Right or Wrong
Right or WrongBy Destine.
The Oxford dictionary defines ‘Right’ first as ‘morally good’ (to do something), what is correct according to law or a person’s duty. While ‘Wrong’ is defined first as ‘not correct’ or not right.
Something has gone insidiously wrong. Many of us know it, but what to do evade us.
According to one author, we've seriously lost our way. He says we are men adrift at sea without a compass. As a result, moral dilemmas plague us in our everyday lives and in decisions we make in all our daily activities. So the question now is how do one know the difference between right or wrong in situations? Does religion have anything to offer? Does the government have any answers?
In the present day our leaders have nothing to say that is practical and helpful. Not only because of the fact that they have moral mediocrities, but are mostly insincere especially after attaining power.
Survey tells us that most people in our so-called modern society claim that truth is not always and generally valid, but can be judged only in relation to other things, such as your personal situation: in essence what is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. I think that it is very easy to say there are no objective or absolute moral principles. it is much difficult, however, to live as if there are none.
Right and wrong is embedded in the human mind naturally; due in the course of evolution and civilization of homo. Anthropologists and sociologists often assume that human beings have natural social tendencies. Some evolutionary biologists believe that morality is a product of evolutionary forces acting at an individual level and also at the group level and also at the group level through group selection. Some sociobiologists contend that the set of behaviors that constitute morality evolved largely because they provided possible survival and/or reproductive benefits in the sense that they increased evolutionary success. Humans consequently evolved "pro-social" emotions, such as feelings of empathy or guilt, in response to the moral behaviors. (en.m.wikipedia. org / wiki/ morality)
What would you do if, during Nigerian civil war you were hiding some Hausa-Fulani people in your home and a Biafran soldier came to your door and asked if there were any Hausas inside? Would you tell the truth and consign these people to death, or would you lie to protect them? Most people will respond to this question with the "logical conclusion" that they would lie and protect the refugees. For a long time now many people have used such moral dilemma to disprove the existence of moral absolutes.
In view of moral dilemmas like this one, and other pivotal disagreements over ethical questions like abortion, euthanasia, pre-marital sex and capital punishment, many think that moral values must be relative to individuals, culture or time. People do not realize that an increasing number of philosophers these days think that ethical relativism is naive and that morality is objectively true.
Back in the days just before the Second World War, things were different. The western world was dominated by a particular value system.
In a book titled 1938: A world vanishing, Brain Cleeve wrote about the difference between Britain as it was entering the war and the way it had become about 50 years later. He said: “there really was, as nostalgia remembers, an air of greater contentment. Of a sturdier confidence in the future [people] had a greater stock of moral certainties, right and wrong were not matters for debate."
Since then much has changed, of course, now right and wrong are matters for debate. Michael Horner a Canadian philosopher said “the way we live, our behavior and the way we respond when other people are mistreated, these things reveal what we really believe about “right and wrong.” For example, we believe it was morally wrong for the Nazis to torture and kill six million Jews during World War II. but we not only think it is wrong, we think everyone should agree that it is wrong. There is a logical possibility that we are mistaken and it is just our cultural conditioning that tells us these things are wrong. This may be a logical possibility, but it is very likely that our deepest intuitions about this matter could be mistaken? That would mean torturing people is not really wrong; we just think it is. But if this basic intuition is wrong, that is, if it is possible that our beliefs and intuitions, such as our belief in cultural conditioning, are also the results of these same conditioning process? If so, it seems this line of reasoning is self- refuting; it fails its own test.
Most people know that such atrocities as what the holocaust are genuinely, objectively wrong. Christians believe that if objective principles of right or wrong exist, there must be a foundation for them. And the foundation that makes the most sense is the character of a perfect and Holy God (Michael Horner: is there any real right or wrong). Much of our morality was based on the Books of books, the Bible. Sadly, today it’s thought by many to be no more than a piece of great literature. There was a time when we all could recite the Ten Commandments. There was a time when our parents led the way in disciplining us for bad behavior; this was done in collaboration with teachers and elders in the community who all had a charge in raising a child for the better with good morals. Recently it has become a bounden duty of parents alone and even that is burning out.
As observed by David Hulme, the end of the Second World War was a turning point. And while the morality of the 30’s was not perfect, Cleeve noted that “to exchange a false morality for no morality at all is not necessarily an exchange for the better. And if as a survivor of pre- war years I were to offer an opinion as to one difference between then and now that is for the worse, I would have to choose morality… the morality of believing that there are real and objective standards of behavior, that there are such things as virtues, and such things as vices; that certain things are unarguably good, and others unarguably bad.”
However there are basic principles that exist to help us determine if something is right or wrong, these principles don’t change according to individual or society for they are always true. Like the fact that every human always have that tendency to treat others how they would want to be treated too. Even if a person does what can be termed as morally wrong to people or the society and acts or seem justified with their action, deep within them in the inner recesses of the mind as in all humans a decision is always made before taking action and that choice is made always between is my action right or wrong? This thereby establishes as a fact that there is right and there is wrong… Right and wrong exists.