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    Thread: Guilt

    1. #1
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      Guilt

      This thread is about guilt. Do you feel guilty when you do something that you know is wrong. Do you feel guilty when others tell you you should? Why is it that people will defend their actions to the death if accused by someone of wrong doing instead of acknowledging their wrong?
      When does justification excuse a wrong and does it relieve guilt. Does guilt effect your mood and sense of self?
      Finally since this is the religious section....How do you relieve your feeling of guilt. Do you pray? Do something nice to make up for it, forget about it etc....
      Do you feel better after acknowledging that you made a mistake or acted wrong? Does Religion play a role in what you think is right and wrong?
      Feel free to answer as may or as little as you care to.

      There is no right or wrong answer here and some of these are very personal to be shared, so thanks in advance to those that care to post.

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      Quote Originally Posted by kadie View Post
      This thread is about guilt. Do you feel guilty when you do something that you know is wrong. Do you feel guilty when others tell you you should? Why is it that people will defend their actions to the death if accused by someone of wrong doing instead of acknowledging their wrong?
      When does justification excuse a wrong and does it relieve guilt. Does guilt effect your mood and sense of self?
      Finally since this is the religious section....How do you relieve your feeling of guilt. Do you pray? Do something nice to make up for it, forget about it etc....
      Do you feel better after acknowledging that you made a mistake or acted wrong? Does Religion play a role in what you think is right and wrong?
      Feel free to answer as may or as little as you care to.

      There is no right or wrong answer here and some of these are very personal to be shared, so thanks in advance to those that care to post.
      Mainly comes from the level of conscience and belief in God that you have. The more seriously you take the bible, the worse you are going to feel if you betray Jesus by breaking a commandment or doing something inappropriate. As you become a believer you get closer and closer to the true God, so things become different you really start to hate sin more and more. The amount of faith you have in Gods love actually free's you from a lot of guilt of your past, that you would otherwise have, because as you forgive others you know God is strong enough to forgive you too. The main thing that repairs wrongdoing is repentance.

      You don't really believe in the bible or God, so it's a little disconcerting why you hang around this section of the forum with such questions directed at people like me. Are you interested in attacking believers? Are you potentially interested in becoming a believer? What you post here is very spiritual and central to my faith. It is an oddity to be so disconnected from that faith while presenting such questions. Science of itself has no solution for morality or guilt because it is stuck in just materialism.

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      I feel guilty when I wrong others and hurt them. I make amends to stop feeling guilty and heal their pain or recover their loss.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Deanstar View Post
      Mainly comes from the level of conscience and belief in God that you have. The more seriously you take the bible, the worse you are going to feel if you betray Jesus by breaking a commandment or doing something inappropriate. As you become a believer you get closer and closer to the true God, so things become different you really start to hate sin more and more. The amount of faith you have in Gods love actually free's you from a lot of guilt of your past, that you would otherwise have, because as you forgive others you know God is strong enough to forgive you too. The main thing that repairs wrongdoing is repentance.

      You don't really believe in the bible or God, so it's a little disconcerting why you hang around this section of the forum with such questions directed at people like me. Are you interested in attacking believers? Are you potentially interested in becoming a believer? What you post here is very spiritual and central to my faith. It is an oddity to be so disconnected from that faith while presenting such questions. Science of itself has no solution for morality or guilt because it is stuck in just materialism.
      You really need to start understanding that it is not all about you Deanstar. Also, you should not assume anything about me at this point. I have held my tongue on some of your other assumptions in 2 of my other threads here. It is true that I do not believe in the God that you do, but why does that bother you? Am I not free to ask of others what their thoughts on certain things are?
      I have posted on another of my "GOD" threads about what I feel is an important aspect of Jesus' teachings about love and forgiveness. Perhaps you missed those in your zealous assumptions of where I stand?

      @ Everyone else, I started this thread because I had recently done something that I felt bad about. It was not something intentional and had NOTHING to do with anyone on this site, anyway, I was feeling remorseful and then another side of me was like..."well it was a genuine mistake,how could you have known such and such would have happened?" So I was curious as to how others felt about the topic and how you deal with it as well as where it-"guilt/remorse" stems from in our lives and is it helpful. So I will go on and comment as I feel the need to and I encourage others to do the same.
      Thanks

      Quote Originally Posted by Jookia View Post
      I feel guilty when I wrong others and hurt them. I make amends to stop feeling guilty and heal their pain or recover their loss.
      Jookia, I was curious as to where you learned to feel bad about harming others? Was it your parenting or religion, peer pressure etc?


