good fear, guilt and shame

There are obvious reasons why fear, guilt and shame have a bad reputation inside and outside the Church.  There is really no need to illustrate this point, but… Fear of judgment, rejection or punishment can be crippling. Guilt that is exaggerated, overly-negative or simply mistaken is paralyzing. Shame, too, when it is insulting, degrading and… Continue reading good fear, guilt and shame

varieties of shame

Following on from the last post, I’ve been thinking more about possibly helpful – or at least unavoidable – forms of shame. First, I want to acknowledge just how unhelpful some forms of shame can be.  I think shame is most unhelpful when it focuses on the person and not the behaviour.  “You should be ashamed of… Continue reading varieties of shame

on guilt and shame

It seems to be an unquestioned assumption in modern western culture that guilt and shame are bad, unhealthy and unhelpful.  Most of the moral discourse is dominated by statements that flow directly from these assumptions. I can relate!  Who wants to feel guilty?  Who enjoys shame?  Not only that, both guilt and shame are shot… Continue reading on guilt and shame

moral fear

Ethical discourse, I suggest, is degraded and corrupted by fear.  I’m not talking about the healthy protective fear that flows from love, but rather the unhelpful power-grasping fear that is its own source.  Below I’ll suggest two equal-opposite examples of this power-grasping fear, and then I’ll offer a suggestion about a third, ‘middle’ way. On… Continue reading moral fear

superstition, anti-intellectualism & guilt

I came across this “chain-text” that (equalling and perhaps even excelling similar kinds of texts) manages not only to be superstitious and anti-intellectual, but also uses guilt tactics: God is whispering your name, why? Because something good is about to happen to you. [umm… horoscope alert…] If u believe in God send to ten people without thinking.… Continue reading superstition, anti-intellectualism & guilt