A Moral Conflict -v- A Moral Injury

Friday

Moderator
A moral conflict occurs when one’s most deeply held convictions do not match one’s actions.

That also happens to be the definition of the modern term “moral injury”.

Is a moral conflict injurious? Certainly. But I take issue with the entire freaking concept of “moral injury”… for several reasons. Not the least of which, or even mainly; how limited it’s scope, how Victim-Glorious, & how much invented/false helplessness is attached.

To be fair… the concept of a moral conflict followed several centuries of near constant warfare, and moral injury has appeared only in the wake of wars being something felt by few.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

internal

Sponsor
i believe it depends on how you perceve what has occurred. for me what happened deeply effected my entire sense of identity, how i move through the world, my motivations, my actual morals, and my body itself.

this may not be the exceptable definition by any stretch of the word, but in my view, the moral conflict is what caused the moral injury. which is what i would consider the permanent (or at least long lasted) effects of a moral conflict.

i think you can also have moral conflict without having that state of long acted moral injury if you can integrate it properly after wards.
 

Friday

Moderator
Moral conflict is what occurs before events happen?? Thoughts and feelings leading up to it. Moral injury is after the action occurs??
No. Not from history, in any event. (I’m eyeballs deep in reading 1700’s accounts at the moment).

A moral conflict is what happens AFTER the events transpire. Otherwise it’s all nonsense; as what one believes one might do, until one actually does; involves no conflict. It’s only after one does what one thinks one would not -or would never- that things get painful.

As does injury.

It’s just that injury is only a PART of the conflict, instead of the whole kit & kaboodle.

Does that parse?

***
Being at war with one’s self -v- “simply” having a injury to recover from.
 

internal

Sponsor
Being at war with one’s self -v- “simply” having a injury to recover from.
so is this some thing which is semantic for you in particular?

because of i do similer things of this that i want to define things and have things to be very clear and make sense what i am talking of. but some times what also happens especeally, especeally when it comes to things like this.

where the language that we have as a human species is very poor, some times we do just have to define things our selfs. or that we have to under stand that our definitions may be different to the other definitions, that we can reject the common definition. in my own case i would reject the definition of moral injury as you've defined it above, which you have also rejected.

so, because for me the language isn't very useful (and no language actually is useful) i went a step further and redefined it as it matters to my life (my definition seems to fit in with what sideways posted, but it makes a distinction between the cause and effect, much like yours does).

and what my suspecion is with regards to your trauma that you likely have a lot of this as well that you are using terminology that exists but doesn't quite define the experiences you've had. (although it may be distinct for you because you were in the military, a lot of this just is what happened to you without qualifiers.)

and the differences between: -> before the event -> during the event -> the effects after the event and what persists.
 
Last edited:

Sideways

Moderator
Moral conflict is what occurs before events happen?
I'm with this. There is conflict while there is still a choice to be made, between options that both go against ones morals.

That may not be what it meant in the 1700s. But, once the act has been done, there's no more conflict, there is aftermath.

As to moral injury in ptsd, particularly with respect to the meaning of the term in warfare, the VA has a confronting article about that here that may clear things up (or, make them a whole lot muddier) about the current use of the phrase "moral injury".
 

joeylittle

Administrator
OK, this is the sort of question that I L.O.V.E., love, could not love this more.

@Friday, are you referring to "moral conflict" from the basis of moral conflict theory in communications sciences, or moral dilemma, as in philosophy?

My understanding of moral conflict is that it is interpersonal, or between two groups.

Moral dilemma is better used for one person's inner conflict.

I like this excerpt as a definition of moral injury as applied to PTSD:
In order for moral injury to occur, the individual must feel like a transgression occurred and that they or someone else crossed a line with respect to their moral beliefs. Guilt, shame, disgust and anger are some of the hallmark reactions of moral injury
It clarifies (for me, anyway) that a moral injury can result from external or internal action.

Curious if any of the above is relating to what you're putting forward in your OP.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I think the term "moral conflict", depending on its context, goes anywhere from cognitive dissonance to outward conflict with others, and it isn't resolved yet, and also is something that generally happens in virtuality, aka, having some shitty decision to make.

It's really vague and I think also subject to be translated inconsistently. While injury really is something that you have to deal with after having done it yourself. Or not done something you think you should have. And that is past a certain threshold of gravity.
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Touching on all the philosophy involved would take several volumes all of which are already written. How do I forgive myself when I deserve condemnation? Societal standards fluctuate. I had to fluctuate a little. Am I a little wishy washy? Yes, but it beats suicidal depression. It wasn’t so much what I thought, it was what I thought you thought. Whose morality?

The questions are endless the answers ?

Thanks for making me think.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
But I take issue with the entire freaking concept of “moral injury”… for several reasons. Not the least of which, or even mainly; how limited it’s scope, how Victim-Glorious, & how much invented/false helplessness is attached.
Would you expand on that a little? I just read the piece that @joeylittle linked to (it's great BTW). I don't see a whole lot of "victim"....... IDK what to call it? The whole "poor pathetic victim" thing? Anyway, I don't get that vibe from that particular piece. I more see it as an attempt to name and explore something that seems to be a real thing.

Here's something that caught my attention in JL's article.

"In order for moral injury to occur, the individual must feel like a transgression occurred and that they or someone else crossed a line with respect to their moral beliefs."

It occurred to me when I read that that the concept includes a lot of things I hadn't considered before. Like, if you deeply believe that people should treat each other fairly, that children shouldn't be raped or beaten, for example, then being on the receiving end of that kind of behavior could cause a "moral injury" which takes you to the place where you believe you must have deserved it or it wouldn't have happened. According to the article, this is something a therapist needs to be aware of because it's going to affect "treatment". Here's some of what the article says about that.

"Moral injury may lead patients to believe that they do not deserve to feel better which could negatively affect how much patients engage in and comply with treatment. Self-sabotaging behavior in therapy or other facets of life such as in work or relationships may be clues to a moral injury that has not yet been disclosed. Thus, therapists should assess for such beliefs and address them in therapy."

So, am I right in thinking this can be not only sins of omission and commission, but a response to things you were on the receiving end of? Whatever you call it, it seems to be a real thing, doesn't it? You don't have to look very far to see examples around this forum.
 

PlainJane

Moderator
Is a moral conflict injurious? Certainly. But I take issue with the entire freaking concept of “moral injury”… for several reasons. Not the least of which, or even mainly; how limited it’s scope, how Victim-Glorious, & how much invented/false helplessness is attached

Very limited, but serves a purpose.

I am interested in the "victim-glorious" and the false helplessness you're referring to. Are we looking at accountability? Resilience? Strictly from a combat perspective?

It’s just that injury is only a PART of the conflict, instead of the whole kit & kaboodle.

Moral conflict, as you say, is the whole kit and kaboodle. Identifiable by the naked eye. Moral injury is the result therein, putting the conflict under a microscope and focusing on the moral suffering caused by the conflict. Moral injury is a facet of Moral conflict, not interchangeable concepts.

It occurred to me when I read that that the concept includes a lot of things I hadn't considered before.

Thought provoking, right? I love it.
 
Top