Website owner: James Miller
Does man know what is right and wrong because he has learned it, because he has been taught it, or does he just know it intuitively (because he was born with that knowledge)? In other words, is knowledge of right and wrong something that is learned or something that is innate? If a boy secretly steals something from a trusting, good friend doesn't the boy just know intuitively that the act is wrong? I think he does. Especially if it is the first time he has ever done it. If he continues to do this sort of thing he may lose the sense of doing wrong after he has done it a few times. But the first time he does it I believe that he would instinctively know that it was a wrong and bad action even if he had never been taught anything about the wrong of stealing. Similarly if a man in passion raped and murdered a woman wouldn't he know, just instinctively, that he had done a wrong and bad thing? I think he would. Whenever any of us does something for our own gain or benefit which is at the expense of someone else, something that does harm to an innocent person, I think there is something innate and intuitive in us that tells us it is wrong. Another question. Aren't all of us at times in our life tempted to do something that we know would be wrong out of the promise of some gain or benefit or pleasure? Isn't this a common experience? Aren't we all tempted at times to do wrong? Due to the power of the sexual fantasies and desires that we all must deal with aren't we all quite familiar with that struggle between our higher and lower natures, between our knowledge of right and the powerful lure to do wrong? Considering all that we have said now, how is it possible that Socrates could possibly have argued so ardently that no one would knowingly act contrary to the good? That if a person did wrong he was doing it because he thought it was right and thus he was really doing it in ignorance? From what we know about ourselves and life this contention seems like a very absurd one. Even Aristotle doesn't seem to have a good clear concept of the essence of the whole thing: that great struggle between our Higher Nature and our Lower Nature, the great conflict between our knowledge of Good and Right and that powerful temptation to go against Good and Right in favor of personal gain, benefit, self-interest, comfort and pleasure. It all basically comes down to the struggle between Good and Evil within us, that voice of God within us that tells us what is right and that voice of Evil within us that keeps tempting us to go in the way of Evil. Feb 1984 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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