I'm Right, You're Wrong  

rm_TappyTibbins 40M
49 posts
5/29/2005 7:00 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

I'm Right, You're Wrong


As some of you may know, I am intrigued by the examination of opposites and their effect on our perception of the world. In reading more and more of the blog postings on this site I notice that again and again the idea of sexual tastes, standards and the limits of 'acceptable' behaviour seems to be a recurring issue. All of this leads me to believe that there is no more pernicious a dichotomy than that between Right and Wrong. I would like, with your indulgence, to spend my posts this week examining this dichotomy in a several part quest (hopefully one daily).

I am not so naive as to be unaware that this is an endeavour embarked upon by many minds far greater than mine for the past several millennia. I am under no illusions that I will be able to provide any great insights.

Any thoughts that you may have as the series progresses would be greatly appreciated. An exploration of this sort is always best approached as a sharing of ideas.

Part I: Starting a Definition

When a person does not know the difference between right and wrong, we call that person abnormal; we call him a psychopath. It is generally assumed that all people know what makes an action wrong. We use the words “right” and “wrong” casually in our conversations as though we know what they mean. We teach them to our children. Our country’s laws codify rules for right and wrong behaviour. It does not take much investigation, however, to see that our knowledge of the meaning of these words is not as secure as we might want to believe.

People disagree as to what constitutes a wrong action. Indeed, philosophers have argued the point for almost three thousand years. Innumerable lives have been lost in wars fought on this issue. Logicians say that it is a logical truth that a thing cannot both be P and not-P at the same time. How then is it possible for an action to be both wrong and not wrong at the same time? Clearly some reconciliation is needed, but is reconciliation possible?

Socrates was often known to point out that before we can examine the attributes, occurrences or applications of a thing, we must first know the nature of the thing in question. This applies equally to Morals (For the sake of expedience and clarity, I'd like to use the word “Morals” in place of “Right and Wrong” to indicate that which determines our actions in the face of ethical dilemmas. Often, the word “Values” is used to express this concept. “Values,” however, in modern parlance, seems to incorporate an inherently subjective characteristic, which “Morals” does not share. Also, the word “value” is often used in a context not strictly considered ethical, as in, “The value of this antique is such-and-such”. What are Morals? What exactly are we talking about when we say that an action is wrong? Given that some people deny even the existence of Morals, let us then begin our inquiry at the very beginning; with the premise that Morals either do or do not exist.

If Morals do not exist, then the words “right” and “wrong” would have no referent. If you were to say to someone, “What you did this morning was boomdoodle,” they would most likely claim to not understand, and ask you what “boomdoodle” means. If, however, you were to say to them, “What you did this morning was wrong,” they would probably justify their behaviour and attempt to prove that what they did was not wrong. That the words “right” and “wrong” have meaning indicates that they refer to some thing which exists in some form, even if only as a mental concept or idea. This thing, to which these words refer, is what I am, for now, calling Morals.

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Next: Part II "If They Exist, Where Are They?"

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rm_jayR63 59F
1884 posts
5/29/2005 8:23 pm

I think a psychopath does know the difference between right and wrong but chooses wrong anyway.

A child or a developmentally disable person does not know the difference between right and wrong.


rm_FreeLove999 46F
16127 posts
5/30/2005 12:34 am

There is no right and wrong; there are only activities which increase your energy and activities which decrease your energy. And certainly law has nothing to say about right or wrong because law is written -- the world over -- to favour the property owners over the poor. That is why it is acceptable for supermarkets to horde piles of food while people living near the supermarket are starving...



[blog freelove999]


rm_TappyTibbins 40M
22 posts
5/30/2005 5:44 pm

Jay: I agree, children and the developmentally disabled likely aren't able to tell the difference between right and wrong. This would seem to imply that Morals can not be innate, but rather a learned attribute. What are the implications of this?

FreeLove: Very interesting. I'd love to hear more about this "energy." What are the consequences of a lowered energy" or the benefits of a "higher energy?" How does this energy manifest itself?


rm_FreeLove999 46F
16127 posts
5/30/2005 6:09 pm

The energy manifests itself as the ability to do more, share more, give more, feel more, or the ability to do less, share less, give less, feel less. um... but you should really read Spinoza... lol! and Nietschze (fuck, can't think how to spell that now, have a streaming cold!)...



[blog freelove999]


lustmirror 63M
2897 posts
5/30/2005 8:25 pm

I think you mean sociopath, someone who has not assimilated the accepted cultural proscription and feelings of "right" and "wrong"


rm_TappyTibbins 40M
22 posts
5/30/2005 9:06 pm

Lustmirror: correction noted. Thank you.


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