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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?

  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
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    Apr 21 2014: Snowden SAYS he did what he thought was right, but do we actually know that this is true and no other motivations were the driving force behind his acts ?
    Some people do strange things for even stranger reasons.
    • Apr 22 2014: Harald,

      So what your take on how do individuals decide what is right?

      I wonder how some reach the conclusion where they can rightfully claims that what they thing to know is right happens to be right ?

      You sort of ask how do we actually know that what someone claims to be actually happens to be and there are no additional motivations driving the behaviors and actions?
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        Apr 22 2014: I think it's not that simple because:
        1) not everybody agrees on something being right or not
        2) Some people know that something is not right, but just don't care.
        What is right also depends on context. Belching if nobody is around isn't a problem, but in the middle of a full restaurant it wouldn't be a good idea.

        As to the last paragraph: yes, we never can be sure about somebody's drivers.
    • Apr 22 2014: Harald,

      Actually I read that Belching in some places is considered a complement to the chef and host! So in the middle of a full restaurant it would be a good idea to belch in certain places!

      Yesterday I saw a movie that had a curious little interchange dialogue …
      Actress: so do you believe in ( )?
      Actor: I think it's not simple to response to such a question… do you believe in ( )?
      Actress: 'YES!"

      I found rather humorous how simple the response to such a question happened to be!

      Again I as you : So what's your take on how do individuals decide what is right?

      BTW I agree with what you said "1) not everybody agrees on something being right or not and 2) Some people know that something is not right, but just don't care".

      As to the validity of that notion and belief that whether what is right depends on context (or not)… I learned in this conversation how some want to shift the dialogue into determine what is right rather than conversing about how to determine what is right. The way I explained it to someone else : some want to agree on stuff rather than talk on how to agree on stuff; the thing is that without the shared structure to agree on stuff agreeing on stuff can becomes practically impossible. BTW note that the question I asked you involves what's your take on the matter which is significantly different from a question about the matter itself.
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        Apr 22 2014: "So what's your take on how do individuals decide what is right? "
        I suppose that different people use different decision making processes.
        1) it could be a gut decision. Some people consider right what feels right
        2) following norms and conventions. Coming back to the belching example, yes, you are right, there are places where belching is considered a compliment, however, in most places, at least in the civilized western world it is not. Why ? because it is just a norm that you don't belch or fart in public. People usually don't even inquire as to the why.
        3) laws: this is a more rigid version of the previous point. In this case, people just adopt the view of right and wrong as defined by a law, regardless of whether this law makes sense or not. Usually the driver is fear (of punishment).
        4) convictions: for example followers of PETA would find any form of violence against animals, including the consumption of animals as something fundamentally wrong.
        5) Moral considerations
        6) based on knowledge

        Perhaps there are more methods as to how we decide what is right (and wrong) but those are the ones that came to mind.
    • Apr 23 2014: Harald,

      Thank you for that contribution… yes those are some of the methods that I too consider individuals employ to determine what is right. Personally I would add the notion of 'appropriate congruency' which involves a valid correspondence to sustainable-desirable-congruent with life ways. To me this notion is a bit more on the 'objective' rather than 'subjective' ways of deciding. From other conversation you probably will understand that I tend to be a bit more logically inclined than emotive inclined, in other words I will side with what happens to work rather than what I feel like doing sort of thing… Of course to better understand each method, it's strengths and weaknesses would involve delving into each one and distinguishing what be going on in it… though that may be best left for another ted conversation…

      Again thank you for your contribution.
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    Apr 18 2014: Esteban,

    I like the resolution the message is clear. Yes the Truth gives us what each deserves, it can validate one to be attractive to what is good in Life.

    The really real things have the characteristics of being true to what they are and are not counterfeit imaginings.

    If one smiles on top of a snarl they may be smiling but they won't be smiling long.

    I would like to wish you a Happy and Joyous Eastertime.
    • Apr 19 2014: Larry,

      It's more like the smile and think they are snarling … said in a different way... they want to do you harm and get in the way and end up helping you by getting in the way… getting in the way or not getting in the way either way they end up helping you and everyone else… they could choose to enjoy helping others but some choose something else…if it's going to happen regardless of what one does well seems better and right to make the best of it…

      Happy joyous easter time … remember to focus on divine love! Yea thats another way people determine what be right rather than convenient to do!
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        Apr 21 2014: I really, really like your idea of the something else. I only need to know two things, the Something and the something else. I am not quite certain how I will come to know the something else other than by what it isn’t. I might be better off not to try to get to know it any further. Might be best to only know Something.

