To discuss this topic, I am going to come out of heart and back into concrete mind.
I’ll start with a question first. Do you notice when you start justifying something to yourself?
In justification-space many things seem to be OK. We can justify all sorts of stuff to ourselves and thereby feel thoroughly justified. We might seek to invade another country to remove its leader, so we look around for some justification that will mean that the upcoming slaughter is fine. At the merest whiff of weapons of mass destruction, we have our standard, our flag, behind which we can unleash hell. This is perhaps an extreme example. But we can find justifications for a whole bunch of stuff, that is mean, dodgy, cowardly, shabby, vindictive, greedy, you name it. We kind of know that we did not ought to be doing it, so we hunt around for a plethora of justifications so that we can bury our conscience under them. And then we share our justifications with others to justify our actions. If it is a group effort we can sample the justifications of others and increase the overall justification count. We can talk ourselves into something and we can talk ourselves out of something. We may silence our conscience so that we can indulge in whatever it is. Maybe later we may regret, but for now we want to do something so bad, that we in our cleverness can find sufficient justifications. Under these the basic spirit, the motive behind actions lies buried. We then start to think that because of our justifications “it” is great idea, good, true and thoroughly justifiable. We can get all caught up in an idea, even if it isn’t so bright and then we must execute that idea.
I’ll interject another question. Do we suspect that by the time we are looking to justify we are already straying from the path of what might be termed righteousness?
This tendency to justify is a part of the common dream. We all do it. We have to explain what we did over Christmas and justify our choice of holiday destination, car, career, partner, dog and political affiliation. It is part and parcel.
Under the flag of justification some pretty nasty shit is done. Justification is the primary method of silencing the conscience, the heart.
Having cued this up:
Are justifications a good or a bad thing?
Have I ever justified something to myself that was shabby and off?
Justify your answers.