Monday, July 5, 2010

I gotta take Dad to the pharmacy, I'll call ya later

I don't want this to be an opportunity for anyone to confess any gory details about your past. Please keep them in your closet or go tell a Priest. But I've done a few things that have bothered me from time to time. Although they happened years and years ago I still feel guilty. There was this one thing I did which you will never hear about... well, not over the internet. But if we ever get the chance to break bread with one another, remind me and I just might tell you? But is guilt and God connected?

What is guilt? Can guilt be a good thing? I'm not gonna paint a pretty picture of myself with what I'm about to say, but here goes. I love my parents very much. But I'm pretty sure it's guilt that drives me to pick up the phone and call them, go over to their house a couple times a month with the family or help them out with chores they are getting to old to do. I might even feel guilty if they read this? But that is highly unlikely considering they have to call my daughters up or other gran' kids any time they want to figure out how to put a DVD in or how to use their cell phones. So finding my blog on the computer is a bit of a stretch.

But why do you feel guilt? Those of you who visit my blog are generally very nice and consciences people. So it's very likely you'd feel at least a little guilty if you hurt someone. Either physically or emotionally. So how do we explain why we feel guilty sometimes because of things we've done that aren't even hurting anybody?

Could it be we feel guilty toward God over our "sins"?

Later, feeno


  1. I always feel guilty if I speak harshly or insensitively toward someone else, at times, even if the person is a piece of crap whom I care nothing about.
    I guess in that case, I might feel guilt because I allowed them to bring me down to their level.

    I think guilt is a result of our rearing and experience. We develop a social code over the years.

    I feel guilt if my words hurt the feelings of another.
    I feel guilt if I neglect my exercises.
    I feel guilt if I eat to much (but I sure did enjoy it).
    I feel guilt if I neglect time with my sons.
    I feel guilt if I'm lazy.

    I can, and have, carried guilt feelings for decades. Guilt, for me, is about the worst feeling I experience.

    I have a very close friend who is undergoing chemo for a cancer that he will die from soon. He has lost so much weight due to a complete loss of apatite.
    Last week I was sitting with him, his wife brought me a piece of carrot cake. It was delicious. I sat there and railed on about how good this cake was.
    In a moment, I felt a surge of guilt. I sat in front of my dear friend who is starving to death and bragged about the joys of desert. Even after I apologized I still felt so horrible.

    I do not subscribe to the term "sin" so I do not feel guilt over possibly committing any. I only feel guilt when my words or actions could have, or did hurt another, or myself.

  2. For me at least, guilt only comes when I do something I know is wrong. If guilt was god-given, we'd have a more standardized set of things we felt guilty about. I feel guilty when I make a buck off of someone, but I have no problem calling someone a retard to their face. And the only regret I have regarding pre-marital sex is that I didn't have more of it, AM I RIGHT MARRIED GUYS?! [They aren't looking, you can agree with me...]

    Perhaps the most obvious ungodly guilt I ever felt was the regret I used to get when I remained silent about religious bigotry. There was certainly a time when I felt it best to just let people be, but I found that if I don't stand up for what is right, I cannot expect others to do it, and in the end no one will. It's not like I can start anything large, but silence in the face of ignorance is certainly a sin in my Bible.

  3. Well of course guilt can be a good thing. Guilt can drive murderers to turn themselves in. But guilt can also be bad - we can sometimes get locked into feeling guilty over something that we, really, had no control over. Like, a parent is driving the car with their child, and is sideswiped by a car, putting the child into a coma. The parent may feel incredibly guilty - "if only I had been watching the intersection more carefully" or "if only we had stayed home and done X instead". Guilt can be positive or negative.

    But ultimately I think it is a response to social forces at work. We are taught at a very early age not to eat from the cookie jar and not to hit the other kids at school, and we internalize these rules. We start feeling guilty when we break the rules. Certainly this gets expanded and refined over the years, but I think it's ultimately rooted in very early learning of social rules and norms. And that's why a man here would likely feel incredibly guilty for having an affair with another woman, but a man in a polygamous culture would be absolutely fine with having sex with more than one woman.

  4. Could be, sure. Crediting God with guilt is like crediting God with conscience; there's no support for it but it's consistent with the Christian practice of externalising human faculties.

    Guilt is a part of the natural urge we all have to be good to each other, whether that comes from God or our upbringing or millions of years of evolution as a social species or all three. Guilt is how we know we're not obeying that urge.

    I feel most guilty when I realise there's something I could have done for my family, friends or workmates, but didn't.

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  10. bobaloo, I kinda have a list like yours. Especially the eating too much part. Plus I eat bad, donuts, pizza, burgers and fine dining. "Fine" being relative. Red Lobster, Texas Roadhouse or Mexican usually.

