Who is Right?

This is a question which many ask. There are many for whom being right seems to be very important, some hate to be wrong. But can right even exist if there is no wrong? It is on this axis of polarity that conflict arises and escalates. There are many different notions of right and these are context dependent. We can be morally right, we can be socially right, we can have accuracy of retelling, we can have scientific accuracy and we have the most applicable explanation. We can have right or wrong answers to a mathematical or physical problem. This concept of right and wrong underpins our education system. We can become very entrenched on this axis and adamant beyond evidence. Right and wrong can vary according to the applied interpretative framework. A right answer in one frame is a wrong answer in another. In some cases this right is determined according to the consensus of opinion of a collection of human beings, if they agree then right is established. Even if that consensus is say 51% that is enough to deem right as opposed to wrong.

Right and wrong are not the absolutes which many may claim them to be.

In A level science papers the right answer according to the mark scheme can be wrong if a wider knowledge of subject is held. Yet people can have their entire futures influenced by choice of a single answer which does not match the accepted mark scheme. One mark may determine an A grade or a B grade and hence ongoing opportunity. Everywhere we can find this axis of judgement which is not as objective as it parades itself to be. The notion of right and wrong has inherent some measure of subjectivity. But those who are keen on being right cannot, or do not want to see, this subjectivity. Things are binary, black and white, right and wrong in the minds of many. If you are keen on debate, on winning the argument, then you are seeking to establish this right / wrong categorisation.

In so very many cases this depends upon who you can persuade to side with your argument. If you think about this it undermines the whole notion of right and wrong. Rather we have acceptable and unacceptable, and these are assessed in the mental consensus of the jury, whether a legal jury or a societal one.

Having cued this up:

Do I believe in right and wrong?

Do I like being right?

Do I hate being wrong?

If there are no absolutes does that make the world uncomfortable for me?