Author Topic: Right or Wrong?  (Read 8270 times)

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Offline autumn08

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Right or Wrong?
« on: February 16, 2016, 08:36:09 pm »
What makes an action right or wrong? Is it the intention or the consequence? If it is the intention, then what is the right intention? If it is the consequence, then what is the right consequence?

Offline Dayta

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 09:25:25 pm »
The intention, to be sure.  Now, one must consider as well whether or not appropriate care is taken as well, in the planning and performance of an action, as part of the intention.  For example, let's think about the action of throwing a stone in the air.  For you, alone in your backyard, tossing a stone into the air is not a bad-intentioned action.  If a bird happens to fly by as you toss the stone, and it's hit as the stone descends back to earth, you have a bad consequence.  But the intention was not bad, and you probably took an appropriate measure of care.  So I would say this action is not "wrong" or "bad."  Now, if instead you tossed a stone over a fence where you were blind to what's behind it, you probably did not take an appropriate measure of care.  And so whether or not anyone was there or anyone was hurt, that action was probably "wrong."

A "good" intention may be one that includes what's best for you, what's best for others, or maybe both, if possible.  It's a rather vague question, did you have something more specific in mind? 

XKimX

Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 09:41:31 pm »
Right or wring is a moral question, implying that there is some external source of judgement.

How about: Did it work as I intended, or not?

Offline autumn08

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 01:09:31 pm »
A "good" intention may be one that includes what's best for you, what's best for others, or maybe both, if possible.  It's a rather vague question, did you have something more specific in mind?

No, you answered my question very well. Maybe a less ambiguous way of stating my question, is by asking how you determine your moral values.

Online KathyLauren

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 01:51:11 pm »
Intention or consequences?  Hmm, a bit of both I would say.  The intention has to be there or it doesn't count (doing good by accident isn't a moral choice), but intending to do good and screwing it up isn't as good as intending to do good and succeeding.

As to how you define good or bad, a good intention is one that seeks to reduce suffering (both one's own and that of others).  A good consequence is one that succeeds in reducing suffering.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change; 2019-02-15 Approval for GRS; 2019-08-02 Official gender change; 2019-10-18 Phone consultation for GRS; 2020-03-11 GRS!; 2020-09-30 New birth certificate




Offline autumn08

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 10:41:02 pm »
Thank you for your excellent responses, everyone!  :)

Offline AnonyMs

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 10:48:30 pm »
I think its a little more complicated.

Is it right or wrong to eat your partner after sex? Spider's do it. Whats the difference?

Offline Amanda_Combs

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2016, 11:15:25 pm »
It seems to me that the intention and consequences are two different stages of good or bad actions.  Because you can't know the ultimate consequences of your actions beforehand, you have to act with good intentions and then witness the consequences and adjust your actions until the good intentions achieve good consequences.
Higher, faster, further, more

Offline Tysilio

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2016, 11:28:58 pm »
"The road to hell... "
Never bring an umbrella to a coyote fight.

Cindy

Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 12:33:58 am »
Intention or consequences?  Hmm, a bit of both I would say.  The intention has to be there or it doesn't count (doing good by accident isn't a moral choice), but intending to do good and screwing it up isn't as good as intending to do good and succeeding.

As to how you define good or bad, a good intention is one that seeks to reduce suffering (both one's own and that of others).  A good consequence is one that succeeds in reducing suffering.

A slippery slope indeed! That person is suffering, therefore I will kill them to remove their suffering. Nope!

Online KathyLauren

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2016, 06:59:26 am »
A slippery slope indeed! That person is suffering, therefore I will kill them to remove their suffering. Nope!
Real life is never that simple.  Pema Chodron, a noted Buddhist writer, draws a distinction between true compassion and what she calls 'idiot compassion'.  True compassion has to be well thought out.

Why do you say 'Nope' to that scenario?  Because you are perhaps considering how the victim might feel in their last moments as they realize what is about to happen.  Because perhaps you are considering the effect on the victim's family and friends.  In other words, you are considering all the ripples of suffering that the action might cause and are wondering if the superficial reduction of suffering of an unthought act are worth it.  When acting with compassion, you have to consider all the consequences.

