Friday, January 31, 2014

The Complicated World Of Right

The world of design is ripe with those who would turn thumbs up or thumbs down on pieces based on their value systems, mood or blood sugar level. Interestingly, the world itself is full of different cultures, religions, viewpoints, languages, biases, tastes and interests. In other words it's complicated to get along these days. Everyone's empowered and seemingly entitled to their opinion, biases and prejudices. Such is the benefit of a free, messy world.

Philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Kant) did not address the source of right and wrong, they only say things are the way they are because that's how the universe works.

Moral relativists say that morality is imposed by some external authority, usually society. Bertrand Russell argued that individuals or societies which had certain types of moral understandings had an evolutionary advantage over those that did not.

"Right" comes from the Latin word rectus meaning base, which itself comes from the word reg = movement in a straight line, extension. The first meanings of the word meant "straight, not bent, curved or crooked." It wasn't until the early 16th Century that the word had the additional meaning of applying such mathematical concepts to people "of persons or disposition; disposed to do what is just or good; upright; righteous."

That said, we need to find a way to communicate, to share, to empathize. Across cultures. Across fences and political affiliations. Across a lack of intelligence that which would hold understanding and trust at bay. Because when what's right for the common good is overshadowed by individual ignorance, greed or interests, well, that's just not right.


  1. Hey Rand,

    There should be a little "Thumbs-Up" or "Thumbs-Down" icon on blogs, like they have on Facebook or Youtube. If there were, I'd click that I "Liked" this.

    As an aside, I was watching a Youtube video by a friendly-seeming fellow about how to water your orchid, and I noticed that somebody out there had clicked "Dislike"... I mean what's not to like about it? It just didn't seem right!

    1. Ha! Everyone's a potential critic... :)

      Thanks Raymond. Nice to hear from you again.

  2. That looks like my block. If my R is missing, how can I say if you're ight or wong? And since I'm thinking about being a kid when I was playing on the floor and still had an R, I think I came with my own sense of morality. Being socialized didn't change that, and I often thought the adults were nuts or immoral or making the rules so they could get away with stuff.

    1. Ha! Took me a while to see you had lost your R in ight and wong... wakey wakey :)