I am going to argue several points. I do not agree with the bold statement that one should heed his or her shame because shame is not defined. I could be ashamed of helping an old lady across a busy street for instance. Most cultures deem such an act admirable, but there could be some who do not. People who are preoccupied with others who are supposed to think them "tough" or something might for instance. We can see clearlythat shame is about what a group has deemed "shamefull"; it is learned behavior. So what one does is learn that "A" is shamefull behavior and then feel ashamed when behaving in a way as "A". I am inclinded to agree or disagree depending on the definition of "A"; but that would say something of the behavior my society has taught me.
We can imagine two opposite cultures can deem any learned behavior ("A") as shamefull or unshamefull. Seeing as "A" can be bot shamefull or unshamefull we can conclude that the "A" is neither. "Shame" is about our definitions.
Thinking along these lines I would like to point out that the opening poster (NeitherExtreme) asked a good question: "Is it a good idea to have shame?". The thing with shame is that one devides all the possible actions one can make into two groups; shamefull and unshamefull or "good" and "bad". In doing so one creates a situation in which certain acts should be avoided at all costs because it is "bad". This reminds me of virtue ethics
. This deals with a "rulebase" telling us which behavior is "good" and which is "bad". Above I clearly showed that such thing depend on the definitions used and the values are not stable, but merely "randomly picked" by a society. A side effect of this rulebase is that people tend to live by them, creating a fine "line" in society between the "rightious" and "unrightious". A good point of NeitherExtreme was that being "unrightious" at the very least leads to a shunning in the society, but can also lead to lies on what one has doen or to lies to oneself on undertaking the "bad" actions. In doing so one denies the light of day to such actions and thereby create a situation which cannot better itself (it cannot be spoken of, nor thought of).
My argument is that in doing so one creates exactly the line that one has drawn, making the "bad" act irrationally to protect themselves from the "good" (which have the moral right to "punish" the "bad"). Thereby a selffullfilling argument is made. So defining "right" or "wrong" creates "wrong". Perhaps humanity needs to think of moral skepticism
I think the best argument for moral skepticism is the fact that the formation of a dependable "rulebase" relies heavily on a standing outside of morality. A standing outside of morality would depend on a standing outside of the human condition. What exactly this human condition is, is even unclear. An antropological
study might be called for to determine anything worth saying in matters of moral "rulebases". Seeing as any human is unequipped to judge, perhaps it would be best not to judge at all; arriving at skepticism again.
Hope this helps for anybody