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  • Mercy

    Mercy


    • Mercy (Middle English, from Anglo-French merci, from Medieval Latin merced-, merces, from Latin, "price paid, wages", from merc-, merxi "merchandise") is a broad term that refers to , forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts.

      The concept of a "Merciful God" appears in various religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Performing acts of mercy as a component of religious beliefs is also emphasized through actions such as the giving of alms, and care for the sick and Works of Mercy.

      In the social and legal context, mercy may refer both to compassionate behavior on the part of those in power (e.g. mercy shown by a judge toward a convict), or on the part of a humanitarian third party, e.g., a mission of mercy aiming to treat war victims.

      "Mercy" can be defined as "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power;" and also "a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion." "To be at someone's mercy" indicates a person being "without defense against someone."

      In a judicial context mercy is often termed "clemency". It is a sovereign prerogative that resides in the executive and is entirely discretionary. John Locke defined it as "the power to act according to discretion, for the public good, without the prescription of the Law, and sometimes even against it." The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit explained that "The very nature of clemency is that it is grounded solely in the will of the dispenser of clemency. He need give no reasons for granting it or for denying it."

      Mercy is one of the basic virtues of chivalry, Hinduism, Christian ethics, Islam, and Judaism.



      • "I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” ― Abraham Lincoln
      • "For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.” ― G.K. Chesterton
      • "You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.” ― Graham Greene, Brighton Rock
      • "What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!' Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
      • In O. Henry's A Retrieved Reformation, safecracker Jimmy Valentine betrays his identity and burglary skills in order to free a child accidentally trapped in a bank vault. A detective who has been pursuing him witnesses Valentine crack the safe. As Valentine subsequently surrenders, the detective pretends not to recognize him and walks away.
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