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Mad Queen
10-17-2008, 01:03 AM
Have you ever hurt another living being by accident and felt guilty about it? I don't need to know the details, I just want to know what you should have done and what you actually did. For instance, once I should have paid more attention to what I was doing instead of talking. You can PM me if you don't want to write it here.

vixey
10-17-2008, 01:07 AM
I once felt obligated to tell a friend her son had been arrested (along with 5 other boys) late one night on a beach trip after high school graduation. My son (always the lucky one) wasn't involved.

What I should have done, as you say, was tell her to call her son immediately. It would have forced him to face the music and she wouldn't have felt humiliated in front of me. It soured our relationship for a bit, but everything's OK now.

Mad Queen
10-17-2008, 01:15 AM
Thanks, that's a good one.

WendyNYC
10-17-2008, 01:19 AM
I muttered something under my breath once, and the person heard it. It wasn't such a big deal, really, but I felt like a total b*tch for days.

Mad Queen
10-17-2008, 01:20 AM
I wonder if I did the same thing a few hours ago. Thanks!

Ms Hollands
10-17-2008, 01:34 AM
I just wrote a narky comment to George the Weightloss Man over in the Writers Wanted for Paying Markets area. He said he was a perfectionist, but his punctuation was flawed, so I asked: "You're not the editor are you?"

Now I feel a little guilty for being a bit mean.

Ms Hollands
10-17-2008, 01:35 AM
Actually, I feel even more guilty by referencing (ie, identifying) the source of guilt...

Scrawler
10-17-2008, 02:03 AM
I don't think guilty is how I'd feel if/when I accidentally hurt someone. I think guilt would come from knowingly hurting someone and regretting it.

If I learn or later realize that something I said or did hurt someone, I'd feel... hmm... what's the word? Contrition maybe? I'd feel sad and compelled to make it right. But not guilty.

Mad Queen
10-17-2008, 03:12 AM
Thanks, April Hollands, although it wasn't exactly an accident. ;)

I don't think guilty is how I'd feel if/when I accidentally hurt someone. I think guilt would come from knowingly hurting someone and regretting it.
Not even if you had been selfish or lazy or negligent? For instance, you are a doctor, drink too much and cut a patient's artery by accident during surgery.

sunna
10-17-2008, 03:25 AM
Last year I had an ad designer for a newspaper ad really screw up our format, and then send the thing to print before showing me a proof. I had worked for days with him to explain the specs, and specified several times that I needed to see it before it was set. So, needless to say, I was furious, and I wrote this long, cold, and extremely scathing email to my bosses (both of whom know what a bitch I can be) explaining in detail what he had done, where he had screwed up, and how I was going to take it up with their accounting folks and we weren't going to pay for a dime of the cost.



Yep. I hit reply, not forward, and didn't think to look at the address field until after it was gone. He definitely deserved to get spanked, but not like that. I still cringe when I think about it.

JoNightshade
10-17-2008, 03:33 AM
When I was in junior high it rained hard and long enough that they canceled school. I called up my best friend and said "Guess what! They canceled school!" She did not respond in a happy manner so I was kind of put out and kept trying to make her happy. Then she told me her dad's truck had been hit by a falling tree. I said, "Is he okay?"

No. No, he wasn't okay. He was dead.

I realize I did nothing worthy of feeling guilty there, but I can't help it, to this day. I feel like I should have realized sooner, should have caught on to her tone, should NOT have asked such a dumbass question, etc.

Barb D
10-17-2008, 06:19 AM
My dad went out jogging at 5:15 on Monday night. At 5:20 somebody hit him with his motorcycle. A moment's inattention (still don't know whether the cyclist wasn't paying attention or my dad) and now Dad's in critical condition in the neuro trauma ICU at Shock Trauma. (ETA: The police called; the biker was speeding. He tried to lay down the bike to avoid hitting my dad, but the bike kept going and hit him anyway.)

A guy down the hall from my dad was riding his motorcycle when a car turned suddenly in front of him and cut him off. He has been at Shock Trauma for three weeks and will be there for many, many more because of a moment's inattention.

I'm very certain that neither of these incidents was intentional. I'm also sure that both drivers feel immense guilt.

Mad Queen
10-17-2008, 07:01 AM
Barb, that's terrible. I hope your father gets better. Stephen King went through a similar situation, and he got well enough to write about it in his book On Writing.

Thanks to you and everyone who shared a story.

