For years I have had this recurring thought. I’d like to see what you think/what it inspires:
How can we be so sure about anything? What we consider Right is only Right because that is how it has previously been defined. The same goes for what we consider to be Wrong. There were lesser numbers in the days of establishing a common tongue – these words well associated with all cultures and within all moralities – Though we are arguably the descendants of such lesser numbers, and in that, direct products of their common tongue. Those in prolonged survival situations, especially in the modern world, will often tell you that the question is not, “Is this Right/Wrong?”. Instead, the question becomes, “Does this mean Life, or Death?”
We have evolved and developed communities, cities, states, countries – methods of travel, transportation, and electronic communication – creating a world that is very much dependent on society as a whole. The majority of our population lacks the true skills (and more strongly, the mindset & views) that will enable them to survive in true survival-of-the-fittest situations apart from the governing of others.
People have naturally grown to fear death. The media, the lifestyles promoted, the standards that must be met to succeed in said lifestyles or society in general… these are all things that have distracted us from one of the greatest truths: Death. It can and will happen at any moment, sometimes at will, and others without warning. Society accepts that they know of death, but has developed no mounting desire to approach it – the idea of it, even, unless it involves prevention.
This causes a disruption in the sphere of obtaining further knowledge than what we have already “confirmed”. People fear finding out that what they thought was solid (e.g. the laws of physics, etc) may actually have been based on something “wrong” from the start. It’s easier to stick with the current illusion and discount all that counteracts it. When the topic of Death rises – e.g. Abortion – the common response is to decide whether it is “right” or “wrong”, when the actual response (based on no prior societal influence) would be to accept that such an organism will die and that us, as the non-carriers (in the case of abortion) have no influence on such matters unless society says we do.
We are all going to die, and we must accept that no one else can wholeheartedly prevent this. Therefore, it is nothing but a self-proclaimed right when one man targets another’s morality.
There will be people who go against the stream, and they may eventually be labeled anarchists, or mystics, or Psychos (and by whose choice?!), but they are the source of evolution. Rather than evolving our being, the true metaphysical part of ourselves that science is so apprehensive to touch, people focus on evolving their surroundings. They convolute the “Scientific” workings of the universe itself with misleading focus on immortality of the physical form and the attainment of absolute knowledge. Things in which we must stray from to accept that NOW is all that exists, and that Death is the absolute and definite end. Tomorrow truly does not exist unless the sun sets and rises again, or the clock ticks past 12AM on time as it always has – and if neither of these things happened, there would be turmoil.
The evolution of society as we know it is truly dependent on a dream – the desire for a tomorrow, for a future full of everything we do not have now, as not being able to see it means that it COULD exist. It gives people the sense of hope – hope that everything they’ve been working for, or have already obtained, will be for something rather than being considered useless in the event of our ever-present Death – as if it was all for nothing.
But this should not mean that we must label everything in our path as Right or Wrong to achieve happiness and survive – Instead, we should ask ourselves, “Does this mean Life, or Death?” as survival is a known true purpose to existence. Survival in society is a totally different ballgame, hence those who prefer to live in the wild in solitude. The choices you make, things you choose to believe, may result in negativity from those around you – but if your choices are based on whether it will kill you or if you’ll survive through it, you will experience far more than what society limits you to. (and yes, the lack of abundant scientific research on the metaphysical does limit society. People are scared to explore their minds.) Society has taught us to fear that which we do not know, and let other people find the answers for us.
Survival apart from society is possible, but this requires faith in our own morality and the methods in which we have established such. It requires faith that there is progression in admitting a lack of knowledge, and faith that the universe will teach us if we would only stop telling it we know better.
The universe does not follow Right and Wrong – instead parts of it die, and other parts are reborn. It communicates and lives without expectation – without correction. It is US who care so much about it’s purpose and what it has to offer – so why do we spend so much time on skepticism and belief, when all we have to do is ASK it?
-End musing (for the moment)
I just posted this https://www.highexistence.com/topic/heart-and-mind/ It doesn’t go into specifics of right and wrong but I think it gives some psychological insight into the human condition.
The Golden Rule!