        In burrowing to the core of your proposed topic I find what is central to deciding. The place where all decisions are brought forth. The “How do individuals decide?” is determined by core beliefs. This is the alter of one’s mind, the energy, the heart, the core, the what is of what is central to thought processing. At this level a decision of belief becomes of the greatest importance, it will determine Life as it is or isn’t and everything in it. I would like to present just how powerful such ideas can be should one come to believe in Something.

        "I am as God created me."
        One thought would be enough to save the world. If you believed that it is true. Its truth would mean that you have made no changes in yourself that have reality, nor changed the universe so that what God created was replaced by fear and evil, misery and death. If you remain as God created you fear has no meaning, evil is not real and misery and death do not exist. One idea is therefore all you need to let complete correction heal your mind, and give you perfect vision that will heal all the mistakes that any mind has made at any time or place. It is enough to heal the past and make the future free. It is enough to let the present be accepted as it is. It is enough to let time be the means for all the world to learn escape from time, and every change that time appears to bring in passing by.

        God creates Love and results are the evidence.

        I always seem to engage in a conversation with you in which I become the benefactor of much more than I started with. Perhaps it is the non-conflicting goals.
    • Apr 21 2014: Larry,

      Now I really liked most of what you said… in particular the notion that it just might be best to only know something; of course through knowing something! BTW I use the reference something else to point to certain stuff without naming the stuff and maintaining the focus on something.

      Now in regards to the one thought that would be enough to save the world… -- God's will be done--. I think we be in time and space to learn to live in time and space… and maybe even make this space and time a bit better for everyone! It seems many seek to escape from what happens to be rather than learn to deal with it once and for all in a better way. The claim "I am as God created me" would only be valid if in fact 'I' remained as God intended … thing is if in fact 'I' didn't remain as originally intended such a claim would hardly recognize what happens to be, nor what ought to be. Note that the assertion -- God's will be done-- would mean fixing what needed fixing as it ought to be done.

      I consider your paragraph 2 to be a gem worth this whole conversation:

      "In burrowing to the core of your proposed topic I find what is central to deciding. The place where all decisions are brought forth. The “How do individuals decide?” is determined by core beliefs. This is the alter of one’s mind, the energy, the heart, the core, the what is of what is central to thought processing. At this level a decision of belief becomes of the greatest importance, it will determine Life as it is or isn’t and everything in it. I would like to present just how powerful such ideas can be should one come to believe in Something".

      Seems evident it begs the question : how do individuals determine which core beliefs to hold?

      some hold the core beliefs that truths be subjective
      some hold the core beliefs that truths be objective
      some hold the core belief that truths be truths one objectively accepts or subjectively rejected
      of course some objectively and subjectively accept truths!

      Ditto last p
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        Apr 25 2014: Esteban,

        "Seems evident it begs the question : how do individuals determine which core beliefs to hold?"

        We hold core beliefs in what we value. If we value the Truth we will believe in it, if we value God/Life/The All, we will believe in it. Values are taught by those who have learned the Truth and teach it and those who have learned something else and teach it. A thought that comes to mind is "Seek first the treasures of the heart" and learn the difference between the treasure and the trash.
    • Apr 25 2014: Larry,

      for some reason I have an issue with "Seek first the treasures of the heart" rather than "Seek first the treasures of the mind" or even "Seek first the treasures of the wise"… I hold that the logical conclusion reaches the same destination as the emotive conclusion and the wise conclusion… in fact I hold that many of the issues stem from emotive rather than logical considerations… please note that one better learn the difference between the treasure and the trash within each domain!
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        Apr 26 2014: Esteban,

        What is the heart of something, is it not the core? The mind has a heart, a core, a center. If one were to ask the question why do I feel like I feel, the nature of the question would lead beyond emotion closer to the source of emotions, the mind, more specifically the thoughts that occupy the mind. I feel a certain way because I think a certain way. Things occur first in the mind and secondly in the emotions. The treasures of the wise, the treasures of the mind are the treasures of the heart, find one and you find them all.
    • Apr 27 2014: Larry,

      I wonder about the notion of things occurring first in the mind, secondly in the emotions and thirdly manifesting in the body … It seems to me that while these are interconnected they also are a bit disjointed… one can alter what one thinks by altering the feelings and physical chemical in one's body… similarly one can alter what one feels and the chemicals in one's body by what one thinks. Of course one can determine what on thinks by choosing to think of certain things...

