"I knew it was wrong but i did it anyway"


by Pengwuino
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Pengwuino
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#1
Jul6-05, 05:18 PM
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I'm sure we've all heard of people who said those exact words when it comes to doing things we all know is wrong , ie. non-petty stealing, drugs, violence, etc.

So why do people do things that are wrong if they know its wrong? And to keep the discussion on topic, lets talk about instances where the person actually admits its wrong and its not something silly or pointless or something that some people can argue isnt wrong.
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AKG
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Jul6-05, 05:24 PM
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Because morality is not the only factor that's taken into consideration when rationalizing a decision, and because sometimes the decisions people make aren't fully rationalized, like crimes of passion for instance.
Pengwuino
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Jul6-05, 05:27 PM
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lol ok i thought i made it pretty clear that the person who does *whatever* knows *whatever* is wrong and will admit that its wrong in their eyes.

Nereid
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Jul6-05, 05:50 PM
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"I knew it was wrong but i did it anyway"


A person's motivations may be very complex, and not necessarily at all rational.

'to get attention' is, AFAIK, one (underlying) reason why some people attempt suicide - surely the most drastic thing one (personally) can do. So why didn't they just strip naked, confront the object of their 'attention seeking', scream and yell, and so on? Surely this would be just as effective (in terms of 'getting attention') and a whole lot less destructive?

In case I'm not clear, Pengwuino's question merely allows us to start exploring much deeper questions, about layers of motivation, rationalisation, etc.
Pengwuino
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Jul6-05, 05:55 PM
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I think one reason people dont jump around naked to get attention is that theres different types of attention people want. I think people who commit suicide want that attention where they want other people to care for them and listen to them and try to show interest in their own problems. Its like they want to be sad and have teh ability for someone to come run up to them and hold them and care for them or something.

Thats the rational idea in my mind. It doesnt seem like theres a rational explanation for when kids jump up and down and break stuff for attention. I say rational because suicide rationally means that there are problems or someone is sad and they want a rational response with the care and to have people listening to their problems and such. Temper tantrums dont make sense to me when put into this context of requiring rational pre-requisits and wanting rational responses.
AKG
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Jul6-05, 06:02 PM
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I depends what the person means when he says, "I know it's wrong." A dietician might know, and admit that in his eyes, McDonald's is unhealthy, but he might eat it in spite of that. In this case, being unhealthy was only one factor in deciding, but the fact that McDonald's is fast, cheap, and tasty for him outweighs the fact that it's unhealthy. Similarly, when some people say, "this is wrong," they aren't saying that this is a bad decision, they may simply mean that they find the action morally wrong. However, if there are other factors that are stronger, like personal pleasure perhaps, then despite the fact that they believe the action to be (morally) wrong, they find other things about it that are good, and so decide to do it because of that.

Sometimes, "I think it's wrong," might mean something else. In this case, it doesn't just mean that it is morally wrong, it means that the whole decision is wrong. It means that after taking into account morality, personal pleasure, etc. the decision is that the action is a bad one. If a person tells you that they think the entire action is wrong, but they did it anyways, then they're either lying (and it's really not wrong in their eyes), or they couldn't help it. In crimes of passion, it is sometimes an irrational part of us that's responsible for the action. The rational part of us might look at an action and say it's wrong, and believe it too, but sometimes we might be "blinded by rage" and it's as though another person commits the action that we would otherwise consider wrong.
Pengwuino
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#7
Jul6-05, 06:07 PM
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Throwing in the idea that "it may be wrong but the good may outweight their sense of morality" really complicates stuff. It'd be simpler to filter out all of those and just only study those who know the decision overall is wrong.

I can think of people who do drugs and know the whole decision is bad but they do it anyways. They seem to do it because its a hypothetical spit in the face to some unknown power... the "non-conformist" I suppose.
AKG
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Jul6-05, 06:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Pengwuino
Throwing in the idea that "it may be wrong but the good may outweight their sense of morality" really complicates stuff. It'd be simpler to filter out all of those and just only study those who know the decision overall is wrong.