I brushed up on compassion via wiki as well after reading your article and two things jumped at me:
First, “Karuna, another word for compassion in Hindu philosophy, means placing one’s mind in other’s favor, thereby seeking to understand the other from their perspective.” This, I do believe that compassion would be the catalyst for exploration into further realms of thought and discovery.
Also, “At the same time, it is emphasised that to manifest effective compassion for others it is first of all necessary to be able to experience and fully appreciate one’s own suffering and to have, as a consequence, compassion for oneself.” To progress into the future, to evolve and develop a unity with the universe, we must express compassion for ourselves and our own suffering from ignorance. This must be done before we are able to aid others in their ignorance. Ignorance towards their own free will apart from society, that is.
When you talk about the Universe you are talking about a rock floating in space, quite different from a dog, a dolphin or a human being. There are things in our nature that are not the product of intellect, they are the product of evolution, compassion is one of them. Consequence is revealed in observation and with a sense of compassion we will address it, it is by ideology that addressing it can be corrupted.
I don’t believe right or wrong exist.
Out of curiosity; do you then ultimately believe that all actions and choices are justified?
E.g. Actions such as rape, child/animal abuse or vile slander (the things society consider to be “wrong”) are not “wrong”, as they have defense in mal-development of the brain, or contradictory influence during the first 6 years of life. Possibly implying that no one is responsible for their own self-inhibiting actions, as they are not truly wrong, but misguided or a product of the environment needed to produce this “wrong” behavior/thinking…
I simply don’t see right and wrong in absolute or transcendental terms.
Justification… another thing of the mind, only seemingly necessary for anything. Guilt and shame, the driving inhibitors of our society – the idea of right and wrong, or the laughable notion that us humans know anything at all about these things (on the other hand, we Are the Universe experiencing itself, in a way we are the extensions of the universe into itself… so wouldn’t any claimed truth be true, since it is the universe by extension making the claim?). The collective human is still hardly past the infant-stage, we’re seemingly going through the motions – as we always have, to be sure, but at an comparably astonishing speed as “of late” (the last couple of hundred years or so). Telescoping timescales for the win.
All in good time, though. :) Public opinion, public emotional states and so on are subject to natural selection, as well…
I’ve recently mused on the absolutely perplexing quantity of different emotional states that exist within every given moment. So many future memories being created _at_all_times_ by _everyone_. If existence is thus, if life is thus, if experience is thus… how could anything be right or wrong?
Slander is total bs, it’s just words. No harm done.
Animal abuse, well animals “abuse” each other all the time and they do it to humans as well. Violence is an integral part of nature, why hate it?
The really vile thing humans do to animals is domestication. Reducing them to stupid, dependent wretches that are hardwired to submit. THAT is cruel.
Rape is a concept fabricated by humans. >90% of all mating in the wild is what you call rape. It’s instinctual, what our bodies want to do.
People are the only ones who see it as a problem, and that generally means that they themselves are the problem.
Banning an instinct is insane. Disrupting the flow of actions and consequences corrupts brains.
This crazy idea that it’s a birthright to never be subjected to pain or force, that’s what makes people stupid and lazy. That’s why they never have any higher thoughts and never set out to explore the unknown.
Child abuse is just horrible though. It’s so messed up. The people who do that should be executed.
I believe this is more so the point I was leaning towards. Though society has settled so strongly on what is considered “right” and “wrong”, those mentioned being the prominent topics, the large majority who haven’t experienced higher thoughts are also at a lack of understanding regarding *why* something is “right” or “wrong” – accepting that they believe, yet not questioning such. Eventually, in the ideal, questioning such may lead to the understanding that we have grown in society to put more emphasis on the words we have created and applied to particular things/concepts/characters than on what little those words actually mean in light of self-enlightenment.
Turning the focus and observation, judgement via question, on themselves rather than on the society around them – establishing their ideal inner world in which they are aware of their influence rather than the influence of others that is, for the most part, powerless unless we allow it to overpower us – this would create a gateway into introspection and relation, that we’re all here and the option to be a part of what is considered “wrong” is a possibility for all depending on the circumstances and perception. In some cases, “You could’ve been just as fucked up as the next guy, but you got lucky.”
