Right and Wrong – Polarised Thinking?

There is a saying that it is impossible to be correct or incorrect. It’s more of a your personal opinion. What is best for you might not be the best for me. We don’t need rigid, inflexible rules. The notion of being right and wrong could be described as being morally judgmental. However, some argue they have universal, timeless rules of what is right and wrong.

Are our ideas about right and wrong becoming too is it polarised?

The right and wrong way to live in the public realm
The Prince Andrew Duke of York withdrew from the royal duties due to accusations of his involvement with a man who used teens for sexual intimate sex. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, seeking votes in the general election in the current one, was met with critiques over his perceived lack of honesty. These instances demonstrate that people expect those in the spotlight to follow the ethical guidelines of behavior. This is even if a alleged crime does not violate the law.

The law sets out what is legal and illegal. Nobody can hope to avoid being convicted of killing, stealing from or sexually assaulting another person without being prosecuted in court.

But the law isn’t impervious to change. When it comes to evaluating the potential for wrongdoing the courts recognize that the socially acceptable and not appropriate can vary in accordance with the context. Thus, stealing or murder might be the right decision to make e.g. using a knife taken from a gangster or drinking a bottle from drunk, or even killing your country during the battle of war.

The difference between right and wrong in private life
We believe that what we consider to be acceptable must be true. It’s good for me to perform well at work and be promoted. Therefore, I could justify any thing to do this. For instance, I could unashamedly take credit for an excellent idea that a coworker initially spoke about.

We all have our own ideas of what is acceptable and have different opinions about what is good and bad. Therefore, in a certain degree we each have our own opinions about what is right and what isn’t.

It is possible that you agree:

“Nothing marks a mean and narrow heart like greed’.

It is evident, that in the age of marketing and consumption the right thing to do is having the most desirable items, the most modern technology, the most fashionable clothes, or anything that is popular, successful and appealing.

Values could be defined as moral principles. This is not just about the opinion of others or avoiding negative consequences for us. For instance, doing the right way, not betraying an acquaintance and being honest with no deceit. A lot of people believe that, while food is enjoyable eating should be viewed as the main objective healthy and sharing the meal. The most common practice is that they should act in moderateness and practice self-control. We may also consider that acting with courage when faced with adversity is not easy, but it’s the truth is that it’s not.

Where do moral values originate?
The culture of the world teaches what is right. From courage in battle to transparency in communication, injustice in the face of adversity, as well as empathy in times of the face of disaster.

But cultural values are different in time and across the globe. Both right and wrong seem to alter constantly. The use of public torture, cannibalism as well as blood sports were popular in several societies of the past. Today, these are considered untrue.

We’ve had enough with the problems of fascism, colonialism and communism. We have witnessed the destruction of the natural world to promote unchecked technological advancement and the horrific effects from modern warfare as well as the spiritual deprivation and isolation of mass consumption. Everything that has resulted from what is believed to be the right thing in economics, politics, or even philosophy.

We return to the issue of “Is there any timeless right and wrong, or do all ethical codes remain open to change as cultures and circumstances change?”

Universal spiritual principles
Religious scholars have stated they have moral codes universal to the world’s major religions such as those that deal with honesty, moderation and sincerity, as well as sexual restriction. They can are found within the sacred texts of all Eastern religions, as and deep within the prohibitions within the Ten Commandments of the Judeo-Christian Bible tradition.

There is also the universal “golden rule” of treating others the way we want them to act to us. The Buddha has made this principle one of the pillars of his ethics , and being kind to others is the central point to the gospel of Christ.

This is a long away from the notion that all to be right is how we feel in our bodies and lives according to our own preferences.

The personal advantage and the morality of a decision can take our lives in different ways. Whoever decides what is right by focusing on what is in self-interest is not using morality as an indicator. I believe we have to recognize an inner conflict. The struggle between self-justifications for selfishness and, in the opposite direction conscience over the right and wrong that stems from a higher reality.

Spiritual and moral values
Spiritual principles don’t translate into strict and unchanging guidelines. Christ declared sexual immorality as a sin, but did not define it in practice , other than to mention adultery.

It is often difficult to determine what spiritual principles to follow but after some reflection, I’d think we could discern a path to follow.

I believe we must to comprehend what makes right ideal and why doing what is wrong is harmful. It is a good thing that we have access to our conscience and discernment depending on the situation that we are in. Spiritual principles are the foundations to living a truly ethical lifestyle that go beyond applying an unfeeling, insular and rigid moral code for every situation that one comes across.

“If modernist naturalism were true, there would be no objective truth outside of science. In that case right and wrong would be a matter of cultural preference, or political power, and the power already available to modernists ideologies would be overwhelming. “ Phillip E. Johnson (Law professor and co-founder of the Intelligent Design Movement).

As a clinical psychologist, Stephen Russell-Lacy has specialised in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, working for many years with adults suffering distress and disturbance.

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