Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

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Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Biosapien on August 8th, 2016, 4:40 am 

We call certain things in our life as Right and certain things as Wrong. I am having a hard time to understand right from wrong, because what i feel right at one time interval makes me to feel its bad or wrong at different time interval.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 9th, 2016, 5:39 pm 

"Right" or "wrong" (or "good" and "evil") can only be determined by the resultant consequences.

Here is an excerpt on the subject:

Imagine, for a moment, that you lived in a simpler time.

You and the people in your village have never known anyone else. For all you know, there are no other people in the world. And for as long as anyone can remember, people have survived by catching fish as they whoosh by in the fast-flowing river that runs by your village. Catching fish, or even gathering water to drink, requires great skill and agility. Everyone must learn this skill, or the tribe would perish. Many people have been swept away and crushed on the rocks in an effort to master the most important task life requires of your people.

Now, seemingly from nowhere, you have an idea – an inspiration – that could change all that. If you could build something to block the flow of the river and force the water to run over the riverbank into the valley, the water would be calm. Everyone would be able to wade into the water, catch fish, fill buckets - even bathe - without risking life and limb!

After many attempts, you accomplish your goal. Everyone thinks you are a hero. You have done more for your people than anyone in known history has ever done!

Are you a good person? Did you perform a good deed?

If any of your people had followed the river around the bend and through the trees, they would have discovered another village, with other people who also struggle all their lives trying to catch fish and gather water from the mighty river. And in this village, the people are suddenly confused and scared. The river, which had taunted them and sustained them for as long as anyone could remember, has stopped flowing!

They have no idea why. Certainly, since the only people in their known world live in this village, no men made this happen. So, the cause must not be a man, but a god.

And the gods must be angry.

Of course, if they knew that your people existed, they would certainly blame you. So, I'll ask again, are you a good person? Did you perform a good deed?
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Don Juan on August 10th, 2016, 1:55 am 

An action is made right by the fullest effort possible one can give in expanding his knowledge, understanding the involved context and constraints, maintaining sound mind and body, observing the time involved or available, genuine love to fellowmen, and doing the action based on these.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Biosapien on August 10th, 2016, 4:06 am 

Hi Paul Anthony ,

I was also thinking about the same thing which you have explained, we humans revolutionized with technology to save humanity, but the ugly truth is we are causing more harm than good to the society in the name of intervention or saving human life. I personally believe, most of the problem in our society is created due to population explosion which indeed is due to the advancement in medical field and procedures.

So the good cannot separated from bad or vice versa, to make this sound better let me imagine in this way whatever is good for someone will be bad for someone else.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby vivian maxine on August 10th, 2016, 5:20 am 

Paul, wouldn't you say he was still a good person since no one in his village - himself included - knew there was a village around the bend. We cannot say "but he could have gone and looked". If you have all you need in your town, do you drive 50 miles to another town to get the same thing? People go exploring when they have a need to go exploring for something - usually anyway.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 10th, 2016, 9:36 am 

Why does it have to be about people?
What's good about killing a river? Many "primitive" peoples have related to their environment as to a living entity. Rivers, trees, lakes, mountains all have a spirit and life of their own. You hurt them at your own peril.

Being good means trying to minimize the harm you inevitably do to your surroundings.

Diverting a little water for your millrace and pond and then draining it back into the river downstream of the village would do less harm than damming the whole thing. Think in terms of what everything around you needs to survive, rather than just what you and your relatives want. ("That water lives in Mombasa.")
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby vivian maxine on August 10th, 2016, 1:04 pm 

Serpent » August 10th, 2016, 8:36 am wrote:Why does it have to be about people?
What's good about killing a river? Many "primitive" peoples have related to their environment as to a living entity. Rivers, trees, lakes, mountains all have a spirit and life of their own. You hurt them at your own peril.

Being good means trying to minimize the harm you inevitably do to your surroundings.

Diverting a little water for your millrace and pond and then draining it back into the river downstream of the village would do less harm than damming the whole thing. Think in terms of what everything around you needs to survive, rather than just what you and your relatives want. ("That water lives in Mombasa.")


All right. But they did not know this at that time. And I don't think they killed the river. They diverted it. I see the point you are making (whether I agree or not) but - repeat - they didn't know. Are they then bad? They thought they were doing good.