I can think of people who do drugs and know the whole decision is bad but they do it anyways. They seem to do it because its a hypothetical spit in the face to some unknown power... the "non-conformist" I suppose.
Well these people obviously don't think the whole decision is wrong. I'm sure there's more to it than it being a spit in the face to some power (I would assume they like the feeling of doing drugs to some degree, among other possible reasons), but regardless, that feeling of being non-conformist outweighs whatever they mean when they say it's wrong.

I might assume that when they say it's wrong, the mean that they know that it is unhealthy, illegal, frowned upon by family and by society in general, and that it's generally labelled as wrong. But perhaps the peer pressure, together with the feeling they get from doing drugs, the feeling they get from being rebellious, and the sense of belonging they get from being able to hang out with others who do drugs (in high school, doing drugs can be like a way to meet people and make friends) are either things that they think outweigh the fact that it is otherwise wrong, or are things that push them to do drugs even though they're not rationally aware of it. It's probably some combination of the above. They probably know it feels good to do drugs, but most people don't consciously say that I'll do this action because of peer pressure, it's something that acts and alters a person who is unaware of it.
Nereid
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Jul6-05, 07:26 PM
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Quote Quote by Pengwuino
I think one reason people dont jump around naked to get attention is that theres different types of attention people want. I think people who commit suicide want that attention where they want other people to care for them and listen to them and try to show interest in their own problems. Its like they want to be sad and have teh ability for someone to come run up to them and hold them and care for them or something.

Thats the rational idea in my mind. It doesnt seem like theres a rational explanation for when kids jump up and down and break stuff for attention. I say rational because suicide rationally means that there are problems or someone is sad and they want a rational response with the care and to have people listening to their problems and such. Temper tantrums dont make sense to me when put into this context of requiring rational pre-requisits and wanting rational responses.
I think this is a good start, but only a start ... that a person may be able to vocalise many different 'reasons' for an action, attitude, behaviour etc is one insight. You may be able to question their self-professed rationale, and uncover many logical, moral, emotional, etc inconsistencies (and you may even get them to admit the existence of inconsistencies). But are you any closer to understanding the behaviour you are asking about? I submit that you are not (much).

Diet/food and drugs are good examples - at the surface rational, moral, etc level that we normally operate, it's black&white - behaviour is contradictory to professed 'rules of life'. Yet studies by the hundred have shown that 'willpower' (however nuanced) is almost trivial in the face of one's bodily urges (for certain types of food, for certain amounts of food; for drugs to which one has become 'addicted', etc). At one level, you may 'account for' this by removing 'will' from a description of human behaviour, and using biochemistry, genes, environment, etc.
Evo
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#10
Jul6-05, 07:41 PM
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Quote Quote by Pengwuino
I'm sure we've all heard of people who said those exact words when it comes to doing things we all know is wrong , ie. non-petty stealing, drugs, violence, etc.