      I wonder if how one feels leads to what one thinks and what one does...
      or if what one thinks leads to how one feels and what one does
      or if what one does leads to how one feels and what one thinks…
      maybe there are more complicated interrelationships going on…

      I do think that when one finds the treasures of the wise one finds them all… thoughts, feelings, actions and better ways of being synergistically collaborating to guide and enrich one and the others.

      This conversation allotted time is about to expire… hope you get the opportunity to respond … now will move to make a final post in this conversation.
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        Apr 27 2014: Esteban,

        Firstly I would like to thank you for your post and secondly for the generosity of your giving. You can be certain I have benefitted and those around me will benefit. The something learned for me is the connection associated with belief and value with determining and decisiveness.

        I could not be more in the order you have presented of the hierarchy except maybe adding Spirit, mind, emotion and then body. They seem to be interconnect (associations wired together fire together) and perhaps the disjoining is a matter of an error in thought. To be joined is to be aligned on all levels of well being and what we choose to think becomes quite clear.

        What one feels will lead to a source and what one thinks will lead to what one feels. Hard to get lost when I keep it simple.

        The treasures of the wise are our inheritance, all that needs to be done is claim it for the purpose of passing on what has been given.

        BTW: We come to know the keepers of the treasure.

        Hope I got under the timeline. Very Best Regards
        • Apr 27 2014: Larry,

          Your post did get in within the timeline and I appreciate what you just said. Thank you!

          Keeping it simple certainly simplifies matters :-)

          What one feels, what one thinks, what one does may lead to a source (or not) depending on what it is that one feels, thinks and does. I often have tangoed with errors, my own and those that belong to others, what I have recently learned is that if one focuses on learning what is right then one will eventually discovers how to determine what is right. From there it's just a matter of accepting and embracing it (or not). The litmus filter that I find useful to determine what is right involves what be "sustainable-desirable-congruen with life ways". In a way it helps to differentiate 'charlatanic ways' from "visionary ways" for both may talk about what isn't as if it was; with the difference that the former can't talk about what is as it is while the visionary can talk about 'what was', 'what is', 'what ought to be' and other possibilities.

          It is simpler to choose knowing the options, especially when one knows which ones be the right ones. How do individuals decide what is right and what is convenient to do be at the core of the treasures of the wise. May each discover and learn about the appropriate ways to feel, think, act and be… and get to enjoy the adventure!
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    Apr 18 2014: Esteban,

    I struggled with "both Truth and deception are self validating". Originally that is what I wrote but it conflicted mentally to me. In a general statement I think that would be true but on a personal level I can only validate one at a time. Validating one invalidates the other, so a decision in validity to end self conflict was in order.

    Correspondence between what is claimed to be and what happens to be would seem to be the integrity of one's willingness to atone to Truth and the resulting perception of a Supreme Reality. The Truth makes things really real.

    For the some and many may they find the God of their understanding. As we know "Some Will Smile In Truth and some will snarl in self deception". Your old saying works everywhere!

    Best Regards
    • Apr 18 2014: Larry,

      Maybe this will help to resolve the issue…
      - the truth validates the truth
      - the truth invalidates the invalid
      - the truth in truth gives each with the truth that which each desires

      To use a different example:
      life is life to life
      life is also what gives death life and what gives death to death

      BTW the truth bears true witness to the things really being … in other words the truth does NOT make things really real it simply attests to the fact that really real things be really real things.