      Deanstar, you said-If you are going to do this yourself you will mainly always have a debt over your head. A true conscience requires some sort of recognition of things.

      I see where you are coming from, however don't you think it's important for individuals to learn from their mistakes and make amends where appropriate?
      Last edited by anderj101; 09-02-2014 at 02:14 AM. Reason: Merged 3 posts.

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      Well, since you posted in my help topic you probably know my answer, but guilt isn't a feeling I can say I know all that well. However, I am capable of feeling guilt, but it only happens when I just did something I know is going to have a negative impact on me (even if that means doing something wrong to somebody else, perhaps the wrong somebody else), but I decided to do it anyway. Sounds selfish, I realize that. I don't deny that it is, but it's the only time a feeling is accompanied with my "regret". Otherwise it's a just a passing thought--"I shouldn't have really done that"--like a tumbleweed rolls along in the desert wind.
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      Let's keep this on topic y'all...

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      Well, since you posted in my help topic you probably know my answer, but guilt isn't a feeling I can say I know all that well. However, I am capable of feeling guilt, but it only happens when I just did something I know is going to have a negative impact on me (even if that means doing something wrong to somebody else, perhaps the wrong somebody else), but I decided to do it anyway. Sounds selfish, I realize that. I don't deny that it is, but it's the only time a feeling is accompanied with my "regret". Otherwise it's a just a passing thought--"I shouldn't have really done that"--like a tumbleweed rolls along in the desert wind.
      Im curious and interested in this aspect of you snoop. Can I ask if you were taught was was supposedly right and wrong as a child? I was reading some research about your other topic and saw that some people with a lack of empathy if you will have certain things in common in their scans. Others who were studied with ASPD had some similar differences in their brain scans, but were able to overcome some of the behavior. Some scientists believe that it is a processing disorder of sorts.

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      I recently stumbled across an extremely interesting article about the difference between shame and guilt, and contrasting shame-based versus guilt-based cultures. Feudal Japan and modern Islam are examples of shame cultures, and intriguingly, they both involve suicide and honor killings (Kamikazes, Harikiri, suicide bombers etc). Guilt is a healthy emotion in small doses, but can become overpowering and lead to shame. Guilt is a bad feeling about one's actions or thoughts, where-as shame is about the self - in its more extreme forms it leads to a sense of worthlessness and the idea that since he brings shame on his entire family or culture, that his own life should be forfeit, though the shame still ives on.

      Here's the article: Shame, the Arab Psyche, and Islam

      And a few selected excerpts to whet the appetite:
      (Note that the Western world is predominantly guilt culture)

      Eventually for the shame-avoidant person, reality itself must be distorted in order to further protect the self from poor self-esteem. Blaming other individuals or groups for one's own behavior becomes second nature, and this transfer of blame to someone else is an indicator of internal shame.
      In a guilt culture, when an individual believes he is NOT GUILTY, he will defend his innocence aggressively despite the fact that others believe he is guilty. In this case, the individual self is strong and able to maintain an independent judgement even if every other person is convinced of his guilt. The self is able to stand alone and fight for truth, secure in the knowledge that the individual is innocent.

      The guilt culture is typically and primarily concerned with truth, justice, and the preservation of individual rights. As we noted earlier, the emotion of guilt is what keeps a person from behavior that goes against his/her own code of conduct as well as the culture’s. Excessive guilt can, of course, also be pathological. I am solely referring to a psychologically healthy appreciation of guilt.

      In contrast, a typical shame culture (e.g., Japan as discussed by Benedict; or the present focus of this discussion: Arab/Islamic culture) what other people believe has a far more powerful impact on behavior than even what the individual believes. As noted by Gutman in his writings, the desire to preserve honor and avoid shame to the exclusion of all else is one of the primary foundations of the culture. This desire has the side-effect of giving the individual carte blanche to engage in wrong-doing as long as no-one knows about it, or knows he is involved.