    Geenks, Why would you feel guilty about making a buck off someone? And bigotry isn't monopolized by religion. I do like what the Geenks bible says "silence in the face of ignorance is certainly a sin..." It reminds me of the Boondock Saints when they are at Mass and the Priest says something like "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". If you saw the movie, you know what happens next.

    Jeff, I think people do bad things all the time and feel guilty about them, but keep doing them anyways, because the pleasure of the act is more satisfying then the weight of the guilt.

    LX, I know the Bible doesn't count as proof, but Romans 2:14-15 is at least interesting enough to read?

    Good night and good answers, feeno

  11. Feeno, Romans 2:14-15 does exactly what I talked about. It credits God with human conscience, externalising basic human feelings and instincts. It claims God is the reason we all have these things in common. It's not proof, not because it's in the Bible, but because the Bible is content just to make the claim.

  12. "Jeff, I think people do bad things all the time and feel guilty about them, but keep doing them anyways, because the pleasure of the act is more satisfying then the weight of the guilt."

    Oh for sure, I didn't mean to say that guilt works all the time. Just like we sometimes ignore our hunger, we sometimes ignore or minimize or rationalize our guilt. But the function is still there at least, and it often has the effect of keeping people in line with social norms.

  13. I don't know why, I just hate the idea of profit, especially unreasonable gains. If I ran a convenience store, I would blow my brains out the first night.

  14. Geenks

    Think of all the good you could do if you ran a successful and profitable convenience store. Not only for yourself but you might also be helping out a few employees and their families? And if you were real successful you might buy a new car and or new flat-screen TV. That also would help our economy. The car salesman would be happy and take his wife out to dinner that night, and leave the waitress an extra 5 spot? Then she'd stop at your convenience store on the way home to buy a pack of Virginia slims light and the cycle marches forward?

    I actually have a friend named Singh (pronounced sing) who owns a Gas/Convenience store. He's from the Middle East somewhere. I met him by patronizing his store. He calls me on my cell phone when he orders cigars to see if there's anything special I want. I like something called Hav-A-Tampa Jewells (Sweet). They have a wood tip and yadda yadda yadda.

    Singh might be one of the hardest working dudes ever. He works probably about 12 hours a day, every day. Cleaning floors, making coffee, stocking shelves, receiving orders, dealing with the big gas trucks, changing the marquee ordering my smokes and the list goes on.

    I don't have any knowledge of how much he makes? But one, it's probably not enough. And two he is providing a service for our community and charging "fair" prices. Plus he is helping out all the vendors who have product in his store.

    I like your style Geenks, but if you don't sell that Slim Jim for twice as much as you paid for it, the light bill wouldn't get paid.

    I know you know all of that, but Singh should be compensated also for risking and investing his money in an entrepreneurial effort that helps out our economy.

    This of course has nothing to do with God, if anything Geenks' attitude is probably a little more like Jesus' than my attitude of "Go make a buck"? But the Bible does say "Don't muzzle the Ox that treadeth out the corn".

    I agree.

    later, feeno

  15. Yeah... paying someone minimum wage to be occassionally stuck up at gunpoint while charging 3 bucks for 20 oz. sodas to pre-diabetic customers, lottery tickets to the hopeless single mothers and PTSD ridden veterans, not to mention cigarettes and crack pipes (honestly, glass crack pipes are sold here in Philly gas stations)...

    Truly a service to the community. I think the only good thing about those convenience stores is that they're so conveniently close to large quantities of explosive liquids.

  16. Geenks

    When the Bible says we are "fearfully and wonderfully made he had you in mind.


  17. Feen said ..."Could it be we feel guilty toward God over our "sins"?"

    Feen we humans are a social group of animals.In general we honestly know we actually need each other.We basically understand to benefit, everyone needs to atleast try to pull their weight.

    Does a dog need to know God, to feel guilt, that make him make a stand with the rest of the pack,against danger?.Is it Gods that make dogs feel guilty if they forget to pull their weight and go on the hunt ?

    No.Dogs cant really read bibles.

    I feel guilt that i had kids,yet couldnt supply them a grandmother or any uncles and aunts or extended family etc.I feel guilt that i hadnt learned how to get close to my kids,like so many other kids parents do.I feel guilt for still having kids, when "i already knew" how hard life often was without a extended family.I feel bad when i see my kids latching onto other families, and trying to make these other families their own.

