Guilt – old and new views – do we need it?

Posted: September 16, 2018 in Musings
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Wise friend,

You talked about guilt. Should we push it away? To some extent, I find it necessary though I refuse to be manipulated in taking, sometimes “urgent,” decisions based on guilt. I also don’t allow others to try to make me feel guilty to help them deal easier with their own issues. I tell those people in those situations: “I don’t do guilt.” However, I know that we can’t have integrity without any guilt.

Lovely friend,

Historically, two main groups tend to think somehow differently about errors of human beings. One group believes that the human being is easily prone to err, while the second group considers the humans are born to err. The latter group might have obsessed with qualifying as human errors what are natural and healthy inclinations, including mainly enjoying sex. This obsession led to an overdose of guilt, over good healthy feelings.
In times bygone, the solution adopted in turn, was obsessive electing from exorcism to self-flagellation (and maybe even death by hanging, burning, and other).
This created a wrong sense of wrong and good and also created psychological sick people.
In my opinion, psychiatry is not a moral system, and it seems to me that it identified an unhealthy connection, but it did not evaluate the guilt from an ethical point of view. To address this obsession psychiatry or psychology also reacted obsessively and erred in trying to be on the safe side, by labelling guilt as a sick feeling. Therapy says, “Don’t feel guilty.”
I still am in favor of therapy. We are psychological sophisticated and morally wrong.

Maybe, we need to go back and re-learn old style of ethics, as well, and what really ‘good’ and ‘wrong’ used to mean and then perhaps bring back guilt. Guilt would then involve repentance, an assumption of responsibility, acceptance of punishment, and the internal build-up of awareness of the wrong to ensure no further repetitions.

Do we need guilt?

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