It is universally true that people like to think of themselves as good, basically. But that is not the testimony of Scripture. The testimony of Scripture is that unequivocably the entire human race is evil, as the vernacular would tell us today, bad to the bone, corrupt to the core.
Men live with the consequent guilt of their wickedness. They don't like it. They don't want to face it. They try to eliminate it by adapting a more convenient kind of morality or by silencing their crying conscience.
Some years ago, a psychologist put it this way, “One of the most painful self-mutilating time and energy consuming exercises in the human experience is guilt. It can ruin your day, or your week, or your life if you let it. It turns up like a bad penny when you do something dishonest, hurtful, tacky, selfish or rotten. Never mind that it was the result of ignorance, stupidity, laziness, thoughtlessness, weak flesh or clay feet. You did wrong and the guilt is killing you. Too bad. But be assured. The agony you feel is normal. Remember, guilt is a pollutant and we don't need anymore of it in the world.” And with that last statement, the article ended without a solution to get rid of it.
Admittedly we don't like it. Admittedly we wish we could get rid of it. But what is the means to relieve us of guilt? More importantly than living with guilt is living with the reality of future divine judgment. Guilt in a sense is that which we impose on ourselves. And that is not nearly so deadly as that which God will impose upon us. We can make our life in this world miserable by guilt. But God will make our life in the next world miserable by judgment.
Sin produces then a misery in this life and an infinite and eternal misery in the life to come. People try to deal with their guilt in many ways...alcohol, drugs, sometimes suicide, any kind of earthly diversion. But in the end, it's very hard to avoid because according to Romans chapter 2, all human beings have a Law written in their hearts, a Law of God written in the heart of every sinner. Not only do they have a moral sense that is part of being human, like the other senses, seeing and hearing and smelling and tasting. There is this sense of what is right and this sense of what is wrong that is built in to the whole human race.