Rabe
10-17-2008, 07:02 AM
I don't think guilty is how I'd feel if/when I accidentally hurt someone. I think guilt would come from knowingly hurting someone and regretting it.

I agree with this. The idea of intentionally causing harm to another leaves me with guilt.

Unintentional? Not so much guilt about it. The best I can do at that point is apologize, explain what happened and hope it's accepted. If not, then their problem and no longer mine.

But if I go out of my way to cause harm...then I'd better be sure I can live with it and that it's necessary. So, causing harm doesn't always cause guilt but when it's done with maliciousness.

Rabe...

Mad Queen
10-17-2008, 08:06 AM
Hurting someone unintentionally isn't synonymous with being innocent. See the example I gave above: a doctor drinks too much before the surgery and cuts the patient's artery by accident. The doctor didn't mean to cause harm, but he can't just apologise to the patient and walk away. A driver who hit someone with her car because she was talking on the phone instead of paying attention to what she was doing has plenty of reason to feel guilty. This is the definition of manslaughter: 'the unlawful killing of a human being without express or implied malice'. It's a crime, even though it's unintentional.

Keyan
10-17-2008, 04:18 PM
I agree with this. The idea of intentionally causing harm to another leaves me with guilt.

Unintentional? Not so much guilt about it. The best I can do at that point is apologize, explain what happened and hope it's accepted. If not, then their problem and no longer mine.

But if I go out of my way to cause harm...then I'd better be sure I can live with it and that it's necessary. So, causing harm doesn't always cause guilt but when it's done with maliciousness.

Rabe...

I think I feel rather the opposite. I seldom want to harm someone, but when I do, it's for reasons I feel are justified. After that, I don't feel guilty, though I might regret the necessity.

Where I do feel guilty is when I hurt someone inadvertently. I didn't mean them to feel bad, and now they do. And often, because it's inadvertent, it's difficult to fix.

MelancholyMan
10-17-2008, 06:00 PM
I ride a trials motorcycle. It is a low speed sport and generally very safe. It is catagorized as an extreme sport in the same sense as skiing. Something anyone can do, or that with the same equipment and slope can be taken to a psychotic level. (Here is a short video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0-giROitRk)my son put together after the world round in Tennessee this last summer. It's a great sport and growing and should really catch on here in the States as off road riding land disappears because you don't need much space to do it.) But the bikes are EXTREMELY powerful and can be dangerous to the uninitiated. Especially my 300cc two-stroke with 14:1 compression. I didn't appreciate this when I was trying to get a close friend interested in the sport. A guy I've been friends with since college. About 20 years. Family guy, great dad, etc.

Well I get him on the bike, didn't have to force him, and he's doing great. Low speed. Safe. Right? Next thing I know I hear the motor screaming and turn around. He's got the throttle pinned and is hanging on for dear life, doing a wheelstand across a parking lot straight toward my Expedition. It's like slow motion. You can't believe it's happening. That sort of thing. He hits the rear of my SUV doing about 17 mph, caves in the back tail gate, the window explodes, he slams into the bike, and just drops to the ground like a limp rag. Blood everywhere. I just knew he was dead as I sat there on the ground holding his head in my hands telling him he was going to be okay. At that point I was amazingly calm.

EMT's, ambulance, the works. After that, I'm no longer calm, when my wife finds me sitting in a dark store room crying.

ICU. Surgery. Facing his family. Etc.

Well he's pretty much fine today except for the titanium and polyethylene plates in his face. He looks a little different. Not worse, just different. And he doesn't blame me. But I'll carry the guilt of that day to my grave. I haven't quit the sport but I did sell the bike and get another one since every time the engine spooled up the whole scene flashed through my head.

And I don't let anybody on my Montesa unless I know they are an experienced motorcycle pilot and have mastered clutch use and know to let the bike go if things go south.

So while it wasn't my fault, it was my fault. I should have understood the danger posed by the machine to someone who wasn't experienced in its operation.

Jayswords
10-18-2008, 12:10 AM
Oh dear, there are too many things to list, and if I did, it would reflect rather badly. In the end though, the one consistent thing which makes me feel guilty as sin, is spending money.

Mad Queen
10-18-2008, 05:06 AM
Oh dear, there are too many things to list, and if I did, it would reflect rather badly. In the end though, the one consistent thing which makes me feel guilty as sin, is spending money.
You can PM me to tell the things that would reflect badly on you, other than money leaving your wallet by accident. I don't need to know the details. I don't even need to know what the consequences of your actions were. And I swear I won't blackmail you unless I really need the money.

