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Is anger a sign of righteousness?


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#1    coberst

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:58 PM

Is anger a sign of righteousness?

Webster informs us that righteous is “acting in accord with divine or moral law”.

We often see US citizens, in our streets and byways, expressing their anger at certain actions taken by our government.  On occasion this anger is directed at Big Bankers or some other group but generally it is directed at some action of government institutions.

“I’m mad and I won’t take it anymore” seems to be the general attitude often displayed by these demonstrators.  I have concluded that most people identify the connection of anger to an argument signifies the righteousness of the argument and the person making the argument.  Perhaps this is because anger often accompanies the pronouncements of preachers, priests, imams, rabies, and talk show hosts.

Do you think that anger necessarily signifies righteousness?  

Do you think that anger signifies righteousness; but only for those protests for which you agree?


#2    the1truebat

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 08:27 AM

I think that anger denotes a failure. When you're angry, your rational mind goes by the wayside everything becomes a knee jerk reaction and you say and do things that you normally wouldn't do.

Edited by the1truebat, 26 March 2010 - 08:28 AM.

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#3    Paranormalcy

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:20 AM

Anger can have its place, it can give us strength in the face of something that could otherwise overwhelm us, and it can also lead to our end if left unchecked.


Tell me, coberst, how did you come by this position of yours? Do you discuss this a lot with others and why this topic?  Are you agry or know angry people?

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#4    Bud Rasputin

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:31 AM

In the great Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, anger is defined simply as desire opposed.  In other words, it's a reaction to something we don't want.  Of course, desire is virtually inevitable, but it's considered an "enemy", as is anger.  What is counter to desire is not feigned indifference but tranquility or peace of mind.

Since I strongly believe in this, I would say no.  Anger is not a sign of righteousness.

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#5    Slorri

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 09:52 AM

View PostBud Rasputin, on 26 March 2010 - 09:31 AM, said:

In the great Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, anger is defined simply as desire opposed.  In other words, it's a reaction to something we don't want.  Of course, desire is virtually inevitable, but it's considered an "enemy", as is anger.  What is counter to desire is not feigned indifference but tranquility or peace of mind.

Since I strongly believe in this, I would say no.  Anger is not a sign of righteousness.

I agree.
But, in a group of certain people anger can be considered as a good quality of leadership. A call for respect, that works very well amongst themselves.
Still it would only be the angry persons "sense of right" that is put forward.


#6    coberst

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

Anger is an emotion.

I once took a college course in acting.  Acting 101 informs me that an actor is more effective it s/he makes the motions associated with an emotion than if that actor tries to first create the feeling and then the action will follow.

Emotions equal instinct.  First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling.

What are the emotions?  The primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust.  The secondary or social emotions are such things as pride, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt.  Damasio considers the background emotions are well-being or malaise, and calm or tension.  The label of emotion has also been attached to drives and motivations and to states of pain and pleasure.

Antonio Damasio, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, testifies in his book “The Feelings of What Happens” that the biological process of feelings begins with a ‘state of emotion’, which can be triggered unconsciously and is followed by ‘a state of feeling’, which can be presented nonconsciously; this nonconscious state can then become ‘a state of feeling made conscious’.  

”Emotions are about the life of an organism, its body to be precise, and their role is to assist the organism in maintaining life…emotions are biologically determined processes, depending upon innately set brain devices, laid down by long evolutionary history…The devices that produce emotions…are part of a set of structures that both regulate and represent body states…All devices can be engaged automatically, without conscious deliberation…The variety of the emotional responses is responsible for profound changes in both the body landscape and the brain landscape.  The collection of these changes constitutes the substrate for the neural patterns which eventually become feelings of emotion.”

The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation.  The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

“Emotions are inseparable from the idea of reward and punishment, pleasure or pain, of approach or withdrawal, of personal advantage or disadvantage.  Inevitably, emotions are inseparable from the idea of good and evil.”

Emotions result from stimulation of the senses from outside the body sources and also from stimulations from remembered situations.  Evolution has provided us with emotional responses from certain types of inducers put these innate responses are often modified by our culture.

“It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.”