Is your next question "DId they ask permission of the river?"
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 10th, 2016, 1:40 pm 

Yes, that might be a good question. Certainly, a Haida would ask.
Besides... Of course they knew! You cannot help knowing that moving water is supposed to move or that the animals and trees in the valley are supposed to breathe. You cannot help knowing that a massive thing like a dam will change the landscape that is working the way it is, and if you change things, they might not work anymore.

A city in Saskatchewan is poisoned with oil right now. They couldn't possibly have known that the pipeline would leak at some time in the future. Could they? Can they possibly know, pushing so hard for another, even bigger, pipeline, that it might leak on some other landscape in the future? When a drunk gets behind the wheel, the has no way of knowing that there will be a cyclist around the corner...

Ignorance is a poor defense. (Often, it's also a disingenuous one.) If you don't know what the consequences of your action will be, proceed with caution. And remember that everything isn't about you.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby vivian maxine on August 10th, 2016, 1:49 pm 

I don't think we can tie our ignorance today with ignorance of very ancient people. I do have trouble believing a tribe didn't know another tribe was around the bend but that's part of the story. So, I take it that way to keep the questions straight.

And I was thinking wrong when I said did they ask permission. I don't know about all such myths and lores but, remembering my Pueblo friends, they don't ask; they say thanks. They explain their need and say thanks. Different in different tribes, of course.

As for the river no longer flowing, wouldn't it have been only the overflow that didn't continue moving? Much like flood waters do. Hmmm? Did they dam up the main stream? I don't remember. Shall go back and read.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 10th, 2016, 3:51 pm 

It was only a hypothetical. Yes, the overflow would eventually go someplace, but not necessarily back into the original bed. Even if the river does continue on its course, look at the Colorado. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-colorado-river-runs-dry-61427169/?no-ist,
That was done by well-informed, scientific modern people with all the best intentions. Killing a river is still just as wrong as it was when a primitive tribe did it.

Ancient people were less well equipped with instruments and aerial photos, but they knew a lot more than we usually give them credit for, and were a lot more like us than either they or we like to admit. They made all the same excuses we make for the things they knew they shouldn't do - not just to the environment and other species, but to other people. Exploitation and oppression do not spring from ignorance: they are done by people who choose to believe that everything is about them, and for them.

On the other hand, there were fewer of them, so the harm they did was local. Nature could heal it, or at least cover it over with vegetation, once they wiped themselves out.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 10th, 2016, 5:06 pm 

vivian maxine » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:20 am wrote:Paul, wouldn't you say he was still a good person since no one in his village - himself included - knew there was a village around the bend. We cannot say "but he could have gone and looked". If you have all you need in your town, do you drive 50 miles to another town to get the same thing? People go exploring when they have a need to go exploring for something - usually anyway.


What I quoted was a small excerpt from a book. The discussion continued and might have been helpful in answering your questions, but I didn't think it appropriate to paste the entire chapter. :)

Nor did I need to. The comments that have followed (yours and others) are encouraging. I meant to provide a place to start, knowing that the people on this forum would expand on the thought process. I am not disappointed.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Biosapien on August 12th, 2016, 2:19 am 

After reading all those comments it makes me to think, what makes the man to do wrong things(i.e., no one is going to do wrong things by knowingly, since they believe its right thing for them they engage in doing those.

Whether right or wrong what drives someone to do those, is it money,lust,power and so on.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 12th, 2016, 10:22 am 

Biosapien » August 12th, 2016, 1:19 am wrote:After reading all those comments it makes me to think, what makes the man to do wrong things(i.e., no one is going to do wrong things by knowingly, since they believe its right thing for them they engage in doing those.

Do you really believe this? Why do you believe this? Can you not recall any single decision you ever made to do something, knowing it to be wrong, and hoping you wouldn't get caught? Most of us have.

Civilization is anti-nature. When you raise a child or a dog in civilized society, you have to break him of his animal habits; train him to curb and control his most natural impulses. You have to convince him that giving in to instinct, emotion, desire, anger, aggression etc. is wrong. Well, it's not naturally wrong; not wrong to feel those things. It's socially wrong: wrong act on those things - except in a manner prescribed by your society. (This means those traits will never be bred out, because the society calls upon the members to exercise those instinct and impulses in its service.)
That's a very fine line to walk. Most people can't keep to it their whole life; many fail often; many people deliberately break the rules sometimes, to satisfy an overwhelming desire or to obtain a particular advantage. If they're caught, they're usually punished in some way, so that they either stop doing it or learn to do it more skillfully.