And thanks a lot, MelancholyMan. :Hug2:

Rabe
10-19-2008, 01:52 AM
Mad Queen...

Here's my problem with your scenarios:

The drunk doctor and the cellphone talking motorist.

Both have engaged in activities which they <i>should</i> have known could lead to harm. Thereby they are not "unintentionally" harming someone. They are intentionally harming someone.

A doctor having a few drinks is okay. But a doctor having a few drinks and then going in and operating on someone? That is NOT okay. It's dangerous and intentional. Thereby, intentional harm.

Talking on the cellphone - okay. Driving - okay. But being distracted while operating a motor vehicle? Again, not so much okay. And the (hypothetical) fact that the driver hit someone makes the harm intentional. The driver should have known being distracted by the conversation would be dangerous. Again, intentional.

So, when I say that I feel guilty about <i>intentionally</i> harming someone, I would see the above examples as supporting my case. Rather than a doctor - who is sober and full control of his faculties, accidentally nicking the aorta or driving along and an accident happened.

But for me to go out of my way to bring harm to a person, that is most definitely intentional harm and thereby feeling guilty.

But accidentally saying something that upset someone else? Or some of the other examples on here of someone doing something unintentionally? Nope, no guilt. Guilt should be a manifestation of a consequence of our intended actions...not a manifestion of a random event.

Rabe...

Cherry Bear
10-19-2008, 02:15 AM
The drunk doctor and the cellphone talking motorist.

Both have engaged in activities which they <i>should</i> have known could lead to harm. Thereby they are not "unintentionally" harming someone. They are intentionally harming someone.

I disagree with this. Yes, drinking before surgery and talking while on a motorcycle can lead to harm, but it's not intentional harm of anyone. The doctor did not pick up his glass of vodka and think to himself, "Well, I'll make the nurse tell the kids their dad is dead when I slice the wrong way" or whatever.

Everyone engages in activities that we "should" know can lead to harm, but we don't go into them intending to hurt anyone, so therefore the harm that comes out of it is not intentional. Yes, the actions are intentional, but the effects of the actions are definitely not.

Regardless of intentional or unintentional injury to another person, I would feel guilty about it. I am a very guilt-ridden person all the time, though, and it's pretty much my dominating emotion. I feel like I've just swallowed a slice of the guilt pie after I embarrass someone, even if it's unintentional, or even after I tell my sister to stop PMSing, even if it's intentional.

I can't change what I feel, although I can try to suppress it; even so, guilt will always be there, no matter if it's a "manifestation of a random event" or something I should actually feel bad about it. Chances are that if I was around when the event occurred, I'm going to feel guilty and regretful about not doing something differently to change the outcome.

emandem
10-19-2008, 02:56 AM
Once I asked one of my good friends how her Mother's Day was when her mom had just died two weeks before. Her face kind of fell and she didn't say much. Instantly realizing I had asked a stupid question, I awkwardly launched into an animated description of what my family did for Mother's Day (trying to lighten things up) while she sat quietly listening. I should have just stopped and said "Gee, Nance, I'm sorry. That was a really dumb question. How have you been holding up?"

Scrawler
10-19-2008, 04:44 AM
Not even if you had been selfish or lazy or negligent? For instance, you are a doctor, drink too much and cut a patient's artery by accident during surgery.
Well, if I got drunk prior to surgery, then I'd consider that intentional so yeah, I'd be guilty.
If I went to the grocery store and was too lazy to return the shopping cart to its proper corral and it dinged a car-- I'm guilty.
If I returned the cart to the corral in good faith and it got loose and dinged a car, I wouldn't feel guilty.
Not to say that I'd be emotionless but I don't think guilt is what I'd feel.

Mad Queen
10-19-2008, 06:28 AM
Both have engaged in activities which they <i>should</i> have known could lead to harm. Thereby they are not "unintentionally" harming someone. They are intentionally harming someone.
No, they aren't. Just because you know your actions might hurt someone, it doesn't mean you intended to hurt someone. In fact, I'm pretty sure my hypothetical doctor would much prefer if he hadn't cut that artery and my hypothetical driver would have hung up the phone immediately if she knew she was going to hit someone.

A doctor having a few drinks is okay. But a doctor having a few drinks and then going in and operating on someone? That is NOT okay. It's dangerous and intentional. Thereby, intentional harm.
The drinking is intentional, the harm isn't. Intention implies you have planned something and desired it. It's the difference between murder and manslaughter in criminal law.

