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Esteban Trevino

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How do individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do?

In his Talk, Edward Snowden mentioned that he choose to act based on what was right rather than what was convenient for him. I think that this particular topic should be further explored, especially when there exists significant personal costs and risks?

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  • Mar 30 2014: I beleive its relatively easy. Will your conscience or does your conscience agree with what you are about to or have done. If the answer is no, then you have to rethink your purpose of doing something or just quit doing it. If the answer is yes then either what your doing is right (By your own reasoning) or you have an under developed concience (which is a main reason why so many do bad things).

    Secondly, knowledge of what's right and what's wrong (which should only require basic intellect to work out) hopefully can act as a guide especially if conscience is lacking.

    People always know the difference between convenience and doing the right thing, but the later does not increase their bank balance, get them a pat on the back or a promotion. Effectively many would rather be traitors to the 99% than behave for the benefit of the people if they are rewarded as a result. This may be a reason why fewer women make it to the top. They are unwilling to go against their conscience for greater reward and a pat on the back.
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      • Mar 31 2014: Very good question. The answer, simply put comes down to interpretation or recognition of correct morals. If you deliberately hurt a person and then feel sorry/guilty for your actions you have a conscience that associates guilt with doing wrong by someone. Developing a conscience may be the result of observations of others behaviours that you disagree with, built into your cultural/family life or a result of experience. However some do not need to experience feeling bad about an action to know an action will make them feel bad.

        I also beleive people develop an idea of right from wrong through social engagement and learning. Knowledge of right from wrong can keep you on the right track, but the conscience is a reminder of why you choose right.

        The bigger question is; If a person has an under developed conscience should we or can we hold them responsible for what they do? I don't personally beleive children should be held completely responsible for their crimes as it has been proven that a child's mind is not yet fully developed and therefore may b absent of a conscience and much learning of right and wrong to make a correct decision.

        Additionally, do organisations and even governments prey on these individuals for employment into corrupt affairs?
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          Apr 3 2014: Have you heard about the way they're teaching people to build their compassion like a muscle? Fascinating stuff. Conscience and compassion are almost synonymous and the ability to fine tune compassion in people allows for a far more effective conscience.
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        Apr 1 2014: According to Mint, just to develop the right conscience, you have to be a "woman" Esteban :(

        Some of the posts on your topic have more thoughtful suggestions :)
    • Mar 30 2014: Conscience?

      Can you point to an area in the brain where a conscience is stored and are people born with a conscience organ?

      People justify actions all the time even dreadful actions and have no pain in their conscience when they do it even you.
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        Mar 31 2014: con·science: noun ˈkän(t)-shən(t)s

        : the part of the mind that makes you aware of your actions as being either morally right or wrong

        : a feeling that something you have done is morally wrong

        Full Definition of CONSCIENCE:

        a: the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good

        b: a faculty, power, or principle enjoining good acts

        c: the part of the superego in psychoanalysis that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conscience

        In everyday conversation, most people define conscience as that little voice in our head that tell us that what we're thinking, or planning to do, or what we've done is great, good, neutral, bad, or evil.
        • Mar 31 2014: Rodrigo, there is no "part of the mind" that is defined as the conscience an scientists have never identified any area of the brain where a conscience resides.

          All conscience is based on a survival instinct and rewards and punishments you receive through out life. It is not a standard built into the human brain and does not exist at all in young children.

          Sorry but you need to study the human brain!
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        Mar 31 2014: Argos, the definition cited is from Merriam-Webster Dictionary which proves that the concept or feeling exist. However, I have read that conscience "does not exist at all in young children" but gradually develops as one matures. Unfortunately, some people grow to adulthood "seemingly" without conscience. This is attributed to the fact that some commit serious crimes, including murder, without guilt or feeling of culpability.

        Nobody has ever mentioned about conscience organ. It may also be a matter of semantics. Some call the equivalent of conscience "a survival instinct and rewards and punishments you receive through out life."

        "Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms (principles and rules). In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms."

        "A computer required hardware to perform its function. And the hardware need software to make it run. Without software, hardware would be useless and without hardware, software can not be used. Brain is like the hardware and mind is like the software. But in reality, the difference between brain mind are more complicated than software and hardware.

        In our culture we sometimes use the words brain and mind interchangeably even though they really do refer to separate, although often overlapping, concepts. The brain is an organ but the mind isn't. The brain is the physical place where the mind resides. It is a vessel in which the electronic impulses that create thought are contained. With the brain you coordinate your moves, your organism, your activities and transmit impulses. But you use the mind to think. You can muse at what happened, what is scheduled and what maybe will happen." http://controlmind.info/human-brain/the-difference-betw
        • Mar 31 2014: A definition of an abstract idea is not PROOF it is just a definition of a word.

          You are incorrect and there is NO place in the brain that is the conscience!
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        Mar 31 2014: Argos, due to limited space, I divided my answer to you into two parts. The first five paragraphs are above. This is the last part:

        I'm not a brain expert, neuro-scientist, or neuro-surgeon. Are You? And if you are, suggest you express your contributions, remarks, and opinions in a more refined and respectful manner. Would you want to be treated by a neuro-surgeon without conscience?

        I have been an educator for more than thirty years - with more than ten years of college education in engineering, business, and the arts, I have studied as much as I could about the brain, the mind, and conscience. No amount of innuendo from someone like you will change my mind, although my conscience is telling me to be respectful of people all the time, regardless of their abilities and education.
        • Mar 31 2014: Rodrigo. I will match your education any day and I am a professional educator and you do not know what you are talking about.

          There is NO conscience portion of the brain and no child is born with a conscience. It is based completely on the survival instinct and values developed from learned behaviors and nothing more.
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        Mar 31 2014: Argos, you did not answer my questions: Are you a specialist of the brain? In the unfortunate event you need the servcies of a neuro-surgeon, will you allow yourself to be treated by one without a conscience or what you call "a survival instinct and rewards and punishments you receive through out life."

        In the event you will be treated by a doctor without conscience, good luck to you my friend!
        • Mar 31 2014: Your question is ridiculous- you do not need to be a brain surgeon or neurologist to understand the science that has been done on the brain centers and YOU are neither and are barking up an invisible tree.
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          Mar 31 2014: Esteban,

          There seems to be a robust discussion on your topic. Hope this contribution clears some of the cobwebs. I'm not a neuro-scientist but based of my readings about the brain and the mind there's an agreement among neuro-scientists and brain specialists that we are just beginning to understand the inner workings of the human brain.

          Consciousness - Etymology and early history:

          "The origin of the modern concept of consciousness is often attributed to John Locke's (British philosopher active in the 17th century) essay Concerning Human Understanding, published in 1690. Locke defined consciousness as "the perception of what passes in a man's own mind". His essay influenced the 18th-century view of consciousness, and his definition appeared in Samuel Johnson's celebrated Dictionary (1755).

          A related word was conscientia, which primarily means moral CONSCIENCE. In the literal sense, "conscientia" means knowledge-with, that is, shared knowledge. The word first appears in Latin juridical texts by writers such as Cicero. Here, conscientia is the knowledge that a witness has of the deed of someone else. Rene Descartes (1596 -1650) is generally taken to be the first philosopher to use "conscientia" in a way that does not fit this traditional meaning. Descartes used "conscientia" the way modern speakers would use "conscience". In Search after Truth he says "conscience or internal testimony" (conscientia vel interno testimonio)."
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consciousness

          I hope this contribution helps. Congratulations to those who are given thumbs up and those who don't, keep thinking!
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        Mar 31 2014: Hey Argos,

        Nobody is giving you a thumbs up. What's going on?
        • Mar 31 2014: If you live for a pat on the back you will subjugate your ability to think for yourself for the acceptance of others.
        • Mar 31 2014: Conscience and consciousness are two different things.
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        Apr 1 2014: Would you like to start a conversation on what we understand as Consciousness?
        I'd be glad to join you. Vera
        • Apr 1 2014: No thank you- Franciso confused conscience with consciousness and thought he was somehow adding to the conversation.
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        Apr 1 2014: Argos, here is my statement about CONSCIOUSNESS.

        When you faint you are unconscious - means senseless, blacked out, feeling nothing.

        Consciousness means Awareness. It can be felt on different levels within one’s mind (not exactly in brains) and awareness cannot be “recorded” in brains for the reason that the sensations get initially produced only in one's, invisible to anyone else, mind. Brains and bodies are dead when disconnected from minds. You'd be mad when read this.. sorry.

        If our minds were visible in brains we would not need to even talk - we would be screening each other's brains and see their unique burlesque realities...

        The powerful law of nature does not allow anyone to visit your mind, it is forever your own private space.

        Neuroscientists still have no clue what consciousness means, these are people who badly CONFUSE mind with brains !! However, they use consciousness while doing their research for creating fantastic “ideas” and "explanations" on "mind", "art", "music", or even "love".

        Those notorious discoveries and following explanations on Neuroscientific wired by neurons "human nature", based on brain research, become the LAUGHINGSTOCK for learned scholars.

        Neuroscientists are nearsighted and loudly illiterate, therefore, very popular among the ignorant masses.

        Please find this recently published book written by CURTIS WHITE "The Science Delusion" - he is merciless..

        Best Regards!

        P.S. I'm a trained researcher and my work is closely related to the study on human mind/perceptions and the laws of nature, limiting us from perceiving our realities objectively.
        • Apr 1 2014: Thanks Vera and I am very aware of what consciousness means but if you read from the top of the thread we were discussing conscience and Fransico confused what were were discussing and then thought to poke me with his definition of consciousness.

