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Introduction   ::   Problem Sources   ::  Moral Sense  ::   Two Worlds   ::   Escaping

Humans and a Moral Sense

"As humans we have the ability to open ourselves to others and allow the truth about their feelings and needs to influence us."
- C. Terry Warner

Discussion: Consider How You Live

Given the personal experiences you described and the experiences that were shared in the examples, consider these possibilities:

  1. Our attitudes, feelings, and understanding of our experiences depend on whether we are living true or false to what we believe is right to do for others. 2
    1. Whenever we feel we should act in a certain way, we can either honor or go against that feeling.
    2. When we go against what we believe is right, the quality of our experience changes.
    3. We begin to live a lie to make the wrong we are doing appear to be right.
    4. This lie includes the insistence that others are to blame, or are the cause of, our attitudes and feelings.
    5. This insistence includes emotions and feelings we think we can't help having. We think our feelings are forced upon us by how we have been treated. We believe we are victims.
    6. As victims, we no longer see the possibility of things we could have done if we hadn't gone against what we felt was right. We are blind to the truth and self-deceived.
  2. Sometimes we believe we are helpless when we are not. We think our attitudes and feelings are produced by how others have treated us, when in fact, our feelings are produced by how we are treating others.
  3. When we live true to our moral sense of how to treat others, we participate in constructive attitudes and behaviors. When we live false to that moral sense, we make ourselves into victims, and our attitudes and behaviors are destructive of our own and others' best interests.

Examples

Exercises

Summary

Upon completing this section, you may have begun to notice the contrasts of your own constructive and destructive ways of being in the personal examples you shared. Your destructive ways of being probably began when you refused to do what you felt you should do for others. Your constructive way of being is the way you live when you honor your conscience in doing what you feel you should do for others.

2 These ideas are derived from the academic work of C. Terry Warner, and the applications created by the Arbinger Institute.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, November 22). Your Partner. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Family__Consumer____Human_Development/Marriage___Family_Relationships/Your_Partner_2.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License