Day 130 Question 130:
Is there really a difference between right and wrong?
Is there a difference between right and wrong? If so, then who makes the rules? Government? Our parents? People of a higher social or financial status? Teachers? Police? Science? Evolution? Creationism? If you have read any of my blog you already know I am this highly independent thinker that just does not want to be molded by anyone (not saying I never am…I just go back and forth with a lot of things because there are sooooo many things to consider). I question EVERYTHING. People can tell me something until they are blue in the face but in a lot of situations I still question the validity of some things.
I believe that nothing is 100% true unless I have personally experienced it….hence my skepticism on Christianity. I go with what I feel….I admire those that have convictions and believe in God but for me there is no connection because there has been no personal experience with God. I shy away from politics because I believe politicians are trying to mold people to think their way…some may and some may not…but who decides which way is right and which is wrong? Some political leaders were raised Christian and believe strongly in the bible so they truly believe abortion is wrong and gay relationships and marriage is wrong while others may not have a religious background and may be more liberal thinking. How can one person decide what is best for the majority? It seems quite unfair. We do not embrace our individuality and our differences but instead we try to mold people to us….it is almost the natural way of people sometimes (myself included)…I have tried to persuade people to take on my point of view. Is that right? Is that wrong? I keep going back over and over again thinking about how I do not understand how we can ever speak for the whole. Like I said, how does the President determine what is right for the entire nation? How does Bill O’Reilly sit on the couch of The View and say that Muslims were responsible for 9/11….it was a few that were responsible…how can he blame an entire population? Why do some people clump ALL black people together and assume they are all thugs? Why do some black people have resentment toward ALL white people because of slavery when it was not the fault of ALL white people. We tend to blame all for the actions of some. Is that fair? Is that right? Is that wrong?
I believe we are all pulled to believe what we feel is right and we all have our own paths that feel natural to us but we live in this society that does not allow us to be who were are 100% openly and honestly because we have soooooo many guidelines to follow and soooooo many people telling us what is right and what is wrong? I do understand that there are some things such as murder, child molestation, spousal abuse, hate crimes, etc. that in my opinion are unquestionably wrong but there are other things such as gay marriage/rights, abortion, child rearing, education, etc. where are I cannot wrap my brain around how people can determine what is right and what is wrong for the whole. Every household is so very different. Every person feels love in their own capacity and every parent wants to do what they believe is best for their child. Where is the line drawn of where other people are able to determine what is right and wrong for the individual, for the family, for the cultural group or for the gender?
My dad keeps popping into my head. I love my dad with everything in me but there is a lot I don’t say because I know he will get frustrated, he will shake his head and he will tell me I am wrong….as I have done the same thing to him before. My father is agnostic just like I am but he does not believe gays should be married. He believes marriage is meant to be a union between a man and a woman. I disagree and believe that marriage is supposed to be a union between two people that love each other. Which of us is right and which of us is wrong? People could swarm this blog entry with answers and tell me that the bible says this or the government says that but why is it that certain people have the power to be right? Is it because of their political status or social status or financial status? My dad believes that democrats are allowing the government to control us. Maybe he is right. I believe that regardless of politics we are all controlled. We are all swayed by someone else’s thinking. If someone is going to continually tell me that I am wrong, I am going to continually ask why? Eventually someone is going to run out of answers and personally I have learned that the existence of right and wrong is man-made. I believe as an entire world we have built so many guidelines and so many rules and we have become so detailed and descriptive and politically correct that we are no longer living as human beings but instead living as robots. We are following the lead of certain people…and these people are constantly changing. My dad is Republican and I am undecided of my political stance…I tend to saw more toward the left. I admit to being terrified to saying those words to my father because on so many occasions I have heart him rant about how horrible the democrats are. I am avoiding telling him this because I already know the heated debate we will get into about who is right and wrong on the issues when in my head I believe neither of us is right or wrong. Government has taken too much control of us as people no matter what political party we follow.