          I prefer to stick to the topic of the thread which was conscience as it applies to making a "right" decision.
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        Apr 1 2014: I'd very much like to read your next post, Argos.
        That topic about Right and Wrong is very provocative, and Esteban is a master of provocative topics.

        You might like that bold, merciless book by CURTIS WHITE "The Science Delusion" :)

        Cheers!
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        Apr 1 2014: "Conscience?

        Can you point to an area in the brain where a conscience is stored and are people born with a conscience organ?

        People justify actions all the time even dreadful actions and have no pain in their conscience when they do it even you."Argos Xavier

        Argos, the people below want to talk to you:

        Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it. Albert Einstein

        Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. Mark Twain

        I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. Leonardo da Vinci

        An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. Martin Luther King, Jr.

        Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience. George Washington
        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/g/georgewash140863.html#JxTvlEmCsJRXoLDf.99
        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth115046.html#ZJufDbikO6uxfZd1.99
        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/leonardoda120053.html#8Mdudc8CzHKJz1GD.99
        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marktwain104341.html#mjDFkC1uA6OSZfJ8.99
        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins125062.html#F62TEdyMl1EvP8T1.99

        Obviously, the people quoted above believe humans have conscience. Unfortunately, history shows that there are some people on this planet who did not or do not have one.
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        Apr 3 2014: Esteban - Vera - Francisco - Argos

        Have you heard about the way they're teaching people to build their compassion like a muscle? Fascinating stuff. Conscience and compassion are almost synonymous and the ability to fine tune compassion in people allows for a far more effective conscience.
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    Mar 30 2014: On first sight it looks easy to grasp what Edward Snowden meant. Because obviously he chose to follow his conscience which led him to hardships rather than following his own physical convenience.

    But closer look might show that this a tricky division between right and convenience. What Snowden should be asked is how would his life be mentally if he chose to remain indifferent to his mental urge to reveal NSA's actions ?? Perhaps in that case, his mental hardships due to his aching conscience would overwhelm his physical convenience and turn his life into full of distress. Obviously then this situation could not be called convenient for him. So it rather should be said that in reality Snowden chose his mental convenience upon his physical convenience.

    As we practically stick to materialism as if it was a sacred thing, no matter how much we usually talk or brag in favor of higher ideals, we tag any action or deed which relinquish any objects of materialism as 'paying personal cost', or as 'making a sacrifice'. But perhaps, Snowden and many others like him in history do not consider it at all as sacrifice or cost. It's just the most natural thing to do from their point of view.
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      Mar 30 2014: You make an excellent point, Yubal, in drawing attention to the different ways people may think of "convenience." For some acting without integrity would be extremely "inconvenient" in a mental/psychological sense. Acting with integrity involves less personal cost in such a case.This does not suggest, of course, that there are no costs at all to such actions.
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      Mar 30 2014: Good points Fritzie and Yubal!
      I speak from my own experience as a whistleblower with a toxic business. During the proceedings, my life was threatened, my home was damaged, and there were various other threatening situations meant for the purpose of getting me to back off.

      Over and over again, I asked myself why I was taking the action. If I backed off, everything would be fine....I would not live in fear. However, I knew in my heart that I was doing the "right" thing for our environment, and I knew I would not have been content with myself if I had been too frightened to continue with the action. Neither choice was "convenient". The choice to back off might have been more safe, and I know I would not have been content with that choice, no matter what the consequences were with the action.

      In my case, acting with integrity involved MORE personal cost, and I weighed that cost carefully every single day during the proceedings. My guess is that Snowden weighed the cost of his actions as well, and chose his mental convenience (comfort/contentment) over his physical convenience (comfort/contentment).
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        Mar 30 2014: Great & amazing !!!! Thanks for sharing your personal experience relating to the topic of discussion.
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          Mar 30 2014: Thanks for the feedback Yubal:>)
        • Mar 30 2014: A pat on the head and now run off while the adults talk lol!
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        Mar 30 2014: Thank you, Colleen, for your moving story revealing your wholesome character. Great example for others, I think. (I'm very familiar with those situations under the powerful pressure against my ethics, i went through a few..).
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          Mar 31 2014: Thanks Vera....I appreciate you:>) Threats never did work very well on me!!!
    • Mar 30 2014: It is hard to say what Snowden's motivation was. He may have seen an opportunity to make some money by selling the secrets to newspapers. It could have been an ego trip to be a hero for exposing corruption. Maybe he had political motivations.

      The fact that he ran away and had a plan to get exile shows he wanted to avoid any punishment for his actions and was not exactly brave.
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        • Mar 31 2014: He may have ran away for a lot of reasons but he did run away and that act tarnishes what would have been a "right" action to make it look sleazy and corrupt.

          Snowden would have had more integrity had he stayed and fought any charges in court and he would have had plenty of support to do that instead he ran and that cost him some integrity.

          Now I can understand his fear and in the same circumstances I don't know what I would do but I am just pointing out that the act of running diminished his stature in the eyes of other people and if that was important too him I do not know.
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        • Mar 31 2014: You keep repeating the same question and I have already responded to that question Esteban: each individual makes that decision based on their feelings at that moment.

          You will just have to accept that answer or put it to the test.

          Snowden ran away. He had other options and he chose self preservation out of fear.
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        • Mar 31 2014: Yes it does answer it because you are looking for ONE answer and I am telling you there is no ONE answer because it will always depend on the individual at that moment and we are not robots or machines that all respond or make decisions the same exact way.

          SO you can never get an answer to that question until you accept that each human is different and will not respond the same in any given circumstance.

          It doesn't matter what Snowden's reasons were- the fact remains he ran away. That was the choice HE made in that moment and you and I may make a different choice because WE are individuals.

          Do you get it now?
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        • Mar 31 2014: No Esteban you just don't seem to grasp how the human mind works and all decisions a human makes is based on their past experiences and values developed over a life time and the survival instinct from our ancestors.

          You keep wanting an answer to how people make that decision and there is no ONE answer because under the same circumstances two people will not always make the same choice.

          THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE "RIGHT".
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        • Mar 31 2014: You can not jointly explore when you come to the table with a pre-conceived belief. What your are trying to do is convert people to your belief even when you have been shown that belief is false.
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          Mar 31 2014: Esteban, do you really mean you want to "jointly explore?" While you do *say* this and also often refer to sharing and collaboration, I wonder from other things you have said whether what you hope to do is more to lead people to your particular position with respect to "right" and "truth."

          Whichever it is, I feel certain you mean well, but I have wondered whether the language you use with respect to collaboration reflects your actual intention or whether you are .using that language as a sort of marketing strategy to advance your beliefs.

          Are you, for example, a practitioner of NLP?

          As I have said, I am sure you mean well either way.
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          Mar 31 2014: I agree it is not worth looking up!

          Is this thread giving you personally a better understanding of your question than you had before? You mention you are "maintaining a firm stand," so I wonder what you mean by "jointly determine what is right." If each chose to to maintain a firm stand, each as true or valid as the next (with a close correspondence with reality), what would be jointly or collaboratively determined? (Scholars in this very active field- Sam Harris might be one- sometimes use the metaphor of a moral landscape to capture the reality of multiple peaks and multiple troughs. In other words, the claim is not that one cannot find some things everyone would agree are wrong but only that there are multiple moral high points, none unambiguously dominating the rest)
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    Mar 29 2014: This is tricky question as many times we are honestly just too tired and therefore choose convenience over something that may be a better (and more right) choice, but may take more effort.

    I was give this advice when I moved out of my parents home 35 years ago that in order to know if I am doing the right thing, just think of them as being right there watching me. If I would feel embarrassed, ashamed or that they would disapprove, ......then take the other option.
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      Mar 30 2014: I like your contribution, Amy. If in doubt, don't ...

      RIGHT: adjective ˈrīt

      : morally or socially correct or acceptable

      : agreeing with the facts or truth : accurate or correct

      : speaking, acting, or judging in a way that agrees with the facts or truth

      Synonyms: accurate, authentic, exact, precise, faithful, strict, true, veracious

      Antonyms: corrupt, corrupted, false, imprecise, inaccurate, inauthentic, inexact, loose, unfaithful

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/right?show=0&t=1396151952

      The definition of right seems to be easy but it is one of the most abused, misused, misinterpreted, and misunderstood words. The interpretation of right is big business.
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    Mar 28 2014: One more thing we need to be aware of when we undoubtedly trust our own Right

    When we think we are superior to others we lose our sense of reality, we give ourselves the "right" to be "Right" for to manipulate others. This way we become monstrously ill .
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      Mar 31 2014: Vera, our friend Argos needs to read and reflect on your comment above.
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        Mar 31 2014: Hello Francisco :) I care so much more for YOU replying to some of my posts. Glad to talk to you.

        Pleasure to have you around.
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          Apr 1 2014: Vera, when I was young, my elders and teachers taught me to stay away from people without conscience. They said it's the civilized thing to do. Please advice me because I respect your opinion.

          People without conscience created the holocaust.
      • Mar 31 2014: If you have something to say to me I am right here Francisco?

        Or are you just here to get acceptance?
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          Apr 1 2014: Argos, when I was young, I wanted to win every discussion, every argument. I'd rather win an argument even at the risk of losing a friend. Then one day, reality hit me in the face. Today, I would rather win a friend. Winning an argument is secondary.

          Besides, you can advance your ideas and your position in a discussion in a civilized manner. You don't have to be arrogant and insulting. Even in a forum where we don't see each other in person, educated and cultured people shine through.

          I read in some of your comments that TED moderators deleted your comments. Why, Argos?

          "So TED removes some of my comments and then tells me I need to talk to people like we were sitting down to dinner. Well that is exactly what I was doing and only a friend would tell you when you are full of BS right?