      -- Some Will Smile In Truth and some will snarl in self deception (while actually smiling)-- the thing is everyone will be smiling, it's just that some will enjoy it and some will not :-)…
  • Apr 16 2014: Individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do according to how energetic they are feeling. This is portrayed in movies and books. Anybody think of an example?
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    Apr 15 2014: My goodness why is Mr. Trevino asking a question he already knows the answer to? Decisions are directed toward what awaits in the future, the past has been decided. How do you decide what is right or convenient in the unknown of the future, past experience? Perhaps surrendering to the guidance of Greater Authority is the better way, after all there is only one decision I must make.
    • Apr 16 2014: larry,

      I asked the question seeking an enriching dialogue… which some turned into something else and called for arbitration which resulting in the deletion of some post and induced me to actively delete every contribution I had made in this conversation. Is it a fact that 'decisions are directed toward what awaits in the future'? I know of decisions that are directed towards the present and even the past!

      You ask how do I decide this and that in the unknown of the future? The simple answer is that I hedge my choice so that it be the same answer in every possible alternative. 'Be it a dream be it for real always pick the better choice' epitomizes what I just said. You also sort of alluded to the fact that when there is only one decisions one must make it's rather simple to make the decision.

      I consider that the appeal to authority is a fallacious argument of deferral to authority. Deferral to the past can also be a fallacious argument some like to use. Because it worked in the past hardly determines it will work in the present or the future. Similarly because it didn't work in the past hardly determines it won't work now or in the future. sometimes it can be the better educated guess to use though I prefer to do what ought to be done in each case as it ought to be done.
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        Apr 16 2014: Esteban,

        I had noticed that things did appear to turn into something else in reading through the conversations. I wonder what would cause such an effect to unfold? It is true for me that I perceive past, present and future, time and space, all connected. What I cause in present time is seen as effect as time unfolds and is stored in memory of past. Perhaps a way that time becomes a good friend. Cause and effect appear to happen in the same instant although I do not always see it. Similar to expansion and pressure, where you find one behold you find the other.

        That is interesting you use the same answer and I make one decision. Maybe the same answer for all decisions make all decisions one decision. In error I have decided for anger and asked that my misuse of will be guided and experienced a transformation of effect to that of Peace, I attest that it works for me.

        To be clear I am not referring to appeal or deferral to authority, I am expressing that my decision making process be guided by Faith in Creation as I have come to know and believe in. I would agree for the most part, past experience is a crap shoot.

        I wish you smoother roads and gentler pathways with your posted question.
    • Apr 16 2014: Larry,

      In a way each decision determines the way one chooses to follow … ambivalence keeps many within a narrow area of the adventure… going in one direction and then reversing direction… deception keeps one going in the wrong direction thinking it's the right direction… understanding keeps one going in the right direction knowing it…faith hopes to be going in the right direction… knowledge seems to be a bit of a crap shoot… may lead to take the right way may lead to take the wrong way… one gets to know it as one does it BTW did consider that deferring to ultimate authority could facilitate making the choice… thing is that that would involve actually knowing what the ultimate authority stand on the matter happens to be… I hold the opinion that takes us back to the fundamental question of this conversation "how do individuals decide what is right"?

      Thanks for the kind wishes… from the experiences thus far … there will be rather constrained spaces to actually dialogue in this domain about the truth of the matters and the question posed given the individuals stances some here have chosen to take. Who knows maybe you will have a chance to see this response or maybe just get the notification that I did respond...
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        Apr 18 2014: Well Esteban,

        I remember now "The Absolute Truth is Self Validating" and so self deception and denial must be self invalidating and Spiritually debasing. To embrace the idea that there is no Absolute Truth is to say the Principals of Creation are invalid on both the physical and non physical levels, science and Spirit are meaningless. Life with that misunderstanding in mind has no purpose and serves nothing.

        Truth is revealed in the experience of Life. You can't give yourself Truth but you can seek and find. That is vision of mind not perception of the eye. The mind being the source of perception. Perhaps Snowden woke up one day and decided to follow the Truth no matter what, forsaking all else. Perhaps the Truth is what is correct and right and could be used as the same answer for all decisions convenient or not.

        PS: It would not matter if I know the stand of Ultimate Authority, I could follow the Principle of Trust, knowing or not knowing.

        Best Regards
        • Apr 18 2014: Larry,

          I basically agree with what you said with the caveat that both truth and deception are self validating sometimes even with the same utterance. Let me elaborate on that. The righteous and the liar both may claim : "I am a truth teller" the first would be telling the truth the second would be telling a lie each doing honor to their condition with the same claim!