We do want to be good. But we do wrong, because we want something even more than we want to be good. A child know he should not take a piece of cake before dinner. He even understands why he should not have it now, and that he will be given a slice of cake after dinner: he can have his cake and be good, too. But it just looks so damn tasty, he wants it now! When he grows up, the same thing will happen when he wants another man's wife. Either he can curb that impulse and discipline himself to wait, or he will break the rules. It's not a question of knowing or not knowing: it's a question of which is the stronger desire.

Whether right or wrong what drives someone to do those, is it money,lust,power and so on.

A few people refuse to obey the rules at all, and these are always admired by a bunch of other people who wish they were brave enough to be uncivilized. When a sociopath has enough power - through physical strength, or military promotion or political position or clever manipulation or wealth or religious office - he always gathers followers willing to do wrong at his order or in his name or for whatever cause he orates about. They know what they're doing is socially wrong, but in hot blood, it feels right to the antisocial animal. Later, when the pack-leader is killed; when they lose the voice inciting them to wrong actions, when they see the mess they've made, many crawl away in shame and pretend they never heard of the great leader, even repudiate him.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 12th, 2016, 2:58 pm 

The Stanford prison experiment supports your theory, Serpent.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 12th, 2016, 4:42 pm 

Closer to home, so does the Trump campaign. Scary, innit?
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 12th, 2016, 5:11 pm 

Serpent » Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:42 pm wrote:Closer to home, so does the Trump campaign. Scary, innit?


Aw shucks. I was agreeing with you up until that last remark. Trump may be a sociopath, but that's practically a prerequisite for holding political office. :)

However, I have seen people who favor leftist policies rioting at Trump rallies. I haven't seen Trump supporters rioting at Clinton rallies. Have you? So, claiming he is leading his followers to do awful things is a leftist lie (so far).
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 12th, 2016, 7:11 pm 

Just as well I haven't uttered it then.
I haven't seen either of those things: I don't watch political rallies. I don't even know what provocations and inter-group dynamics are motivating people to act out in those situations. I only hear his remarks when they're re-broadcast on the news - that's more than enough to scare me. I do not yet know what the supporters are capable of (beyond massive self-delusion) or what they will eventually do, in which outcome. I actually fear what happens to America more is he loses.

The historical demagogues, like the archetypal schoolyard bully, only need an opportunity and a tight, loyal band of ruthless thugs to seize power.* After the inner gang has cowed the opposition, the less daring sympathizers get on the band-wagon and you have undisciplined mob action. The leader doesn't need to direct and organize that, only to give tacit approval while they let loose all those frustrations, resentments, hates and jealousies. Then, the nation is subdued, the mob is sated (and his creatures for life: they've cast their lot) and the inner circle can set about consolidating their power over all the existing organs and appendages of government.

*If the army's either on board or on the fence. That's the deciding factor.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 12th, 2016, 7:56 pm 

Fair enough, although I don't quite see how one could listen to the news and not hear about riots at rallies, If you say you are unaware, I'll take your word for it.

But I was hoping to take this in a slightly different direction - one in line with the topic. Fervent followers of Trump - and Hillary, and Sanders - are prone to demonize the opponents by repeating accusations that are not always supported by facts. I can't say with any certainty that they know these accusations are false, but it does seem that supporters are reluctant to investigate before repeating what they have heard.

It seems we are more comfortable saying outrageous things when others are saying them, too. Call it group-think or safety-in-numbers, or perhaps some other quasi-psycological term, but people do things they might otherwise not do from the comfort of knowing they are not alone. I'm sure I've been guilty of the same less-than-admirable behavior.

Maybe we don't see this as a wrongful thing because we are accustomed to rooting for "our" team and wishing terrible things for the opposing team in the sports we follow. As a side note, some say nationalism is dangerous, but I've noticed everyone - liberals and conservatives - exhibit no shame in rooting for team USA in the Olympics. Just as people in other nations behave the same way regarding their nation's athletes.

So, are we all "bad" people or just human?
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 12th, 2016, 8:09 pm 

In my haste to redirect the conversation, I failed to respond to your very good point.

Serpent » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:11 pm wrote:
The historical demagogues, like the archetypal schoolyard bully, only need an opportunity and a tight, loyal band of ruthless thugs to seize power.* After the inner gang has cowed the opposition, the less daring sympathizers get on the band-wagon and you have undisciplined mob action. The leader doesn't need to direct and organize that, only to give tacit approval while they let loose all those frustrations, resentments, hates and jealousies.