          So it is pretty obvious that when you do the "right" thing it will often result in punishment and recrimination against you because society or at least the power that want to control a society do not care if you are doing what is right as long as you are following their program and not making their job any harder.

          "RIGHT" is a word we use to justify whatever we are doing and if you disagree you are "WRONG" and when enough people agree with me and we want to be in power then we make the rules of right and wrong.

          I took a personal risk and spoke my mind and the powers of TED scolded me and took down my comments.

          So do you think I should stop doing what I know is right because if I don't TED might remove me?

          Do you subordinate your values of RIGHT to people in power everyday?"
      • Apr 1 2014: Francisco, if you read through those quotes you will see that they are not in any way insulting to you or anyone.

        If you read through those quotes they explain why the comments were removed.

        Now you are embarrassed because I had to correct you that conscience is not consciousness in another post so you are using TED to try and get back at me.

        That is immature and if that is how you intend to have a discussion then just don't respond to my posts or use my name in your posts because if you do I will respond back in kind.
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          Apr 1 2014: I'm honored, Esteban. I very much like your interpretation of the idea on serving and supporting Goodness.

          Thank you !
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          Apr 1 2014: Love is an interesting topic. When I help and I help very many people, very generously, and very effectively, I avoid any deep sentiments - I have to keep my head clear and my heart cold in order to use fully my little intelligence and experience.

          A person like me (unusual case) very rarely chooses one to love, and this means I would easily give my life for the one I choose. Love for me means to be ultimately related in mutual experience having a soul direct exchange, beyond sense-perceptions ( it can be my Cat) , no words are needed, and I, myself do not ask for anything back, easily forgive anything.

          If I must not be around the one I love for the sake of his own safety and important benefits, I would not regret or whine because of this separation, my love survives any distance, even death.

          People who want to get close to me often call me "cold" but I'm very far from this label. May be it is not easy to comprehend my character, my goals, my belief.
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          Apr 2 2014: Esteban,
          Your comment that I am replying to is an EXCELLENT opportunity to address what may be "convenient" and what may be "right". And perhaps you can ask yourself how YOU decide what is convenient rather than what is right.

          You write..."Basically Argos called on A to substantiate a declaration made, and A did what seemed like a run-around."

          I am pretty sure that I am "A" that you refer to, so let me clarify...

          I told Argos clearly where the information could be found....Vermont Environmental Court records, and clearly told Argos that if there was a genuine interested, he could do his homework.

          In my perception I did the "right" thing because I have no obligation to spend time trying to find the hundreds of pages of documents with several actions over a period of a few years, regarding the case in question. That is not "convenient" for me, nor is it a desirable way to spend my time.

          Argos found one PART of one action, and apparently, you and he decided that I was doing a "run- around" and not providing information. It apparently was "convenient" for you to blame me for a "run-around" rather than spending the time to find the information which is in the place I clearly and honestly told you where it could be found. In my perception, having appropriate information BEFORE accusing someone inaccurately would have been the "right" thing to do.

          Making an accusation without having all appropriate information may be more "convenient" for you, and in my perception, it would be "right" to have all appropriate information before accusing a person of a run-around.

          You continue to tell a story that is incorrect and misleading in your comment above, which in my perception is not "right", and may be "convenient" for you. Perhaps you think that reinforcing inaccurate information is "right"....I do not perceive it to be "right".
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        Apr 1 2014: Dear Francisco, I copied your post to make sure I understand it well:

        "Vera, when I was young, my elders and teachers taught me to stay away from people without conscience. They said it's the civilized thing to do. Please advice me because I respect your opinion.
        People without conscience created the holocaust."

        --I'm not wise enough to give you the best advice you so deserve, but I'll be glad to share with my own experience.

        I think that people who behave mindlessly are not only potentially very dangerous, but are always more or less Self destructive. It is also hard to ignore them. My own step-mother who grew me up was very abusive and I could Not Avoid her.. I was trapped and had to learn to survive very hard way.

        It took me years to understand her sickness, and therefore, her unspeakable cruelty, and eventually see that she did not mean to hurt me. She was very hurt herself - suffering Schizophrenia.

        Mindless cruelty indicates mental and physical illness, and also ignorance, and in ugliest cases it is always a combination of all problems.

        In my early childhood I have discovered that the whole human society is mentally sick and screaming for help.

        I kept asking myself - What shall I do, as a small fragile child knowing so little about human psyche and endless tricks?

        I was lucky to meet a few thoughtful individuals, suffering badly, but they did not lose their sound minds.

        My first self-taught lesson: "never lose your mind and your sense of Goodness ". Goodness was my god in my childhood, my spiritual parent from whom I felt I came from. As a small and helpless, terribly abused child I felt brave enough to support my Goodness.

        -I think if you feel like avoiding illsome individuals or groups because you cannot stand against them - do everything to support the best you can see in this sickly world - this is wonderful enough!

        Thank you so much for making me think back in time, about my "childish" Goodness.

        Stay well !
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          Apr 1 2014: Thank you, Vera! Best of luck.
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          Apr 1 2014: Vera, I have known many people who emerged from difficult childhoods or young adult circumstances with a choice to live by a simple question to guide decisions and actions: What would be the most loving thing I could do? This is similar to your Goodness beacon.

          I appreciate your sharing your experience.
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          Apr 1 2014: You do not need to love those who suffer or are lost, if I can help, give whatever you can, and support the best in them.

          For me Goodness is irreplaceable, it is mighty kindness itself, it works even when you feel very unattracted to others.
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          Apr 1 2014: Esteban:

          Love: affection, adoration, friendship, fondness, devotion, passion, ardor, …

          We all appreciate any one of the above when we receive it from anyone who truly cares.

          Cheers, my friend.
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        Apr 4 2014: Dear Estaban, I do not know you in person, but I feel that you generously put your heart in every word you write.

        I'll try to answer your questions.

        I do my best to always remember that there is no ideal good, and no very same good for all of us .

        The world is change and our circumstances change, variously, and actually instantly. We are changing as well in every instant.

        What I see as the right thing to do at the present time, say, for to help fix my troubled situation, that situation might change drastically in a minute or two, and I have to change my good plan, because it does not look good any longer in my new circumstances.

        Whether I'm driving dealing with busy traffic, or trying to solve some problem at work, or cooking, or helping someone else to find a good solution, I am very aware that my Good idea might Not work if new changes suddenly appear.

        When we imagine, theoretically, that if we want to Help someone it is a GOOD idea on its own, we shall be aware of changing conditions within ourselves and within others. We have to be ready to replace our Right plan or to even cancel it based on new circumstances.

        Just want to say that we cannot be always right, no matter how much we want to be right.

        CHOOSING our Right way or action is an unstoppable PROCESS, that often needs corrections and modifications.

        I hope I've made some sense.
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    Apr 2 2014: Choices, good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, no matter what, there are consequences. It just depends on whether the individual can live with themselves after the decision is made.

    Let's just be honest, if someone uses convenience as a standard for decision making and can live with it sans remorse or guilt, it shows. That kind of behavior is evident to the people surrounding them. Whether the people who see the behavior choose to react or not is yet again a matter of convenience vs. accountability.

    Poor decision making and denying any responsibility in addressing negative behaviors in society inevitably leads to complacent acceptance of a perpetuating problem which can spread, allowing others easy justification for their own bad choices because it's perceived to be the norm.
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        Apr 2 2014: Racism is still a problem and one of most common ways people get away with it is saying something with racial connotations in the presence of individuals who feel uncomfortable saying anything that would make the person making the comment feel uncomfortable.

        The consequence of discomfort in addressing the elephant in the room is perceived by most to be more troublesome than ignoring it and telling yourself that as long as you're not like that then it's fine.

        Address issues head on. Get comfortable with calling people out but work on IPC skills to do it the "right" way. All it takes is a comment or a joke that causes the person to pause and rethink what they've just said or done. A statement that works in a contradictory way to their current belief system, a fact or a truth that can't be denied but aligns itself in opposition to the perception and opinion they have towards an issue or topic.

        I work in a prison and we're required to take Interpersonal Communications classes regularly to practice de-escalation. Since we are currently rolling out a Transition from Prison to Community program that helps offenders in their rehabilitation process, IPC skills are imperative in changing criminal and addictive thinking. We have to find ways to directly contradict them as a lawyer would argue a case. Provide a truth with no opposing argument.

        Find a way to eliminate any means of justification for their position on the topic. Ask questions that only have answers that will prove your viewpoint further.
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        Apr 2 2014: Fritzie -

        Good article. That's a perfect example of someone making a good decision. The founder couldn't live with the feeling that they were continuing to do something that was convenient but ineffective so they pursued a choice with consequences they could feel better about living with.
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        Apr 2 2014: Esteban -

        I was establishing what people can do in an attempt to effect change, not what will work 100% of the time with all individuals they come into contact with.

        By addressing issues the "right" way I simply meant that being aggressive in tone and delivery will probably get you into an argument rather than a conversation. Arguments open people's mouths and close people's ears and minds.

        The resources available for Corrections Officers are provided by the instructors at the facilities so I'm not sure where one might be able to find those.I would imagine and hope that there's a wealth of information available in other places related to IPC skills.
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          Apr 2 2014: Hi Ang,
          I learned more about IPC skills with the "Real Justice" training I received while volunteering with the dept. of corrections, facilitating groups and mediating with inmates.

