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Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Kismet
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Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#1 Post by Kismet » July 10th, 2012, 8:49 am

I have in the recent past posted some threads critiquing humanism.... Unfortunately, I was not able to quite articulate that which I meant. I will try to approach this issue from a different angle, and bring it down to a matter of psychology. From there, I will see where this conversation takes us, I suppose.

First, it is an observable, experiential fact, that as we get older, this world has a tendency of "roughing us" or turning us into, perhaps not "unhappy", but less than happy, or more "disaffected" persons. This is of course not correct in all cases. The heart never grows old, as some might say. But the point is, none of us escape some level of victimization by external circumstances. A sort of as it were moral degeneration whereby we become more self-centered and less apt to help our fellow man, as a direct implication. Or at least, less of an openness, a greater dumbing down and dulling of our spontaneous intuitive potential. This is human.

As we become more embittered, we may do one of two things, usually both. We internalize our guilt. This negativity that is heaped upon us in more ways than one. Or we project it outwards through the mechanism of judging. This excessive judging scorns and condemns the world. If left untreated, it may take on mammoth proportions of transference. What seems justified then becomes steadily irrational, and one is in the painful condition of actually abandoning his or her humanity. On the other hand, if the other extreme occurs, than it is internalization to the point of suicide, where guilt is swallowed whole tooth and nail. And we become shadowy images of ourselves. This is time's toll. Clear and distinct.

What happens is our moral, mental self-image of who we are, our egos as it were, become blighted. And the question arises then of: why do we commit evil deeds? I would venture to say it is hardly of our own free will, but as a last resort of our humanity being unwilling to forgive, not capable of overcoming the wretched and torpid darkness that becomes situated through no fault of our own, in the breast of our innocence from childhood onwards.... As a panacea, humanity itself is no cure. Moral execution cannot extend forth out of it because all our thoughts, all our actions, are aimed solely at defense; aimed solely in preserving the ego. And when desperate measures come, a moral or a wicked path are one when what is at stake is the protection, the clawed defense of who we take ourselves as being. This is the end-result I believe of us identifying with the body, and hence, having to project a greater degree of power in the form of concentrated will-force, thenceforth destroy moral impetus within as a type of control and scaffolding.

I am so convinced of the reasoning put herein, that I am willing to stake my life on it.

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Altfish
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#2 Post by Altfish » July 10th, 2012, 11:27 am

Kismet wrote: First, it is an observable, experiential fact, that as we get older, this world has a tendency of "roughing us" or turning us into, perhaps not "unhappy", but less than happy, or more "disaffected" persons.
Can you please supply the peer reviewed papers that support this proposition, because it seems to me (in my humble experience) to be rubbish and not born out by facts.

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Dave B
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#3 Post by Dave B » July 10th, 2012, 11:52 am

I reply to kismet
First, it is an observable, experiential fact, that as we get older, this world has a tendency of "roughing us" or turning us into, perhaps not "unhappy", but less than happy, or more "disaffected" persons.
This seems to be true, it is the "gumpy old man(/woman) syndrome. But, surely, it has obvious and rational origins. As we age culture changes, "It wasn't like that when I was young!" becomes the constant wail. Of course it wasn't - read the Romans commentators, Cicero's "O tempora o mores" sums that up, hasn't changed much!.

We old people complain that the youngsters don't care about us - but I was probably as offhand with the ancient then as most are with me. And, historically, the kids of today are not that much different from those of 50 years ago - it is just the emphasis of the difference has changed. We have hoodies today, but when I was a kid we had Teddy boys and local gangs, then Mods & Rockers - different uniform but the same kids in essence.

Excluding health problems we are what our life experience has made us, but even than can be modified. My character certainly changed after an almost fatal heart attack, not because I was thankful at having been spared but because I became determined that I was not going to give in to the illness. That may be why I have survived, longer and in far better health, than most with a condition as serious as mine.

My experience is that the refusal to change their opinion or habit is the origin of most of the moans of older people. "It was not like that in my days," is no real justification for a moan. Providing that we are mentally healthy we have the option and ability to change our approach to the world enough to feel fairly comfortable in it. Learning to laugh at it is a good therapy!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Altfish
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#4 Post by Altfish » July 10th, 2012, 11:56 am

It's one of the pleasures of growing old that I can become a Grumpy Old Man and complain about anything I like.
Must admit, much of it is done firmly 'tongue in cheek', but is is great fun.

I'm happier now than I ever have been, children and grandchildren to enjoy, my only worry is that my job holds out until I retire.

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#5 Post by Kismet » July 10th, 2012, 12:27 pm

1st. I am not speaking of only old persons. But rather all persons who, as they age, become conditioned in more ways than one.

2nd. I do not have everyone in mind, but rather those poor souls who commit to bad deeds later on in life, as I believe them to be spurned on by such conditioning.