First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

Human emotion and feeling pivot on consciousness; this fact has not been generally recognized prior to Damasio’s research.  Emotion has probably evolved long before consciousness and surfaces in many of us when caused by inducers we often do not recognize consciously.

The powerful contrast between emotion and feeling is used by the author in his search for a comprehension of consciousness.  It is a neurological fact, states the author, that when consciousness is suspended then emotion is likewise usually suspended.  This observed human characteristic led Damasio to suspect that even though emotion and consciousness are different phenomenon that there must be an important connection between the two.

Damasio proposes “that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.”  This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

Empirical evidence indicates that we need not be conscious of emotional inducers nor can we control emotions willfully.  We can, however, control the entertainment of an emotional inducer even though we cannot control the emotion induced.  

I was raised as a Catholic and taught by the nuns that “impure thoughts” were a sin only if we “entertained” bad thoughts after an inducer caused an emotion that we felt, i.e. God would not punish us for the first impure thought but He would punish us for dwelling upon the impure thought.  If that is not sufficient verification of the theory derived from Damasio’s empirical evidence, what is?

In a typical emotion, parts of the brain sends forth messages to other parts of the body, some of these messages travel via the blood stream and some via the body’s nerve system.  These neural and chemical messages results in a global change in the organism.  The brain itself is just as radically changed.  But, before the brain becomes conscious of this matter, before the emotion becomes known, two additional steps must occur.  The first is feeling, i.e. an imaging of the bodily changes, followed by a ‘core consciousness’ to the entire set of phenomena.  “Knowing an emotion—feeling a feeling—only occurs at this point.

Quotes from The Feelings of What Happens by Antonio Damasio


#7    The Big Boss

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:51 PM

Righteousness is an opinion.  It falls in with the "what's good vs bad" concept.  Where some may see your cause as being "righteous," others may see the exact opposite.  If anything, it's a tool to attract people to one's cause.
Anger on the otherhand is universal.  If you're genuinely pissed, I don't think anyone will argue with you on that note.

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#8    icile_xele

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 12:19 PM

Anger is a natural human response. However, I'm curious as to why this is associated with righteousness. Wife beaters get angry too, so I'm missing the connection you're trying to make. Are you asking whether one must be angry in order to care? Well, usually that's how things play out for most human beings. When people are visibly angry (or otherwise moved emotionally), it tends to show that the person cares more about whichever issues, and is far from simply being indifferent.

Are you asking because you don't believe that the religious of the world should not be so emotionally moved? Because it somehow conflicts with righteousness that people would be moved emotionally to the point of anger?

It is written that we have to hate this world. If you really think about it, that's a pretty strong emotion.

I don't believe that righteousness is always connected to anger. Sometimes it's connected to sadness, joy, etc. I do think that the contents of the heart are displayed by what emotional moves a person. However, this doesn't always give specifics. Are the people who protest against gay rights really angry because G-D is offended? Or, is it an ego battle they choose to engage in, taking out their feelings or worries on others?

"Righteousness", or at least as close as most human beings can ever hope to get to it, is not some state of being which is void of emotion/feeling. As much as we may understand and try to empathize, we're still human beings. Yes, there may be anger in righteousness. But, no, anger itself is not the mark of the righteous.

When you see the "righteous" angry, assuming it's sincere, it usually has something to do with frustration. It's just a part of the path, even if it may not be the end result. How should a minister feel about and address gang violence in his neighborhood, for example? Is it our expectation that he would be calm and peaceful when he wants to rally the people together to address the problem? Probably not, as he wants to move people. He wants people to listen. He wants to impress upon the people (much like the protesters) that there is a serious problem, which should not be taken lightly, and needs to be addressed.

These situations need to be viewed in context. Are these people walking around in a perpetual state of anger over whichever issues they disagree with? Are they just showing enthusiasm for the cause? Are they generally angry people, or are they angry about something very specific with reason?