      Additionally, it may be impossible for an individual to even admit to himself that he is guilty (even when he is) particularly when everyone else considers him to be guilty because of the shame involved. As long as others remain convinced he is innocent, the individuals does not experience either guilt or shame. A great deal of effort therefore goes into making sure that others are convinced of your innocence (even if you are guilty).

      In general, it has been noted that the shame culture works best within a collectivist society, although it can exist in pockets even within a predominant guilt culture.
      Here's the article again: Shame, the Arab Psyche, and Islam
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 09-02-2014 at 02:45 AM.
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      Very interesting DarkMatters!
      I should have done some research before posting this thread. I was considering guilt/remorse on too small of a scale and had not considered that certain cultures feel the phenom so deeply and widespread.
      So in this case, it seems way out of whack and unhealthy. My feeling is that guilt and shame in proper doses is healthy for adaptive learning. However for someone to end their life over it is shocking.
      In the Islamic cases, it seems it is beyond just honor and goes to religion. Not sure about the Japanese/ Chinese coming from religion though.

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      I'm not sure about shame being healthy. In fact I remember reading somewhere once that some of the worst psychological disorders (in terms of being incurable) are shame-based. Since guilt is about your actions you can change that, but shame being about your innermost self is something you have no control over and can only feel terrible about. Though you might be right, if it's only a little and temporary, then it might lead to growth or maybe you can get over it. (Oops! I now see the article begins by saying small doses of shame are healthy! My bad! I'll defer to the psychiatrist then).

      Very good observation about Islam being religion-induced culture-wide shame, while feudal Japan was more cultural. I think as the article mentioned, it probably has a lot to do with the collectivism. When the individual's wellbeing is considered entirely secondary to the state's and to be sacrificed for it, that's when the problems set in.

      I also couldn't help but notice a parallel with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, in that the narcissist seems to have absolutely no feelings of guilt for anything they do and that they work hard to instill feelings of deep shame in whoever they have chosen to be their victim (often the weakest of their children or associates or a spouse chosen for their vulnerability to shame).
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 09-02-2014 at 03:46 AM.
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by kadie View Post
      Im curious and interested in this aspect of you snoop. Can I ask if you were taught was was supposedly right and wrong as a child? I was reading some research about your other topic and saw that some people with a lack of empathy if you will have certain things in common in their scans. Others who were studied with ASPD had some similar differences in their brain scans, but were able to overcome some of the behavior. Some scientists believe that it is a processing disorder of sorts.
      Interesting. To answer your question, I was taught what was right and wrong as a child. When I hit my teens, that all got thrown out the window and I fell victim to the "there's no such thing as good, bad, or evil" ideology. Flash forward through some rough patches in my life and here I am just about to turn 23, believing what I do. It's certainly taken a lot of thinking, suffering, thriving, and even drug use to get to this point, but I at least feel like I am moving in the right direction.

      edit: DarkMatters, it is funny that I have never really thought of it this way, but I had somewhat always considered myself without remorse despite my rare feelings of guilt that I mentioned could happen in my other post. I didn't realize what I was really probably meaning to say that I am capable of feeling guilt (still only in the circumstances I already mentioned), but I am not capable of feeling shame. I don't think I have been legitimately ashamed of myself in my entire life. I can list off all the different reasons why I fucked this or that up in my little melancholic episodes, but its more of a self gut-punching than anything. Rather than feel shame, I constantly berate myself until I do what I actually believe in. It's a learned mechanism for keeping myself out of trouble and getting what I want or need--it's a thought process rather than a feeling.
      Last edited by snoop; 09-02-2014 at 07:12 AM.
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      Hmmm. I guess Im the opposite of you snoop. I was ultra sensitive as a child and often saw small slights as an attack against me, like I did something wrong or deserved what bad came my way. I think part of that was my brothers and sisters tormenting me though. we laugh about it now, but they were pretty mean. I have learned that I am only human and need experience to learn lessons of what to avoid and so on, but still I make a mistake and feel quilty. Like this week. It was something small, but it bothered me overly. Now on the other hand, I can tell someone off when I lose my temper and not feel to bad about it because by the time I'm mad enough to let it fly, well I'm usually right on target. So I guess I justify a wordy outburst with, "well, it's the truth". as for any kind of violence, I usually wont be the first to start something, but I can justify hurting someone if they start it. I'm sure many people feel the same. Strangely, growing up, I was always told to be the pacifist...turn the other cheek and so one, but once your have been beat down long enough, you have to fight to survive. At least I did. I can control it, but it took a while to not want to beat the tar out of those that wronged me.
      Anyway...enough about me.
      Ideologies do change that is for sure.