Without justification, right or wrong would not exist, and vice versa. To believe neither exist would also tear the words related to light and dark, good and evil, from the books and from our influence. Things must have justification in order for an opinion to exist regarding them – and we all have opionions, albeit some are easier to change than others.
All in all, to alter the meaning we apply to “right” and “wrong”, and instead label “wrong” that which threatens our life rather than that which threatens our PERCEPTION, and “right” that which heightens our thoughts and strengthens our abilities… maybe people would be a little more likely to open their ears and in turn, their minds, to concepts and ideas that have no scientific or society-supported evidence (e.g. the skepticism of the paranormal/psi/astral projection/LDs etc).
“we have grown in society to put more emphasis on the words we have created and applied to particular things/concepts/characters than on what little those words actually mean in light of self-enlightenment.”
-Dead on. It’s bizarre, isn’t it?
“the influence of others that is, for the most part, powerless unless we allow it to overpower us – this would create a gateway into introspection and relation, that we’re all here and the option to be a part of what is considered “wrong” is a possibility for all depending on the circumstances and perception.”
-Yeah, can’t really argue against that, can we?
That’s what makes it so baffling that so few people ever stop and think about it.
“To believe neither exist would also tear the words related to light and dark, good and evil, from the books and from our influence.”
-Not at all. Light and dark are as real as it gets, they are not concepts or opinions but determined by the laws of physics. A lot of people say darkness is bad, but that’s just their unfounded opinion.
Good and evil do not mean the same as right and wrong. Right and wrong are concepts used to judge and attach a value to something, whereas good and evil are only ways to describe an intention. A malignant intention is evil, it’s not a matter of opinion. Most would agree that evil is bad, but that is just an opinion.
Having an opinion about something does not mean the target of opinion is an opinion.
“maybe people would be a little more likely to open their ears and in turn, their minds, to concepts and ideas that have no scientific or society-supported evidence (e.g. the skepticism of the paranormal/psi/astral projection/LDs etc).”
-First of all, redefining the meanings of mind-crippling concepts does not take away their effects, people wouldn’t become more open-minded.
Paranormal? Nothing that exists is paranormal.
Psi? You think people shouldn’t question public service information? That’s odd, considering what you said earlier.
Astral projection, the very definition of the concept is what makes people reject it. It’s just lucid dreaming, but with a pretentious and inaccurate name that repels intelligence.
I’m not sure what LDs refers to, unless you’re talking about lethal doses.
“Good and evil do not mean the same as right and wrong. Right and wrong are concepts used to judge and attach a value to something, whereas good and evil are only ways to describe an intention. A malignant intention is evil, it’s not a matter of opinion. Most would agree that evil is bad, but that is just an opinion.”
Can you explain what you mean by this? I understand the difference between right/wrong and good/evil, but surely good/evil is just as subjective as right/wrong? What makes a malignant intention evil? What makes evil different from bad? Are they not synonyms?
“What makes a malignant intention evil?”
-The fact that evil is a concept used to refer to malignant intention. It literally means the same thing.
“What makes evil different from bad?”
-Bad implies dislike, fear, and such. Evil just describes the nature of an action/intent.
Evil can be ignored or rationalised, but that doesn’t make it subjective.
Most people think evil is bad, and in their ignorance most of them like to think that it is an objective fact, therefore they see the two as synonyms while they are not.
This is a signum of ignorant people, and when anyone points it out, an equally ignorant non-response such as “well then everything is relative and subjective” is almost guaranteed.
“A lot of people say darkness is bad, but that’s just their unfounded opinion. Good and evil do not mean the same as right and wrong. Right and wrong are concepts used to judge and attach a value to something, whereas good and evil are only ways to describe an intention.”
This is all relatively subjective. More so, I take the stance where society has been bred and raised with the neural pathways that connect good and evil to things such as light and dark, and right and wrong. Cartoons, children’s movies, children’s books – many depict the villain clad in dark clothing, the good child or character surrounded by bright cloudy blue skies. Christian religion depicts hell as a place where the evil are sent, infested with scorching red flames and darkness that hides in the wake – Heaven, on the alternative, a place for the good full of light and open truth without disguise. Do right, go one way, do wrong, go another.