#9    Black Hound

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:25 PM

Taking that suposition, anger is a sign of righteousness, one would have to assume that people like Stalin, Hitler, based on their rants of historical heights,must be 2 of the most righteous folks the world has ever seen. :devil:


#10    coberst

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 12:55 PM

View PostGraveyard Hound, on 12 April 2010 - 07:25 PM, said:

Taking that suposition, anger is a sign of righteousness, one would have to assume that people like Stalin, Hitler, based on their rants of historical heights,must be 2 of the most righteous folks the world has ever seen. :devil:

I think that the success of these two individuals proves that the appearance of anger is very useful in convincing most people to think they, the two, are righteous.  I think that those who are intellectually unsophisticated are easily fooled by the appearance of anger, which is why many people who have a political agenda like to appear to be angry.


#11    icile_xele

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 02:31 PM

View Postcoberst, on 13 April 2010 - 12:55 PM, said:

I think that the success of these two individuals proves that the appearance of anger is very useful in convincing most people to think they, the two, are righteous.  I think that those who are intellectually unsophisticated are easily fooled by the appearance of anger, which is why many people who have a political agenda like to appear to be angry.

I don't think it's general anger which moves people behind a leader. I think it's passion about a specific cause. Charismatic. They're appealing to and further igniting the passions of the people. I don't think it's that the people see angry passion as righteousness, but rather that they're emotionally drawn in by the display of emotion.

Angry and fear are usually the emotions which prompt some sort of movement. The righteousness is more associated with the reason for the anger, more so than with the anger itself. Look at PETA. Most people aren't sucked into the movement because the angry activists aren't appealing to their personal wants or beliefs. The righteousness is associate with the cause, not the emotion itself.

Edited by icile_xele, 13 April 2010 - 02:32 PM.


#12    Purplos

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 04:49 PM

I think anger is more a sign of SELF-righteousness. When one is arrogantly sure of their own moral perfection or infallibility, they tend to get angry at others who stray from whatever their sense or 'right' is.

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#13    Thomas Dialante

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 09:13 PM

Anger is ultimately a dirty thing.  Anger does not signify anything positive.  It signifies a weakness of character.  The catch to this is that as humans, we are all a bit weak and prone to anger.  Anger is a retarding force that many people spend their whole lives combating.  As learnign, feeling creatures we struggle with this because we find it intellectually amoral to turn our cheek to things we see as wrong and channel it instead into anger.  I still fall victim to this but I've learned to channel my anger into sorrow, and to channel that into creation.  Doing something you enjoy, from something as simple as being with friends to something as complex as playing an instrument.  Living your life without letting things like anger overtake you is the true sign of righteousness.  Whatever that means anyway.

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#14    Dr. Mirdad

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 03:02 AM

View Postcoberst, on 24 March 2010 - 08:58 PM, said:

Is anger a sign of righteousness?

Webster informs us that righteous is “acting in accord with divine or moral law”.

We often see US citizens, in our streets and byways, expressing their anger at certain actions taken by our government.  On occasion this anger is directed at Big Bankers or some other group but generally it is directed at some action of government institutions.

“I’m mad and I won’t take it anymore” seems to be the general attitude often displayed by these demonstrators.  I have concluded that most people identify the connection of anger to an argument signifies the righteousness of the argument and the person making the argument.  Perhaps this is because anger often accompanies the pronouncements of preachers, priests, imams, rabies, and talk show hosts.

Do you think that anger necessarily signifies righteousness?  

Do you think that anger signifies righteousness; but only for those protests for which you agree?

I think every one should be able to express there anger while respecting others. You would simply hurt yourself if you express your anger towards others or if you ignored the feeling of anger that has been stirred up with in you. When he/she is angry, one should understand that and accept, that they are feeling unhappy about a situation because by acknowledging ones anger, you can choose to express it upon others or accept that you are angry and from there you will be able to move on and be happy once again. Many times i have been very angry, but acting upon my anger irrespectively has never really had its benefits as it may seem, you end up hurting yourself and then others. NOW I just accept that i am angry and i choose to express in a manner which i find and feel will be respectable for me and others.  Whether it signifies righteousness, or protests, it is your divine right to express your anger in whatever way, shape, or form that may seem convenient but understand certain decision come with certain circumstances. Be aware of your anger and how you choose to express it, but never and i mean never ignore your feelings,Be bold and speak clearly so that all may hear what you have to say.

“Often you shall think your road impassable, sombre and companionless. Have will and plod along; and round each curve you shall find a new companion.”




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