Is there a Right or Wrong?

In many topics is a mention of something being right or wrong, and it kinda disturbs me a bit. So i want to raise the question, is there a generalized right or wrong?

First of all, i recognize the fact that there is a big custom to use those specific terms in common communication for a broad meaning. And i don’t wanna argue that. For this reason i’d like to differentiate between right/wrong and correct/incorrect, as to the last ones simply referringto facts which are either true/false.

As for my understanding r/w are ment to be used as a universal characteristic, but done so in a way which formulates only personal opinion. What leads me to the contradiction that personal opinion isn’t a fact to be attributed universally. Only in relation to the person whoms opinion it is as simple opinion cause it’s that persons opinion, of course.

For example: “(xyz) is right or wrong”, and (xyz) being anything but a clear statement. - It doesn’t make sense. That way it sounds like a minor linguistic flaw. Because if (xyz) where in fact a clear statement, one could apply correct/incorrect. Which is excluded, because i don’t argue that a state/condition is either true or false.

This in the end leaves me to the conclution that there is no right or wrong in a meaning of a universal characteristic outside of a persons own opinion, which is only a persons opinion.

There are 3 levels, the factual one, the moral one and the philosophical/ideological one.

  1. On the factual level, there is right and wrong, even if, sometimes, it is difficult to determine where is the truth.

If X says that the earth is turning around the sun and if Y says that the sun turns around earth, X is right and Y is wrong.

Nowadays, we know that doubtless. 10 centuries ago, it could be in doubt.

If X says that universe began with a big bang, he is right in the frame of our present knowledge, but he can be contested.

  1. On the moral level, most rules are implemented by society, no killing, no thieving and so. Someone who breakes the rules is wrong from a social point of view. He could be right in another society. And he can be right from a philosophical point of view.

The laws of the city forbids her to give the burial rituals to her dead brother who was a traitor, and she was wrong to do it. But from a religious and philosophical point of view, she was right.

  1. On the philosophical and ideological point of view, truth can be something very debatable

One can believe in one god, or not. ……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

truth and point of view…

Let’s skip the philosophical debate whether there is a truth or not, and for convenience assume that there is one existing observer-indipendent truth we can talk about.

A point of view is relative.

 

There are 3 levels, the factual one, the moral one and the philosophical/ideological one.
You differentiate between 3 applications, but aren't those basically all factual ones, just with regard to their appropriate point of view?

 

1) On the factual level, there is right and wrong, even if, sometimes, it is difficult to determine where is the truth.
I agree, whether or not the truth is determable, something is correct by concurring with the truth and incorrect by doing not so. Regardless of any doubt or not.

 

2) On the moral level, most rules are implemented by society, no killing, no thieving and so. Someone who breakes the rules is wrong from a social point of view. He could be right in another society. And he can be right from a philosophical point of view.
Morality as by society implemented rules, and acting in accordance or violation to those rules/customs equals right or wrong. Why? - Why is it right or wrong to comply or not?

To conduct a burial custom is right/wrong. I do not see the meaning behind this, its like being struck by lightning is right/wrong. I mean it’s possible but it’s not the question if it happened or not. I could also ask: Pebble right or wrong? The only intention i can find is opinion related. “It’s right/wrong to conduct a burial custom in opinion to xyz.” But regarding to truth opinion is irrelevant. Earth moon’s surface has colour x regardles to any opinion.

So is there any relevant meaning to rightness/wrongness when it does not concern facts (for which i stated the terms correct/incorrect) ?

You are completely ignoring “universal constants” which are true regardless of relative POV .

“c” (speedof light) is one such universal constant. E = Mc^2 is another. Galileo’s “law of falling bodies” is yet another.

https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2015/10/fundamental-constants-latest-and-last

 

You are completely ignoring “universal constants” which are true regardless of relative POV .
Despite the fact that the universal constants wheren't mentioned before, technically relative POV does matter it just happens to be so that the relative POV regarding constants is the same for all. Which you could indeed sum up to one non-relative POV, this is why constants are constantly.

Okay, I’m an amateur philosopher, but there’s a lot here that is messed up. Some of it is just the idea of a definition. For example, “Why is it right or wrong to comply or not?”

That is a society defining “right”. You can’t answer it except within that society. If you want a universal truth, for something like “thou shalt not kill”, I think the best you can do is give reasons for why killing is harmful to a species generally, but then you’ll get to the question of why is life better than death. For me, I want to live, so for me, personally, that’s an easy answer. But, if I have to justify my life to some universe, that’s a little more difficult.

I don’t think it’s just a matter of opinion though. If you are considering the entire human race, okay, you can have an opinion about whether or not we matter to the universe, or if on the whole we contribute to it, or are we a problem for other parts of the universe. But you can’t apply that to just ME existing. If you are going to say “humans” are a problem, that includes you.

Anyway, with right/wrong, I think you have to choose a starting point. Mine is that anything alive now has the right to exist. It’s alive because of a long process of the creation of a survival mechanism. I respect that, and it is related to our desire to not be in pain. From there, you can start to build a system of ethics.

Hmm, I seem to have failed to communicate my “quote:starting point” sufficient enough, thanks for pointing out.

My starting point is, that (except facts which are either true/false) there is no universal right/wrong. - the rest of the mess is just the attempt to reveal my reasoning, for that it can be examined.

In conclusion therefore: society defining “right”, ethics, morals are man-made artificial constructs which one does decide to act on or not. What excludes them from beeing universal, in a general meaning.

Of course in the end it’s just a minor linguistic affair, though it nags me a little every time i see it beeing used like a seemingly universal truth. - what is the reason for me to debate this point, in case im not correct and missunderstanding something crucial.