So why do people do things that are wrong if they know its wrong? And to keep the discussion on topic, lets talk about instances where the person actually admits its wrong and its not something silly or pointless or something that some people can argue isnt wrong.
Simply stated - the perceived (even if temporary) gain outweighed the potential consequences.
pallidin
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#11
Jul6-05, 08:14 PM
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The human psychology is extraordinarily complex. There are fantastic amounts of "thoughts" flowing through our head at any given moment.
Most thoughts are "fleeting", but others have an aspect of dominance and repetitiveness.
How we deal with such thoughts on a day-to-day level defines, in some sense, our maturity and civility.
Few people on this planet would deny having fleeting thoughts of theft, murder, abnormal lust and so-on... depending on their own situations. This is normal, as humans are very dynamic and intellectually/emotionally/spiritually explorative.
Yet some "cross-over" from thought to action, such as rapists and serial murderer's, or, not in the same tone, suicide.
This "impulse" is of high interest, as it begs to attempt an understanding of what drives people from fleeting thought to actionable expression be it "good" or "bad"
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Jul6-05, 08:28 PM
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Quote Quote by pallidin
The human psychology is extraordinarily complex. There are fantastic amounts of "thoughts" flowing through our head at any given moment.
Most thoughts are "fleeting", but others have an aspect of dominance and repetitiveness.
How we deal with such thoughts on a day-to-day level defines, in some sense, our maturity and civility.
Few people on this planet would deny having fleeting thoughts of theft, murder, abnormal lust and so-on... depending on their own situations. This is normal, as humans are very dynamic and intellectually/emotionally/spiritually explorative.
Yet some "cross-over" from thought to action, such as rapists and serial murderer's, or, not in the same tone, suicide.
This "impulse" is of high interest, as it begs to attempt an understanding of what drives people from fleeting thought to actionable expression be it "good" or "bad"
Complex thought and feelings may be behind the reasons of those of us that choose not to commit crimes. Unfortunately, if you study criminal behavior among the masses, it's usually driven by very little thought. It's an urge, spur of the moment, the opportunity was there, they needed money for drugs, the person made them angry. There is very little sense or thought applied in many of the situations.
pallidin
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Jul6-05, 08:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo
Complex thought and feelings may be behind the reasons of those of us that choose not to commit crimes. Unfortunately, if you study criminal behavior among the masses, it's usually driven by very little thought. It's an urge, spur of the moment, the opportunity was there, they needed money for drugs, the person made them angry. There is very little sense or thought applied in many of the situations.

That's why I used the word "impulse" in my final statement.
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Jul6-05, 09:51 PM
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Quote Quote by pallidin
That's why I used the word "impulse" in my final statement.
I was agreeing with you.
Astronuc
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Jul6-05, 10:13 PM
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Quote Quote by Pengwuino
I'm sure we've all heard of people who said those exact words when it comes to doing things we all know is wrong , ie. non-petty stealing, drugs, violence, etc.

So why do people do things that are wrong if they know its wrong? And to keep the discussion on topic, lets talk about instances where the person actually admits its wrong and its not something silly or pointless or something that some people can argue isnt wrong.
Some people may 'rationalize' that what they are doing is 'OK', or that 'everyone else is doing it', or 'it's not really ______ '(e.g. stealing) that bad.

I am thinking of activities like tax evasion, or some other crime against the government or community.

Then there is organized crime - the members (e.g. gang members, Mafia, etc) know what they do is wrong, but there is a lot of money, power, prestige, . . . involved, so they do it.
steven187
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#16
Jul6-05, 10:16 PM
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hello all

when someone agree's that something is wrong and then goes along and does it, I dont think they realise what they are saying, it is not a conscious effort, its whats going on in the mind, deep in the mind - the sub-concious, there consciousness tells them that there is some advantage in such an activity, but this contradicts whats in the subconscious i believe this occurs after many times of trying to justify there actions over a period of time and such a thought ends up programming itself into the consciousness , and this easily occurs since people dont even have time to think these days from all the ways people occupy them selves, if they dont have time to think then they dont have time to realise if they dont have time to realise then they will never find out for them selves weather what is right and what is wrong. Also as humans the best thing we are good at is Copycating, a talent in which we have had in us all our lives and so most people just follow what every body else is doing, as this is normality, weither its right or wrong.

steven
pallidin
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#17
Jul7-05, 05:30 PM
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Quote Quote by Evo
I was agreeing with you.

Oh, of course, sorry.
Kenneth Mann
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#18
Jul7-05, 10:01 PM
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Quote Quote by Pengwuino
I'm sure we've all heard of people who said those exact words when it comes to doing things we all know is wrong , ie. non-petty stealing, drugs, violence, etc.

So why do people do things that are wrong if they know its wrong? And to keep the discussion on topic, lets talk about instances where the person actually admits its wrong and its not something silly or pointless or something that some people can argue isnt wrong.
Actually, there is always hope for those of us who, upon doing something (morally) wrong, have the courage to air and admit it. They might (eventually) correct their wrongful behavior. The problem is with those who know something is wrong and do it anyway, but never face up to it. These are the 'wrongs' that we have good reason to believe will probably never be made right.

KM


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