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Sherapy

Religion and shame

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Radian
I don't think Religion created Guilt and Shame...I think they are emotional issues not unlike anger and hate. But they are NEGATIVE emotions just the same. Call them emotions, call then learned responses...they are NEGATIVE in that they do not uplift the spirit or soul but rather the opposite. And they are tools used by many for a variety of purposes.

Guilt and Shame. Don't need 'em. Don't want 'em. Not going to have them. I have the right and I have the power to choose that these not be in the workings of my thought process.

I don't think any of us choose to feel guilty or shameful about anything..No one chooses to be brought down-. We all want to be happy- feel good, guilt free, but when that signal of feeling something like shame, or guilt arrises, it should get our attention of those things we've possibly done that have hurt others, or ourselves... That's how I see guilt or shame.

Shouldn't there be a built in radar for such a thing?.. I think these emotions are it.

I'm thinking that these emotions are given to us (innate) in forms of reality checks, or check and balances so we become *aware of our own negative behaviors-actions toward ourselves, or others. Otherwise, maybe we wouldn't be so aware of it.. when maybe we should. Without these pangs, how else would we realize those possibilities?..... Wouldn't these emotions fullfill a healthy balance to our very nature?- we're not made of all positive emotions because not everything we do/say/think is exactly positive, we, humans have a tendency to hurt others- and be selfish.. Seems to me, without feeling these particular emotions (or if we didn't have them as a part of our thought processes) it could/ would certainly leave a trail of victims behind us.. Wouldn't it?

A week or so ago, I workd a lot of hours, and my youngest daughter had wanted me and her to spend time together that weekend, do something special just me and her. I forgot about it, I'd came home in same old routine, barely getting thru the days, an unusually hectic week... It dawned on me later on that I had forgotten she asked me, and I felt GUILTY as heck..and I knew that she had not reminded me due to the respect she had for me and understood that I was up to my guzoo in files at the dept. Bless her heart, she knew it and respected it.. and didn't have too.. I felt terrible about it.. I know it sounds small, but she hardly ever asked much of anything from me... yet I was caught in such daily stresses of my own world that it completely left my mind..

That guilt signaled me soon afterward-- and I went straight to her and apoligized and we spent all day together that Sunday.

I dont' think this would have anything to do with religion, or social structures etc,..

If I hadn't of felt terrible, if I had rationalized my busy work week and chose not to feel bad, but excused my broken promise, where would I have had the initiative to make up for that pain that I knew I had caused her?

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eqgumby
Thanks eqqumby, I also meant to add that I think you may have misread my opening sentence which was, "I was not taught to feel shame" and not, "I was taught not to feel shame", which you seemed to think I was saying.

Also I am not sure how correct you are about early man. One of the dividing lines between man and primates is that self aware consciousnes which leads us to develop ethic and responses . If they were truly human then I think they did have ethical codes even though we may not recognise them.

There probably were taboos on who could have sex with whom, even if they were just evolving from biological precedents such as fertility and the drive for each man to reproduce the species in his own image. In Primates, our most closely evolved comparison, males will not only "rape" all the available females, once they have taken over a group, but also kill their offspring to ensure the propogation of their genetic code.

This makes perfect evolutionary sense in its purest form but is not necessarily good evolutionary practice for the formation of a society, or extended clan of people, which our species needed to survive and evolve.

True I think, but there are always exceptions.

Benobos (sp?) mate for pleasure! (The perverts!) I believe dolphins do too.

Comparisons between humans and other assorted critters is something of a slippery slope, but valid in a lot of ways I think.

Edited to get around the nasty word filter! Prudes...

Edited by eqgumby

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joc
I don't think any of us choose to feel guilty or shameful about anything..No one chooses to be brought down-.

Someone once said, If we choose not to choose we have still made a choice. We choose to allow or disallow whatever thought processes we engage in. We have that ability as humans. That doesn't mean that it is an easy thing to do...it isn't ...in fact, controlling our thought processes is one of the hardest things to do. It is much easier to allow negative thoughts and emotions than to disallow them. It takes zero effort to think negatively...it takes a great deal of effort to maintain a positive thought train...especially when those you surround yourself choose to think negatively. Guilt and Shame are nothing more than negative thought processes. This is what I believe and what I practice in my own life.

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MissMelsWell
Someone once said, If we choose not to choose we have still made a choice.