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      Yeah, a person who's had guilt ingrained in them since childhood tends to be oversensitive to criticism, real or perceived. It sucks, but in my art class I used to be unable to not show it on my face whenever people critiqued my work, even if it was pretty mild or something that I already knew was wrong (especially because on most critique days I stayed up all night pumping coffee to finish the piece). And I have a tendency if I'm blamed for something I sort of feel guilty even if I'm not. Almost got me in trouble once when the police pulled me over and he said I was acting nervous.

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      Opposite? Maybe, but perhaps not as much as you would think, or maybe just as much as you think what do I know lol. Anyway, my parents taught me to defend myself but not to actively seek out trouble, to be peaceful as long as I could help it. However, looking back on it now, my mother and father actually both agreed very much that if they started something with me and I didn't do anything to provoke it, that I was pretty much left to defend myself by any means I saw fit. I have to say though, during movies and tv shows, when the "good" guy would have a gun pointed at the bad guy and is just blabbering on about some nonsense, my father would usually blurt out, "shoot him!" My parents do not believe in killing or hurting others, again so long as it can be helped, but if I am in a scenario where it is do or die, I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn't have a second thought run through my head. In fact, I probably wouldn't think at all, and just do whatever I did and leave it at that.

      My father always told me if anybody ever did anything to me, my sister, or my mother that he would become that person's worst nightmare. He's got a lot of the same characteristics as me, especially in regards to the ability to fly off in a blind rage. I have personally never seen it, and he says it's only ever come out once, so I guess he's as good at restraining himself as me. However, even though my first instinct, when presented with the same scenario, is to do exactly the same--kill that mother fucker (not only that, but my heart almost starts to skip a few beats in excitement to think I would get the chance to kill somebody, especially when they deserve it [thus acceptable by society and my chosen values])--but the older I get the more I am starting to think I would choose not to. I mean, it feels so unnatural to me to actually think this way. All up until now I just wished someone would let me let this shit go. To unbottle my lifetimes worth of devilish desires. But now I am beginning to despise this, because I can't continue to survive this way, it either has to come out and keep coming out or I have to quadruple pad-lock the door to the compound to the giant 3 foot thick steel walls of my vault. So here I am, trying to bury something once an integral part of me all because what I believe in. Sounds pretty silly when you read it in your head, lol.
      Last edited by snoop; 09-02-2014 at 07:53 AM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by kadie View Post
      Jookia, I was curious as to where you learned to feel bad about harming others? Was it your parenting or religion, peer pressure etc?
      I don't know.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Yeah, a person who's had guilt ingrained in them since childhood tends to be oversensitive to criticism, real or perceived. It sucks, but in my art class I used to be unable to not show it on my face whenever people critiqued my work, even if it was pretty mild or something that I already knew was wrong (especially because on most critique days I stayed up all night pumping coffee to finish the piece). And I have a tendency if I'm blamed for something I sort of feel guilty even if I'm not. Almost got me in trouble once when the police pulled me over and he said I was acting nervous.
      My nephew was like that with his art. He was good and he knew it, but he had a hard time with critique too because he already knew where some of his screw ups were. Ahhh the growing up process........so hard.

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      I can not recall the last time I felt guilty about anything if I did it was probably before I was 10. I know what most people consider right or wrong though it always varies with the person. But some of the things people call wrong would be consider right to me and vice versa.
      I never consider how someone else would feel if I chose to do something they wouldn't agree with unless they approach me with this question.
      I mostly don't apply right or wrong to my actions because I do my best to be honest with myself, so usually when I do something I am very certain on my decision. If someone did approach me about my activities being wrong then I will acknowledge and accept that they find it immoral but this would not bother me. I personally respect who I am and who I will become later on.
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