We have already seen evidence of that to some degree (without the violence). Bernie fostered great loyalty in his followers, but when he finally endorsed Hillary his followers booed her AND Bernie at the convention. He had started a movement, but just as quickly lost control of it. The movement took on a life of its own without him.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 12th, 2016, 9:35 pm 

Paul Anthony » August 12th, 2016, 6:56 pm wrote:Fair enough, although I don't quite see how one could listen to the news and not hear about riots at rallies, If you say you are unaware, I'll take your word for it.

I hear the odd snatch of US news, but prefer to get the distillate from a couple of trusted columnists. I did hear something about hat-burning and punches a while back, but that didn't register as a riot in my lexicon. (Old enough to have seen the real thing.) Were there bigger confrontations? Will try to find out.
Sorry, that was a side-track and not quite relevant. Hard to resist the facile reference.

But I was hoping to take this in a slightly different direction - one in line with the topic. Fervent followers of Trump - and Hillary, and Sanders - are prone to demonize the opponents by repeating accusations that are not always supported by facts. I can't say with any certainty that they know these accusations are false, but it does seem that supporters are reluctant to investigate before repeating what they have heard.

Yes. And more than reluctant to investigate: We accept what we like at face value and shut out what we don't like, even if it takes considerable effort. (This is true of religion, and schools of philosophy, economics, even of art or literature.) In a well-regulated electoral process, things wouldn't get so heated. You should look into alternative ways of conducting campaigns and much better broadcasting of information. The news media do tend to grab a sound-bite or a subjective remark and repeat it endlessly, without proper critique. By which I mean, they ask the wrong questions. About a controversial public statement, they start with "How will this affect..", not "How does this compare to the facts?" And, of course, there are libellous, slanderous and scandalous statements that ought not to be repeated on the airwaves at all, but they're the most 'news'worthy.

It seems we are more comfortable saying outrageous things when others are saying them, too. Call it group-think or safety-in-numbers, or perhaps some other quasi-psycological term, but people do things they might otherwise not do from the comfort of knowing they are not alone. I'm sure I've been guilty of the same less-than-admirable behavior.

Mob mentality. I had a moment of panic circa 1968 or 9, on a bus coming back from an anti-war demonstration at Niagara Falls, Ontario, in concert with the American one in NF NY. It had been a grand day: thousands of youth, inspiring speakers, sunshine, comeraderie, positive vibes and the odd whiff of weed. We were all tired and elated and singing "Solidarity Forever". And I suddenly realized: You could fall in!! This is how it happens. . A sense of belonging is terribly seductive. Add righteousness, and it's damn near addictive. Add drumming or music, and you have an army. I never attended another rally; did my work for whatever I've supported in the intervening years, on paper.

Maybe we don't see this as a wrongful thing because we are accustomed to rooting for "our" team and wishing terrible things for the opposing team in the sports we follow. As a side note, some say nationalism is dangerous, but I've noticed everyone - liberals and conservatives - exhibit no shame in rooting for team USA in the Olympics. Just as people in other nations behave the same way regarding their nation's athletes.

Every nation, party, church, society and sub-set expects us to do that. This is why i said it can't be bred out. We need those instincts to protect and support our group: to fight off attackers, save our fellow citizens from floods and fires, to put forth unusual effort in communal endeavours. Like carving giant heads or digging trenches in Flanders.... Yes, nationalism is the most dangerous thing we ever invented. The very gods themselves are nothing more than faces to put on our nationalism - talking faces that tell us how special and we are and give us permission [dominion; a mission; a crusade; the white ma's burden] to do the worst things we desire to do. We do the bad and crazy things, as well as the heroic and constructive ones, for the same reason: loyalty. It's necessary, but very hard to keep sane.

So, are we all "bad" people or just human?

All people are bad and good in some unique proportion. People invented those concepts. The right and wrong is in what we choose to do. We [adults functioning within normal intellectual parameters] usually know which we're doing at any given moment, and we usually know why. Children begin to know, within their understanding, at age 2-3 (depending on a number of variables) and become gradually more aware as they learn the reasons for rules. They also test and question the rules, to determine which they themselves consider to be good and which are morally okay to break and which are morally necessary to resist or overturn. That's how societies evolve... but it's a wrenching, painful process - one I'm not at all sure we'll work through.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 12th, 2016, 10:36 pm 

Serpent » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:35 pm wrote:
We [adults functioning within normal intellectual parameters] usually know which we're doing at any given moment, and we usually know why. Children begin to know, within their understanding, at age 2-3 (depending on a number of variables) and become gradually more aware as they learn the reasons for rules. They also test and question the rules, to determine which they themselves consider to be good and which are morally okay to break and which are morally necessary to resist or overturn. That's how societies evolve... but it's a wrenching, painful process - one I'm not at all sure we'll work through.