But accidentally saying something that upset someone else? Or some of the other examples on here of someone doing something unintentionally? Nope, no guilt. Guilt should be a manifestation of a consequence of our intended actions...not a manifestion of a random event.
Yes, and the people who posted here feel deep down that their intended actions could have been different and more appropriate, even though they never intended to hurt someone.

Mad Queen
10-19-2008, 06:32 AM
Well, if I got drunk prior to surgery, then I'd consider that intentional so yeah, I'd be guilty.
As I've just said, the drinking is intentional, not the harm.

truelyana
10-19-2008, 06:32 AM
Absolutetly nothing! I have only ever picked up on others guilt, but never experienced it myself before as I don't see any point of being in that frame of mind.

Mad Queen
10-19-2008, 06:43 AM
Absolutetly nothing! I have only ever picked up on others guilt, but never experienced it myself before as I don't see any point of being in that frame of mind.
Sociopaths never feel any guilt either. :)

truelyana
10-19-2008, 06:45 AM
Sociopaths never feel any guilt either. :)

:D

Mad Queen
10-19-2008, 06:50 AM
:D
I can feel the menace in this smile. Totally creepy.

ManyAk
10-19-2008, 07:01 AM
I'm a very honest person, and I feel very guilty when I don't tell someone he's annoying.

CalGrave
10-19-2008, 07:53 AM
Getting Caught.

:guns:

comradebunny
10-19-2008, 09:43 AM
I just had to report a rumor I heard about a collegue of mine (I work for a school and the matter was serious). By law, I had to report what I heard a student say. I stressed that it was just a rumor when I told the administration, but I feel horribly guilty. The thing is, I honestly believe the person may have done what the student said (which was oh so stupid). If I had said nothing, it could cause legal difficulties for me. If it is just a rumor, it will cause difficulties for her, but she will not know I was the cause and it will eventually blow over. It was the right, legal thing to do, but I feel guilty.

*I was vague about the details on purpose.*

Mad Queen
10-19-2008, 10:49 AM
You don't need to be specific. Vague is fine. Thanks to you and everyone else who posted a story.

Rabe
10-19-2008, 11:59 PM
The drinking is intentional, the harm isn't. Intention implies you have planned something and desired it. It's the difference between murder and manslaughter in criminal law.

Okay, I'm pretty sure I typed that the drinking is okay. By itself...no problem.

But that doctor who drank and THEN WENT IN TO PERFORM SURGERY?

That is INTENTIONAL. That is HARM!

And please stop trying to quote the difference in murder and manslaughter to me. I have to decide the difference between various factions of the law all the time. And your example is not one that is going to hold up. A doctor going in to perform surgery while drunk, causes something to happen and the patient dies as a result of that something (in your case, a nicked artery). I'm pretty sure his charge would be murder and then it would be up to his lawyer to argue it was only manslaughter.

Also, the legal definition of guilt is not the same as 'feeling guilty'. I could very well commit murder and feel no guilt about it at all.

So again...stop skipping over the part where I say the drinking - by itself - is not causing harm. But adding it to an another activity wherein being drunk can and should knowingly risk harm to another is intentional.

A person driving - no intention of harm. A person talking on a cellphone - no intention of harm. But a person becoming so engrossed in a cellphone conversation that they run someone over? That is intentional harm! And no, I'm not a 'cellphone alarmist' that thinks we need laws banning cellphone use while driving. Just the opposite.

But then again, I'm able to carry on a cellphone conversation while driving (and never running a person over) just as I'm able to carry on a conversation with a person in my car (and never running a person over). The cellphone is usually just the scapegoat object for the person who wasn't focused on their driving and instead focused on something else - which is - again - intentional.

BTW...your response that other people do feel guilt about unintentionally harming someone doesn't matter to me. I'm not other people. You didn't ask "What do most people in society feel guilt over?" You asked what the INDIVIDUAL feels guilt over. That I find some of the examples posted here outlandish is contrary. That these people are honest in giving some examples of what they feel guilt over is examplary - even if I *do* think it is outlandish. But then again, I have always strove to accept the whole individual and not the sum of the parts that I liked. I have a lot of friends who would be eager to post the proverbial "me too!" or "+1" to the posts I consider outlandish.

Rabe...

Mad Queen
10-20-2008, 12:53 AM
But that doctor who drank and THEN WENT IN TO PERFORM SURGERY?