Can you know all the consequences of one's actions?  No, of course not.  But that doesn't absolve you from thinking about them and trying to anticipate them.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change; 2019-02-15 Approval for GRS; 2019-08-02 Official gender change; 2019-10-18 Phone consultation for GRS; 2020-03-11 GRS!; 2020-09-30 New birth certificate




Offline Tech_Nymph

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2016, 08:56:57 am »
Right and wrong, good and bad. These are words coined in language by humans. Humans however like their creations have flaws.

To simplify the statement you come to morality. Morality is but a system of values taught to children typically at a young age. However the teachers, being human, aren't perfect.
Therefore morality in itself is flawed.
Even in the impossible event that morality was perfected, it's premise of existence is to teach inner judgement which is another impossibility to be perfected by human.

It's a flawed concept made by flawed individuals with flawed results.
It somewhat functions to temper those to cooperate in society.

But in reality, right and wrong don't exist.
It is an imposed figment of thought.

The less popular opinions are always fun. :icon_chick:

Offline DiamondBladee

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2016, 05:57:25 pm »
What makes an action right or wrong? Is it the intention or the consequence? If it is the intention, then what is the right intention? If it is the consequence, then what is the right consequence?

No action is right.  No action is wrong.  It's only not right, and not wrong.

I used to practice until I got it right.  But perfection doesn't exist.  Total failure doesn't exist either; it's impossible to not do something right for someone.  That's why I practice until I'm not doing something wrong.

Eventually the positivity and negativity in these actions balance each other back out anyway.  Sort of like a fate destined by karma, but it's never done the exact same way.
~ Ana Maria

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2016, 04:13:16 am »
Morality is entirely subjective. One group of people somewhere may think tattoos are morally repugnant; another group on the other side of the world who never had contact with the first might view tattoos as a necessary right of passage or religion affirmation. Humans made up right and wrong and it varies among them so much you might as well not even ask the question "what is right or what is wrong?" but only "what is possible, and what is not?"

As such neither the intention nor the consequence is right or wrong, or matters at all in the universe except to us in our little human circus.

Within the circus... well in a court of law the intention usually determines the severity if a crime. A crime of passion is treated lighter than a calculated and 'cold blooded' murder for example. So most will probably say the intention. I'm not so sure. If World War two happened as a consequence of Hitler not having the intention or knowledge to cause it (hypothetically) would you let him off the hook? The fact dictators often get hanged or shot long after they've been defeated or declawed suggests intent and consequence are equally powerful, but moreso is having someone to blame for 'evil'.

Offline autumn08

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2016, 10:24:40 am »
Morality is entirely subjective. One group of people somewhere may think tattoos are morally repugnant; another group on the other side of the world who never had contact with the first might view tattoos as a necessary right of passage or religion affirmation. Humans made up right and wrong and it varies among them so much you might as well not even ask the question "what is right or what is wrong?" but only "what is possible, and what is not?"

As such neither the intention nor the consequence is right or wrong, or matters at all in the universe except to us in our little human circus.

Within the circus... well in a court of law the intention usually determines the severity if a crime. A crime of passion is treated lighter than a calculated and 'cold blooded' murder for example. So most will probably say the intention. I'm not so sure. If World War two happened as a consequence of Hitler not having the intention or knowledge to cause it (hypothetically) would you let him off the hook? The fact dictators often get hanged or shot long after they've been defeated or declawed suggests intent and consequence are equally powerful, but moreso is having someone to blame for 'evil'.

I'm sorry, I didn't realize this thread was once revitalized.

While cultures disagree on what is moral, morality is a universal concept. The way I would define morality is acting how if everyone always acted in your particular situation, you believe social utility would be maximized.

This definition still leaves all questions about how to act open. When should you lie? When should you favor a loved one? I think my answer does explain though, what it means to assess a situation morally.