Well, we'll never be through with it. Each generation must undergo the same trials, testing the traditions of its parents, deciding what's worth keeping and what needs to change. Societies constantly evolve, for better or worse. It is not perfection, but it's better when the people make the decisions rather than having those decisions forced upon it by a "We know what's best" government. The powerful will always try to control the masses. We must always exercise our will against tyranny.

I see the possibility of such tyranny with both Trump and Clinton. Although I have several reasons for voting for Gary Johnson, the main one is that there is no "None of the above" option on my ballot. :)
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 12th, 2016, 11:03 pm 

No, I meant we won't get through evolving as a species. We're too crazy to survive our own cleverness.

BTW I don't really believe in "the people" anymore. I used to, but I've seen them express their collective will in too many bad ways. A government that really did know better would be okay, but government is just some of "the people", doing more of the wrong things, on inadequate information, with insufficient consideration for reasons they lie about.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Paul Anthony on August 12th, 2016, 11:09 pm 

Serpent » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:03 pm wrote:
...but government is just some of "the people", doing more of the wrong things, on inadequate information, with insufficient consideration for reasons they lie about.


Best definition I've heard so far!
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Biosapien on August 15th, 2016, 11:44 pm 

Serpent: Do you really believe this? Why do you believe this? Can you not recall any single decision you ever made to do something, knowing it to be wrong, and hoping you wouldn't get caught? Most of us have.

Biosapien: To answer your above comment, i did wrong things knowingly because the situation makes me to feel its a right thing to do at that particular moment. For example we all know killing is a felony, but people still engage in those kind of crime for many reason. Even there are people called professional killers. Many of still say the death of people like Hitler, sadam husain bought peace into this world. Here the peace is achieved by killing those guys, what you call this situation is it good/bad or right/wrong.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby TheVat on August 16th, 2016, 9:58 am 

There is often a principle of Least Harm in moral decisions. There is more harm done, to more people, in choosing NOT to kill Hitler. Though there is harm to Hitler, in killing him, if that is the only option available to stop massive harm, then it may be the right choice. What makes the decision easier than, say, the Trolley Problem, is that Hitler is a vicious madman who is deliberately killing innocent people.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 16th, 2016, 10:24 am 

Biosapien: To answer your above comment, i did wrong things knowingly because the situation makes me to feel its a right thing to do at that particular moment.

Is that the only time and the only reason you did wrong knowingly? Never cheated on a test? Never pretended to be sick to get out of school? Never stole a candy bar from the store? Never said the dog knocked over the lamp, when it was really you? Never exaggerated on your expense account, parked in the handicapped space, used another guy's shampoo in the showers, lied about a previous appointment when you didn't want to meet someone? Never, ever? Or did you convince yourself that those were the right thing to do at the time? So which are you - an angel or a hypocrite? (Most of us are both.)

For example we all know killing is a felony, but people still engage in those kind of crime for many reason. Even there are people called professional killers.

The majority of modern people, even men, don't engage in killing for any reason. Of those who do, many have what they think is a justification, or no better choice. Professional killers may be military, spies, law enforcement, political radicals or career criminals, and each of those categories, as well as each of those individuals, have their own mind-set, their own narrative, that's not available to us, so we'll never know what they think. But the guy who bumps off his uncle for the inheritance, definitely knows it's wrong, but he wants the money more than he wants to be good.

Problem is: Not all killing is felonious. The vast majority of killing of one human being by another takes place in political conflicts: on battlefields, with the approval of governments, or in guerilla actions, in an ideological cause. Another large number is state executions, open or secret.
As long as human societies approve some killing and outlaw other killing, we can never have a consensus on whether it's right or wrong.

Many of still say the death of people like Hitler, sadam husain bought peace into this world. Here the peace is achieved by killing those guys, what you call this situation is it good/bad or right/wrong.