In schools there are guidelines. There are rules and there are regulations and that is understandable. But when are there enough rules? When are there too few? I worked as the Education Manager for a nonprofit in a small, poverty-stricken area. I would work with teens and talk to them about all sorts of issues…my program’s goal was to reach out to teens and help them through all of the issues they face. We all know what teens face…self-esteem issues, sexual pressure, popularity pressure/status, etc. I talked about a great deal of issues but there was always someone limiting me. There was always someone telling me that I could not talk about this or talk about that. My mouth was sewn shut on so many occasions because I needed to make sure I was being politically correct at all times. Meanwhile these young girls and boys are learning only half (if not less) about what the world is really like. By stating that certain things are right and certain things are wrong…we limit ourselves….we limit the future generations. I was not allowed to discuss contraception with students because the county in which I resided supported abstinence only education. The county spoke for me….I had no choice. I believe kids these days need to learn about contraception because teen pregnancy is becoming an epidemic and that is terrifying. I believe it should (hands down) be taught at home first…but realistically we know that does not happen so I believe someone needs to give them the information in order for them to make a well-informed decision. We think we are protecting them when in truth (in my opinion) we are doing more harm than good).
This blog is titled In My Opinion because I KNOW that people will not always agree with me and there is absolutely nothing conclusive about my answers. I may go on rants but I will NEVER tell people they are wrong. What power or proof do I have to tell people they are wrong? In the same though…I cannot tell them they are right either. I came into this world as one person and I will leave this life as one person. I may have similarities to others but I will never ever know if what we experience is exactly the same so I feel that the concepts of right and wrong are almost impossible to measure. Every person on this earth has a different experience and different thoughts and feelings for their own reasons. Again, call me a dreamer if you wish but it is how I feel and I can no longer abandon how I feel. I want to live through what I feel as opposed to allowing my ego control me. Once I do that I know I have given up all of my power.
As usual, you know I want to know your opinions and thoughts. I have included below a video that Ellen Degeneres had posted on her Facebook page (as many of you know I loooove Ellen). I, personally, am not a big fan of Obama. I just have this gut questioning gut feeling about him…BUT I love everything about what he has done for the LGBT community (even if it is just for votes). I believe ALL people should be free and the idea of separate but equal is absolutely ridiculous. Thank you again for taking the time to ready my long-winded thoughts. :0)
i wish you could see all that i typed and then deleted because this is too difficult to respond to. sometimes “right” and “wrong” are so arbitrary that it’s silly. things in one culture that are “right” are also “wrong” in other cultures. something things in america that would get congratulations would bring a death penalty on the other side of the world.
i think ellen is terrific. i don’t think obama is terrific, but i’m okay with him thus far. i wish you could express more than just “gut” as to why you do not like him.
I am sure I will address that in an upcoming blog :0)
I think the right thing to do is always to follow your heart and head but that wrong can be don’t with good intentions
I am so glad you find my blog, leading me to yours!!
I was just discussing this concept with my husband regarding how we choose to parent our children. We settled on not teaching them what is right and what is wrong, but rather how to think independently, problem solve, and make intelligent decisions which will lead to what’s right and wrong for them. I don’t know if that even makes sense, but that’s what we’re going with! I look forward to reading more questions in the future!
Interesting post… My two older brothers are gay, and as far as I’m concerned, they can do whatever they want and should be “allowed” weddings and shared health insurance and children. On the other hand, I don’t see what the big deal is with the marriage issue when the important things is a civil union and all it’s attendant rights. Anyone can have a fancy “wedding” in their back yard (and the white-dress aspect of it is what I think most religious types abhor), and gay couples can have their fancy event privately, but what matters is the legalized union which doesn’t HAVE to be called a marriage if it’s going to upset the shallow people so much. So why not fight for civil rights In general instead of the right to a “marriage”? Its just become a pissing contest with people who love their gay family members but dont like the word “marriage” being associated with gayness. Personally nature is a man/woman mostly. Anomalies of nature are same sex love or transgenders or hermaphrodites. But who’s to say older men with 8 year old children, or 40 yrr old women with 17 year old boys, or farmers with sheep mates aren’t equally as acceptable? If one variety off-normal should be considered normal, think of ALL the other varieties off-normal that are similar but are clearly “wrong” and everyone would argue against… There are too many variable. Conservatives lump gays in with pedophiles, the rest of us don’t consider them at all the same. In 40 years most will be past this issue. Lol
I agree with Jensine. I think right and wrong are (or should be) subjective. If you’re doing/saying something that doesn’t feel like you or makes you feel “bad” then stop doing it. Same for if you’re doing something that makes you feel “good” (and isn’t hurting yourself or anyone else) then keep doing it.
I think a great deal of this has to do with how we’re taught…what we’re lead to believe. I was raised Catholic and have been to various Christian churches and ultimately have come to believe in some “thing/entity” that is larger than humanity; that stops us from wiping ourselves out completely.
I just think that all of societal beliefs and morays would be, I don’t know, simplified if we saw ourselves and each other as HUMAN, first and foremost. Also, if the Golden Rule were more “in play” we would be more concerned with how we act and and who we are at our cores and not so interested in telling others how/who they should be.
