As a Wiccan, I often think about random ethical situations for fun. That’s totally normal, right?
ANYway… my random philosophical thought today is: Can you apologize without being sorry?
When you apologize, you express an excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury (via Dictionary.com). When you’re sorry, you feel regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.
I can apologize for not doing more to help end the use of sweat shops, but I don’t feel sorry for it. My clothes come from thrift stores; I don’t personally buy into the negative clothing market except for underwear items.
I can apologize for not wanting to help out Syria, but I’m not sorry for wanting my people to stay safe and far away from someone else’s troubles. Our troops are worn and broken enough, and I’m tired of being a country at war. We weren’t always this way, and I can’t find sympathy for another country when they’ve torn themselves to pieces.
I can be sorry for being harsh in my views on helping other countries when our own is in a tough place, but I won’t apologize for putting my own people first. I do feel regret, especially knowing so much waste happens here while people in Africa face crop failure and food/water scarcity daily. I pity their plight, but I don’t apologize for having no answers, no solutions to those problems (nor do I apologize for thinking that the money we’ve been throwing at the problem isn’t helping).
So, can you apologize without being sorry? Can you feel sorry without apologizing? I’d say yes.