No, you did fine. You are right. There is no right/wrong that the universe provides us. You can’t get right/wrong from physics or chemistry. You have to get to at least biology and that informs sociology and psychology. If you are claiming universal truth, you are pretty much doing religion.

Interesting read.

Good responses.

@didirius, don’t dismiss @morgankane01’s #345625 too fast. It’s worth mulling over. As were Lausten, and W4u’s comments.

 

All I have to add, is to share a link to an interesting read that you make me remember - written by Isaac Asimov and I think it’s somewhat related to your questions.

Isaac Asimov - The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 14 No. 1, Fall 1989

The Relativity of Wrong

I’m sure not to be te first and only one to say something like this:

To be right/correct isn’t the point, it’s to be not being wrong/incorrect in best interest with ones knowledge. This is always as far one ever will get in pursuit of truth. - unless of course one is already all knowing.

Yeah, “truth” is a rough concept.

I prefer “honesty” as in honestly represent facts and events, to the best of our understanding and abilities.

Right and wrong only exists in the form of guilt in the mind of an observer, therefore depends on the perception. As for the ‘facts’ mentioned above (like scientific constants), I want to argue they too are arbitrary and subjective to the perception. Facts are opinions that one is convinced to be true eternally. We do not possess any knowledge outside of our subjective experience.

I would love to elaborate more on this if anyone is interested. All counter-arguments welcome.

Who said that " to forgive yourself is the hardest thing of all"?

As for the ‘facts’ mentioned above (like scientific constants), I want to argue they too are arbitrary and subjective to the perception. Facts are opinions that one is convinced to be true eternally.
Taken your words directly as they are, i have to disagree. Unless we're shifting the precise interpretation a little bit.

The main characteristics by which we define a triangle in the first place doesn’t change. Yes we could rename it, or interpret in diffrent ways, we could name something entirely different “triangle”, but that what we are refer to as “triangle” today, the specific geometrical shape what indeed is triangle itself, the abstract concept remains by definition. - The conception, interpretation and perception maybe change but not the fundamental existence what it is.

That is the difference between constant fact and opinion. Nonetheless it’s an opinion about a fact.

 

We do not possess any knowledge outside of our subjective experience.
Of course do we not, everything expirienced is subjective by the experiencer. But this doesn't mean that knowledge gained by subjective expirience can't conform to the existence "outside" of subjective experience. It doesn't mean all of it has to conform either, this is in general consideret a mistake/error.

 

Subjective opinion is part of existence, if opinion is changed the rest of existence does not change in accordance. Otherwise it couldn’t be differentiated.

Right and wrong only exists in the form of guilt in the mind of an observer -- matrix
You said a few things. You can elaborate if you want. But this guilt thing, kind of an over simplification. If I caused something pain, I wouldn't feel guilty about, but I would want to heal it if I could.

The forum software seems to be acting up again. I made a post that appears at the end of page 1, then page 2 was blank

IMO, “right” and “wrong” (good and bad) are relative concepts.

One simple exponential truth holds that a steady growth of population in a finite space or with finite resources, causes a loss of value of individual worth. In an overpopulated nation human life is worth much less than in a sparsely populated nation.

Professor Al Bartlett began his one-hour talk with the statement, “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function” and liked to cite the late economist Kenneth Boulding’s “Dismal Theorem,” which says: “If the only ultimate check on growth of populations is misery, the population will grow until it is miserable enough to stop its growth.”

Read this excerpt from Bartlett’s lectures.; https://www.albartlett.org/articles/art_forgotten_fundamentals_part_4.html

“If the only ultimate check on growth of populations is misery, the population will grow until it is miserable enough to stop its growth.”

An example of a false truth, if read to fast: experience of developed counties and under developed ones has shown that population growth decreases with posterity.

The trick is " IF". If you forget it you conclude falsely. If you include it, you get an hypothesis, not a truth or a wrong.

An example of a false truth, if read to fast: experience of developed counties and under developed ones has shown that population growth decreases with posterity.
That is exactly what Bartlett addressed : “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”

A decrease in population growth does nor solve the problem. Current population growth worldwide is 1.1 % , which means the world’s population will double (to 15,000,000,000) in less than 70 years (a single lifetime).

Unless you have zero population growth it is a matter of time before you run out of space and/or resources.

WORLD POPULATION
7,874,297,599 Current World Population
65,991,597 Births this year
378,226 Births today
27,704,853 Deaths this year
158,788 Deaths today
38,286,744 Net population growth this year
“net population growth” = births minus deaths
219,438 Net population growth today

ENVIRONMENT
2,449,758 Forest loss this year (hectares)
3,298,037 Land lost to soil erosion this year (ha)
17,091,577,663 CO2 emissions this year (tons)
5,652,717 Desertification this year (hectares)
4,612,795 Toxic chemicals released in the environment this year (tons)

WATER
2,087,293,536 Water used this year (million L)
396,658 Deaths caused by water related diseases this year
790,666,725 People with no access to a safe drinking water source

ENERGY
462,420,357 Energy used today (MWh), of which:
393,638,320- from non-renewable sources (MWh)
69,636,473- from renewable sources (MWh)
2,897,548,943,150 Solar energy striking Earth today (MWh)
94,842,313 Oil pumped today (barrels)
1,470,165,094,754 Oil left (barrels)
15,332 Days to the end of oil (~42 years)
1,088,270,059,429 Natural Gas left (boe)
57,277 Days to the end of natural gas
4,304,921,545,309 Coal left (boe)
148,446 Days to the end of coal

https://www.worldometers.info/

All statistics based on “current” consumption, which of course will go up along with any population growth.

 

... “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”
I don't think this is an inability, more the human race's desicion not to care about.

But perahps i give mankind too much credibility in it’s practical awareness regarding such topics. - What would lead them rather to be like simple bacteria - mindless acting and reacting.