Trying to Get Away with It.

Back in the old days when I was at boarding school, if some jape went wrong there was a “moral” code that if you were responsible, you would own up and take the whacking especially if that meant group punishment was avoided. There was a perception that this is what a decent chap would do, take it on the chin or to be more accurate the arse. Of course, when push came to shove not everybody behaved like a decent chap. Some would try to get away with, blame others, make a smokescreen or try to brazen it out. Some would actually tell bare faced lies. The other punishment was running rounds, usually in quanta of ~ 1500m, which is why I represented the school at this distance in athletics subsequently.

I have been pondering whether spoken remorse, either real or feigned, actually does anything at all.

It does not change anything at all in terms of action. When one is training a child forcing them to say sorry can be a punishment and a part of the education process. So-called “grown up” people can feign remorse as a political tactic of getting away with it or turning down the heat until such times as others have forgotten what the fuss was all about in the first place. {Perhaps this a part of the training in PPE at Oxford? Strategies in politics?}

“Phew I got away with that!”

The bottom line I guess comes in whether you believe in sin or karma.

If one simply believes in political expediency, then is does not matter if you feign remorse.

If you believe in sin and karma, then perhaps it does. You can’t buy an indulgence from the Pope anymore. If you are genuinely and from the very bottom of your heart sorry, then that might mitigate in terms of sin. God will hear your thoughts and understand your mitigating sorrow. Of course, you could go to confession. The wronged party however remains wronged.

But what about karma? By your act you have started a flow of causal origination, post hoc remorse cannot stop the flow that you have initiated. Trying to get away with it might increase the karmic demerit and amplify the consequences. Feigning remorse is another karmic demerit. Karma may not be sympathetic like God might be.

What do you reckon does saying sorry change anything much?

If you do something dodgy, do you try to get away with it?

Or do you take responsibility for your actions?