18 votes

Unapologetically You

One of the main modes to induce societal cooperation is the imposition of shame. If people don't agree with what you do - morally or otherwise - they will very often directly or indirectly attempt to influence your actions through avenues intended to saddle you with a feeling of shame. If you're a homosexual, you should be ashamed. If you smoke marijuana, you should be ashamed. If you're an admitted anarchist, you should be ashamed. If you don't comply with societal norms in general, you should be ashamed. Bologna!

Don't pay them any heed. As long as you're not harming another individual, tell them to go to hell in a hand basket. BE YOU.

If you're not you, who are you?

When folks attempt to shame you, before you feel bad, first ask yourself, "Are my actions harming others?"

If you're using the State to better yourself, you should feel ashamed. If you're molesting children, you should feel ashamed. If you're a murderer, you should feel ashamed. However, if you're a peaceful anarchist, for instance, tell them to kiss your rosy red.

Be unapologetically you. Otherwise, you're trying to be something you're not - which makes you a phony.

Further, it makes it near impossible to influence others toward your way of thinking when you're susceptible to unwarranted shame. That's why they do what they do. If you're ashamed for no good reason, you are the one being influenced.

Remove the shame from your game.

I like you because you are you. Do you?

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Thanks for posting this.

I was talking to a girl at a bar tonite. She was trying to shame me. I told her I haven't felt the desire to get a real career job yet, and told her some of my personal interests and side projects.

She said that "starting a career after college is what you're supposed to do." She thought that I'd be disadvantaged in several years without that type of work experience.

But she can't see any other alternative to LIFE than working the standard 9-5 and following all those traditional rules of success. I wonder when/if she's gonna get around to doing what she really wants? What is success in life? To do things that you want and explore the world while developing yourself? Or to make money and have material success?

Whose standards are you living by?

I am Ron Paul

I live by my own standards...

If I were to develop a standard questionnaire regarding personal success, one, and likely the most important, of the few questions would be - "Are you happy?"

Wow. A Study in Contrasts.

Coming off my recent exchange with Ed Ucation, where morality was so neatly identified with (or reduced to) empathy, reciprocity and an instinct for conforming to the moral norms of a wider group, it is amazing to see the power of shame so blithely attacked.

Shame is the one force that holds together the only tried and true examples of order free of physical coercion and government, such as the Amish. It is the only social force that binds without actually binding in a physical sense.

It seems amazing to me that someone who is so thoroughly and unquestioningly a moralist would be so reckless as to attack the one weapon in his arsenal that could actually work.

Kudos to your boldness with that blade. But careful, that's the branch you're standing on. Well, carry on.

Edit: On second reading, it seems that your post boils down to "I am allowed to use shame for my views, but no one else can..." Alright, then.


Shame is part of social conditioning, where individuality is suppressed. Social conditioning can happen on a mass level in media for fxample, but also in the family. If one wants to be their own person truly, one has to identify and get rid of all the external beliefs and behaviors one doesn't like, and proceed self development from there.

This is called non-conformity. It applies to more than just politics. ;)

I am Ron Paul


but that could easily include shaking off the principles the OP believes are moral. You're preaching moral nihilism and self worship, while also advocating a stringent moralism.


It's living by personal standards, deciding on your own personal values. Creating the life you want to create. You should read about libertarianism sometime.

I am Ron Paul


What if your personal values aren't anarchist, brah

I stand on an understanding of human nature...

Shame is certainly a powerful tool, but if it is unwarranted, it retards progress.

The meat of my communication is through the asking of thought provoking questions. If someone answers with a statement that makes them feel ashamed, perhaps they should reconsider their position.

There's a reason why the MSM tells people what to think rather than promoting inquisitive thought. Reason has traditionally been an enemy of the State.

I've never convinced anyone of anything. People convince themselves.

I agree that shame is used

as a weapon, unashamedly, by those advancing their particular creed. The worse is when it is used hypocritically by the insincere or with a double standard, and can be insufferable.

But at the same time, you almost acknowledge that you're saying "Shame is valid for my views but not for people with other views." You think people should be shamed for departing from your valued norms, but think when they use shame to promote their norms its invalid. Is that your position?

Finally, regardless of what set of norms is held, I think shaming, shunning, social exclusion, etc., are among the only weapons available to generate conformity to norms if you want to remove force. So it's a two edged sword. On the one hand, you believe in shame for those who depart from your norms. You are an avowed moralist who shames regularly for non anarchists.

Second, the only successful coercion free communities rely on the power of shame to induce conformity.

It seems like shame is the only weapon in your arsenal. Your position is an a priori, axiomatic this is Right, you are Bad if you depart from these ethics. It is certainly not an argument from consequences or utility or some non moralistic end.


Did you read the post?

I specifically asked the reader to ask themselves the question, "Is this worth being ashamed about? Am I harming other people with my actions?"

People should follow their conscious as long as it doesn't direct them to hurt other folks. They will never be truly happy otherwise.

If someone disagrees with me, my advice still holds and so is impartial.


I thought your post was telling people not to be ashamed about specific things and to be ashamed about others. If all you were saying was to be ashamed about what you're ashamed about, and not be ashamed about what you're not ashamed about, you weren't saying much.

My opinion has nothing to do with it...

If a person is ashamed of what they do, they should give their actions more thought.

On the other hand, if they aren't harming anyone and what they are doing makes them happy, so be it. It should be no one else's business.

Do you actually have something meaningful to say? Or, are you going to continue to waste my time by spouting irrelevant bullshit?

Do you think people should be ashamed of themselves for behaviors which don't affect others? If so, give some specific examples.

