«Home

How Does One Judge What is Right and What is Wrong?

If Something Is Socially Approved, Does That Make It Right?

FACT: In the Encarta Dictionary one of the definitions of "Right" is "Socially Approved".

Do you agree?

What about when Nazi Germany slaughtered all those people? that was socially approved in Germany.

Whenever there has been slavery there has been social approval.

But if what is "Right" is not what is socially approved then tell me - how does one judge what is Right and what is Wrong?

Avatar
Newbie
35 answers

Your definition is a rather Freudian one, I must say. And Freud's view on psychology has been thoroughly refuted by modern psychology.

Utilistarianism is the principle by which one decides what the utility of an action is. Utility is then defined as I did. It's not really the norm of society.

My conscience is determined by applying those principles of utilitarianism and reciprocity. That's what defines it.

Somebody elses conscience may very well be totaly instinctual, it all depends from person to person

And actually, I do not strongly believe that there is no God, I'm an agnostic atheist, not a gnostic one (meaning that I have no knowledge of wheter or not here is a God, but that I do not believe there to be a God) In the absence of evidence (and not the evidence of absence, you cannot possibly disprove God) I take the position not to believe.

0
Avatar
Newbie

I think he was kidding....

utilitarianism does not lead to conscience, its a totally different thing.

But utilitarianism presents a better option to rely on when Judging what is right and wrong, i.e ones' conscience may be warped.........

0
Avatar
Newbie

con·science (knshns)

n.

The part of the superego that judges the ethical nature of one's actions and thoughts and then transmits such determinations to the ego for consideration.

@nferyn

I do not think utilitarianism leads to conscience. Conscience is individualistic while utilarianism is the accepted norm by d majority. People conscience oppose at times. You strongly believe there is no God but i also passionately believe there is GOD. We cant both be right. I wouldnt think conscience is strong enough to determine what is wrong or right.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Ok, I gues those theories Utilitarianism and reciprocity are better than Conscience then.

I concede.

0
Avatar
Newbie

That's why I think Utilitarianism is probably the best philosophy to determine what is right or wrong:

What is good is what brings most happiness to the largest amount of people

And as an additional guideline, the principle of reciprocity should be added to that:

Don't do to others what you don't want to be done to you

Utilitarianism ensures the rights of society while reciprocity protects against the tyranny of the majority

0
Avatar
Newbie

Definitely, the effects of ones actions can be seen and one can infer from that if what they did was good or bad. but there's just one little snag. Some people think they are doing the right thing even when they see the catastrophe caused by their actions.

The Nazis saw the evil they were doing but they still thought they were right, that they were cleansing the unclean race from the face of the earth.

This goes to show that their conscience was warped and they had the belief that the crimes they were perpetrating were for the common good of their race.

When I said Conscience, I meant for normal people, like you and I, not for prople who think they have a right to play King of all.

0
Avatar
Newbie

True talk, bro. One can even manipulate his own conscience to justify himself.

0
Avatar
Newbie

I doubt if conscience should be authoritative in deciding whats wrong or right. I know what is right to someone might be wrong to another if conscience is followed. Moreover our conscience is a by product of the ideals we've learnt overtime as a result of our upbringing.

Except we would like to believe that this matter is a relative one, otherwise i believe what is right should be right to everyone therefore the yardstick should be outside our body. Something we can all use.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Your conscience is not sufficient to determine right or wrong. You can have a warped conscience and take immoral decisions conscientiously

Determining whether something is right or wrong is done looking at the effects of the actions you undertake

0
Avatar
Newbie

yes o, let your conscience be your guide!

0
Avatar
Newbie

Aint nobody judging, I am only giving them encouragement!

Nobody is made judge over anyone, we all know that.........

How does one Judge What is Right and What is Wrong?

As I said before, Your Conscience!

0
Avatar
Newbie

simple don't judge! you're not the best to judge another person's action cause surely you can't say you have never made any mistakes in your life. As you judge others you shall also be judged

0
Avatar
Newbie

I don't say it's wrong. It is neither right, nor wrong. Seun's answer made a lot of sense to me.

I just wished people would stop bein so obsessed about sex either in the positive or in the negative sense. It just happens to people, it's natural and there's nothing wrong with it.

0
Avatar
Newbie

No, its not wrong oh!

Guys, you rock! Say no to pre-marital sex!

0
Avatar
Newbie

I come from a family of "born again" people. I literally believed that God wanted us to wait, and I did not associate with people who didn't want to wait. I even thought that self-service, which I 'fell into' about once every month, was a sin.

If you had asked me then, "how does one judge what is right and what is wrong" I would have told you, "based on God's word as found in the bible, especially the New Testament!"

Now that those beliefs are gone and I don't have to wait for religious reasons the habit/lifestyle is still there and I haven't really found any good reason to change my lifestyle. Even if I decided today that I want to have sex, the whole process of dating (convincing a girl that I love her just to have sex with her) seems like so much work for so little profit.

In other words, I believe that the 0-2 minutes of heavenly feeling at the end of a sex session is just not worth the enormous investment in time and money that goes into a relationship. Am I wrong?

0
Avatar
Newbie

@nferyn

What good is there in premarital sex? If he's decided to wait like me...its his choice and shouldnt be crucified for that

moreover he prolly dont want a girl tellin him he's not good enough in bed (on d wedding night).