3rd. What is the humanist response, I ask?

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Altfish
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#6 Post by Altfish » July 10th, 2012, 12:35 pm

Kismet wrote:1st. I am not speaking of only old persons. But rather all persons who, as they age, become conditioned in more ways than one.

2nd. I do not have everyone in mind, but rather those poor souls who commit to bad deeds later on in life, as I believe them to be spurned on by such conditioning.

3rd. What is the humanist response, I ask?
You seem to be setting up falsehoods and strawmen arguements, but anyway, here goes..
1st - OK, a bit like religious conditioning, "I hate gays", "Women must not use contraceptives", "I fancy that alter boy" - My Mum and Dad always eat at 5:30, we all get into routines, they don't have to be bad.
2nd - I may be wrong, but isn't most crime done by the 12-30 year old group?
3rd - Not sure it is a humanist problem in isolation, but try the Golden Rule on this very website, here...
http://www.thinkhumanism.com/the-golden-rule.html

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#7 Post by Kismet » July 10th, 2012, 12:38 pm

Altfish wrote:
Kismet wrote:1st. I am not speaking of only old persons. But rather all persons who, as they age, become conditioned in more ways than one.

2nd. I do not have everyone in mind, but rather those poor souls who commit to bad deeds later on in life, as I believe them to be spurned on by such conditioning.

3rd. What is the humanist response, I ask?
You seem to be setting up falsehoods and strawmen arguements, but anyway, here goes..
1st - OK, a bit like religious conditioning, "I hate gays", "Women must not use contraceptives", "I fancy that alter boy" - My Mum and Dad always eat at 5:30, we all get into routines, they don't have to be bad.
2nd - I may be wrong, but isn't most crime done by the 12-30 year old group?
3rd - Not sure it is a humanist problem in isolation, but try the Golden Rule on this very website, here...
http://www.thinkhumanism.com/the-golden-rule.html

Essentially, I am speaking pro the criminal who I believe is in reality the victim. I do not believe, like Jesus says, you can judge lest ye yourself be judged. Before you condemn, on what basis do you condemn?

This is not to in any mean I condone wickedness. Only that I sympathize with persons internal states of fear, guilt, and disaffection.

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Sel
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#8 Post by Sel » July 10th, 2012, 4:14 pm

Kismet, I am lost. How did you get from assuming (older) people do bad things because life was hard (my words), to, you feel sorry for the criminal and that is somehow all connected to the inadequacy of Humanism?
I see an argument about original sin and giving yourself to Jesus arising.
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." Bertrand Russell

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#9 Post by Kismet » July 10th, 2012, 11:58 pm

Sel wrote:Kismet, I am lost. How did you get from assuming (older) people do bad things because life was hard (my words), to, you feel sorry for the criminal and that is somehow all connected to the inadequacy of Humanism?
I see an argument about original sin and giving yourself to Jesus arising.
I actually do see Jesus Christ (or what ACIM terms the Holy Spirit) as representing an absolute truth above and beyond any which humanism can propound.

Forget old people though. What I mean by "aging" is a gradual severing of mental/emotional/psychological well-being in those who commit negative acts. This can happen in any one. With that, one's internal self-image becomes the one and only thing to be protected, claw, tooth and nail.

The problem with humanism is that, basing its morality on the human, it is involved in a gross form of hypocrisy and power grabbing when it judges those which do not accept humanist principles as criminals. This is because a transcendent reality is denied altogether and those who are disaffected are left in the cold. Forgiveness, not justice, has its say at the end of the day. People who do this do not realize that they people who they condemn in this way are just as human as they themselves are.

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Alan H
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#10 Post by Alan H » July 11th, 2012, 1:09 am

Kismet wrote:The problem with humanism is that, basing its morality on the human, it is involved in a gross form of hypocrisy and power grabbing when it judges those which do not accept humanist principles as criminals.
:hilarity:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#11 Post by Kismet » July 11th, 2012, 2:40 am

Alan H wrote:
Kismet wrote:The problem with humanism is that, basing its morality on the human, it is involved in a gross form of hypocrisy and power grabbing when it judges those which do not accept humanist principles as criminals.
:hilarity:
You may laugh but do you have any right to judge?

That is the question.

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Dave B
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#12 Post by Dave B » July 11th, 2012, 8:24 am

Go away and come back when all the hypocritical God lovers stop judging and persecuting those who do not hold their beliefs.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#13 Post by Alan H » July 11th, 2012, 9:57 am

Kismet wrote:
Alan H wrote:
Kismet wrote:The problem with humanism is that, basing its morality on the human, it is involved in a gross form of hypocrisy and power grabbing when it judges those which do not accept humanist principles as criminals.
:hilarity:
You may laugh but do you have any right to judge?

