Monday, September 28, 2009

Right and Wrong

There has always been a debate on the issue of basis for deciding right and wrong. Many times it is said what is right for one person may be wrong for somebody else. Discussion on many prevalent and controversial issues like; modernization, homosexuality, non vegetarian culture of food, notion of development and many such, boils down to the question of right and wrong. One's notion of right and wrong plays a vital role in deciding his goals of life. Therefore, this subject needs a greater attention and insight because it can be a key to answer and resolve many present day issues like mentioned above.

Prevalent social norms, tradition, scriptures, sayings of some great people and legal constitution etc. are observed to be the basis for differentiating between right and wrong mostly in the present scenario. Since every society, religion and country differ in these aspects, it appears that there does not exist an absolute criteria for defining right and wrong; it is relative and dependent on one's situation, perspective of seeing the things etc. It is this conflict in the basis of differentiation between right and wrong which causes many problems in the society and in the whole world in general.

It should be very clear that one always convinces himself that what he is doing is right before doing anything. Even a terrorist who kills innocent people, justifies that killing other people is right for the welfare of his own people (of his religion) or may be some other reason. But everyone has to justify whatever he is doing. Otherwise he can not do it.

In this world of growing terrorism, personal conflicts, global warming, there is a greater need to look into this issue than ever before. We need to look for a possibility of the existence of a basis for deciding right and wrong which might be same for all and can be verified on one's own right irrespective of one's cultural, traditional or social background. It should not be understood that importance of our scriptures, great people or tradition is being undermined by saying this. The only point which is being focused that we need a basis for verifying the things on our own right rather than based on some external source.

I would like to put forward a process to verify a proposal on one's own right whether it is right or wrong . It is a two stage process. First check is to verify whether the proposal is naturally acceptable to me or not. If the proposal is naturally acceptable to me then it goes to the next stage. I live accordingly. We live at two levels: dealing with human being and working with nature. I am using word 'behavior' for whatever dealing we do with a human being and the word 'work' for whatever we do with the rest of the nature. If living according to my natural acceptance results in mutual happiness in behavior with other human beings and mutual prosperity in work with rest of the nature, it passes the second level as well. If a proposal passes both these stages, then only it is right for me, otherwise it is not. If it does not passes both of them, I can say that it is not right, at least for me.

E.g. What is naturally acceptable to me: To nurture or to exploit? Everybody can ask that question to himself and get an answer for his own. If nurturing is naturally acceptable to me, I live accordingly in my behavior as well as in work with rest of the nature. The feeling of nurturing towards a child results in happiness for me as well as for the child. Similarly, if I have a sense of nurturing the nature, it enriches me as well as the nature. Therefore, sense of nurturing is naturally acceptable to me and hence, is right for me.

Sometimes, there might be a confusion that I might be getting the answer from myself regarding my natural acceptance due to my preconditioning or some other social assumption that I have accumulated so far in my life, rather than from my self. That is where, the second check comes into play. If living accordingly results in mutual happiness and mutual prosperity, it experimentally validates my natural acceptance. This point also brings out one important fact that whatever one has accumulated so far from tradition, society or some other source is not always wrong. One just needs to check it on his own right so that one can himself be the authority for his right or wrong. One more thing which needs to be noticed that natural acceptance gives my answers for 'what' and 'why'. How a thing should be done can not be answered by it. We need to experiment and find the ways. Here science and technology plays the role.

The beauty of this method is that I can decide whether a proposal is right or wrong on my own right without relying on any external source. Natural acceptance is the things which already exists in everybody. Whether it is same for everybody or varies, is a subject of investigation for every individual. I feel that it is innate and same for everybody. This feeling gives me the confidence that this can be an absolute basis for differentiating between right and wrong.


  1. good article. but here are my comments:

    1. Is that in most of your articles, you describe the question in length while the answer is not given any insight into. Like in this case. A good article would be 1/3 description of question, 1/3 answering the question and the last 1/3 conclusions. While what you have is 5 paragraphs of question description. while 1 paragraph each for your answer, example and conclusion.

    2. The analysis seems empty. How do I decide on this basis whether I should give a rupee to a beggar? Lets put it on your metric.
    Is it naturally acceptable to me? I really do not now whether it is a yes or no.

    Does it result in happiness? yes. both for me (satisfaction) and for beggar (as he gets money)

    but is giving a penny to a beggar right thing to do?

    How do I decide whether eating meat right or wrong?
    Is it naturally acceptable to me? No. But trust me that is only because of my upbringing. I really believe that had my upbringing been in a different family, It might have been natural to me to eat meat.

    why is "If it results in mutual happiness in behavior" important? If a Lion does not eat a goat, then he will probably die. Should a lion care?

  2. Thanks for the comments. I have tried to modify the article and to be more elaborate on the description of the natural acceptance.

    As far as the example of beggar is concerned, the question at the base is whether it is naturally acceptable to you to nurture a child. If yes, then you can find many ways to do that.

  3. Dude, you are getting better and better with every new post of yours. All the best, keep it going.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi monkey,please set aside your prejudices and read the article as his personal opinion. your first doubts is quit easy FOR ME(I m not saying 4 u, again plz mind it) If I give something to begger happily or if I dont give and I m happy to spend it on my own, I think in both cases it is RIGHT, But if I give him unhappily or I dont give him unhappily then in both case I am wrong. I m not wrong on some universal standards, I am WRONG because my own standards arent leading me to happiness.

    It cant be a universal standard dude, to give something to begger is right or wrong, thats whole point of Author as I get it. Infact it just doesnt depend on giving to begger, you see, in both cases you may be happy(plz be a little optimistic that even win-win situations are there in existence) and in both cases you may be unhappy too. It depends on clarity of your thoughts.

    relationship between rightness and happiness and happiness and your DOINGS is the subject of study.

    And as far as second doubt is concerned, the author is saying evaluate it on your own basis, while you are evaluating it for some lion-in-jungle-around-your-ass basis . If some Lion in jungle eats his own family, would you take it as a basis friend. Why do you always seek examples to decide what is wrong or right, why dont you trust yourself, why are you not self-confident? Well these are the question which author is raising.