That is INTENTIONAL. That is HARM!
It would be intentional only if he MEANT to harm the patient. 'I'm going to drink because I want to cut the patient's artery,' the doctor thinks. But it's not what my fictional doctor thought. Certain people are confident enough to believe they might perform a surgery successfully while drunk. Either that or they are so drunk they can't think about the obvious consequences of their actions. It's not intentional.

Intention is not something you can tell by analysing the person's actions. If the doctor says he didn't want to cut the patient's artery, then he didn't want to cut the patient's artery. He did not intend to cut the patient's artery. It doesn't matter what you or I believe. It's harm, it's irresponsible, it's a crime and the doctor should go to jail, but it's not intentional because he did not intend to hurt the patient. He intended to drink and to perform the surgery successfully. Impossible? Perhaps, but the doctor thought he could do it.

Also, the legal definition of guilt is not the same as 'feeling guilty'. I could very well commit murder and feel no guilt about it at all.
And I never said it was.

So again...stop skipping over the part where I say the drinking - by itself - is not causing harm. But adding it to an another activity wherein being drunk can and should knowingly risk harm to another is intentional.
Yes, it is intentional. What's NOT intentional is the harmful consequences of this action. If you do something that can harm someone but you believe it won't, then the harm is not intentional. By definition. It's what 'intention' means.

But then again, I'm able to carry on a cellphone conversation while driving (and never running a person over) just as I'm able to carry on a conversation with a person in my car (and never running a person over).
Both you and the driver who ran over someone think they are able to carry on a phone conversation while driving. The only difference is that you have been able to do what you believe you can do, so far at least, and the driver who run over someone hasn't. Maybe this driver has had 37 phone conversations while driving and nothing ever happened. On her 38th conversation, she runs over someone. People are proved wrong all the time. They think they can do something, but it turns out they can't.

BTW...your response that other people do feel guilt about unintentionally harming someone doesn't matter to me. I'm not other people. You didn't ask "What do most people in society feel guilt over?" You asked what the INDIVIDUAL feels guilt over.
And the other people who posted are individuals too. They feel guilty and their feelings are completely valid. It doesn't matter what you think about their stories. Only they can feel guilty about what they did. Only the doctor knows what he intended to do. Only you know what matters to you.

Keyboard Hound
10-20-2008, 02:42 AM
I don't know much about legal slot holes, but the rules of common decency should tell a surgeon not to drink before cutting around someone's artery. If he drinks and that person dies because he operates and slips, the patient will be no less dead regardless if the doctor intended the slip or not. He's made an oath to do the best for his patient and anything less than that makes him guilty, especially something like operating under the influence, a condition he can control. Anyone who could drink and cause such a thing to happen and not feel guilt has to have something missing somewhere.

The same thing with cell phones. Sure, almost everyone is guilty of talking and driving at some time or other. We all know it's dangerous to take our minds off the road. If a driver uses the cell phone and misses seeing someone and runs all over them, just because he/she didn't intend to does not take away the injury.

Just this year a good friend of mine was hit by a driver and almost killed. Some say the driver was talking on the cell phone. Of course, she's not saying. For whatever reasons, she was wheeling down the road, not even watching. My friend was at the edge of the road getting her mail. The driver ran her down, flipped her over into the road, and left her laying in the middle of a busy highway frequented by cement trucks. One limb dangled by a loose piece of skin. She's spent her summer struggling for her life and she'll spend the winter in therapy, trying to get used to a body totally changed.

Is that woman on the cell phone not guilty by reason of she didn't intend to do this? I think not. I wouldn't want to suggest it to my friend or her family. And they better hope I'm never on her jury.

Just because a person lacks enough heart to feel remorse, does not make them guiltless.

Mad Queen
10-20-2008, 02:54 AM
If he drinks and that person dies because he operates and slips, the patient will be no less dead regardless if the doctor intended the slip or not.
I agree with everything you wrote. The doctor is guilty beyond a doubt, whether or not he intended to harm the patient. And in my example, he did NOT intend to harm the patient. Of course, the patient couldn't care less about the doctor's intention. That's why I wrote that hurting someone unintentionally isn't synonimous with being innocent.

Is that woman on the cell phone not guilty by reason of she didn't intend to do this? I think not.
The law addressed this issue of intention by creating a label to describe the crime of killing someone unintentionally while you are commiting another crime (in this case, talking on the phone and driving).

Sorry about your friend. :(