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What is Blame?

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Blame > What is Blame?

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Blame is an accusation that a person has committed a misdeed.

The misdeed is usually an undesirable act that goes against the values of the accuser. It is often a specific act, such as doing or saying something.

Blame is often of another person. It is also common to blame oneself. Blame may also be less specific, for example blaming an organization, a social class or 'the world'.

Blame is a verb when it is act of accusation. When used as a noun, it casts blame as a kind of cloud that hangs over the accused person, marking them as guilty.

Discussion

Blame implies that the person had intent when carrying out the act, knowingly breaking values, which by definition makes them a bad person. Because they are bad, they therefore deserve punishment.

Blame may say as much about the accuser as the accused. In blaming, the accuser is positioning themselves as morally superior. They take the role of judge and jury in finding the accused person guilty and deserving of the punishment they mete out.

The opposite of blame is praise, where somebody is praised for doing something well or within values. In particular praise is due when a person has helped others while disadvantaging themself. This is in contrast to blame when they help themselves but harm others.

See also

Values

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