We're all wrong

I’ve spent some time thinking about what’s right and wrong but also some more on if there is even a right and wrong.

In the end what’s right and wrong depends on the standard you’re measuring against. Usually society has a framework to define what is right and what’s wrong. Common frameworks are the law, religion and more recently social media. Society is essentially equal to a group of people.

As soon as we venture out of one group and into another the rules / norms for what is right and wrong change entirely. Which explains why there is so much international conflict in the world.

However, let’s consider, there is also a different argument to be made, namely that the world is mostly rational (which is wrong, but let’s continue). We can analyze every question and every problem from a logical standpoint. Find supporting and opposing arguments, draw conclusions that in turn support further arguments.

The problem with all these frameworks and ways to decide between right/wrong, correct/incorrect is that all make the assumption that we have perfect information. Which is something impossible to achieve.

No matter what argument you’re in there are an infinite number of angles to consider and an infinite number of layers to go down to. So, whatever statement you make it’s always wrong.

You might say that apples are healthy - but not if you eat 10 a day. Also, today apples often have pesticide sprayed on the outside. So you could say only washed apples are healthy. However, even that is wrong, because there are people that are allergic against apples. So are washed apples healthy for people without an allergy? However, consider what does healthy even mean? If I’m hungry at night, what would be the more health conscious option an apple, some grapes, nuts or a piece of meat. Now you might think that meat is obviously the least desirable choice here. However, what if the person has been starving for a week?

Another example, you might say that riding the train is a more climate conscious option than taking the car. However, have you considered the impact of manufacturing a train, maintaining the tracks, the trains that are half empty at night? What if the person has to travel to a remote location, what if they have baggage, etc.

What if I shoot another man in the head with a pistol. Then I’d be a murderer and will be convicted by law and in some countries even charged with a death penalty. Then, society is telling me that I’m wrong, something that needs to get locked away or disposed of as quickly as possible. However, what if I’m a solder fighting in a war - suddenly murder is accepted - not only accepted but encouraged - not only encouraged but required. If I kill another man in a war, well then I’m called a hero who did the right thing for his country. However, not even heroes and murderers stay the same. The heroes of today can become murderers after the fact and likewise can murderers become heroes - for example in a revolution.

The point here is not to argue for one or the other position. The point is that on any argument and situation we can go deeper and wider and still find good arguments that invalidate anything that has come before. The deeper and wider we go the harder to estimate the impact and draw a solid conclusion to find out what’s right and wrong or what we should do. Every premise we make stands on very shaky assumptions that might prove wrong depending on the person, environment or time.

What you say to your friends might not be appropriate and therefore wrong if you say the same thing to your parents, teachers or your boss. What you say today will be wrong tomorrow and what you will say tomorrow would have been wrong yesterday.

Therefore, you could say that we are all wrong all the time. Because we can never have perfect information and perfect information can’t exist because new information is constantly created and old ones forgotten.

In the end, the reason why I made this blog post was to say - that I’m wrong. Whatever you read here is all wrong, incorrect and false - so don’t assume otherwise.