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Would you consider yourself to be morally obsessive?
Posted: 13 March 2011 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Or if you were to put on a scale 1-10, how much effort would you think you put into being what you believe a good person is. I’m not asking how moral you think you are, just how much energy do you put into it. I’m obsessive in the sense that I really spend too much time thinking on whether I had made the right decisions or not. My morality isn’t because I’m a good person, it’s because I don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing. So this is how I consider myself morally obsessive. Trying to do the right thing so I don’t feel like crap later.

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Posted: 14 March 2011 01:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I never really gave it a lot of thought. I just take care of business and try not to step on too many toes doing it.

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Posted: 14 March 2011 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I think a lot of it has to do with habit.  After I set myself the goal of helping when I could and avoid hurting when possible, I behaved that way.  It didn’t take too long before it was a habit, so I don’t even think about it anymore.  Only if I hurt someone unintentionally do I stop and think, “I screwed up”.  Then I try to fix it, but I don’t feel like crap, because I know that I’m fallible.  I just try to do better next time.

Occam

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Posted: 14 March 2011 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Probably a 1, maybe a 2.  I don’t really ever think about it or put any effort into it.

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Posted: 14 March 2011 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think about a lot. Perhaps a 6-8. I try to always be conscious of my thoughts and actions. But this is mainly because I think most bad behaviour stems from ingrained, societal programming; racism, sexism, classism, the lauding of the individual over the collective, it’s taught to us continuously.

C

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Posted: 06 April 2011 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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ExMachina - 13 March 2011 11:26 PM

how much effort would you think you put into being what you believe a good person is. I’m not asking how moral you think you are, just how much energy do you put into it.

Interesting question, guess I’d have to agree with EOC.  Although if I think back to my roaring twenties I did spend a lot of time thinking about it.  I did learn that the energy you send out tends to be the energy that comes back to you.  Then, sort of like a rock polisher, the years have done a nice job of smoothing off the rough edges.  I do tend to like people, don’t want to hurt folks, am too empathic for my own good, and do a better job of beating myself up than anyone else can.  So at this point in my life I don’t have to think about it much… I’m just a plain old nice guy   cheese

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Posted: 06 April 2011 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ExMachina - 13 March 2011 11:26 PM

My morality isn’t because I’m a good person, it’s because I don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing. So this is how I consider myself morally obsessive. Trying to do the right thing so I don’t feel like crap later.

A cognitive behavioral therapist would say that obsessive thoughts are caused by cognitive distortions in your thinking. (That’s the Cliff Notes version of what they’d say.)

http://www.mental-health-today.com/Healing/cog.htm

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Posted: 06 April 2011 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Quoting ExMachina:

My morality isn’t because I’m a good person, it’s because I don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing.

  Well, EM, I think you may be misevaluating yourself, because your actions define whether you are a bad or a good person, and even if you claim your motivaion is because you don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing, it’s still your behavior that says you are a good person.

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Posted: 24 April 2011 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 14 March 2011 01:46 AM

I never really gave it a lot of thought. I just take care of business and try not to step on too many toes doing it.

This. I do try to do my best in my daily life, but I don’t put a lot of focus on it. It’s a bit more of a habit, because once you focus on being ‘good’ - then the act of being ‘good’ becomes second nature.

Occam. - 14 March 2011 01:16 PM

I think a lot of it has to do with habit.  After I set myself the goal of helping when I could and avoid hurting when possible, I behaved that way.  It didn’t take too long before it was a habit, so I don’t even think about it anymore.  Only if I hurt someone unintentionally do I stop and think, “I screwed up”.  Then I try to fix it, but I don’t feel like crap, because I know that I’m fallible.  I just try to do better next time.

Occam

Yes, yes! This.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Not at all.I feel moral subjectivism is all there is.Whenever Ive hurt people through carelessness I feel bad,but sometimes its inevitable to hurt people and be hurt yourself.It seems like a lot of intense moralizers are that way to hide something about themselves,kind of like male family values advocates who get caught having gay sex and whatever else LOL Besides going out of your way to be really good might make you more likely to hurt people.Its also possible to seem a little pompous like that.

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Posted: 07 May 2011 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Occam. - 06 April 2011 11:26 PM

Quoting ExMachina:

My morality isn’t because I’m a good person, it’s because I don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing.

  Well, EM, I think you may be misevaluating yourself, because your actions define whether you are a bad or a good person, and even if you claim your motivaion is because you don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing, it’s still your behavior that says you are a good person.

Occam

I agree, totally!

Occam cuts away all that BS about how “really we’re being selfish” if we do good to feel better.  The conscience that requires you to do good to feel better is a part of your self; and that part is moral, and is making you a moral person.  Or, it’s trying, and it’s making you try.

EM is afraid of even being taken to be implying that he is “good” here… way hyper-conscientious.  (I can relate.  My solution has been to fear wasting time (mine and others) rather than fearing doing the wrong thing.  Sometimes that works.)

I also like what everyone said about “habit”

and Vaika’s quote from Lao Tse; just don’t take it literally and absolutely.

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Posted: 07 May 2011 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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ExMachina - 13 March 2011 11:26 PM

Or if you were to put on a scale 1-10, how much effort would you think you put into being what you believe a good person is. I’m not asking how moral you think you are, just how much energy do you put into it. I’m obsessive in the sense that I really spend too much time thinking on whether I had made the right decisions or not. My morality isn’t because I’m a good person, it’s because I don’t want to feel a sense of regret for doing the wrong thing. So this is how I consider myself morally obsessive. Trying to do the right thing so I don’t feel like crap later.

on the other hand, to respect the OP:
yes.
9 and yeah, how much energy you put into it is separate from how “good” you turn out to actually be.  So, while i’d agree with occam that the reason why you’re trying isn’t what determines whether you’re good or not, i’d also say (as he would, too, i think) that the mere fact that you’re trying doesn’t on its own make you a good person.

Unless we define “person” shallowly, as only relating to your “primary sense of agency”... and there’s something to be said for judging people more on what they’re consciously trying to do than on what their unconscious is forcing/stopping them from doing.  But i think we need to and get to bear some responsibility (including reward) for things that we feel as if we can’t consciously/intentionally/willingly cause.

the unconscious can respond to being held accountable, too… just maybe not as efficiently as the “primary self-model”.

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Posted: 07 May 2011 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I kinda live by, “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”

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Posted: 07 May 2011 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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As for me, the important thing to consider before acting is to ensure that my actions in no way affect others unduly. You can say am a utilitarian, who only seeks pleasure before all else. But only such pleasure as doesn’t adversely affect others. (One man’s meat is another man’s poison).

And yes, there is no pleasing some people, no matter how nice one tries to be.

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Posted: 07 May 2011 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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speaking of which, Pambania… you seem nice enough, but… what evidence do you have that “When a flight of starlings circles in the air, each bird feels it is moving on its own initiative.”—?

It seems to me, even as a human being, that when things are going especially smoothly, working with other people —hasn’t happened in a while—my own actions often don’t feel like they’re of my own initiative… at least for moments here and there.

In your defense, though; i think i vaguely recall that the first time i ever saw that quote i thought it was kinda neat, too.

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Posted: 07 May 2011 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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First of all, that is only my signature and isnt suppose to be a part of the discussion at hand. Secondly, you’ll have to understand that you are overstretching the analogy that the metaphor draws—that it’s an initiative doesnt mean it has to be conscious or even concerted. It’s the same as saying you play your part and I play mine.
(By the way, the quote’s from one of many H. G. Wells books, can’t remember which exactly )

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