          There is a training Manual and real justice conferences/workshops available for the Real Justice model in different areas, and I just googled IPC skills.....looks like there is LOTS of information and programs available.
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          Apr 2 2014: Wise advice, Ang. People listen, I think, to those they have come to respect, who in turn are those who show that they truly value others. I think people who approach others with authenticity and an open heart do better as well in many situations.
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        Apr 2 2014: Esteban / Colleen -

        I just typed in Conflict Resolution and there are lots of hits related to IPC and also managerial related sites. It doesn't seem to make a huge difference where you go to get the info it, the premise is addressing ways to effectively communicate with people.
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        Apr 2 2014: Fritzie -

        Agreed, part of IPC is making sure that you're not accusatory in tone and avoiding an aggressive confrontation but rather approaching people with a mind set of understanding how it is they developed their opinions in the first place. It helps immensely when the source of the reasoning is identified.
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          Apr 2 2014: I am glad you are doing this work and hope that places that implement such programs make sure to hire people like you who have good instincts for the job. If someone, for example, really disrespects the client population you tend to have, that person will likely not be effective even with training in specific techniques. A parallel situation arises in teaching. While loving kids does not necessarily make someone a good teacher, a person who dislikes kids will tend not to be effective in providing and facilitating a successful learning environment in which kids can flourish.

          Forgive me for veering from the topic of the thread. I just want to express appreciation again for what you do, Ang, because your work is important.
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        Apr 2 2014: Esteban -

        Can you explain what you mean by additional safeties being required?

        When it comes to something like learning how to communicate with people all you can do is try something and if it doesn't work go back to the drawing board and try something else until you find the one that works and feels most comfortable for you.
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        Apr 3 2014: Fritzie -

        Thanks :)

        I can't argue with that, openly displaying disdain doesn't allow for open lines of communication and cooperation in absolving issues.
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        Apr 3 2014: Considering someone or something unworthy is different than feeling that someone or something is unworthy of consideration and/or respect.

        I guess the two could have some slight, subtle difference, however consideration stems from a feeling that drives one to consider so I'm not really sure how to separate them. In my mind they're too closely tied.

        Absolutely open lines of communication and cooperation exist in many circumstances, not arguing with that and have always had it in mind.
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        Apr 3 2014: Esteban -

        I'm quickly learning that you're communication technique is aimed at playing "Devil's Advocate".

        One can communicate openly displaying disdain, hostility, aggression, accusation, and/or judgment but, and I think you'll agree, that would not be the ideal way to approach people. Logic dictates my thoughts and feelings and my logic tells me that if I want the best and most effective results I have to control my emotions and discuss topics and issues with level headed rationale.

        Lines of communication and cooperation can be attained even with these factors occurring but I feel as though it would be taking the convenient path. Rather than harnessing those emotions, controlling them and in many of my cases suppressing them completely to create an atmosphere more conducive to conversation and a feeling of openness feels like the right way to treat people.

        "Treat others the way you want to be treated"

        I don't want anyone displaying characteristics that would cause ME to feel inferior, would you?
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        Apr 3 2014: One of my supervisors emailed me this today.

        "You're Doing It Wrong: Arguing, Former FBI Negotiator Gary Noesner explains how to get anyone on your side."

        Copy and paste that heading into your search engine. It's a very short article and fits right into this discussion quite cozily.
  • Apr 1 2014: Individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient according to how energetic they are feeling. Experience can tell us what's right and what's convenient but what we actually do depends on how energetic we are feeling.
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      • Apr 1 2014: Shame is an inconvenience that should always make it convenient to do what is right regardless of how energetic we are feeling - but how much experience of shame have we had? I suggest that that "energetic..feeling..from..realizing it" stems from shame.
      • Apr 1 2014: Shame is loss of pride, innit? Or: pride is fear of shame? Figure it out, will ya?...
      • Apr 2 2014: I'm thinking that "Appropriate Pride" is dignity.
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    Mar 30 2014: Hi Esteban,

    Apparently thousands of other people had (still have) the same access to information as Edward Snowden, but he took a particular course of action that others did not. One can talk of upbringing, personal beliefs, historical-timeliness, opportunity and universal values as factors that influence such decisions.
    I would say that the ultimate "trigger" to act is an inner sense destiny, which is a combination of all the above factors, and then something more.
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        Mar 30 2014: Hi Esteban,

        Another way of looking at it is to recall an incident in your own life where you made a decision to do what was right, rather than what was convenient. What was the deciding aspect, or final 'trigger' that tipped the balance in favour of the "right" action, in your own experience?

        I think if this question was to be asked to other people too, the answers would include something like "I knew I just HAD to do it, even though it was hard". In other words it is some kind of "inner knowing" that drives us to expand our world and comfort zone (as Mint Thinny says below).

        It could also be that we become aware that it is some kind of "test" in our own personal growth in consciousness whereby we know that if we don't face this 'test" this time around, then we will surely be faced with it again later on - so why not do it now.
        If our time on this planet is considered as doing a lifetime of semesters in the "earth-school", then we are more open to the challenges that relate to growth.
        This implies another trigger to right action is our connection to a "bigger picture", (and Edward certainly has that), whereby one is prepared to risk an action for the greater good.

        In all cases I believe it depends on our level of awareness of the issue we are dealing with. A "less aware" person is more likely to act in blind and simplistic ways, "following orders" without question. My father (English), and my father-in-law (German) both were active in the war (on opposite sides!). To have refused would have had severe consequences; indeed my wife would probably never have been born because her father would have been killed by the Nazis for not co-operating.

        However, there are lots of smaller choices of "right, not convenience" that we can all take in relation to lifestyle, and also little things like not saying 'yes' when we want to say 'no'; and vice-versa - ie: being true to ourselves in the small things.
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        Mar 31 2014: "Who knows one might find something new after the 10,000 time...". Spot on, Esteban. Remaining open to be surprised at what we do not know, remaining open to change, to having our beliefs challenged is the only way forward - especially since our current beliefs got us into the current state of things.
    • Mar 30 2014: People are afraid to get out of their comfort zone. Its cowardness to a great extent. But it is also selfishness as they take on an attitude of I'm alright jack.
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        Mar 30 2014: Hi Mint,
        Yes, you are right. Right action requires courage, and the awareness to see and connect to the "bigger picture" in which our decision to do right, rather than what is merely convenient, is situated. (see also my reply to Esteban above)
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          Mar 30 2014: Hi Esteban,
          You mean you are looking for a basis for an "absolute right" course of action, as opposed to a "relative one" (in which an individual does what they merely believe/think is right)?
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    Mar 28 2014: ... we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." John F. Kennedy, 12th of September, 1962

    ... we choose to do "things", not because they are easy, but because they are RIGHT AND FOR THE COMMON GOOD ...
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      • Mar 29 2014: If what is right is based on what is for the common good, we may also consider that one definition of peace is the practice of being aware of our thoughts, our actions and the consequences of our actions. This of course would include the affect on everything and everyone around us.
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    Mar 28 2014: It does not create a dichotomy if one accepts the convenient as the right. However, when one makes a distinction between the two there can be infinite regression of editing the convenient by the idea of righteousness. It is comparable to a Cantor set where you take a segment of a straight line and chop off the middle third. If you go on doing that, you tend to end with something which is neither a line (dimension 1) nor a point (dimension zero).
    I think individuals have an innate capability of seeing moral topology between convenient and right and decide intuitively.
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      Mar 28 2014: I agree with you that some of the moral sense is innate and widely held in common and some is a product of culture. Further I believe people give more attention to some decisions than others, simply because they haven't the ability to make every decision a very conscious one or to collect the pertinent information on every decision they make. So a decision that may look like the person did not care about doing the right thing may rather be a decision made automatically and without calculation because the person was focused on a variety of good works of a different kind and was unable to "keep an eye on every ball" simultaneously.

      There are also decisions involving risk, where judgment is hard, and decisions in which acting one way benefits a diverse set of people A and another available decision benefits a diverse set of people B. In other words, there are tradeoffs between doing right for some and doing right for others. There is often not a single most 'right" way of choosing, even in rare cases of certainty.
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        Mar 28 2014: I'd add with that the human nature of depending on Authority. I believe its a biological shortcut for human brain's processing effort of data and information processing along multiple projections of possibilities. Our brains are hardwired to look for an Authority and copy the advice as right thing to do. Convenient, on the other hand is largely a private idea.
        Also, the satisfaction value of a 'right' choice diminishes as number of competing choices increase. The satisfaction value of a convenient choice, I believe,is a constant.
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          Mar 28 2014: I don't know whether Authority has a natural appeal to humans. It might, given that we know in packs of animals there is often a pack leader who has demonstrated his strength/basis for authority by whatever standard that pack uses.

          Another hypothesis might be that risk spreading, not wanting to go it alone in cases of risk, may be a primal trait. Are there not animal communities without a specific authority but with a regular practicing of teaming? That could be interpreted as a risk spreading device without appeal to authority.
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        Mar 28 2014: @Fritzie. The Milgram Experiment is a case in point for Authority.
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          Mar 28 2014: I think in many cases choices are too close to call.

          Let's take a daily example. You may have two kids and love both the same. Which child will you kiss first? Is one the right one to kiss first? How long will you think through which to kiss first, or will you quickly kiss one and then the other?

          On a broader scale, I have just been reading a book by TED speaker Bjorn Lomborg in which readers of Slate as well as a panel of four scholars pored over policy papers going through the costs and benefits, pros and cons, of a variety of different strategies that might be promoted as part of the next UN Millenium goals in areas such as health, education, hunger, biodiversity, sanitation, infectious diseases, corruption, climate, and so forth. They all read the same reports and then prioritized policy avenues based on their reasoning and the amount of resources they expect to have.

          Slate readers and the five scholars each came up with different rankings. They then chose a way of melding the different prioritization schemes into one. Had a sixth person been there, the response might have been different. I don't think one could reasonable identify one person's ranking as being unambiguously right and the others wrong, given the information available for making the decision.