Though, I can step back and see that as adulthood approaches, it is more likely that the subject will have explored a multitude of different writings/movies,etc that eventually curb their perceptions. The trickery lies in the concepts that have already been established and accepted by the subject, which will eventually play part in shaping new perceptions.
Maybe the goal here isn’t so much to open the ears of the mature population – as you said it will not take away the effects of the mind crippling concepts – but to, instead, turn towards the younger generations now growing and destined to be born, and on this path, set aside our self-entitlement to take in its place an attempt at being subjective. Forcing the youth to take the sides that we fight so strongly for… that is a whole other ball park, but the primary cause for the misdirection and false labels that the youth grow to hold so dear.
People seem to forget how strong and influential opinions are in the development of social standards, not to mention personal values and morals. Opinions are vital – once one grows old enough to learn that the things they believe are in fact their own opinions, the self-identification that the word provides is powerful enough in itself. It separates us from the WE – the “we” that is needed to create the unity so many long for and believe will heal our tragedies.
My use of “Psi” branches off of its use in Fringe-ology by Steve Volk, described as “an umbrella term which includes telepathy and covers any theoretical ability to gather accurate information outside our five normal sensory pathways.”
“LD” referred to lucid dreaming. Both it and “psi” being things that society often chooses to discredit as there is not much, if any, scientific evidence proving it true (though, there’s also equally none proving them impossible, either). Naturally, the conscience/ego chooses not to open up to these concepts unless influenced otherwise. It’s too risky to delve into something we know little about, and many fear being called the fool – so these things, unfortunately, breed more skepticism than belief, or the simple admittance of Not Knowing.
Not Knowing is something we, as humans, have a hard time admitting. I, for one, feel comfortable doing so. Though, the plague of the paranormal (being LDs, Psi, astral projection, etc) and the skepticism around it, instead leads us to stick with what we think we know as fact, when those facts could very well change beneath our feet.
Labeling things is, to some extent, a vital bridge that lead to the restriction of enlightenment throughout the global conscience.
In regards to why something is right or wrong; I think certain things have been deemed one or the other because of the results produced. It is wrong to physically, mentally, verbally harm someone because your actions cause the receiver some form of unpleasant pain. I realize that is a simple observation on the level of about a 3 year old, but in a lot of cases, I think it actually is just that simple, and saying anymore about it is just over complicating things.
Granted, I certainly won’t pretend that all situations are that black and white, and you have scenarios where ethics come in to play, such as euthanasia. There are usually several factors to be considered and we have to make judgement calls.
Also, “You could’ve been just as fucked up as the next guy, but you got lucky” is something I think about a lot. My sister and I come from broken homes, where you can trace back the bad cycles through the past 3 generations. You can literally chart the flow of bad decisions, and we’ve talked a lot about it over the last several years and do our best to understand the thoughts and circumstances that led to those situations, and how the consequences have affected our grandparents, and parents, and us. I am 24 and happily married with a good life I can’t complain about, and she will be graduating high school next year and is working on getting into college.
Our question is always, what is it that makes a person choose to break bad family cycles? What makes a person who swore they’d never end up like their parents actually end up being exactly like their parents? Does it have to do with personality traits, or willpower, or intellect, or certain circumstances? Is there even an actual answer to this question?
It’s fodder. People like to take the easiest way out. If you don’t, you starve.
I can see where you could find survival here. I think that our moral values are derived from pain and pleasure (not surviving being a form of pain). We consider something good if we derive a sense of pleasure from it. And bad if it is painful. Although I also find that for there to be and sense of good and bad there must be interaction of life:
Put a man on a desert island with no other life form. Tell him to do one Good act and one Bad act. I don’t think he could perform either. Such is the evolution of morality, now through society people have come to agree in many of these judgments of good and bad things and thus created a norm and this illusion of an innate sense of good and bad through custom and habit. That genuine altruism exists is just a hope for me. If you give your life to save someone else’s are you doing in for their gain over yours or are you doing it because you couldn’t bare the pain of them dying or stand the guilt of knowing you could’ve saved them? You is all you have