Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Who Decides What is Right?
People in general expect to be treated fairly and courteously. We assume that those around us know the basic common rules of right behavior, and we believe they should conform to them. Some people deny that such rules exist, and all of us occasionally ignore the rules or break them. But our behavior shows clearly that deep down inside, we all have an innate sense of morality. People would not yell at rude drivers unless they believed that rude driving is wrong. It makes no sense to express anger at bad behavior unless you believe there is a standard that defines good behavior. And you assume that everyone out there is aware of this standard. In fact, before you can disagree with anyone about anything, the two of you must agree on one thing: a standard of right and wrong. Adversaries in an argument must assume they share a common standard that defines right before either can expect to convince the other that a standard has been violated.