Shame is sometimes used as a strategy for influencing human behavior. The problem is that shaming sounds plausible at first, but it doesn’t work in practice. Shaming doesn’t work for two major reasons. One reason is that some people have a high level of self-esteem and shaming them won’t work since they think they’re right no matter what. The other possibility is that people will be shamed into living in fear and then rebel by doing things like writing about why free will doesn’t exist and why people aren’t responsible for their actions.
Here are some questions to contemplate to understand why failures aren’t your fault and why there’s no reason to feel shame:
1. Did you choose to be born?
2. Did you choose the time and place of your birth?
3. Did you choose your genes?
4. Did you choose your childhood environment?
5. Do you choose to make your cells age?
6. Did you choose the patterns of gene expression that formed your neuroanatomy and the connectome of your brain?
7. Did you choose the environmental trauma that affected your brain?
8. Did you choose the toxins and other chemicals that shaped your brain and the rest of your body?
9. Did you choose the hormones that shaped your behavior?
10. Did you choose to encounter the viruses and bacteria that affected your life?
11. Did you choose to be born with an unconscious mind that drives your actions?
12. Did you choose the groups of people that existed in the place you were born?
13. Did you choose the evolutionary forces that shaped your biology?
14. Did you choose the laws of probability?
15. Did you choose the physics of the planet Earth?
16. Did you choose the physics of the universe?
In other words, everything in life is determined by luck.