2 Answers

  1. The feeling of guilt leads to restriction of actions directed against others, that is, society. Since the human lifestyle is exclusively social, those individuals who did not have a sense of guilt were long ago killed and eaten by others as punishment.

  2. The feeling of guilt arises in the event of a discrepancy between internal ideas about the right thing and a person's behavior. Its role, generally speaking, is to regulate human behavior, to maintain a person within the framework of socially acceptable norms, thanks to which a person can successfully fulfill his needs in this society. Without norms and predictability, there can be no society.

    A person who feels guilty (and this is not the most pleasant feeling) is motivated to get rid of it, which means that they want to take actions that are good (in their understanding), and also avoid actions that will make them feel this feeling again (ideally). The very rules that need to be met for this, and the boundaries of which are clearly marked by the looming sense of guilt on the horizon, are internal (in contrast to shame, which arises as a result of comparing one's behavior with the rules of some external subject or group), but formed under the influence of parental “good and bad”, school, films and books.

    Freud called this component of the psyche (the moral compass, prohibitions, and norms) the “Superego”-i.e., in our case, the source of guilt – and the “Ego” – the part of the psyche that is responsible for human behavior – in our case, the cause of guilt (according to Bern, the Parent and Adult, respectively).

    For the first time, a person experiences guilt in the context of relations with their parents, when they begin to take the initiative. If his parents disapprove of his behavior, he feels the fear of breaking up such an important relationship for him, and seeks to get them to approve again. Subsequently, he learns a variety of Ego-level defenses, including lying (Mom won't know I smoke if I don't tell her), but since he already knows that Mom doesn't approve of either smoking or lying (Super-Ego), he feels guilty about not following these rules. The place of “mother” is subsequently taken by a collective image of ideas about the moral foundations of parents in the interpretation of the child, the moral code of the characters of children's books/films, non-child films and books, as well as other people who have become important to the person.

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