Pretty sure Neil Peart wrote that, it's from the song "Freewill" by RUSH.

Great song actually.

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Leonardo
Someone once said, If we choose not to choose we have still made a choice. We choose to allow or disallow whatever thought processes we engage in. We have that ability as humans. That doesn't mean that it is an easy thing to do...it isn't ...in fact, controlling our thought processes is one of the hardest things to do. It is much easier to allow negative thoughts and emotions than to disallow them. It takes zero effort to think negatively...it takes a great deal of effort to maintain a positive thought train...especially when those you surround yourself choose to think negatively. Guilt and Shame are nothing more than negative thought processes. This is what I believe and what I practice in my own life.

Joc,

If guilt and shame are innate, then the only choice we have is how we respond to these emotions, not whether we 'feel' them. Otherwise you would not know what a 'negative thought' is to have to maintain positive thinking. The fact that it is an effort means the recognition and existence of these negatives is there and must be suppressed.

With regards to suppressing all the negatives, are you sure this is a healthy outlook?

I'm not attacking your pov, simply curious as to why one would wish to 'cut-off' part of that which makes us able to communicate and interact effectively as a social species.

*cause I don't want to feel left out that everyone is finding websites with information about this stuff* Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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hyperactive
In Primates, our most closely evolved comparison, males will not only "rape" all the available females, once they have taken over a group, but also kill their offspring to ensure the propogation of their genetic code.

yet, when we look at history we find examples of the leader of a conquering force doing just this.

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Radian
Someone once said, If we choose not to choose we have still made a choice. We choose to allow or disallow whatever thought processes we engage in. We have that ability as humans. That doesn't mean that it is an easy thing to do...it isn't ...in fact, controlling our thought processes is one of the hardest things to do. It is much easier to allow negative thoughts and emotions than to disallow them. It takes zero effort to think negatively...it takes a great deal of effort to maintain a positive thought train...especially when those you surround yourself choose to think negatively. Guilt and Shame are nothing more than negative thought processes. This is what I believe and what I practice in my own life.

I see your point, Joc.. I'm just trying to figure out if we turn off those particular negative emotions, where is the initiative to resolve the pain we may have caused others..? Isn't that just as important as keeping positive thoughts?... Wouldn't or couldn't these emotions not only be signals, but enforcers as well to maintain healthy relationships (at the minimum)?

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Sherapy
Ahh, I see you think I'm saying this because what you say hurts me. I guess I should clear that up, what you think or don't think about the "constructs" and "models" I have means little to me in a personal impact way. I think what you say about them is worth discussing because I like to give others the opportunity to see a different point of view, not because I'm personally impacted by it. I was talking about people in general, you see when you and I write posts here, we are not the only ones reading them, there are quite a few other people who in their wanderings through UM will read what we've written and although it does not impact me, it may come across as hurtful to others.

I'm glad we agree you have no impact on my views. You might want to stop worrying also about needing to validate my journey, it's not necessary.

I will agree with you that we all have the truth in us, and that we are loved. If we didn't have the truth already within us we would be unable to realize that we are doing wrong and that we are missing something. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8) We are all definitely loved.

Son, you are defining yourself according to mans ideas and understandings , i am talking about autthentic looking with in..., As I said when one genuinely seeks self awareness this is obvious..... you will see for yourself that their is no such thing as sin and wrongs" its all made up...etc.... I'm not telling you anything you can't remember for yourself anyways....we are all beloved son we are all children of god/life regardless of the path .. :tu: "there are many mansions in gods'house"

Edited by Supra Sheri

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MUM24/7
Joc I am a NB and have been to many different churches on invites from friends, I have been to baptisms, to prayer meetings and have been on a retreat, I have been in a krishna community and a buudhist temple I have many relgious freinds of many kinds and am invited to many things and always am honored to attend........ this has served me to great benefit in communing wth my brothers and sisters i see no division or walls and i can't speak on behalf of joc but i bet his reasons are similar......

Sunni its fun and at present my home schooled son and i have been honored to be included in the christian home school group in my area a freind of mine who doesn't home school herself felt that this group would love to have us and sunni they are so sweet to us they know we are nB's and have been so sweet as to ask if we my son and i are comfortable with the beginning prayer.. of course we are... also on more than one occassion in a group of christians it has been made aware that i am a NB and to be resepctful of that..i have Christain freinds who feel this is the way we should treat each other.... embrace diversity ....

