How Do we Know the Difference Between Right and Wrong?
Most times people know the difference between wrong and a right acts; however, such self-conscious individuals are not always expected to do the right thing. For antiquity, the human’s social order has been judged thus forming an opinion about other people. For instance, religion has been the judging yardstick when it comes to social justice and the determination of what is right or wrong. Giving false information is wrong; however, this may not be the case in all contexts. With this in mind, it seems that more than just what the society perceives as proper moral values determine the difference between right and wrong.
It is hard and in some cases improbable to enforce what is considered right to all people across the board people always seek for freedom and these may cause rebellions that may be the birth of vices as it has been the case through civilization. Therefore, it can be stated that there is a hidden hand that determines what is acceptable and what is not for both an individual and the society in general. When a child sees that a meal is divided unequally, he or she is likely to complain, meaning that the child comprehends that the concepts of fairness and equality are the desired attributes. These assumptions are either met with limited moral direction or not. While the choice between right and wrong is inborn, the society continues to have individuals who do wrong things. From the information provided, it seems that the choice for an individual to choose between good and bad is determined by personal choice and the moral dilemma.
The question of morality is central to the functioning of a society with the prevalent values of honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, and fairness acting as entry atrium in the understanding of ethics. Nevertheless, the same society breeds an ideal environment of corruption, dishonesty, injustice, as well as other social ills through increased uncertainty and volatility in how a community switches its perceptions on certain actions. For example, it might be perceived that stealing to provide for a family is okay; however, in some fields such as religion one ought not to steal at all, no matter what the circumstances may be because it is wrong. Society seems to be concerned about choice despite individuals knowing the difference between good and bad. Several philosophies, counter theories, as well as research studies have been developed in to try to differentiate between what is right and wrong to relatable contexts (Cima, Franca, and Marc 59). Currently, society or community does not follow moral principles blindly. On the contrary, such principles must have some benefit to the people for the individuals to follow them. With this in mind, an explanation for why people choose to commit wrong doings over what they know is right does not exist until an in-depth analysis of issue is conducted.
In some cases, it has been argued that some lies are bigger than other because the hold a much graver consequence, but as it is presented in the Christian religion a lie is a lie no regardless of it being labeled big or small. This lesson is taught and embraced by the society in schools and by parents at home so much so it becomes common sense. When a child lies to either their parents or teachers and the act goes unpunished, then the chances of them repeating the same mistake without the knowledge the consequences of their actions. From such an example, it is clear that it is not much about morality and ethics which it the long term effect of bad and good behavior and not the actions that have an effect society’s acceptance of a right or wrong act. Morals define an individual’s character thus the social structure, on the hand, ethics develop social arrangements there morals manifest
What is considered wrong or right is dependent on certain situations as well as personal judgment. For instance, if a suspicious character asks Mary about the whereabouts of her neighbor with the intention to cause him harm, she may be forced to lie about it. Ethics and morality advocates for telling the truth because it is a virtue; however, some cases, telling a lie is the right thing to do. Therefore, a right or wrong action might not necessarily be perceived in isolation because it depends on circumstances as well as underlying purpose. The community seems to be shifting from a general view of an outright wrong act and right one because of the specific teachings and understanding that an individual acquires throughout. It is possible that people do not necessarily adhere to the right actions because it is part of the social order. However, they may do so through intuition in addition to observing other people. To most people, even the ones who seem to have committed a heinous act, life has a higher level of humanity. As such, people may approve wrong doing but that does not point to unawareness of right action. In the modern society, there is an increased eagerness to be tolerant to what other communities from other eras would accept just to remain healthy. These new trait is set up to take away any structure to set up any group of people in the society as judges. Currently, judgment is a wrong thing because of the past human atrocities that have seen countless lives lost. Additionally, hypocrisy and false morality are other reasons why the community and individuals may find it hard to differentiate right from wrong.
The information provided has revealed two vital issues that determine why an individual may continue or opt to commit a wrong doing after the fact. First, the lines between right or wrong are dependent on various inherent factors. Most people grow up in societies that underline universal moral values such as one should not kill a fellow human. Nevertheless, such actions continue to exist but circumstantially because of the moral dilemma. People usually have consciousness that develops a process of understanding right from wrong. The moral dilemma allows people to develop the ability to admit their mistake as opposed to trying to present themselves as ethical all the time. It reduces the chances of rigidity and negativity that may be damaging for one holding good moral values. The second issue is the intra-personal decision making processes that leads to a person opting to commit a wrong act for a good cause. What is right or wrong may not always be intuitive thus in such a case an individual might follow the philosophies such as ‘the greater good’ despite doing a wrong act. With this in mind, the lines between right and wrong are not isolated and remain undefined.
Cima, Maaike, Franca Tonnaer, and Marc D. Hauser. “Psychopaths Know Right From Wrong But Don’t Care.” Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 5.1 (2010): 59-67.