The human conscience separates man from the animals, therefore justifications to get past the conscience are not an option. Unless the conscience has been dulled to the point of being depraved it is mandatory to justify behavior; there is no choice, conscience demands it.
Unfortunately, justifications do not have to be strong in order to get by the conscience. The justification can be so weak it is laughable to everyone except the one using it. Healthy thinkers give great care to the reasons for their behavior; flawed thinkers do not. “You hurt me a little, therefore I am justified in hurting you a lot,” is so weak that a healthy thinker would see it as not only being weak, but being pathetic. Flawed thinkers live by the rusty rule: “treat others the way they treat you.”
A good example is using the justification that, “it is best for the children,” when divorcing. That is not even close to being true. The loss of a parent is devastating to a child. It is not the children who are being considered, it is the need to justify a behavior. Justifications that are weak are strengthened by thinking errors. Emotional pain carriers can be expected to use both weak justifications and thinking errors.
He or she wanted it, or they came on to me is commonly used by those seeking to justify sexual crimes. The authority figure is always responsible for a child’s behavior. If a child suggested robbing a bank or burning down a school building it is not likely the authority figure would agree to that behavior. But if the authority figure wants to have sex with a child the weakest of justifications will do. How logical is the justification, “I’m just helping him to develop?” Justifications do not have to be strong to work. Accurate thinking and positive motives eliminate weak justifications. Thinking errors along with negative motives breed weak justification for engaging in harmful behaviors. Learning to process emotional pain is a positive effort in the right direction when it comes to sound justifications.
"The justifications I used to rationalize using self-destructive behaviors was unbelievably weak. Looking at it from the prospective of a trained pain processor, it’s difficult to understand how I could have ever become so flawed in my thought process as to allow it even for a moment. I told myself I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself. Nothing could have been further from the truth. After I recovered from the devastation of flawed thinking a good friend of mine in North Georgia told me that when she saw me on the six o’clock news I could not have hurt her more if I had doubled up my fist and hit her square on the nose. Justifications don’t have to be strong to work.
I hurt everyone around me: my wife, my children, my family, friends, neighbors, people I worked for and with; and I didn’t just hurt the church, I persecuted it."
Removing Emotional Pain