          Now in this particular case it's a bit irrelevant if the chap is righteous or a sham so long as the chap follows through and does as they claim. We know that having always told the truth will not determine if the next utterance is true. By a similar token we know that having always told lies will not determine if the next utterance be a lie. That is each instance better be individually analyzed to determine the existence of an appropriate correspondence between what is claimed to be and what happens to be. That is what determines if the utterance be the right or something else.

          I originally read your last line as "the Principle of Truth" rather than 'trust'… (maybe it had to do with the momentum and inertia ) and was going to respond that if one follows "the Principle of Truth" eventually one comes to know the stand of Ultimate Authority and know a thing or two more, like who stands with it and who just claims to stand with it. Really liked your statement " You can't give yourself Truth but you can seek and find".Indeed one can't determine what be the truth though one can determine to embrace the truth that be. A complete understanding of matters rather than a blind trust of matters helps to know that what one knows be right. Though sometimes it's better to just do what ought to be done as it ought to be done without determining if the helpful chap was our friend or our foe. Through this ted conversation I learned how some will shift the focus as a scheme to avoid dealing with the question. In your case I see you focused on dealing with the issue. I mentioned this to share an insight I learned.
  • Apr 10 2014: How do individuals decide what is right ? especially when individuals do not have access to the information to make an informed choice? some resort to simple elimination say how some of my responses here where removed by 'the team' … I am curious how did they determine that was the right move? Their request to keep a focus on the topic lead me to choose to eliminated some of my comments just in case they where off topic.
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    Apr 7 2014: I would imagine to some degree it's just a "feel" thing, Esteban, because when you take a risk you never know with 100% certainty that you won't be harmed. I guess you look at a situation, try to decide what the risks are, think about how you can minimize the risks, think about how much you care about the issue at hand, and also use your intuition--does it "feel" sufficiently safe, does it feel worth the risk you are taking? But this set of judgements I would think would be different for different people, what really bothers one person might not bother another.

    Another interesting question might be how groups get moved to action, are you asking here how individuals get moved to action, or are you also including groups? Perhaps groups function differently than individuals? How might they be different?

    Why did you ask this question? Do you have some challenge you're facing in your own life, trying to decide if to take action and whether it's worth the risk?
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    • Apr 7 2014: Maybe the terms "right"and "wrong" are themselves too narrow and limited in scope when looking at the complexity found in this world. Maybe we would be better served by using the terms "productive/constructive" and "counterproductive/destructive"(but even these terms assume a value for what is good or bad that every one might not share).