          You might be interested in the work of Jonathan Haidt, who is one of many contemporary scholars who study morality. http://www.ted.com/speakers/jonathan_haidt He finds people share largely the same values but place different weights on them. He has a TED talk but you can also find him on Edge.org
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          Mar 28 2014: Please listen to Jonathan Haidt's talk, which is about moral humility. It will give you a chance to consider a different perspective than this one, and, I think, a more practical and more loving one.
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          Mar 28 2014: Here is the link. Some of the talk is on point and some not. http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind

          I think if the exercise of finding one unambiguously right path interests you in specific complex cases, you should imagine it is possible and try to do it yourself. It is important to select a specific case, because only in a specific case will you recognize whether you have moved beyond generalities to define an actual best choice.

          That would indeed seem to represent a good learning exercise for you. I am glad you thought of it.
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      Mar 28 2014: Good points Pabitra and Fritzie,
      I see no reason to "decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do". As you say Pabitra, when one makes a distinction between the two....making it one or the other....one rather than the other, it feels like editing "convenient" through the eyes of righteousness. Something that is judged to be "right" can also be convenient.

      I agree Fritzie, that people give more attention to some decisions than others...depending on interest, time, importance, etc. For anyone to decide what is "right", or what is "convenient" for another person, is a judgment, and it appears to be a judgment from a sense of righteousness. I wholeheartedly agree..."there is often not a single most "right" way of choosing, even in rare cases of certainty". Something may feel "right" to one person and feel totally "wrong" to another person.
      • Mar 28 2014: The feeling of right should be the same. We are all the same (HUMAN). Even though we feel different. Truth or RIGHT is all the same.
        So why does it feel different?
        Everyone is not as physically "fit" as the next
        Everyone is not as knowledgeable as the next
        Everyone does not have the same awareness or sense of truth as the next
        Strength is power as well as knowledge. I can be stronger and more knowledgable so i can aslo be more aware of TRUTH. Yet once truth is revealed it does not defer. Although we may chose to be ignorant of Truth.
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          Mar 28 2014: Roman,
          Who says the feeling of right "should" be the same? You? Is your "right" good for everyone in your perception? Whose "truth" is the "right" truth?
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        Mar 30 2014: I am replying a bit late on this and Yubal has already made an interesting point on this. The 'right' and the 'convenient' both are relative to one who confronts those. If one chooses the right thing to do over the convenient thing to do, it can be shown that psychologically the choice is also convenient, however inconvenient that may look outwardly. Martyrdom is possibly one example of the point I am trying to make.
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        Mar 31 2014: Esteban,
        I hope the significance of the comparing the reduction of convenient in the light of righteousness or the other way round with the Cantor's set is not lost on you. By definition the infinite regression of removing the middle third of a straight line does not reduce it to a collection of straight lines, it turns out to be a fractal.
        If one ascribes the convenient a dimension of 1 and the right a dimension of zero (or just the reverse) the Cantor Set represents something in between 1 and zero. Likewise, we tend to decide somewhere in between the convenient and the right. Depending on our relative position our decision can be closer to the right (a moral position) or a convenient position (a private position).
        Both the right and the convenient are subjective positions relative to one who is making the choice. There is hardly any objective standard to measure the convenient or the right.
        I read Fritzie's example of picking up the kid from practice session. When I explained it to my wife she explained that the right and the convenient thing to do would be to take the neighbor's kid to our own home and call his dad up to pick him from my home with a an invitation of having a cup of coffee/beer at our place.
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    Mar 28 2014: Heraclitus would probably say: Right and Wrong are one and the same.
    "The way up and the way down are one and the same."
    Heraclitus

    I'd say, there is no such thing as one and the same collective Right for all, and there is no one and the same collective Wrong for all.

    Every one has the right to choose his/her personal right or wrong.
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        Mar 28 2014: Hello, Esteban. "How do individuals decide what is right ? " Your topic question is great.

        To answer this very general question we have to imagine others' minds, their backgrounds and experience, and most importantly lack of experience depending on how few or many possibilities this person may see. But No answer would be correct.

        Only One knows oneself, and never entirely.

        I can only tell you what I think from my own experience. Some of us "decide" what is Wrong or Right based on our childhood training and taming.

        Even when one feels "funny" inside, when follows the rules, he/she knows that in case of breaking those rules he/she would be punished, one way or another.

        Almost all of us go through this just because we live in our societies (in the worst cases we may be trapped within cults)

        1. Everyone is born into and is greatly effected by our social environment. In order to adjust we try to get along even when the rules and psychology of people around are not in harmony with our own nature.

        2. We choose our Right when we feel violated. Depending on power of the establishment we decide how much we can resist, how far we can go with our personal Right choices.

        3. We may decide to join a group of similarly thinking people. In some innocent cases, like our discussion on TED, we are safe. In cases if we want to change our environment drastically, we might get ourselves involved in violence.

        My answer to your question, in short, only an individual can truly know what is Right and what is Wrong but for him/herself ! If we judge and then force others to obey our idea of Right - we Violate others.

        Some people are born to enjoy violence. Some people are desperate to stop that violence.


        The only way to handle our Rights and Wrongs is to follow the New Golden Rule

        NEVER treat others as you would like to be treated yourself -- unless they agree to it first --because what is good for you may be damaging for others.
    • Mar 28 2014: Yes this is true. This is called free will. The free will to choose does not cancel out the right or wrong in our choices. This is why as subjective beings we should be subject to a right way of life. We do not willing choose to subject ourselves to the right way because most of us are unaware this way exist.
  • Mar 27 2014: This is an excellent question. For thousands of years, the question has been "Why do people do wrong?" I think you've hit upon something--why do people do right? If we can answer that question, we can do so much for our futures.
  • Mar 27 2014: Individuals can decide what is right, rather than what is convenient to do, from experience, either their own or somebody else's.
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      • Mar 27 2014: Individuals can "determine if what they decided was right happens to be right" "from experience, either their own or somebody else's."
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        Mar 28 2014: One person can always ask for opinion of another.
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          Mar 28 2014: Good point Michael!
          In my perception, asking for an opinion is gathering more information with which we can make informed choices. To continually ask a question, and not pay attention to the information provided with answers, does not make sense to me. When someone asks for an opinion, it is good to actually listen and consider the response.....otherwise, there is no point in asking the question.

          Once we get information, we have the ability to sift through it to determine what is "right" in our perception/perspective. I think there are challenges when a person is trying to convince everyone that s/he is "right". The "right" that one perceives at any given time may be very "right" for him/her, while it is not "right" for others.
    • Mar 27 2014: But why do they do so? Why do people decide and do what is right? Why do they not live according to the easiest way? That's the amazing thing.
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          Mar 28 2014: In reference to your musing about trolls, the TED staff always works hard behind the scenes privately with people to encourage civility and to make sure the terms of use are clear before they take any further action. We do not see these conversations, because these matters are handled in private.

          Those who participate here with consistent civility model the sort of constructive behaviors that most learning and discourse communities= not just TED- seek to cultivate.
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    Apr 7 2014: what is right is equal to what is convenient, in the long run...
  • Apr 6 2014: Thank you Colleen. We all need to be brave; expose and take to task all those culprits - name and shame. Then we get closer to a better world.
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      Apr 6 2014: I agree that we all need to be brave and speak up Soon, in an effort to create a better world.

      Do you think/feel the "shame" tactic is good to use? Isn't that a tactic used sometimes by those who try to control, dominate and convince us that they are "right"? Sometimes suggesting that they are superior to the rest of us? Do you think it is good to use that practice?
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        Apr 6 2014: how do you feel about that old saying "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees"?
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          Apr 6 2014: Hi Greg!
          I never heard that saying, and I think I get the gist of it!

          Yeah....I'd rather die standing up for something I truly believe in, rather than feeling oppressed.
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        Apr 6 2014: well, i don't know if one can generalize. There may be kinds of oppression one would accept rather than die? Even the colonists endured a certain amount of perceived mistreatment from Britain before they rebelled?
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          Apr 6 2014: That is true Greg....there may be kinds of oppression one would accept rather than die, and that is a choice one makes when in that situation? I think/feel that when people are faced with those decisions, they/we weigh the information we have, decide what our preferences are and make an informed choice. If one is deciding what is "right" rather than what is "convenient", it helps to have all available information:>)


          EDIT regarding comment below:
          Esteban,
          If one is deciding what is "right" and what is "convenient" it helps to have the information to decide what is "right" and what is "convenient" in any given situation, for us as individuals.

          As you clearly write...."It would be nice if when faced with the decision to eat the pie or forgo it individuals would make an informed choice".

          One cannot make an "informed" choice without "information".

          Correct....one can have all available information and not know how to use the information, which is why it is important to "know thyself".
  • Apr 4 2014: Intentions and transparency are everything: actions and words that are unselfish,work for the common good, promote and inspire cooperation and fair play, no hidden agenda.
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      • Apr 5 2014: Esteban,

        MUMBOJUMBO GALORE!!! In other words GET A LIFE!
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        Apr 5 2014: Esteban and Soon,
        I agree that intentions and results can have individual importance which influences a person's decisions regarding what is right.

        I suggest that if one believes s/he has a full cup of all "good stuff", it may be the ego that is filling the cup.
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        Apr 6 2014: Esteban,You ask me to comment on your "particular case of the wallet". I do not see any reason to justify keeping something that does not belong to me.

        In your perception, that seems justifiable..... In my perception, that is keeping something that does not belong to me, and I would make every effort to find the owner. I cannot justify, in any way, keeping something that does not belong to me.