0
Avatar
Newbie

Why have you waited? What was you motivation?

I don't see the point in waiting in the first place

0
Avatar
Newbie

Because I am a 23 year old virgin and it seems like it would be a shame if I end up with a girl who has been with other men. It would be as if my (relatively rare) decision to wait has been pointless, and I don't want to believe that!

0
Avatar
Newbie

Why on earth would you want to marry a virgin?

0
Avatar
Newbie

Those "gay motherfuckers that almost jumped you" are rapists who happen to be gay. Please try to recognize the difference between homosexuality and sexual assault.

0
Avatar
Newbie

In detetermining what is righ or wrong, I use 2 guiding principles:

1. reciprocity, which basically comes down to the following: do not do to other what you dont want to be done to yourself

2. utilitarism: what is good is what brings most happiness to the largest amount of people

If you apply these principles to concrete situations, you will find out that your actions will be described and acknowledged by most people as good

0
Avatar
Newbie

Yes, it is wrong because if all girls engage in premarital sex I will not be able to marry a virgin!

0
Avatar
Newbie

Seun since homosexuality is not wrong, is premarital sex (straight) wrong?

0
Avatar
Newbie

When you get to trouble and you don't know what to do, give a little whistle *whistles*, give a little whistle- *whistles*

When you get to trouble and you don't know what to do, give a little whistle*whistles*

And always let your conscience be your guide!

-Mr. Jiminy Crickett from the movie Pinocchio.

0
Avatar
Newbie

....Conscience in itself as defined by the dictionary is a sense of right and wrong.

i judge what is right or wrong based on my conscience. let your conscience be your guide.........

0
Avatar
Newbie

well most times itz hard

but sometimes u just feel something right

no one tells u itz right but u have a strong feeling that it is

INSTINCT

0
Avatar
Newbie

@dovey, but do u know doing the right things atimes could hurt some people?

0
Avatar
Newbie

I judge wat is right and wat is wrong based on the fact the if wat I did does not hurt anybody definitely wat am doing is right but if it harm somebody then wat am doing is wrong.

0
Avatar
Newbie

I believe the best lawyer to judge whether one's actions are justifiable or not is one's conscience. I personally judge whether something done by me is right or not by my God-given conscience. If my conscience sees absolutely nothing wrong in what I have done, then I consider it right; and vice versa.

0
Avatar
Newbie

i go with my intuition!! if it feels right to me then i'm gon go with it!! sometimes though even when it feels right and lets say maybe there is sumthing in for instance d bible dat go against it i'm not gon do it!

0
Avatar
Newbie

Salako, if you read my post very well, I said I base my judgement/feelings/thoughts or what you call "initiative" on a lot of things:

- My discretion

- God's word

- What my parents would say

- What people would say

- What I've been made to believe over a long period of time

All these make up what I call my feelings. I don't just grab a feeling like that.

0
Avatar
Newbie

IAH, Seun & Bumpyman: both of you seem to judge right and wrong based on your thoughts and feelings...

You both based right and wrong on your own initiative, but your initiative are bias and may not be appreciated by others...

Well what about the people you don't care about? what if they feel wronged... are you completely just?

Hitler felt/thought what he was doing was right before the country got behind him, his intentions were to create a perfect crime free society, where everyone was equal and perfect as he saw fit. He wanted to end (what he thought was) German "oppression" at the hands of Jews and the rest of Europe (remember Germans did suffer). ALSO HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN WITH LINKS TO THE POPE!!

So what essentially makes your initiatives different to Hitlers?

Are your initiatives for: the interest of yourselves and the people YOU care about; the common good (i.e. socially accepted), or perhaps Gods law?

0
Avatar
Newbie

I judge what is right or wrong based on what I feel/think. My thinking could be based on different things. It could be my own discretion or I could think about the consequences, what God's word says, what my parents would say, what the society would say or what I've been made to believe over a long period of time. I judge what is right or wrong with all these. Using Seun's examples, I think homosexuality is wrong and I also think parental domination of an adult is wrong...not only an adult but parental domination of any child is wrong.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Most of us Nigerians are very religious and will answer this question very easily: "I judge what is right and what is wrong based on God's word!" But when pressed further you'll discover that they engage in socialy approved but unbiblical acts like premarital sex, lying, et cetera and they will do more of the same tommorrow.

Let me tell you how I judge right and wrong. If I think it is right, it is right. If I think it is wrong, it is wrong. That is, after analyzing the consequences of such actions on my life and life of others I care about. For example, unlike many Nairaland members:

- I don't think homosexuality is wrong because it harms no-one. Also, I happen to think that parental domination of an adult is wrong, but most Nigerians think that it is right. if I think it is wrong, it is wrong!

0
Avatar
Newbie

No i don't agree that socially approved makes something right! Let me explain.

There are a lot of legalilized indiscretions that we all know of. I refuse to go into details for fear of seeming ----phobic.

We all know that these are not right but we allow ourselves partake in such acts, just because. I believe rather than trying to be right, we should try to be righteous. Every one has their God-given conscience and I don't believe its dead. Use it rather than doing the socially approved thing!

I always say, when you go to bed at night, how do you view your actions for the day? Can you live happily with it? That's my take!

0
Avatar
Newbie
Your answer
Add image

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.