Right and Wrong!

Google Wave Are people basically good, evil, or neutral? got me thinking on what is Right and Wrong once again, and how does that matter? Is it intention, action or experience good or bad? Act with good intention may have bad effect, or may be perceived as evil. Good action may be perceived as hostile. What is good and what is evil? What is right and what is wrong?

I am yet to meet a person who is 100% good or 100% evil, except in fairy tales. Fairy tales reflect a simplistic perspective on life. In real life, there are shades of good and evil in everyone, though there may be difference in i) degree of goodness and ii) impact on environment (eg. hard to an individual, a group or the whole population itself). It applies to an individual as much as it applies to any social grouping. Good/evil may be attributed (it is another matter whether such an attribution is actually true but I believe we tend to do if only for convenience… collective conscious and conscience) to any entity that we happen to interact with. That entity could be an individual, organization, nation or any social grouping. Value system and circumstances determine their external behavior. Largely, we consider an individual in interaction with another but there are times when we need to consider individual in interaction with collective psyche of a group. We may face it when we move from one organization to another, one nation to another where acceptable behavioral patterns have changed and almost predictable reactions no longer hold true.

I think, it is all the more important as interactions from diverse cultural background is increasing in daily life. I find it important from three perspectives, i) self check and improvement ii) quality of social life (improving social awareness), and iii) getting to know people better. My earlier question on intention/action/experience was from the third perspective. Caring at a very personal level may be welcome in one group but as intrusion to privacy in another, especially when compromise on privacy makes one vulnerable. Danger is, action with good intention is perceived as evil, and consistent suppression of action with good intention may have an adverse effect, I think it is important in emerging social scene were globe is turning out to be a cultural melting pot.Cultural fusion has taken place many times in the past but scale is different now


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