Living my own life is exhausting on my best day. For me to tell someone else how to live theirs is just unimaginable!
I love your posts! Write on, my sistah!
A very interesting post, and I can relate to your question of “who decides what is right or wrong?”. What may feel right to one maybe wrong to another. But then again, just because someone thinks it is wrong (or right), does it become so?
Some topics and the questions they raise are very thought provoking and debatable and in the end there may never be a definite answer. I go with what my brother told me, “if your words or actions do not hurt anyone and you feel what you are doing is right, and if it makes you happy, then by all means do it.” And I live by those words now.
I believe everyone has a right to decide for themselves their rights and wrongs but they shouldn’t be shoving their opinion down others throats. A really well written post, your honest feelings and your passion on this particular topic can be seen clearly. 🙂
I love your blog as always. I love how you challenge the minds of others to think outside the box and offer an opinion one way or the other. I’m such a fan of President Obama and I love to question others as to why they are not. I don’t believe everyone would love him, me or you, but I believe we all have our feelings as to why.
In my opinion I don’t believe it’s a gut feeling as to why you dislike him. I think you know absolutely why you don’t and you are neither right or wrong but I believe it’s something you have been taught. You believe Pres Obama is half right and half wrong. Guess which side is wrong? It’s just my opinion but you will never say I’m right. LOL
Right and wrong is defined as what you believe it to be. Do you think it’s right to kill? Steal? Destroy someone’s property? I’m sure you don’t. Do you believe in self defense? An eye for an eye? Karma? We can go on and on- I love it!!! Your blog style is great… Love it my friend….. Keep em’ coming
Thank you kindly new friend :0) I told another fellow blogger that I will have to tackle the subject of why I am not a big Obama fan. I am actually not a big politician/politics fan in general. Politics has become such a game and a contest and I feel that we have lost the whole purpose….and in my opinion that is to strive toward peace and togetherness as a nation and as a world.
How do you know that peace and togetherness is right? Is it wrong to want all of us to be unified? Just joking… I know it’s what I believe as right, but others may see it as wrong… Crazy life, but 1 person at a time we can MAKE OUR world whatever we want it to be. I’m looking forward to the tackle-)
I am curious, and forgive me, I’ve only read this first entry, so perhaps you covered this in other places.
1) You said you are skeptical of Christianity because there is no experience of God. Do you mean to say that you, personally, have had no experience of God, hence your skepticism, or do you mean to say that experience of God has never occurred, or cannot occur, for anyone?
2) I’m also a bit confused how you can on the one hand indicate a view that there is essentially no objective truth but on the other hand assert that certain matters are “unquestionably” immoral? Those are completely incompatible ideas. If certain things are “unquestionably” wrong, then there must be an objective truth which frames that morality. And as soon as one opens the door to a certain amount of objective truth, one must look at the distinctions between people and cultures and their assessment of moral issues and determine which people and cultures hew closer to that objective truth and which stray far from it.
These two questions are inter-linked of course, because if there is a God, then God is certainly inter-twined with objective truth. And so one must expect that if one can experience God, then one can know objective truth — not through the limits of the rational human intellect, but through the experience of God. And once one considers this, then one must at least consider the idea that those who have experienced God will have a _better_ morality than those who have not. And so the debate between views ceases to be a level playing field in which all opinions and ideas are equally valid.
I’m certainly not saying that everyone who claims to be a Christian has experienced God and can therefore tell everyone else how to behave. Far from it. But a life that has been touched by God is easy to distinguish from those which are not — and if those people are telling us hard truths that contradict what our society _wants_ to believe is true, where does the greater good lay? By following the hard truth even though it upsets many people and makes some people feel “invalidated” or by giving into the broader culture’s comfort at the expense of pursuing what God has revealed?
Hey I hope your dad doesn’t read your blog! My mum reads mine, but I don’t think dads generally read them.
The saddest truth I must continually resign to, which you’ve discussed in this post, is that truth is always determined by power. It seems to be a requirement of this existence. Whichever group gains the most power always wins the struggle for truth.
Truth is things as they were, are and ever will be, its an irrevoble and immovable and unchanging laws~ There’s definitely a right and wrong despite the dictating forces for power based on unrighteous control. Interesting post/ viewpoints.
Yes, there is right and wrong and most of us will probably spend our whole lives learning what they are. As for your personal experience with God, why don’t you ask Him for one?