Sheri, when I read your above posts, I see a non-believer who is open and embracing and respectful of Christianity and other religions and you seem to enjoy interacting with your religious friends......

But what puzzles me is when you start a thread like this and your other one, "Spare the rod.......Spoil the child..", in which you clearly display a disdain for the Christian God and 'religious fear constructs' and the Bible, which according to you promotes shame and guilt......

I would have thought that you don't have the time or inclination to hang around Christians but here you are home-schooling your son through a Christian home-schooling group.......I'm just a bit confused and don't know where you're coming from, that's all........ :)

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joc
Joc,

If guilt and shame are innate, then the only choice we have is how we respond to these emotions, not whether we 'feel' them. Otherwise you would not know what a 'negative thought' is to have to maintain positive thinking. The fact that it is an effort means the recognition and existence of these negatives is there and must be suppressed.

With regards to suppressing all the negatives, are you sure this is a healthy outlook?

I'm not attacking your pov, simply curious as to why one would wish to 'cut-off' part of that which makes us able to communicate and interact effectively as a social species.

*cause I don't want to feel left out that everyone is finding websites with information about this stuff* Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I believe you are missing a key point here...one can only disallow a negative thought impulse by consciously making that negative thought impulse a positive one. Suppressing negative thought impulses has the same effect as consciously allowing them. The reason is because of the 'file system' in our brain. If you suppress a negative all you are actually doing is 'filing' that thought away as a negative thought. It is necessary to negate the negative in order to make it 'file' as a positive thought. For instance: You wake up in the morning and think, I don't want to go to work. After so many 'filings' of that thought, it becomes the norm...your brain 'kicks' that thought up to the top of the page so that in the morning now, it is the first thought you think...I don't want to go to work...lingering on that thought allows your sub-brain to pull similar thoughts from the file...reasons why you shouldn't go to work...I don't feel good...it's raining...everyone needs a sick day sometime...etc. The end result of one's thought process is it's physical equivalent.

As this relates to Guilt and Shame...I'm not saying they are innate. I'm not even arguing that anyone is 'immune' to them. What I am saying is that when one encounters Guilt or Shame...one must consciously negate those emotions with positive affirmations. Ex: In Sunni's case...I feel so Guilty for not doing something with my little girl. Guilt. If left unanswered this guilt is filed away in the sub-brain as a negative and as what it is...guilt. The response to negate it might be...I do not feel Guilty for not spending time with my little girl. I am busy and there are reasons for it. I will make time for her! I will! The sub-brain has no ability to recognize the truth...it is just a filing system and it files any and every conscious thought we have.

In summary of the workings of the Sub-brain and Conscious thought:

The Conscious Thought is Filed in the Sub-brain. The Sub-brain has no ability to ascertain the truth of a thought...it's sole purpose is two-fold...1. To file away the Conscious Thought, 2. To search the files for other similar thoughts that will support the Conscious Thought.

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IamsSon
Someone once said, If we choose not to choose we have still made a choice. We choose to allow or disallow whatever thought processes we engage in. We have that ability as humans. That doesn't mean that it is an easy thing to do...it isn't ...in fact, controlling our thought processes is one of the hardest things to do. It is much easier to allow negative thoughts and emotions than to disallow them. It takes zero effort to think negatively...it takes a great deal of effort to maintain a positive thought train...especially when those you surround yourself choose to think negatively. Guilt and Shame are nothing more than negative thought processes. This is what I believe and what I practice in my own life.

What role does your relationship with God play in this process, joc?

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IamsSon
Son, you are defining yourself according to mans ideas and understandings , i am talking about autthentic looking with in..., As I said when one genuinely seeks self awareness this is obvious..... you will see for yourself that their is no such thing as sin and wrongs" its all made up...etc....

Actually, Sheri, it seems you are attempting to define me according to man's ideas and understandings.

I'm not telling you anything you can't remember for yourself anyways....we are all beloved son we are all children of god/life regardless of the path .. :tu: "there are many mansions in gods'house"

You're right Sheri, we ARE all loved as I stated in my previous post with that passage from Scripture.

I'm glad you bring up the phrase, "there are many mansions in God's house" here is the full passage that comes from, I think you will find it interesting:

1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."

Jesus the Way to the Father

5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

It's interesting isn't it that the same conversation where Jesus said there were many mansions (rooms in this translation) is the same passage in which He established that He is the ONLY way to God.

