What Use Guilt?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Gordian Knot, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    So, if we can eradicate guilt, we are free to act in our own self-interest. Society, one's family, one's social circles, the world at large, is there purely to serve our needs. Empathy is weakness. It's a matter of pragmatism.

    The mantra of the age: Because you're worth it.
    The subtext: you want it, you have it. Who has the right to say no?

    Well here's a reason for pretending, then:

    You've just declared a total rejection of responsibility. Not a judge, not a lawyer, not an advocate, either; nor jailor, nor witness for the defence (notice how you emphasise the negative, and completely miss the positive?) Hey guys, I'm just passin' through ... just helping myself to this and that, then I'll be on my way... in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, you'd walk by, look at that wreck on the road and think: 'nothing to do with me ...'

    Taken at face value, your stand signals sociopathic tendencies: If you got drunk, drove your car home (those rules don't apply to you), and hit a guy crossing the road, it would be his fault for being there. What's all the fuss about? Look at my fender!

    Well of course you'd say that, but then you have no means of measuring how your words hurt others, so it never occurs to you that such might be the case. From where I stand, for example, you constantly bring up and blame Catholics for what they do as if that somehow renders my argument void.

    So you wrong me time and again. But, of course, that's my fault for not understanding you. You are so cool, the cosmos is so cool, it's all cool. Everything is copacetic. How could you offend anyone?

    And of course this anti-guilt thing itself argues its opposite. We're back to the uncomfortable interview in the garden, with everyone standing around saying 'it's not my fault'.

    On the sociopathic scale, membership of a 'good' social unit is good cover. It allows you access to others, and it puts you in a good place in their eyes. You're in the Unity Church, not a motor cycle gang!

    And becoming a Unity member makes sense. As a pseudo-Christian denomination, Unity is a church of the critical least, you have to admit. That's its attraction. You can believe almost anything, almost nothing, and still be a good Unity member.

    And, best of all, it puts you at the centre of the universe. You've dethroned that old image of God, the old dude with the long white beard, and you've put yourself in his place ...
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others"
    Marcus Tullius Cicero

    Word for the Day
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    Thanks for this, I came across Brother David's work a few years ago and fell in love this website, but had forgotten all about it until yesterday when I was explaining to a friend how cool it was to enter a sacred space and light a candle. I'm beginning to think Jung might have had something there with the whole synchronicity thing. :)
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    OMG...I have to have guilt to decide to help out someone in a wreck?

    I've been doing it all wrong!
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No, you're acting bang on type.
    (Who said anything about helping someone in a wreck?)

    You are offered a picture in which you are a drunk driver and take out a pedestrian; what you see is the guy in a wrecked car needing assistance, and it's you-the-hero coming to the aid of you-the-victim, announcing his altruism all the while.

    So in your rewrite of the analogy, you are both hero and innocent victim, and you are the only players. The cause of the wreck, and the actual victim, have been written out from the scene altogether ...
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi Paladin —

    My pleasure! We'll chalk one up for CJ!
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    yeah, the hypotheticals.....a thorough waste of time. I am not a drunk driver...I learned to count to two over a decade ago.

    What use guilt??
     
  8. thenewnewworldorder

    thenewnewworldorder New Member

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    Well the good news is, you don't have to feel guilty! (Just repentant!) God is All-Forgiving to who he pleases, and if you believe in Him and his word, then you know that he loves and will forgive you.... so then you're right, why feel guilty?

    But guilt can be a good REMINDER emotion not to do the same kind of thing again... (if you have a bad memory, emotions can be powerful reminders)
     
  9. thenewnewworldorder

    thenewnewworldorder New Member

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    Hahaha, that's funny. Yea, if GUILT if your only motivator to pulling someone out of a wreck then... well... I guess I would say FEEL GUlLTY! But that's kinda ridiculous/really selfish
     
  10. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I'm resurrecting an older thread cause we really, really, really need to get back to what this place is about. As I stated at the start, guilt is a useless emotion. Most people use guilt as a self punishment for a wrong action (and we're talking every day stuff here, not major crimes like murder or anything), they wronged a friend and the person has themselves feel guilty about it.

    Thing is, used like this, guilt is not a punishment but rather an avoidance technique to actually take an action to make amends. Even if the amends is just to apologize for a wrong action.

    My suggestion is that one does not need guilt to know when we have acted improperly. We know it already. If one is reasonably socially educated, we know what right from wrong. Rather than escape into pointless guilt, my suggestion is to DO something to make the wrong right.
     
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  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you and Gordian Knot have very similar views, the thought that he came back under your screen name did cross my mind at one point.

    You also use the word like he dose, in its packaged form, what the word means to you. Like "one does not need guilt to know when we have acted improperly. We know it already.", to me guilt is the feeling I get when I recognise that I have acted wrong. To you it is something else, something that somehow excludes making amends. Something that occurs after we have found out we have acted wrongly.