Many will be quite wrong. The death of an individual has never brought peace to anything. Sometimes we feel it's necessary to stop an individual doing whatever they're doing - it doesn't have to on a national scale; it can be an ordinary wife-beater or child-molester. Sometimes we do it in self-defense - as the shopkeeper who shoots an armed robber. Sometimes we do it to protect others - as a police sharpshooter may take out a hostage-taker. Sometimes we do it by mistake, or out of fear, or to appease inner demons, or out of overwhelming rage. In no case doe this result in peace: every killing creates its own little whirlpool of unrest and engenders more conflict.

You don't need examples as extreme as killing to see where one wrong action can have turbulent consequences in unexpected ways. I couldn't resist - No, that's wrong. I didn't resist choosing a facile jibe over measured judgment, even though I knew perfectly well that I should. I took a cheap shot at Trump. Now poor old Bernie Sanders is taking my flak - even though he has never, to my knowledge, incited, provoked, approved or condoned any kind of violent action by his followers.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby TheVat on August 16th, 2016, 1:00 pm 

The movie "Irrational Man" explores this question. Quite amusingly, too. Joaquin Phoenix, a philosophy professor, contemplates killing a district court judge who is corrupt and ruining people's lives -- watch it, see what happens. I think Serpent will find the outcome interesting.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Serpent on August 16th, 2016, 1:56 pm 

Directed by Woody Allen, but he's not in it! Excellent! Will look for it. Thank you.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby EasternWind on August 16th, 2016, 2:42 pm 

I think right and wrong are not absolutes but relative. An action may be considered right compared to another action but wrong compared to a third action. So in any situation, there are degrees of being right or being wrong. But to ask the question of, is it ultimately right or wrong, or does it matter, I think is a moot point. To a person playing basketball, there are actions that are right and actions that are wrong. Asking if these actions are ultimately right or wrong is meaningless. If you are playing basketball then those are the rules. Why should we care if, to someone who is not playing it, or overall in the universe, does it matter or not? If you are the ultimate universe, then worry about that. Until then, yes, it does matter what you do, with regards to right and wrong. If you are in that village, your invention at the time was right. If you had been able to find out that there is another village around the bend and took into account their we-being also, then you would be "more right." Discovering that you "inadvertently" caused difficulties for the other village does not make your action of building a damn wrong. But once you find out, you are obligated to correct the issue or you will be wrong "after that."
Last edited by EasternWind on August 16th, 2016, 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Right and Wrong: Are they same or really different

Postby Athena on August 16th, 2016, 3:20 pm 

Paul Anthony » August 9th, 2016, 3:39 pm wrote:"Right" or "wrong" (or "good" and "evil") can only be determined by the resultant consequences.

Here is an excerpt on the subject:

Imagine, for a moment, that you lived in a simpler time.

You and the people in your village have never known anyone else. For all you know, there are no other people in the world. And for as long as anyone can remember, people have survived by catching fish as they whoosh by in the fast-flowing river that runs by your village. Catching fish, or even gathering water to drink, requires great skill and agility. Everyone must learn this skill, or the tribe would perish. Many people have been swept away and crushed on the rocks in an effort to master the most important task life requires of your people.

Now, seemingly from nowhere, you have an idea – an inspiration – that could change all that. If you could build something to block the flow of the river and force the water to run over the riverbank into the valley, the water would be calm. Everyone would be able to wade into the water, catch fish, fill buckets - even bathe - without risking life and limb!

After many attempts, you accomplish your goal. Everyone thinks you are a hero. You have done more for your people than anyone in known history has ever done!

Are you a good person? Did you perform a good deed?

If any of your people had followed the river around the bend and through the trees, they would have discovered another village, with other people who also struggle all their lives trying to catch fish and gather water from the mighty river. And in this village, the people are suddenly confused and scared. The river, which had taunted them and sustained them for as long as anyone could remember, has stopped flowing!

They have no idea why. Certainly, since the only people in their known world live in this village, no men made this happen. So, the cause must not be a man, but a god.

And the gods must be angry.

Of course, if they knew that your people existed, they would certainly blame you. So, I'll ask again, are you a good person? Did you perform a good deed?


Can we take this reasoning a bit further as Turchin did in his book "War and Peace and War"? He explains why good times lead to bad times and bad times lead to good times. I am starting to think perhaps the Aztecs and Mayans had the best philosophy because they saw life as progressive with a social condition leading to another social condition, rather thinking in terms of good or bad. I like the view that we live with multiple enacting forces better than binary thinking of good and bad.
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