        That actually happened to me once....I dropped my wallet....a person found it, looked inside for ID....which is usually in a wallet....called me and returned the wallet, which I was very grateful for.

        You ask..."Why some individuals choose not to inquire and ask the questions needed to form a better perception of things?"

        Perhaps it would be helpful for you to answer that in yourself Esteban.

        EDIT regarding comment below:
        Yes Esteban, you asked me to comment on the wallet conversation, which I did.....you are welcome.

        I cannot justify, in any way keeping something that does not belong to me. If you can do that....so be it. I do not perceive it as beneficial, productive, or constructive in any way to keep something that does not belong to me.
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      Apr 5 2014: I do not agree Esteban, that your "style" of communication is at all good, or a contributing factor in any conversation.


      EDIT regarding comment below:
      Yes Esteban, that is what I choose to state, based on my own interactions with you and observing many people giving you some good advise about communication skills. It is always a choice Esteban.
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      Apr 3 2014: Please let me clarify to the reader what may have been lost in the reposting above, which was that this was my reply to a post by Ang, who does the important work of working with prisoners about to be released into community. Those were the programs and the work to which my post referred. Mine was not a reply to the OP's question.

      In fact, let me request, Esteban, that you not repost what I write, as my words and meaning may be misinterpreted when removed from their original context.

      Thank you for doing me this courtesy.
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          Apr 3 2014: If you simply leave things in their original context rather than removing them from their context, they are more likely to be properly interpreted. My reply was below Ang's. Here Ang's is nowhere to be found, making it much harder for people to interpret it correctly.

          Thank you again, Esteban, for not reposting my words in the future.
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      Apr 2 2014: No Esteban, your previous comment is NOT a "restatement". It is clearly an attempt by you to "abstract away from the particular example", as you so insightfully recognize, and clearly stated. You have produced another comment full of words Esteban, that have no meaning regarding the topic question.

      I agree Esteban that you may have a "difficult time differentiating" reality, and that is exactly why I clarified a situation and presented it as an EXCELLENT example of your topic question. I wholeheartedly agree Esteban that it might be easier "to resolve differences if individuals focuses on what is and corrected what they thought..."

      That is another reason I presented the situation as an EXCELLENT example of your topic question. You made a judgment regarding what was "right" and what was "wrong" when you did not have all appropriate information, nor did you seek the appropriate information before making accusations.

      We could indeed "get into jointly exploring the veracity of each claim", and being aware of the base issue is IMPORTANT for any exploration. If one does not know the base issues, it is not a very good exploration. Knowing the base issues DOES NOT "distract" from reflecting and dialoguing....it provides more accurate information and contributes to how individuals decide "stuff".

      So far Esteban, the ONLY shared tool you and I have at this point, is TED conversations.
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          Apr 2 2014: Esteban,
          YOU are the one who said YOUR "restatement" was an "attempt to abstract away from the particular example".......here is your statement, as copied directly from your previous comment....

          "Please note that I will basically abstract away from the particular example while maintaining the gists of the particular example. In other words take the particular example and produced a particular kind of example."

          In my perception, one can defuse a loaded claim, as you call it, with simple, accurate, honest dialogue. It does no good to label one participant as "seeking harm" and the other "seeking good". Two participants may have differing ideas, which DOES NOT call for the labeling of "seeking harm" or "seeking good". Those are judgments on your part Esteban, and serve no useful purpose. It is part of what is underneath your practice of making accusations when you do not have all relevant information.

          We determine whether something is a judgment, and/or an objective observation based on what information we are willing to consider, and what our personal perception is.

          A claim is not an observation, if one does not have appropriate, accurate information. Without accurate information, there is nothing to observe accept hear-say, which is not always appropriate or accurate.
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          Apr 2 2014: I understand your question Esteban, and in my perception, it serves no useful purpose to judge which person is "seeking good", and which person is "seeking harm".

          Judging people as "seeking harm" or "seeking good" IS your focus....you asked a question.....would you prefer that I not address it?
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          Apr 2 2014: I understand your question Esteban. How do you determine who is seeking good and who is seeking harm without judging?

          I am totally, consistently, focusing on your questions and comments Esteban. My perception is that you are not paying attention to the information people are giving you.
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      Apr 3 2014: Esteban,
      I understand the question, and I wholeheartedly agree that we are all entitled to our own perception.

      Good point Esteban......" you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception"........WELL SAID!!!

      Now if you can honestly embrace that idea, it is a gift to yourself, as well as to all of us:>)
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          Apr 3 2014: Esteban,
          I do not judge and label people as "harmful seeking" or "good seeking", because as I clearly stated in a previous comment, "... in my perception, it serves no useful purpose to judge which person is "seeking good", and which person is "seeking harm". When one labels and judges, the interaction is already colored by the judgment/labeling.

          It feels like when someone is not agreeing with you Esteban, you label the person and the interaction as "seeking harm", and I do not agree with that practice. Since I do not label people or interactions as "harmful seeking", your question of how to deal with that situation has no meaning for me.

          You ask "how to deal with "diffusing a loaded claim"?
          First of all, one has to decide that what s/he is hearing is a "loaded claim". That is a judgment I do not wish to make.

          With all interactions, I listen carefully and respectfully to the best of my ability, and address the topic of the discussion without judgment of the person or the information presented.

          I do not agree that dealing with something "in one way or another will likely result in the same outcome". Because any interaction involves two or more people, the outcome may be different at different times, so I am open to possibilities, rather than trying to determine an outcome prematurely.

          We see this demonstrated right here in this conversation. You apparently are focused on everyone "jointly" coming to some shared conclusion. When in fact, your previous insightful statement applies...."you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception".

          That is why I wrote..."Now if you can honestly embrace that idea, it is a gift to yourself, as well as to all of us:>)"

          When you can truly accept and respect that each person has his/her personal perceptions, you may be able to let go of the idea that there will be a joint determination. You may be able to let go of the labels.....or not....it is a choice.
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          Apr 3 2014: Sorry you feel exasperation and frustration Esteban. You asked me a question, and I answered with my thoughts, feelings, perception, perspective and ideas.

          Like you said....we all have our own perceptions....which I agree with. I notice you are still twisting words and statements Esteban....not acceptable!
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          Apr 3 2014: Perhaps you "expected" a response different than the one I gave you Esteban. Remember that everyone has their/our own perceptions.

          I suspect you wanted a response "in line" with YOUR personal thoughts, feelings, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs.

          There is NOTHING which requires a "shared confirmation" Esteban, and several commenters on this thread have reminded you of that over and over again. You continue to be off topic.
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          Apr 4 2014: I have addressed this topic question several times Esteban, and I do not feel at all "stuck", but rather open to new information.

          The topic question is...
          "How do individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do?"

          Here is my answer again.....
          I believe people form thoughts, feelings, perspectives, perceptions, ideas and beliefs based on information they have gathered from genuinely exploring life experiences, perhaps studying, observing, pondering in themselves, etc.

          I believe an important element in making good decisions and good choices is to "know thyself". In my perception and experience, the more information we are willing and able to assimilate, the better equip we are to make informed choices. As humans, with multi -sensory, multi- dimensional, multi- faceted capabilities, it is reasonable to anticipate different responses from different people.

          That being said, I do not believe that there will be a "shared confirmation" with the answer to this question, although most respondents seem to share the same idea that the answer varies, as you recognize and point out in your previous comment.

          As individuals, people use a variety of processes to determine what is "right" and what is "convenient", and some folks don't think about it at all! It often depends on how much an individual has explored him/herself.

          You insist on a "shared confirmation", or shared conclusion/answer to your question, and I do not perceive that to be realistic.

          That is an ongoing thread with your conversations Esteban....you seem to want everyone to agree with you, and that may be an underlying element in your persistence to "restate" the information people are sharing with you.
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          Apr 5 2014: Good question Esteban, which does indeed expose a point!

          You ask..."How can people base their decisions on what others consider without bothering to actually consider what the others considers?"

          I don't know how anyone can base personal decisions on information without genuinely considering all information, because that is not my practice. Personally, I believe everyone has the ability and the right to make their own decisions, as I have stated many times.

          Remember your insightful comment Esteban.....
          " you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception".

          I understand your question Esteban, and there is a difference between understanding and agreeing. I do not agree with you, and saying that a person does not understand, is a common practice for some folks when others do not agree with them.

          EDIT regarding comment below:
          Yes Esteban, there is a difference between understaning and agreeing...and saying that a person does not understand, is a common practice for some folks when others do not agree with them...

          I also chuckle with many of your statements Esteban, and I am NOT claiming to be a "know it all" or "omnipotent". It seems reasonable and logical for me to believe and practice gathering all relevant, available information before making a choice or decision.
  • Apr 2 2014: Dear Esteban, I kown only an awareness: the thought that comes back to the thought (cfr. S. CECCATO's cybernetics). However thank you very much for your execellent work.
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    Apr 1 2014: //How do individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do?//

    By questioning what is right rather than looking for the easy way out.

    I use to work at a local diner and the mayor of that town often came in for a cup of coffee. We began talking about police and their salary. After 5 years a police office in this town can make 6 figures a year salary. My response was "wow no wonder kids are going to college to become a police officer." He responded "it use to be the kids that were no good at school became police officers, it definitely changed."

    So, what is convenient and right will change with perspective, time, and demographics.

    If we use Snowden as an example, he did something no one else in his position would of done, why?

    That's a type of act we do not prize in our entertainments, our education systems, or our overall culture (in the States).

    What should really be asked "How do we encourage individuals to not want to choose the path of convenience over the path of righteousness?"