Are you under the impression the State doesn't use shame to influence behavior?

It's an important topic.

Ohh! let's make a list

Now it sounds like you are injecting your opinion: people should be ashamed if they physically harm others, and anything else, they should not.

So you're advocating shaming for your creed, and telling people not to feel shame for what other people think they should.

Examples are easy, I love examples.

1. Wanting to hurt others. You can be ashamed for wanting to hurt others even if you don't.
2. Hating others. You might never hurt them, but can feel shame for being hateful, contemptuous, looking down, judging, thinking you're better, having no time for others.
3. Being selfish.
4. Being a lousy party in a relationship, whether professional, personal, family, etc.
5. Not living up to personal standards of health, goals, work, family, morality, self discipline, some code of behavior, a set of beliefs, etc.
6. Not working harder and saving more.
7. Not volunteering.
8. Not being more generous.
9. Being inconsiderate of those in need, such as a mentally handicapped woman needing help with a bus schedule, even if she is holding you up and taking your time.
10. Turning away and avoiding a weird smelly homeless man because he's a weird smelly homeless man.
11. Not returning your mom's calls often enough.
12. Indulging in behaviors you've previously decided you wouldn't indulge in.
13. Cheating on a spouse.
14. Being emotionally shallow, callous, distant, or careless toward others.
15. Littering.
16. Overreacting in anger to someone's behavior when you could have been more understanding, even if you were in the right.
17. Caring more about winning an argument than seeing the other person's point of view.
18. Complaining obnoxiously and childishly against others for perceived slights, even against one's hosts and benefactors.
19. Overestimating one's own virtues and magnifying the vices of people we dislike for other reasons.
20. Neglecting ones children.
21. Neglecting one's parents.
22. Envy.
23. Wrath.
24. Gluttony.
25. Pride
26. Addiction
27. Self Deception
28. Engaging too much in artificial and socially isolated pastimes rather than engaging more with people in the community
29. Not taking better care of your possessions
30. Going back on promises.
31. Making promises in haste not really meaning it
32. Vanity
33. Comformity / going with the crowd
34. Emotional cruelty
35. Falling for a financial swindle
36. Taking advantage of someone financially
37. Spending your money on gambling instead of new teeth
38. Paying 300$ for that wh0re who gave you the clap
39. Paying taxes even though you're an anarchist

I Don't Believe A Moral Man Like Christ Would Behave Like This..

Your crazy if you believe man was created to screw other men in the a#s or smoke dope for the hell of it...

If you haven't destroyed your conscience with deviant behavior then you know right from wrong, you are a moral person and you don't feel ashamed for being a moral person.

if you are ashamed it is because either 1) you resent being told that you should be ashamed or 2) you know your behavior is wrong and you feel the shame...

I don't believe a moral man like Christ had the capacity to feel shame because he was guiltless of any wrong doing.

There are things that all people felt ashamed of during their lifetime, unless you are a whole person and have never sinned (done something you knew was inherently wrong but did it anyway)

There are things like excepting blame from race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for being white and supposedly not understanding what is means to be racially discriminated against..

Feeling shame for the above is because you resented the accusation, nothing more.

Stop responding to accusations of demonization with hate or resentment and you will go through life a happy soul...

I've often noticed that of which you speak---

when a person gets angry because you tell them their behavior is wrong, it is because they intuitively know you are right. Their conscience is backing you up and they don't like it one bit.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Suum cuique pulchrum est


To Each His Own?

If you want to do your own thing I can't stop you. It's your life and you should live it to the fullest.

If you do immoral things don't look to me to endorse it..

I don't advocate that people endorse anything...

they happen to disagree with. However, if a person's actions do not harm others, they need not necessarily be ashamed.

For instance, I happen to be straight, but I've known quite a few gay people over the years. I would never wish anything bad upon them - for instance, burning in a lake of fire for eternity. Similarly, I would never wish such a fate on any drug user - including all the soccer moms that pop their kid's ritalin.

Winning hearts and minds doesn't start with condemning folks.

If a person disagrees with another's actions, education through effective communication is the way to go, imho. Otherwise, the battle is often lost before it begins.

"You're going to hell for that!" is a nonstarter.

I Agree With This Argument

However, a person feeling ashamed is either warranted or it is not...

Either someone is making you feel ashamed by your wrong reaction such as hate or resentment. In this case, one need to deal with attacks like this in a noble way..

If you are ashamed of something you had done because you did something you knew was wrong and feel the pain of shame, that is another matter...

I don't believe we are in much disagreement here dwalters but its nice to explain exactly what we are really talking about...

I think we're on the same page...

If a person's conscious makes them feel ashamed, perhaps, they need to do some soul searching.

On the other hand, if the shame is solely from an external source and no internal contradictions exist, the burden is likely unwarranted.

Jesus’ Advice for Addressing Sin

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Attributed to:
Jesus (NIV)
Jesus again and VERY CLEARLY states how you are to treat people who do things you consider a sin against you. Specifically it mentions the other person is sinning against you, it does not say "sinning against himself" or "sinning against someone else."


be yourself. everyone else is taken.

-Oscar Wilde

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Hell of a quote. Gonna try to remember it...


There's an 'already' in there. oops.

Wilde never settled for succinctness when verbosity was an option.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

"You're going to hell for that"

Close enough, but I'll incorporate the "already" into my recollection, in any case.

Thanks Chris Catapultilopski, or whatever your surname happens to be or not.

Sunday afternoon self-bumparooni


scawarren's picture

Nice post, dwalters :)

Nice post, dwalters :)

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Thanks... I cleaned it up a little for family reading...

Having been a construction worker for quite a while sometimes shows in my language :-D