I have never felt truly free in my life, and I owe that to the insemination of two artificial emotions: guilt and shame. Ever since I was a kid, the establishment (a.k.a. public schools) have sought to limit my potential and turn me into a conforming member of society. How would they go about doing that? By instilling into you the feelings of guilt and shame, the two single emotions that prevent you from transgressing the norms of society. I’m here to make the argument that not only do we not need either of them, but that they solely exist as means of torture.
Before you take this by face value, and assume that I’m an amoral bastard, hear me out. Throughout my childhood, I was being raised to be a good little boy, which, today, seems to me like the equivalent of Alan Harper. For as long as I’ve been in school, I’ve had to be on my toes for the next relentless assault of guilt and/or shame, because the man didn’t like me being who I really was.
When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be creative. I didn’t want to conform to the rules of society, but the adults didn’t like that at all, because it meant not functioning their way. The solution? An elaborate guilt trip designed to shame me into being a productive, stupid conformist, and scare me away from everything that they convinced me was nasty. The consequences of this might have been far deeper, because I’m pretty sure all that programming has made me far more awkward than I want to be.
It’s not just me that has to suffer though. From what I have observed, we are all trapped in a tepid guilt-based culture, where the powers that be use guilt to enslave us to conformity at as young as possible. So far, it’s been taking me about a year or two to break some of that insidious programming, but I’ve made it my mission to liberate my self from the artifice of guilt and chains of shame. I also want to prove that you can have a moral compass without the chains of guilt and/or shame. If I can do that, then I’ll effectively be disproving decades of societal brainwashing.
In my opinion, I understand that feeling guilty about doing something genuinely wrong often defines our moral character, and is often the only way people can atone for their crimes. My problem, however, is when guilt and shame are force-fed as part of guilt culture. I think we should stop chaining people to finite emotions, because we may as well be creating more criminals and psychos than we punish this way. Our centuries of guilt culture has victimized far more innocent people than people who are genuinely guilty, so if we want to free ourselves of the chains of guilt and shame, something needs to change.