Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy;
    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
    The deeds of mercy.
  • No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
    Not the king's crown nor the deputed sword,
    The marshal's truncheon nor the judge's robe,
    Become them with one half so good a grace
    As mercy does.
  • Reason to rule, mercy to forgive:
    The first is law, the last prerogative.
    • John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther (1687), Part I, l. 261-262.
  • Special mercy arouses more gratitude than universal mercy.
    • Richard Baxter, The Saints' Everlasting Rest (1650), "The Splendor of the Saints' Rest".
  • MERCY, n. An attribute beloved of detected offenders.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Who will not mercy unto others show,
    How can he mercy ever hope to have?
  • God loves our mercy to one another; but not upon conditions at variance with sanctity to Him.
  • Kind hearts are here; yet would the tenderest one
    Have limits to its mercy; God has none.
  • Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much humbled.

UnsourcedEdit

  • How can we speak of right and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood? How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy?


External linksEdit

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