The Guilty Species

Christendom did not invent irrational guilt. I have my ideas about it’s evolutionary survival value, but our species is “the guilty species.” Every successful ideology has embedded within it some element of guilt.

Any elements of “what we owe to our ancestors”, or “,the debt we owe to our forebearers”, or “what we owe to the biosphere”, or “what we owe to God”, or “the debt we owe to those fought in this struggle in the past” — all these are part of what me also call “guilt”.

Whether we’re talking about “white guilt” or “irrational guilt” or “victim mentality” or “internalized self-hatred” or “survivor guilt” or “original sin” or “self blame” or “blame the victim” — they are all proof that we are…

The Guilty Species.

There are few tools that motivate us primates quite as well as guilt. Parents use it. Leaders use it. Political parties use it. Religions use it. The SPCA and UNICEF use it.

We use it on ourselves.

So stop blaming yourself. It’s in your genes. Everyone else does it, too.

It works on anyone. Anyone except for sociopaths. But they didn’t create the tool. They just use it better.

About Ron Goetz

Husband, Father, Author
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