On your point about Hitler, I think it is an illustration of my prior point. If Hitler, with his limited knowledge, thought he was making the world a better place, then he was acting morally, but if you didn't try to stop him and punish him, you would be acting immorally.

I think morality is an interesting philosophical concept and necessary to create purpose and fiction, but otherwise not very useful. Morality doesn't change our actions as we all already have justified them, it has nothing to do with why we act (increase pleasure/pain ratio), and it doesn't tell us which actions actually do maximize social utility.

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2016, 07:44:34 pm »
I think various common moralities, inc. religious, originate from logical social animal behaviors, and in human groups did maximize social utility.

Why is murder 'bad', why is rape 'bad', why is stealing 'immoral', why is adultery or promiscuity frowned on? These are all things arguably conductive in some capacity to potential social disharmony, breakdown or harm. 

In the biological sense, inasmuchas morality is a non-physical manifestation of logical animal behaviors or meme that aided group survival, it might as well be considered a universal concept of necessity. Wolf packs have ordered behavior; chimp troops also do... just about any highly social species has the beginnings and the trappings of a social order and the perception of acceptable and non-acceptable behaviors. Monkeys trained by humans to play rule-based card games appear to know and take offense at being cheated and seeing the rules flouted by a human player. The creation of behavioral rules seems inevitable across the board with any social species.

So yes, it's universal to higher social animals imo, and is just a product of evolution because it helped survival. But what defines right and wrong is only ever the changeable environment. Rules (morals) are a given, what the rules will be depends on other things.

Offline Marlee

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2016, 07:53:36 pm »
Right or wring is a moral question, implying that there is some external source of judgement.

How about: Did it work as I intended, or not?

I defintely agree on this point. a great example is the atomic bomb. it was the right decision to save millions of lives - both Japanese and American. But I doubt anyone in Nagasaki felt that it was right. And it sure wasn't right for mankind either. The scientists that developed it realized that.

Offline Paul Muad-Dib

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2016, 07:56:52 pm »
Was it? Was there not some other way that may not have counted as many deaths as the two atomic bombings racked up? We will never know.

It's easy to say something so awful was right in hindsight, I think. But really, who knows.

Offline autumn08

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2016, 08:15:08 pm »
I think various common moralities, inc. religious, originate from logical social animal behaviors, and in human groups did maximize social utility.

Why is murder 'bad', why is rape 'bad', why is stealing 'immoral', why is adultery or promiscuity frowned on? These are all things arguably conductive in some capacity to potential social disharmony, breakdown or harm. 

In the biological sense, inasmuchas morality is a non-physical manifestation of logical animal behaviors or meme that aided group survival, it might as well be considered a universal concept of necessity. Wolf packs have ordered behavior; chimp troops also do... just about any highly social species has the beginnings and the trappings of a social order and the perception of acceptable and non-acceptable behaviors. Monkeys trained by humans to play rule-based card games appear to know and take offense at being cheated and seeing the rules flouted by a human player. The creation of behavioral rules seems inevitable across the board with any social species.

So yes, it's universal to higher social animals imo, and is just a product of evolution because it helped survival. But what defines right and wrong is only ever the changeable environment. Rules (morals) are a given, what the rules will be depends on other things.

I agree, the origin of morality is quite transparent. Well said!

Offline Marlee

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Re: Right or Wrong?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2016, 09:02:41 pm »
Was it? Was there not some other way that may not have counted as many deaths as the two atomic bombings racked up? We will never know.

It's easy to say something so awful was right in hindsight, I think. But really, who knows.

well we do know that a full-scale invasion of the Japanese islands would have been a bloodbath on both sides and include the native populations. So it can be deduced that far more lives would have been lost. The total deaths attributed to the two bombs is just over 200,000. Some estimates of what the alternative would : 200 to 550 thousand allied deaths, and native populations in the millions.
But back to the topic, the mindset of 1945..it was good because it saved so many mothers from losing their sons. In hindsight 2016, it can be seen as wrong because of the deaths and the fact that it changed the world forever.
(but the research gave us x-rays, surgical machinery..and yes..our beloved microwave oven..)

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