      At the end of the day, I can only answer for myself what I value in this world and how that equates to right or wrong. For me to answer for someone (or everyone) else is ultimately a waste of time because when it comes time to make a choice, every person has to weigh the options in front of them on the scales of their own set of values.
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  • Apr 6 2014: Well said Jacob. Question then - does one go along with an evil political system, and maybe even benefit from it at the expense of others, just to survive... I'd sooner die opposing it. Socrates said " The unexamined life is not worth living". Furthermore, those that go along and watch others being oppressed must be labelled as spineless cowards and part of the problem.
  • Apr 6 2014: I haven't seen the talk and only glanced through the posts, so my $0.02 might not even be relevant, but here goes. Its my understanding, taken from the examination of my personal experiences, the question of right v. convenient is really a spectrum between selfishness and selflessness. Where the balancecan be found is a personal choice. On the selfish end, anything can be justified, no matter how reprehensible (history has countless examples of this). On the selfless end, survival of one's self and/or familycan be put at risk (one example is that being completely selfless one could put all other lifeforms above them selves (plants and animals) and starve to death), survival by its very nature requires at least some amount of selfishness.
    • Apr 6 2014: Well said Jacob. Question then - does one go along with an evil political system, and maybe even benefit from it at the expense of others, just to survive... I'd sooner die opposing it. Socrates said " The unexamined life is not worth living". Furthermore, those that go along and watch others being oppressed must be labelled as spineless cowards and part of the problem.
      • Apr 6 2014: I dont really know if surviving an evil political system makes some ine a spineless coward, but I can see how benefiting from one could. I think "right" falls somewhere just past the survival part of the spectrum. There's not really aneasy answer to the question of the ssurvival of your family vs the survival of strangers and I don't guess I know where "right" falls in that situation.
        • Apr 6 2014: Well its very easy(but not convenient)for me, and people like me i.e. Snowden to know exactly where right falls. We are ALL part of the larger human family and therefore, on principle, if you touch one you touch all. Does that make sense to you? I hope so. Anyway, I keep saying that those of us who have a strong sense of self respect, integrity, dignity and pride have no problem what so ever in knowing where right falls and standing up for it no matter what. You others are not brave enough and in that way part of the problem - the sooner you admit that the better. Edmund Burke once said " Evil flourishes while good(not excellent) men do nothing!"
      • Apr 6 2014: Tone it down a bit, jack. Your self righteousness is blinding me. I never claimed to be a good person, many folks I've had constructive conversations with here at TED can attest to this, its just Jacob not Saint Jacob. I am aware of the interconnectedness of life, but I'm honest with myself and others about valuing the survival of those I have love for over the survival of strangers. This doesn't mean I value the convenience and comfort of my loved ones over the survival of strangers. Save your attacks for someone else, please.
        • Apr 6 2014: Okay, sorry, I did come on a bit strongly. But thanks for the brave admission. Any ideas on the way forward - getting all on board?
      • Apr 6 2014: I truly think we are headed in that direction, as the world gets smaller and as the younger generations see for themselves that the difference between "us" and "them" (refering to their own country/culture and other countries/cultures)is superficial at most and quite often doesn't exist at all, the old paradigm loses its grip. I worry about the surge of materialism and celebrity worship, but hope these are the death throes of the old paradigm.
        • Apr 6 2014: Again, well said Jacob. Excellent observation. Pity about the celebrity worship, materialism and might I add rap music.
      • Apr 6 2014: You may well be correct about right being above personal needs. The self sacrifice that we occasionally see in this life speaks to this. Maybe the day will come when every person values the life of others as much as their own, but until then maybe we can come to at least value the lives of others over our own comfort, convenience, and entertainment. That would be a big enough step to give me hope for humanity, something I struggle with sometimes.
        • Apr 6 2014: Is it possible for you to tell me why you cannot right now value other lives as much as your own? Please don't be offended by my putting on the spot. I genuinely want to know so I can understand. Sometimes I feel I'm missing something about people in general.
      • Apr 6 2014: To be honest, I am conflicted. I actually value the lives of my loved ones More than my own life, but I struggle with the anger and darkness inside of me and the two wolves inside of me are constantly at each others throat. There are times when I feel completely connected with humanity and love everyone, but there are also times when I get disgusted with humanity and its a good thing in those times the big red button isn't in front of me. My love for my family has been my saving grace and has kept the darker side of me at bay for a long time now. This love gives me strength and I can see that if I could extend this love to everyone my strength would grow with it, I just can't seem to maintain that mindset for long.
        • Apr 6 2014: Dear Jacob,

          I'm very grateful for your honesty. You are actually admitting that you not in full control of yourself - that takes courage. Is there anything you think you can do to remedy that? I suggest you seek a good and moral human mentor/s.
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          Apr 6 2014: Jacob,
          I think that feeling conflicted at times is part of the human condition. From our other conversations, it seems like you are on a new or different journey than you were previously in your life?

          When we learn certain beliefs, it is sometimes difficult to accept changed beliefs even though we know logically that the change may be the "right" path for us as individuals.

          I read a good book years ago....."Coming Home - The Return to True Self", by Martia Nelson. She speaks about the "split".....a perception of changing a paradigm, when we are letting go of the previous beliefs and embracing new beliefs. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, and we go back and forth between the old and the new beliefs until we totally embrace the new beliefs. Sound familiar?
      • Apr 6 2014: Eh, I don't feel couragous talking about it, just realistic. How many people are fully in control of themselves. I have read about buddhist monks having struggles with temper and frustration. If they struggle with it, then I feel no shame in my struggles. I have had some truly inspiring mentors and role models, and may be better off if they were still in my life, but they have all passed. Most of the time I choose the convenient and comfortable path of relative isolation, but these last 4 or so months I have joined the Ted community and its good practice for face to face interactions. I also go a few Saturday s a month to help at a local habitat for humanity and have met some good folks, its good medicine!
        • Apr 6 2014: Thanks for sharing that with me. The last part is encouraging. It was delightful talking to you(unlike that infuriating Esteban). Unfortunately, I'll be going away for a while and wont be visiting this site.
          Bless you.
      • Apr 6 2014: This has been a good conversation and has been my pleasure. Bon voyage and come back Soon.
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        • Apr 6 2014: Dear Jacob,