    Well that ties into bettering our education system to train children to think about careers, their future and to create a worldview.

    In my opinion we encourage people to find the most convenient choice and to make it - it's just easier that way for both the teachers and students...

    Your question strikes a lot of problems with our current systems of education... Good luck!
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      Apr 1 2014: Hi Nicholas....nice to "see" you, and I wholeheartedly agree that what is perceived to be convenient and/or right, may change with perspective, time and demographics.

      I also agree that encouraging kids to think about various topics and teaching them how to consider information and make informed choices, might encourage good decisions in their/our life adventure. Of course, if teachers are going to teach that idea, the teachers themselves have to be aware of it as well!
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          Apr 1 2014: Hey Esteban,
          Notice that I agree with Nicholas. You CREATED a secondary issue in your own mind Esteban.....for whatever reason.

          My statements are clear Esteban and not complicated....no need to try and twist them, as you often do. In my perception, there is no "mistake" between me and Nicholas or our comments. If you see a "mistake", that is a personal judgment you are making, and as usual, you twist and complicate words and statements for some reason....only you know what that reason is. Perhaps you really believe that you twist things in order to make them straight, as you have said so many times. That complicates a discussion Esteban, as has been brought to your attention many times.

          Your questions have been answered by people in this conversation, and you simply do not seem to want to accept anything that you have not produced. A meaningful conversation with you seems to be almost impossible.

          P.S.....in an effort to straighten something that you have twisted and complicated
          Esteban....

          I wholeheartedly agree with Nicholas' statement...."So, what is convenient and right will change with perspective, time, and demographics."

          Nicholas also states..."Well that ties into bettering our education system to train children to think about careers, their future and to create a worldview."

          I stated..."I also agree that encouraging kids to think about various topics and teaching them how to consider information and make informed choices, might encourage good decisions in their/our life adventure."

          I did not quote Nicholas' exact words.....I supported his idea....do you understand that Esteban?
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          Apr 1 2014: I am in fact, aware of a difference between what is, and what is perceived to be Esteban.

          I agreed with Nicholas, and you seem to want to make a big thing of it, which I find quite revealing and amusing Esteban.

          I do not agree that the sky is always pink Esteban. However, many times with a beautiful sunset, the sky is indeed pink. It goes back to what Nicholas insightfully recognizes...."So, what is convenient and right will change with perspective, time, and demographics."

          What particular topic would you like to focus on regarding what individuals think to be and what actually happens to be? That is a very broad statement Esteban, and without examples, it is not something that is easily addressed. Would you like to continue focusing on whether or not the sky is pink?
  • Mar 31 2014: Been doing some reading up on the formal science of ethics. The general streams are deontological (application of systems of rules), care (dependent upon applied empathy/taking care of all others), role (ethical actions are defined by ones specific place/status in society), consequentialism (the "outcome" of acts determines its ethical nature), pragmatic (that which is most generally useful at a given moment is ethical), and virtue (ethical/unethical acts are a result of which internal virtues have been cultivated--or not). As you can see, these all can overlap to some extent.
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      • Mar 31 2014: I was going stream-of-consciousness, not taking time to do sensible formatting.
      • Apr 2 2014: Conscious choice to reflect how it ran in my mind as it ran in my mind. In reflection, it was a poor rhetorical choice. I often write as I speak. When I write for formal purposes, I then return to it later and format for clarity.
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    Mar 28 2014: I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. Abraham Lincoln

    Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin163082.html#f0ur1W1fCD1M2Zz0.99
  • Mar 28 2014: As a human being, I decide according to my values and the impact to others. It depends on the implications of your call. Sometimes you choose due to an impulse (the heat of the moment) and sometimes you associate other variables. It is also related to the arena where you are performing. When it is under your control, it will be easier to go for the rift. When it is not, the convenient choice can influence.
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    Mar 28 2014: Esteban,
    Saw you replied to comments I made. Your posts appear unfocused and lack your personal view.
    I suggest you create an example of a situation relevant to this conversation.
    Maybe watching Rashomon, or it's 2011 Thai version, The Outrage, aka At The Gate of the Ghost will inspire: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2190475/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3
    I will watch Snowden talk.

    Things that would interest me in this conversation:
    -your definition of right
    -your definition of convenient
    -Do you make decisions between doing right and doing convenient, if so, how do you decide between doing right and doing convenient?
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    Mar 28 2014: There does not have to be a choice between what is right and what is convenient. What one decides is right for him/herself can also be convenient.

    The meaning of convenient is...."to come together; be suitable; proper; suited to personal comfort or to easy performance; suited to a particular situation; affording accommodation; being near at hand".

    All of these elements can come together when we choose what is "right" for ourselves. As multi sensory, multi dimensional, multi faceted, intelligent humans, we have the ability to take in information and make informed choices which may be "right" and "convenient".

    As humans, we are evolving beyond the willingness to allow others to decide what is "right" for us as individuals, and we see this evolution quite a lot these days. People are protesting against governments that have been oppressive....people are leaving religions that have been oppressive....people are standing up more against corruption, which controls and oppresses.

    There is nothing "wrong" with the acceptance of convenience in our lives. By definition, it is coming together; suitable; proper; suited to personal comfort or to easy performance; suited to a particular situation; affording accommodation; being near at hand.....all of which can be "right" in the human life existence.


    EDIT regarding comment below:
    Esteban,
    Sorry you feel you missed something...YOU framed it yourself....YOU stated in your introduction "...what is right RATHER THAN (my capitalization for emphasis) what is convenient..."

    I do not feel at all "rebellious" Esteban...I simply do not agree with your concept of "right" RATHER THEN what is convenient. For me, it is not either or..."right" and "convenient" are not mutually exclusive.

    What I cultivate Esteban, is the idea that what is right for one, may not be right for everyone.

    I have expressed my thoughts and feelings regarding how one determines what is "right" for him/herself.
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        Mar 29 2014: I am "appropriately incorporating" information Esteban.....apparently not to your liking!

        Ok...you say the conversation is not about "one or the other", even though your introduction says..."what is right RATHER THAN what is convenient".

        It is good that you can finally see that what is right and what is convenient are not mutually exclusive. I am glad that you finally see that I cultivate the idea that what is right for one, may not be right for everyone, which is expressed by several other people in this conversation as well.

        You ask me to restate how one determines what is right for him/herself....here it is copied directly from my comment above....
        "As multi sensory, multi dimensional, multi faceted, intelligent humans, we have the ability to take in information and make informed choices which may be "right" and "convenient".

        As humans, we are evolving beyond the willingness to allow others to decide what is "right" for us as individuals, and we see this evolution quite a lot these days. People are protesting against governments that have been oppressive....people are leaving religions that have been oppressive....people are standing up more against corruption, which controls and oppresses.

        And yes, I rebel against anyone who tries to tell me what is "right" for me, based on what THEY think is right. Being told what is right does not "make" me rebellious Esteban, I CHOOSE to rebel against the idea that someone thinks they can tell me what is "right" for me. That practice is an attempt to be controlling, domineering and oppressive.
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        Mar 30 2014: There are quite a few things that are very evident to me Esteban regarding your "approach" in discussions. In your comment above, you suggest the practice of "projection"...check that out in yourself Esteban.

        "Right" is a very broad spectrum, as has been pointed out by me and others in this conversation. I respectfully asked for examples of what you consider "right" rather than "convenient"...."convenient" rather than "right", and an example of what may be considered "right" AND "convenient". If we had specific examples of what you are trying to address, it may be beneficial to the conversation. Without examples, you are continuing to try to address a very broad topic with no focus.

        I observe how you continue to misquote, misrepresent and twist my words Esteban, which is not beneficial to any conversation. I do not appreciate the idea of a person telling me what is "right" for me based on what THEY think is "right", and that is a controlling, domineering, oppressive practice.
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        Mar 30 2014: I appreciate truth Esteban....everyone's truth.

        I am familiar with the "prisoners dilemma", and unless you tell us how it is relevant to this conversation, I have no reason to comment on it.
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        Mar 30 2014: I appreciate truth Esteban....everyone's truth.

        I am familiar with the "prisoners dilemma", and unless you tell us how it is relevant to this conversation, I have no reason to comment on it.
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        Mar 30 2014: I appreciate you making the "right" choice Esteban:>)
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    Mar 28 2014: Who/what defines what is right:
    -within self as individual
    -within immediate family
    -within extended family
    -within community
    -within town
    -within state
    -within nation
    -within world/internet

    Seems in the past, definition of right was nurtured by self, family, and community. Now, since definitions of right from all over world/internet are considered, does this distort one's own definition of right?
    Seems individuality is confused now. If all members of a community agree on a definition of right, then individuality is expressed within that definition. Or, it is wrong.
    If all members of a community are exposed to worldly definitions of right, then individuality may be expressed by forming one's own definition of right.
    I think this takes focus away from self development, away from adherence to morals pertaining to community lived in everyday, away from developing small individual differences that define a person within a community with a common definition of right.
    Two separate things:
    1. developing oneself within a community definition of right.
    2. defining oneself by considering definitions of right from all across the world.
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    Mar 27 2014: doing what is right seems unpopular most of the time...there is a sense of fatigue that along with anxiety drains the average person towards inertia. Yet in order to do the right thing being the group is essential in order to be able to judge how effective your "help" is. To be fully connected and yet objective and creative is not an ability that everyone wants In the past individuals that felt superior to those they serve felt priveledged to make changes for groups that idealized an end product(native children taken from their homes) but saw the task from such an isolated view the end result was mass destruction of a culture they knew little about. So before anyone risk anything for others knowing the subject at a personal level allows for a three dimensional concept to occur..not just a schematic of theory. Edward did what he did because he believed what we are told as children..that deception is against the rules. Many would like to complicate this concept as adults to reduce the original idea to childhood fanatasy...but for some childhood made the most sense and the adult world with its multidimensional hypocrasy hold ultimately no appeal..no house,no amount of money can reduce the searing agony of dishonesty....Everyone chooses their own values and for some to serve the group not those that claim to own the group appeals and all risk are worth it. Similarly humans risk death in sports and war all the time...why sohould moral self sacrifice be any scarier?
  • Mar 27 2014: The significant personal cost and risk you speak of I believe relate directly to morals ethics and personal value. When Snowden speaks of the right thing to do I believe we all get the "sense" of what this is. I have been studying this lately. I find that morals/ethics/personal value makeup our individual "way of life".

