• Jaime Richards

Is there a "right" and "wrong"?


Are there universal rights and wrongs? Not Jaime Richards rights and wrongs. Not YOUR rights and wrongs. Not American or “Western” rights and wrongs. UNIVERSAL rights and wrongs.

If there aren’t, if everything is subjective, then anything is OK. Everything will, theoretically, be morally right because anything can be someone’s personal moral, value or “right.”

– “I believe in racial superiority.” – “I believe in lying, cheating, and laziness.” – “Child abuse and rape are acceptable because I believe they are acceptable.” – “It’s okay to throw an old lady under the bus (literally) because, hey, I believe seniors are a burden on society, and we need to reduce the population.”

Caring for children is optional. Healing the sick is optional. Feeding the hungry is optional. “Kindness,” too, is subjective.

What do you think? Do universal rights and wrongs exist? If they do, what are they? Is freedom a universal right? What else? If there are universal rights, then, by definition there is a right – and a wrong.

If there are not, if anything goes, why teach children “right” and “wrong”? Who are we to impose our values on them? Why teach anything but scientific truths? (Two plus two is four. Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius.)

Do we have provable moral laws? If not, why have any laws? If not, why teach? If not, everything from beating defenseless puppies to killing innocent civilians is “moral” as long as someone from some other time, region, or culture says it’s their moral.

I say there ARE moral truths. Peace, compassion, integrity and trust are universally valued. Violence, cruelty, corruption and deception are not.

Just because humans didn’t know that it was “right” that Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, didn’t mean that heliocentrism wasn’t the truth. And just because some people didn’t (or don’t) know that slavery and bigotry are wrong doesn’t make either right.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” I plan on spending a big chunk of my life trying to make sure he was right. What about you?


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