          You already know my take on what is right. Just to clarify, it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone's personal needs or values. Its way above that.
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      • Apr 6 2014: The part most of us struggle with, if we are faced with one of the harder decisions that fall in the grey areas between our needs and those of others, seems to be realizing the full impact and power of our choices. I know I struggle with this sometimes. In this age of global commerce, interconnectedness, and interdependence, every choice has an effect and the ripples are longer local, they spread around the world.

        Edit: just curious, what were you watching? That line, though short, strikes me as familiar.
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          Apr 13 2014: Jacob,
          You mention interconnectedness, interdependence and you insightfully realize that every choice has an effect....the ripple effect.....I agree.

          What do you suppose happens when we begin to see our needs as one and the same as other's needs? When we experience the interconnectedness and interdependence with each other, we can often realize that doing what is good and beneficial for others, may be good and beneficial for ourselves as well? We are all part of the interconnectedness and the ripple effect:>)

          Everything offers the opportunity to learn, grow and evolve, and that is what I focus on, rather than struggle with trying to separate those situations that may seem to fall into a "grey area" in your perception?
  • Apr 6 2014: Absolutely YES. Just so that we are clear about who we are going to name and shame:- CHILD MOLESTERS, DRUG DEALERS, RAPISTS, MURDERERS(SERIAL), KIDNAPPERS, ETCETERA...ETC....ETC. It has nothing to do about one feeling superior, of domination or of control. In fact one is saddened by the necessity. AND A NECESSITY IT IS. Its each responsible citizens moral obligation! Need I say more!
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      Apr 6 2014: Ok....ok....Soon....you don't need to shout!!! LOL! No, you don't need to say more....I think I got your message, and I agree with exposing those who try to dominate and oppress others.....especially the examples you give.

      I think those ARE examples of people dominating and controlling others, and in a society where we live all together, it seems reasonable to expose those who may be taking advantage of others.

      When I mentioned those who sometimes have a sense of being "superior", I was referring to conversations:>)
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      • Apr 6 2014: Hey there Colleen, don't have the reply option above so I'll reply here.

        Yes ma'am, I do feel like I'm on a different path (thankfully) and sometimes feel like a different person, its hard to identify with some of the things I felt, believed, and did. Re: letting go of previous beliefs and embracing new ones. There were times when uncomfortable would have been welcome, sometimes it was downright frightening. I have come to see that my tendancy to grip tightly to certainty has been a weakness and an obstacle to growth. These days I try to recognize the limits of my understanding to try and bypass that uncomfortable shift. I will have to add that book to my list of books to read (I am falling farther and farther behind, there are a lot of well read people here at TED!).
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          Apr 7 2014: Hey there Jacob:>)
          Perhaps your tendency to grip tightly to certainty is another human condition, rather than a weakness? And perhaps it was PART of your growth? Change is very difficult my friend, so give yourself a pat on the back for taking that step:>)

          Kudos to you Jacob, and I'm glad you are here on TED because it seems like you have a lot to offer.....thanks:>)
      • Apr 7 2014: Thank you Colleen, I appreciate your support. These days when I look at my past certainty and how it felt to lose it, it seems like the tight grip came from a place of fear and the certainty gave me comfort and a (false) sense of security. It probably is part of the human condition, but I think humanity would be better off with a little less certainty and a little more openness. It seems like a lot of the conflict in the world has certainty as part of its cause.
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          Apr 7 2014: My pleasure Jacob:>)
          That is very insightful my friend.....the tight grip came from fear, and feeling certain provides a feeling of comfort and security.....false comfort/security as you insightfully recognize.

          The thing is, that we don't recognize it as "false" when we are in the middle of it....right? It is only when we move out of the grip of a sense of certainty or righteousness, that we understand it to be false.