    Being individual subjective beings we all posses the capability for self-awareness. (John Locke; An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Friedrich Nietzsche) With this self-awareness comes an “individual” moral “code”. Some argue this moral driving force is “GOD’s” way of communicating moral guideline to human life. Critics will argue that a sense of “guilt” or “innocence” is as subjective as LIFE itself. Regardless of which you prefer fact remains that we all as individuals adhere to a certain “WAY OF LIFE”.

    How do we define “WAY OF LIFE”? One simply complex word: RELIGION.
    Religion is the number one controlling force in our lives. We are all in fact RELIGIOUS. Your beliefs, your cultural background and inheritance, your views on the world around; your WAY OF LIFE is your RELIGION. This concept in modern terms is called Social Constructionism. (Timothy Fitzgerald)

    If you study history we all share the same origin in language (PIE) geological dwelling (Pangaea) and WAY of LIFE
    THIS IS WHY WE ALL KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT. Ethics and personal value weigh heavy on our decision to do what is convenient .
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      Mar 27 2014: I agree with you that values play a large role in the decision of how to act, but there are other factors as well. Specifically, many actions are not the result of rational calculations against a metric of values but have more automaticity to them. I would lean more to the boundedly rational model one might attribute to Herbert Simon

      Two talks that might interest you are Dan Ariely's. One is called Are we in control of our decisions? Another is called Our Buggy Moral Code.
      • Mar 27 2014: Sorry if i was unclear. I went to lengths to layer my statement. I highlighted 3 major factorial categories in my opening line: morals, ethics, personal value
        I state all these play a role in our decision making in many many layers. I introduced the concept of Social Constructionism to highlight that point.
        Religion in terms is your "way of life".Your beliefs, your cultural background and inheritance, your views on the world around; your WAY OF LIFE is your RELIGION.
        I Unified our WAY OF LIFE through a study of history and religion.
        In conclusion since we all share a unified way of life we all get the "sense" of what is right.
        However millions of factors most are unaware of control our choice to do the right thing
        .
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          Mar 27 2014: I read your entire comment but your meaning was not as clear to me the reader, naturally, as it is to you. Are you distinguishing cultural background/inheritance and views of the world around you from values? Are these the other factors you mean?
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          Mar 27 2014: In your earlier statement you wrote "personal values" in your first line, which I understood to mean a person's values, as in the individual's moral code. In your restatement, you write "personal value," which I now think perhaps you use to mean private benefit?

          I know what social constructionism is and understood from your first statement that you choose to define "way of life" to be a person's religion.

          I think one of Ariely's main ideas is that our choices are not driven only by our objectives and values- that we are not that rational in how we choose..
      • Mar 28 2014: I changed my earlier statement. It was not my intent to delete it entirely. I am new to the discussion platform. I am in LOVE however with this site already. Especially this topic. I have, like I mentioned, done very extensive research on this topic and how this and GOD play a role in HUMAN LIFE .

        Ok so in short my opinion is this...
        GOD made man and with man a morale code/way of life/religion.
        We are all aware of this code because we are all made by GOD.
        Throughout history man in his own interpretation of GOD AND LIFE and with other OUTSIDE INFLUENCE has lost sight of this reality.

        This is why we all are so adamant about figuring this out.

        I love that you have 200+ rating. That means something here on TED. I was wondering why someone so intelligent kept asking me to express more detail into something so simple. It is because we over-understand everything. My short opinion is the universal truth. I will stake my life on it. However we do not accept truth because we are used to conformity.

        I will propose this. In addition to Dan Ariely's: Are we in control of our decisions? and Our Buggy Moral Code. Watch the playlist Are you there GOD? All these elements combined will shed light that I am with you 100%. I just cannot explain it anymore complex. It really is quite simple
      • Mar 28 2014: Ok I had to state this separate from my other point. I did not want one to detract from the other. I hope I have not insulted you Fritzie. Analytical perspective is subjective. I do not know you well enough to speak irrationally. So do not assume I do so, please. I will not assume you do.

        When I say WE over-understand everything I mean WE. When I say "how can someone soooo intelligent"... I want you to know your direct response enlightened me to the simplicity of the argument. WE use waaaayyy to many words that are defined waaaayyy to many ways. I always try to speak in "layans terms" but this too can be subjective.

        But you reminded me to return the explaining over to GOD. Philosophy is the foundation of our education. Philosophy is not knowledge; however it is rather the “study of knowledge”. To study knowledge does not mean one possesses it. Knowledge is not to be possessed. One’s individual knowledge can increase just as one’s physical strength can as well. GOD our SOURCE OF LIFE is also our main source of knowledge.
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          Mar 28 2014: It is simply that some words are used differently by different people. I needed to know which meaning you personally were giving to the words "value" or "values."

          You are correct that "laymen's terms" are often different than the terms used in various disciplines. The word "value" is a word that is used differently in different settings.
      • Mar 28 2014: I have followed your reasoning from the beginning. We are clear that we miscommunicate and misunderstand each other based on our subjective understanding and interpretation of language.

        I notice that while you point out the differences in the way we express ourselves you seem to be playing the fence as to wether you agree or disagree to my "opinion" of universal truth and in turn my answer to this question.

        I understand why you have taken this position. In short I am impressed. You are hosting very well.

        I like the indirect approach. I am intrigued to know if you utilized this approach based on information you gathered about me from my responses, if you had my thought in mind when making this comment, or is this universal truth that you are sharing that coincidentally fits our banter.

        "So, for example, someone might believe she recognizes the absolute truth because,for example, God told her what's true, or right, and what's not.! So she is certain she knows. But on TED you are unlikely to hear someone say she knows the Truth because God told her and that those who deny that truth do so only because they have personal or moral flaws. That sort of explicit pushing of faith would be a violation of terms of use. Missionary sorts of activities are outside the bounds here."

        I would like to know if you believe WE (all humans) share an understanding of universal truth based on (laymans terms) "faith". I would like to know if WE (me and you) share the same understanding or "faith". I think this is the real question being proposed

        The fact that promoting (not stating) the truth would be "quote" agains terms of use adds to the perplexity of the question. Since right is truth (apparently subjectively) and forcing "subjective truth" upon someone is against terms of use then we are allowed to say "Truth" but not "truly" identify it as such. Meaning the information derived from TED will always be subjective to the individual deriving. All Life is subjective. is TRUTH?
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          Mar 28 2014: No, I was not thinking of you in making that post. I do not believe I had seen any of your posts at that time.

          I respect people's religious beliefs, regardless of the faith they follow, but I do not personally enter into discussions of religion or atheism on the site. If you use the search box just above the photos of recent commenters to search for conversations about religion, atheism, and morality, you will find many such conversations. Enjoy!
      • Mar 28 2014: I conclude

        We all know truth. Truth in terms defines what is right and what is wrong. This is a universally accepted and adhered to concept. Because of the subjective nature of our lives we have to factor in infinite possibilities as to "why" we choose to do the right thing.
      • Mar 28 2014: “…. The idea of religion has changed a lot over time and one cannot fully understand its development by relying on consistent use of the term, which "tends to minimize or cancel out the role of history". "What the West and the history of religions in its wake have objectified under the name 'religion' is ... something quite unique, which could be appropriate only to itself and its own history." He notes that St. Augustine's definition of religio differed from the way we used the modern word "religion". (Daniel Dubuisson, The Western Construction of Religion)

        I do not care to argue the meaning nor define religion for all people. I do not care to discuss religion. This is not the topic.

        The topic is TRUTH. Can we decipher what is TRUE from what is False or Right from what is Wrong?

        This is why History is important. Our use of language is really destroying the truth. In the video playlist Are You There GOD? people are not discussing religion as it pertains to them solely. While they are sharing subjective experiences you have to analyze their individual subjectivity as a whole.

        This points to the answer to our question. Truth like our physical bodies and sentient knowledge generate from the same source. So yes all truth is universal as all humans are. But we have had the span of time to decay from our original state of being therefore a lot of people are numb to their sense of truth.
  • Apr 27 2014: This conversation allotted time is winding down within the next 10 hours.

    I would like to thank everyone who participated here and share with you something I learned in these interchanges.

    There is a difference between conversing about how to reach agreements and having the actually dialogue seeking to reach an agreement. Thing is many seem eager to focus on the latter rather than the former often unaware of the distinctive difference between them two. This kind of also relates to two distinctive different conversation that rarely involve disagreements. The first conversation focuses on what individuals 'think' to be and the second conversation focuses on what happens to be. The thing is that individuals only have access to what they think to be. Now it is possible to create an appropriate correspondence between what one thinks to be and what happens to be; this enables an individual to access correctly what happens to be through what they think.

    I consider that the last couple of days posts provide a nice summary of how individuals determine what is right thus will leave it at that…

    pd Know that some of the posts here where censured and deleted without my consent and that induced me to 'protest' by deleting every single of my posts at that time.