    I know i should have thought more about these matters,but i was young myself and alone and trying to learn,and the only way i had on offer to learn, was by trial and error.There was nobody close to me, who cared to offer me any type of guidence.I was like a ferrel human , l.o.l

    Its funny i think us humans always think maybe the other side of the feild might be lots greener.You have a close family relationship and sometimes maybe get a little tired of feeling you always need to be ringing the folks up all the time.I only wish it was actually possible for me to ring my old ma up when ever i felt like it,and always dreamed of what it might be like to not have a dad that had to go and die of cancer aged only 38.

    Us humans can think in great depth,and it has helped us to survive and populate and rule this earth,but alas it has also led us to think in great depth even about our very existence, and wonder where we came from and where we might go to etc.Which led to judgmentle thoughts and ideas about perfection and being sinners, and Gods and hell as punishments,to try and force control! and bring about a subdued nature through use of fear.

  18. W'dup G

    yes G, we are a social group. But we are also a special group. We are not animals. We are much more special than that to God.

    You were created in His image. You are a spiritual being. You can communicate with Him. You know the difference between good and evil. You are God's crowning glory, created above everything else and in charge of the Earth. I hate to inform you, but you didn't slurp your way out of some murky pond and evolve into some super animal called a human.
    You know how you say "Us humans think in great depth..." I agree. read what the Bible says about it. 1st Cor. 2:11-12 "It is only our own spirit within us that knows all about us; in the same way, only God's Spirit knows all about God. We have not received this worlds spirit; instead, we have received the Spirit sent by God, so that we may know all that God has given us".

    Also your right again, God did tell us to populate and rule the Earth.

    Sorry about your Dad. My Dad has lived a lot longer life (he's about 72) but has been fighting cancer and a stroke for a few years. And he has aged about 20 years in the passed 3 years or so. 38 was way to young to go.

    Thanks for checking in, feeno

  19. Feen said..."Sorry about your Dad"

    Hey thats just the way the cookie crumbles.Im not bitter about it or anything,just pointing out that while parents can sometimes seem a bit of a pain in the butt to folks who had to deal with them lots,remember to remember the good bits also!, because i know my old man was the type who would have liked to be able to be around to take our family out country every year to shoot guns and throw axes at trees also.

    Im not bitter because i simply understand its just part of life and proof of just how random life is.If there was a God then maybe i might have expected a miracle to happen.

    Feen you make lots of claims about God,claims of which proof, are only what you have read within you bible indoctrination.Yet bear little honest connection to what is honestly experienced.

    You tell me im created in Gods image,this is a very big claim to make! can you show me any proof of this claim ?.Have you seen the image of God?.Or are you relying on indoctrination?.

    Does a sheep know the difference between good and evil, when it decides to mother its offspring and do its best to protect it from harm .Of course it do and it dont need to read any bible to want to do so either,it dont need to know your local pastor every sunday with his collection box to toss a couple of coins in.

    You would like to demote these animal below yourself and promote yourself as being so very differnt and other than being another animal,because you like to think so.It suits your faith and your indoctrination.

    You say you are not animal because you like to think you have morals while animals dont have any.You say human know the difference between good and evil.

    Do you know a silly old Goat wont even be lazy and eat the whole tree,it only nibbles at it making sure to leave some of the bush so the bush continues to keep growing.

    Yet the human ANIMAL who supposedly knows good from evil so much better than animals according to your INDOCTRINATION, is so smart he dont care if he cut down every single tree and even spill oil in the gulf and quite possibly kill all the freaking sea beings also.

    Yet you try telling me your bible rubbish,that you reckon Human is above being a animal because you have been INDOCTRINATED that Human know good from evil while the animal dont.

    Feen my friend, i think maybe you need to stop your brain being closed off by all the charisma and focusing on your charismatic figure.

    Try thinking in great depth without the devotion on the indoctrination, which maybe tend to leave us like a Sheep, who coincidentally hasnt evolved to be able to think "quite so deeply",and unlike the Goat! the Sheep dont really care if he eat the grass right down to the bare dirt and totally kill it, if he feeling to fat and lazy to move on elsewhere.

    Now i hope you dont take what im saying here as any insult,because thats not whats intended at all.Im just trying to point out to you that in my opinion i think you might be very wrong,and science is proving all the time that "many" animals have far more intelligence and thought than we ever realized.

    Did you know Dogs have even been documented leaping into a swollen river endangering its own life in the process,to try to save another dog.And Dolphins have been known to try and protect Humans,yet Human in Japan herd Dolphins into a little bay where they will then slaughter them all.

    And you try telling me God made us in Gods image as spiritual beings who know good from evil.Well i ask you what type of image does that make God then, if he is supposedly lots more like us Humans?.

    I do fear your indoctrination and focus on all the charisma,is clouding your judgment! Feen.

    But i still like you lots!.

    Peace & hair grease