Saturday, July 01, 2006

Defining Right And Wrong

The right\wrong value of an action is defined as when consequences of an action coincides the purpose of that action, or more simply said: when an action serves its purpose....

Within this definition we find that the rightness of an action is determined by its consequences as well as its purpose... Consider a simple cheating example: PersonX wants a higher mark in a certain multiple-choice exam, he may choose to cheat. One possible scenario is that he copies the correct answer from his neighbor and thus obtain an extra mark. Another scenario is that he is caught and is given a ZERO mark! The two scenarios when considered in isolation connotates that cheating in the first scenario is right, while in the second it is wrong...

This subjective view of what is wrong should not be confused with my previous -objective- allegation that nothing can go wrong which defines rightness as factualness! To elaborate, everything that actually happens serves its natural purpose - whatever that is!

PS: This post does NOT necessarily represent a worldwide view

7 comments:

fox said...

Hey I really didn’t get the idea you were trying to deliver through this post, regarding the right/wrong issue, however I believe that the definition of right and wrong is purely relative, measured according to the rules set in each society, for example, it's right to sleep with your spouse and yet it's wrong to sleep with any person who isn’t!, according to the conditions(rules) set regarding your sexual partner, though in an objective perspective, both cases refer to a sexual relation with someone, but yet one is defined as right and the other as wrong according to rule deployed in that society.

Returning to the point of your post, serving the purpose is irrelevant to the definition of right and wrong, in your example about cheating, both cases were considered wrong weather they served their purposes or not, because there is a rule that says "cheating is wrong", but if personX(assume male) had studied well for his exam, in one case he would get the extra mark, and in another case personX would fail because he became confused during the exam (ya3ni la5am) and as a result got a zero mark!!, both cases were right even though one of them didn’t serve it's purpose!!
Both were right according to the rule made, and if you think about it, personX did nothing wrong!! just freaked out during the exam!! Not his fault!!

Devil's Mind said...

I do understand that language is a convention rather than immutable, which means that different people may understand the same word in different ways, and its up to each individual (or sub-group of people) to define their own set of words and corresponding meanings!!

You define rightness in what some people call morality of an action!! Moral values do change from society to another! What i was trying to do, is provide a subjective definition of rightness that only takes the individual as a reference rather than the society they live within... My purpose as suggested before is to clarify what I mean when i say the words right\wrong to ensure that I wont be misinterpreted if i use that word in later posts!

I am a person who believes in functionality where it only matters if the job was done or not! Excuses are failures! So in your example, if the guy freaked out its his surely his fault because in the end he didnt get the job done regradless of what excuses he might give!

fox said...

I wasn't referring to the morality of actions or the integrity of rules, I used the morality rules as an example, the basic idea I was trying to imply here is that any action is considered right or wrong according to the rule deployed by the group/individual concerned with that action, I might consider a certain action as right(according to a certain rule I have), other(assume male) might consider as wrong(also according to a certain rule he has), it's all relative, the jest here is: definition of right and wrong is relative to the observer and his/her decision is based upon some rule he/she has.

Serving or not serving the purpose is a definition for success and failure and your comment proved that when you said "Excuses are failures" you didn’t say "Excuses are wrong", because there is already a definition for "getting/not getting the job done" which is success and failure, as you said you are a person who believes in functionality where it only matters if the job was done or not! It means that you're only concerned with success and failure regardless or the rightness of the method!

Devil's Mind said...

it's all relative, the jest here is: definition of right and wrong is relative to the observer and his/her decision is based upon some rule he/she has.

I totally agree!! Thats why i provided my own definition to eliminate misinterpretations....

Yes, you are right, my definition of right\wrong is closely related (although not completely synonymous) sucess of an action...

I think that it is a good practice to provide definitions of terms a person use, before actually using them because i observed that more than 90% of disagreements originate from different definitions of words used to describe something, rather than actual differences in the core of opinions!

I think we have an understanding here, or have i missed something?

fox said...

I believe we do understand each other, I don't have a blog and thus never experienced the observation you noted regarding the disagreements upon different definitions, but I can imagine the arguments rising from such subject.

I must say that you have a very intellectual posts here, never saw such wide variety of ideas in a single blog, hope you weren’t bothered by my comments, good luck :)

Devil's Mind said...

nah, i actually was happy about your comments because they allowed me to demonstrate the purpose of this entry in a clearer manner; I appreciate that my readers understand the limitations of language, and it was useful to point out that my definition applies only within the context of this blog, rather than being a universal definition!

I hope you enjoy this blog, thanks for sharing your thoughts because through arguments ideas become more interesting...

Devil's Mind said...

"PS: This post does NOT necessarily represent a worldwide view" - This notice has been added to clear confusion. It is worthwhile to notice that the point of view policy does NOT grantee that posts represent a worldwide view