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Shadow_Hill
It's interesting isn't it that the same conversation where Jesus said there were many mansions (rooms in this translation) is the same passage in which He established that He is the ONLY way to God.

But this way involves us accepting that we are sinful, less than, unworthy, shameful... in other words, all things negative. And that's one of the things about the Christian faith which leads me to reject it (amongst a squillion other things of course).

I am not less than. I am not unworthy.

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IamsSon
But this way involves us accepting that we are sinful, less than, unworthy, shameful... in other words, all things negative. And that's one of the things about the Christian faith which leads me to reject it (amongst a squillion other things of course).

I am not less than. I am not unworthy.

That's why not everyone will be saved, not because God chose some and not others, but because so many are unwilling to accept the authority of a Creator, or accept their nature.

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Shadow_Hill
That's why not everyone will be saved, not because God chose some and not others, but because so many are unwilling to accept the authority of a Creator, or accept their nature.

Now I am somewhat perplexed. You believe that shame and guilt are not a part of your faith, and yet in order for me to become part of it I must accept that I am not worthy, shameful, and I have a horrible little sin nature and pretty much everything I do is wrong. And me accepting that I am such a low creature would be beneficial? Remind me again how shame is not tied up in Christianity.

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IamsSon
Now I am somewhat perplexed. You believe that shame and guilt are not a part of your faith, and yet in order for me to become part of it I must accept that I am not worthy, shameful, and I have a horrible little sin nature and pretty much everything I do is wrong. And me accepting that I am such a low creature would be beneficial? Remind me again how shame is not tied up in Christianity.

Woah, I never said shame and guilt were not part of my belief, after all shame and guilt are real feelings. I have stated that I do not believe shame and guilt are the RESULT of religion or that they are ONLY part of humanity because of religion, which is very different.

So, your confusion seems to stem from you not having paid attention to my stance on this issue.

Edited by IamsSon

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Shadow_Hill
Woah, I never said shame and guilt were not part of my belief, after all shame and guilt are real feelings. I have stated that I do not believe shame and guilt are the RESULT of religion or that they are ONLY part of humanity because of religion, which is very different.

So you'd agree that shame/guilt are part of accepting Jesus as your saviour? That in order to begin the Christian journey I should feel shameful?

What about non-believers who are not seeking forgiveness? Are they shameful and unworthy but just don't realise it yet?

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IamsSon
So you'd agree that shame/guilt are part of accepting Jesus as your saviour? That in order to begin the Christian journey I should feel shameful?

No, I would agree that shame and guilt are natural outcomes of sin and that they in turn serve to make one aware that this is not the way life is to be lived which will lead one to seek Christ as Savior.

What about non-believers who are not seeking forgiveness? Are they shameful and unworthy but just don't realise it yet?
I don't know, only a non-believer not seeking forgiveness could tell you if they feel shame or not.

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Leonardo
What about non-believers who are not seeking forgiveness? Are they shameful and unworthy but just don't realise it yet?

I don't know, only a non-believer not seeking forgiveness could tell you if they feel shame or not.

Nope, no shame and no guilt insofar as I don't believe in the concept of sin. I accept that I can behave badly and hurt people, I feel guilt and shame when that happens, but this is a natural consequence of relationships with other people, nothing to do with the religious 'sin concept'.

Because I don't accept the nature of 'sin' and don't care whether I am accepted by your deity or not I have no need for forgiveness for my actions except from those who may be hurt by them.

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Sherapy
Sheri, when I read your above posts, I see a non-believer who is open and embracing and respectful of Christianity and other religions and you seem to enjoy interacting with your religious friends......

But what puzzles me is when you start a thread like this and your other one, "Spare the rod.......Spoil the child..", in which you clearly display a disdain for the Christian God and 'religious fear constructs' and the Bible, which according to you promotes shame and guilt......

I would have thought that you don't have the time or inclination to hang around Christians but here you are home-schooling your son through a Christian home-schooling group.......I'm just a bit confused and don't know where you're coming from, that's all........ :)

Mum this is the skeptics forum for skeptics , NB's to exchange ideas on religion to share thier ideas with like minds..... ..to see the religious system for what it is is just that.........disdain or hatred, because i have a pov that seeks another way, a healthy way....or i disagree with harmful actions as a way to teach anyonse....I am addressing what is in the bible itself...No one is saying i have made up that shame and guilt is used in religon as a tool to regulate behaviors or that the construct also advocates spare the rod or you will spoil the child this was a very big idea and in some places is still practiced......I present ideas

Yes I have alot of religious friends, i embrace diversity i respect that whatever one wants to beleive is their choice a is is mine..