That is the question.
I certainly judge and come to my own decisions at what I laugh at. Do you think it should be otherwise?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#14 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 11th, 2012, 4:02 pm

Kismet wrote:... And the question arises then of: why do we commit evil deeds? I would venture to say it is hardly of our own free will, but as a last resort of our humanity being unwilling to forgive, not capable of overcoming the wretched and torpid darkness that becomes situated through no fault of our own, in the breast of our innocence from childhood onwards....
I was with you up as far as "hardly of our own free will". Got a bit lost in the wretched and torpid darkness, as one does, but it's possible that, though I might put it differently, my views on this are not a million miles away from yours.
Kismet wrote:As a panacea, humanity itself is no cure. Moral execution cannot extend forth out of it because all our thoughts, all our actions, are aimed solely at defense; aimed solely in preserving the ego.
But this is not true. Not all our thoughts, not all our actions are aimed solely at preserving the ego. People can and do help each other, motivated by empathy, the pain felt when others are in pain, the joy felt when others are joyful, or by love, or by the desire for a better world, or for any number of reasons.
Kismet wrote:And when desperate measures come, a moral or a wicked path are one when what is at stake is the protection, the clawed defense of who we take ourselves as being. This is the end-result I believe of us identifying with the body, and hence, having to project a greater degree of power in the form of concentrated will-force, thenceforth destroy moral impetus within as a type of control and scaffolding.
I don't understand what you're saying here. Could you try to express it again, in a different way?
Kismet wrote:I am so convinced of the reasoning put herein, that I am willing to stake my life on it.
That sounds rather melodramatic. And unwise.

Emma

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#15 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 11th, 2012, 4:16 pm

Kismet wrote:The problem with humanism is that, basing its morality on the human, it is involved in a gross form of hypocrisy and power grabbing when it judges those which do not accept humanist principles as criminals. This is because a transcendent reality is denied altogether and those who are disaffected are left in the cold. Forgiveness, not justice, has its say at the end of the day. People who do this do not realize that they people who they condemn in this way are just as human as they themselves are.
This is very unclear. It is full of unfounded assumptions, and each sentence appears to be a non sequitur. But, trying to unpick it, I think we seem to be coming back to something you said in another thread back in May. I responded to your points in detail in that other thread, and you didn't respond to my last post. Now you seem to be starting again, saying the same things slightly differently (but no more clearly), without taking on board earlier responses. Will you disappear again if you feel you're not getting your message across? Is there any point in our responding? Or are you so convinced of your own reasoning that you have no intention of actually listening to ours?

Emma

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#16 Post by Kismet » July 11th, 2012, 7:03 pm

Emma Woolgatherer wrote: I responded to your points in detail in that other thread, and you didn't respond to my last post. Now you seem to be starting again, saying the same things slightly differently (but no more clearly), without taking on board earlier responses. Will you disappear again if you feel you're not getting your message across? Is there any point in our responding? Or are you so convinced of your own reasoning that you have no intention of actually listening to ours?

Emma
I am not discounting criticism, only that it is premised by a certain particularism and destroys the coherence of what I wish to demonstrate.

This is not easy, but there is a unity in these associated assertions I am tryng to show....

Perhaps it is a no-starter.

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Alan H
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#17 Post by Alan H » July 11th, 2012, 7:17 pm

Kismet wrote:there is a unity in these associated assertions I am tryng to show....
Well I never!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#18 Post by Kismet » July 12th, 2012, 1:03 am

Alan H wrote:I certainly judge and come to my own decisions at what I laugh at. Do you think it should be otherwise?
The problem is judgment is almost invariably a form of attack. Even if you are correct insofar as the facts support you. But the attitude to bear is what matters. Humanism does not serve as a sufficient support, or transcendental justification for making judgments. This is the hateful and aggressive nature I have sadly found in a number of humanists.

"There has to be another way."

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Alan H
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#19 Post by Alan H » July 12th, 2012, 1:28 am

Kismet wrote:
Alan H wrote:I certainly judge and come to my own decisions at what I laugh at. Do you think it should be otherwise?
The problem is judgment is almost invariably a form of attack.
Meaningless nonsense.
Even if you are correct insofar as the facts support you. But the attitude to bear is what matters. Humanism does not serve as a sufficient support, or transcendental justification for making judgments. This is the hateful and aggressive nature I have sadly found in a number of humanists.
Methinks you are looking too far afield.
"There has to be another way."
I wonder what you think that should be...in your judgement, of course.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Kismet
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Re: Guilt, Projection, and Moral Execution

#20 Post by Kismet » July 12th, 2012, 3:30 am

Alan H wrote:Meaningless nonsense.
In the very act, you condemn, and thus condemn yourself...
"There has to be another way."
I wonder what you think that should be...in your judgement, of course.
Prefer 'estimation' - though none of us are exempt from judgment.

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