    It is fascinating to me how you have been describing your own consciousness in your time here! To me it seems so inorganic, calculated and with a total awareness of what and why to think and feel. Feelings are something that seem to occur separate from yourself for reasons that you can pinpoint with precision. Well it's what it looks like from here anyway, and it's the polar opposite of how I think the consciousness works, it makes our discussion interesting and very difficult!
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Knee jerk reaction... it is the amoral who.don't feel guilt when they do something wrong.

    One example that may not... Car careening out of control...headed.toward a crowd of people...you steer it away from them and end up killing a dog and injuring the guy walking it...odds are the fact that you used what control you had to save the lives of the people overshadows the death of the dog...you made a conscious choice to do right.
     
  13. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Time then for a confession. I was Gordian Knot back in the day. There came a time when I felt I needed to start fresh; too much baggage with my GK. So I became DA. I have not broken any forum rules; since becoming DA I have not posted anything under my old name. GK was left behind for good. As an aside it has been an interesting experience the interactions I have had with everyone. Some people the relationship stayed more or less the same. Some I have rather different relationships with. Such as you Tea. We got along much better when I was GK. We come to loggerheads way more often now.
     
  14. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    I agree, and I wonder why. I might have changed some, but you weren't away that long!
     
  15. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I have changed some. Under GK I was working on my own understanding of my opinions. Very much a newbie especially relating to the subject of this forum. One example, I wasn't any good at accepting a premise for the sake of a discussion, if I didn't agree with the premise. I've learned to do that. In my time as GK I solidified in my mind more of where my views are. As a result I am now more likely to state my opinion as ThisIsHowISeeIt, which goes a long way towards your frustration with me some times.
     
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  16. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of which, back to the discussion at hand.

    Case in point. You could not be more wrong about what I was trying to say. In point I AM saying that making amends is the right thing to do. One does not need to feel guilty to know one has harmed another (intentionally or non intentionally). Most any normally adjusted member of society knows when they have done someone wrong. Too many people in our society use guilt as a way of escaping a corrective action. If they punish themselves with guilt then they can comfortably not have to do anything to correct the initial action. The self flagellation is sufficient response, nothing more is needed.

    Now there are a good many people who use guilt as a motivator to make amends. Which is much more healthy than the response above. My belief is that one can skip the middle step, the guilt, which is more healthy to any of the above. Do someone wrong, make it right. An action for an action. You suggest you need to feel guilty to know you have done a wrong; "to me guilt is the feeling I get when I recognise that I have acted wrong." My suggestion is that you do not need the guilt to recognize that you have acted wrong.

    Part II to come later.
     
  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Can you elaborate to what you think guilt is? I said guilt is a feeling to me, and in the way guilt is a feeling to me it is not a choice, it is not an act and I can't relate at all to what you are describing. I think you have been very clear as to how you think we should relate to guilt but if we leave that for a moment to just clear up what guilt is to you?
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    How about:

    Guilt is the measure of what we did against what we know we ought to have done.

    Howzat?
     
  19. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I think that is making it way more complicated than it needs to be.

    To put it succinctly, guilt is an emotion. Just like happiness or anger, etc.
     
  20. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Partially so, partially not. My feelings are as organic as anyone else's. I am aware of how I think and feel at any one time. The critical word there is awareness. My emotions are not separate from myself; how could that even happen? They are my emotions and I have learned to acknowledge how I am feeling and why I am feeling that way.

    It is not the polar opposite of how consciousness works, though I understand that you think so. My first question to you is do you believe there is only one way consciousness can work? Or is the workings of consciousness different for different people. My second question to you would be how can you not be aware of your own emotions? They are your emotions after all. They don't drift in on the solar wind into your head. You produce them in response to stimuli, from within or from without.

    What I am doing is not some great mental achievement like I am some kind of Braniac or something. Here's an analogy of the process. Are you aware of your breathing? Until I mentioned it you very probably were not. And now you are observing it. Breathing can be trained. Ask anyone who plays a musical instrument that requires breath control, or any singer, or any professional fighter. They all need to practice to not only be aware of their breathing, they need to train their breathing. To be deeper. To fill their entire lung capacity as much as possible.

    Yoga teaches consciousness breathing and I think I have mentioned in the past that I was a yoga instructor for many years. Fact is most people breath very shallowly, and into just the top of their lungs. A proper deep breath starts at the bottom of the lungs and fills them up to the top. Someone who knows how to breath completely you will see their stomach expand as they start the intake of breath. It is something anyone can learn.

    That analogy is exactly the same way I also deal with consciousness and my emotions. By learning to be aware and then train my mind to choose how to accept them. Here is a quiz. Which one of these two statements is the correct one to you?

    1. I am so mad at you for being so callous all the time!

    2. I choose to be so mad at you for being so callous all the time!
     

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