Sheri, when I read your above posts, I see a non-believer who is open and embracing and respectful of Christianity and other religions and you seem to enjoy interacting with your religious friends......

But what puzzles me is when you start a thread like this and your other one, "Spare the rod.......Spoil the child..", in which you clearly display a disdain for the Christian God and 'religious fear constructs' and the Bible, which according to you promotes shame and guilt......

I would have thought that you don't have the time or inclination to hang around Christians but here you are home-schooling your son through a Christian home-schooling group.......I'm just a bit confused and don't know where you're coming from, that's all........ :)

Mum this is the skeptics forum for skeptics , NB's to exchange ideas on religion to share thier ideas with like minds..... ..to see the religious system for what it is is just that.........disdain or hatred, because i have a pov that seeks another way, a healthy way....or i disagree with harmful actions as a way to teach anyonse....I am addressing what is in the bible itself...No one is saying i have made up that shame and guilt is used in religon as a tool to regulate behaviors or that the construct also advocates spare the rod or you will spoil the child this was a very big idea and in some places is still practiced......I present ideas

Yes I have alot of religious friends, i embrace diversity i respect that whatever one wants to beleive is their choice a is is mine..

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Shadow_Hill
QUOTE(Shadow_Hill @ Jun 1 2007, 11:00 AM)

So you'd agree that shame/guilt are part of accepting Jesus as your saviour? That in order to begin the Christian journey I should feel shameful?

No, I would agree that shame and guilt are natural outcomes of sin and that they in turn serve to make one aware that this is not the way life is to be lived which will lead one to seek Christ as Savior.

Refering only to shame/guilt as a result of committing sin (as in deliberate disobedience to the known will of god)... Without feeling this shame/guilt could I become a Christian?

QUOTE(Shadow_Hill @ Jun 1 2007, 11:00 AM)

What about non-believers who are not seeking forgiveness? Are they shameful and unworthy but just don't realise it yet?

I don't know, only a non-believer not seeking forgiveness could tell you if they feel shame or not.

You were a non-believer once weren't you?

But let me rephrase the question. Should non-believers, according to your faith, feel shameful and unworthy?

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Sherapy
Actually, Sheri, it seems you are attempting to define me according to man's ideas and understandings.

You're right Sheri, we ARE all loved as I stated in my previous post with that passage from Scripture.

I'm glad you bring up the phrase, "there are many mansions in God's house" here is the full passage that comes from, I think you will find it interesting:

It's interesting isn't it that the same conversation where Jesus said there were many mansions (rooms in this translation) is the same passage in which He established that He is the ONLY way to God.

Son no true master ever claims to be the only way..... again these are mans ideas...

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Sherapy
That's why not everyone will be saved, not because God chose some and not others, but because so many are unwilling to accept the authority of a Creator, or accept their nature.

son , no disresepct here but does one go to the bully and ask them to beat them up them worship them for it??? the only authority is your intuition and we all have a innate sense of our connection to the all, it willl not be found at the feet of other men or in the pages of a book... again son you are the beloved and you are all you need, have you actaully ever applied any of the ideas of the bible ??? or you just excepting hearsay ???? You are really stuck on this worthlessness/victim gig why is that????

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Sherapy

No, I would agree that shame and guilt are natural outcomes of sin and that they in turn serve to make one aware that this is not the way life is to be lived which will lead one to seek Christ as Savior.....

I rest my case ..this is the use of shame and guilt... Son i couldn't of said it any better...it is used as a means to control , not to regulate behavior. to miove one forward to make the best of ones live and all others......actually having some poor behaviors would actually be a good thing in the reilgious construct as if you feel you are a good person all by yourself you won't NEED" religion...IMO its very similar to an addiction....

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Shadow_Hill

My sister is a Christian (well, I say "is", but I'm not sure if I should be saying "was", as she's going through a change). She freely admits that she considered herself not good enough prior to seeking Jesus. She felt that she was lacking, less than, in need of something to fix her if you like. Salvation was offered, and she was convinced she needed saving from her unworthy state. When she began to question this recently, her friends warned her against ever believing she was good enough, and told her that believing she was good, in her own right, was arrogant.

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