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dedoubt

Waning morality and choices

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Between a horrible series of mood episodes and tons of medication, I've become pretty disconnected from the world. I've also experienced enough negative behavior from other people, it's pushed me to be rather jaded. In the last few years, my spirituality has waned, and with it, my morality. Not that I don't have some morals, but my righteous indignation about certain things is gone. And now, apparently, my moral compass is spinning wildly and not giving me a straight answer about choices I make.

I'm not going to say specifically what it is, but I am considering doing something that is generally thought of as "bad" and my old self wouldn't have done it. Nobody will be hurt by my doing this thing, and it will benefit me greatly. OK, actually, I may be hurt if guilt suddenly overwhelms me, but nobody else. I'm waffling about whether I should do it, but kind of think that I will. When I argue with myself about whether I should do it, I usually end up thinking that I might as well. If other people were to find out that I did it, they would probably have a negative opinion of me.

So, how do I find out what the right thing to do is? Is my MI taking over?

(I put this in the Confessional because I think I am pretty certain I will do this thing.)

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Please, don't do anything (yet) - would you be willing to PM me?

Edited by goodoldneon

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Not knowing what it is, I could never advise you to go ahead and do it. I've found that most things that are morally wrong do in fact hurt someone even if it is not immediately evident. And some things are illegal which may bring in law enforcement. So my advice is not to do it. You might not regret it immediately, but the time may come when you do regret it.

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dedoubt -

The fact that you are arguing with yourself about whether to do it means that your moral compass hasn't drifted that far. You know perfectly well that what you're considering isn't right. You point out that 1) You used to consider it to be wrong and you wouldn't have done it; 2) The average person would consider it "bad"; and 3) If people found out, they would think badly of you for doing it. Boiled down, that means both you and everybody else knows it's bad. Bottom line: It's wrong. So what you're really doing is trying to justify doing something you know is wrong, and you do that by arguing that "It won't hurt anybody". That is almost certainly untrue. Without knowing exactly what you're contemplating, I can't speculate on exactly how or who it's going to hurt, but every action we take has an effect on the people around us, even if it's an indirect effect. You acknowledge that your reputation would be harmed if people found out that you did this thing - well guess what - they're going to find out. The truth has a nasty habit of always surfacing eventually. Therefore, people are going to find out, and you are going to be negatively affected by it. If it's something that falls into the illegal realm, matters could get still worse.

It doesn't matter how much this thing could benefit you. People in a civil society agree to forego personal benefit when that benefit could result in harm. What if you're wrong, and your action does in fact cause someone harm? Do you have the right to do it to them, regardless of how much you could gain? Are you willing to harm others? Are you willing to take a risk of doing so because you're so certain that no one will be hurt? What if you're wrong?

Come on - you know it's the wrong thing to do. You can't be absolutely certain that no one will be harmed by it, and you're pretty sure you'll be harmed when people find out, which they almost certainly will.

Sensible conclusion: Don't.

Cerberus

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Without more specifics, I find it impossible to offer any sort of meaningful advice. I agree with Cerberus in that – “It doesn't matter how much this thing could benefit you. People in a civil society agree to forego personal benefit when that benefit could result in harm.” While at the same time, I also believe that an individual’s right (in this case, our little dedoubt here) to pursue her/his own vision of the best ration of pleasure to pain is utterly sacrosanct – and that if in the end, the only harm that could be done is to herself, the decision is hers alone to make. But, I also don’t want her to do anything that will exacerbate feelings of guilt – because in all likelihood, that guilt (along with all the other guilt and/or issues mental illness comes prepackaged with) will eat at her like a tumor, and, in time, carries with it the potential to be every bit as deadly.

I feel so out of my depth here. I will say that the times in which I’ve done some thing that could only bring harm to yours truly, I’ve tended to regret it. My past is riddled with acts that some people would consider immoral (though, otherwise, hurt no individuals but myself) – and to this day, I’m still lugging around the baggage. My overriding concern is your current and future mental and physical wellbeing.

As always, I wish you way, way, way more than luck –

joe

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Ah, damnit, everyone is right. I think I told myself I was posting here about this to get the go ahead, but I knew that nobody would tell me it is OK. It's so friggin' hard to figure things out lately-- I live in a fog with few touchpoints. Cerberus is right, I guess my moral compass hasn't drifted that far. And the last thing I need is to add possible guilt to how screwed up I already am. It's been possible to tell myself that I wouldn't feel badly because I rarely feel anything anymore. That doesn't mean that I won't one day wake up from this disconnect and feel awful for what I had done. So I won't do it.

(Oh, and it's not illegal, and truly, I am the only one likely to be hurt. Still won't do it, though.)

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