          I wholeheartedly agree....a lot of the conflict in our world, is caused by some folks trying to convince others that THEIR way is the one and only way!
      • Apr 13 2014: I guess the main, or at least first, thing that happens when we begin to see our needs as one and the same as other's needs is a shift in our priorities. I imagine there's also a re-evaluation of our self identity and a new understanding of our place in this world and our responsibilities.

        I have to admit that I'm not quite there. I can see it intellectually, and can feel the truth of it, but I'm not living that truth. That mindset doesn't inform every decision I make, but maybe one day I'll get there.
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          Apr 13 2014: Is it a shift in our priorities? Or a shift in our perception? Both? I totally agree that it is a "new understanding":>)

          Jacob, you are here.....now....and that is beautiful to observe:>)

          EDIT regarding comment below:
          Your topic question Esteban is:
          "How do individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do?"

          Jacob and I are discussing some of the elements involved with making good decisions....recognizing our interconnectedness, interdependence, priorities, perceptions, evaluation, understanding, having relevant information....in other words......"know thyself".
      • Apr 13 2014: Colleen,

        How are your recent posts related to the topic of this conversation?
  • Apr 6 2014: Colleen, I just told you why some people behave that way - lack of self respect, dignity, pride, etc.. Deep down even they know what the difference is - and what is convenient. They choose the convenient cowardly way out and thrive on confusion(one Esteban). It takes a few exceptional humans to stand up and be counted - Snowden.

    With regards to certain subjects their is 'ONLY ONE RIGHT PATH.....ONE RIGHT ANSWER' I gave one about the lost wallet - and look what mischief Esteban made with that! Murder, rape, chauvinism, forced marriages, slavery, racism, theft, hijackings, etc are not negotiable. There is only one answer NO. Who would say otherwise and why? Esteban!

    Other subjects can be debated or negotiated(subject to LOGICAL{pls not Estebans} opinion).... abortion, capital punishment, porn,legalising drugs, euthanasia, etc.
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      Apr 6 2014: Soon,
      I agree that to change a paradigm, it takes people to speak up when someone is trying to control and dominate. I agree that controlling, dominating behavior often stems from lack of self respect and lack of self confidence. I perceive that it sometimes goes back to "leveling".....if one is confused in him/herself, s/he tries to "level" the playing field and cause as much confusion as possible....it could be intentional, or unintentional depending on how aware a person is of his/her personal beliefs and behaviors. I can certainly observe, and I cannot say exactly what is going on in another person's mind and heart.

      I also expressed my opinion regarding the lost wallet, and I cannot in any way justify keeping something that does not belong to me. I agree with you that there is no justification for murder, rape, or all the other things you mention. Some folks can justify anything and feel that they are "right", which is why we have so many challenges in our world?
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          Apr 6 2014: Esteban,
          You are twisting the scenario......again!!!

          Yes, I can justify keeping something that belongs to me.

          A wallet I find DOES NOT belong to me.

          No, I cannot justify keeping something I find, that belongs to someone else.

          I am very aware of my intention, and what I state in this conversation Esteban, and tired of your twisting words to suit your personal agenda. You only discredit yourself.

          EDIT regarding comment below....
          Ok Esteban, it appears that you are saying that if one finds a wallet, and assumes that it is someone else's wallet, that is one thing.

          If someone finds a wallet and assumes that it is their own wallet, it is ok to keep it. It certainly IS a possibility to convince oneself that a wallet one finds is his/her own. I do not agree with that, and if that is how you operate.....so be it.....tells a lot about you Esteban.
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      • Apr 6 2014: Esteban,

        I see that you are still up to your nonsensical tricks(MJ). Please stop it and instead debate like a civilized, sensible human being.
  • Apr 6 2014: Yes Colleen, seems like he is as thick as two bricks stuck together. And I keep asking why he has to behave that way - lack of self respect and dignity???
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      Apr 6 2014: I don't know Soon, why people behave the way they sometimes do. My perception, is that we, as individuals are the ONLY ones who know for sure what is going on in our heart and mind. There's all kinds of speculation and analysis that could be considered, and in the end, it is only speculation.

      His one statement that I agree with, which you may have noticed I repeated several times!!! ...
      "you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception".

      When it comes to the topic question..."How do individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do"......I perceive all kinds of answers, many of which have been expressed in this conversation.

      If one believes, however, that there is ONLY ONE RIGHT PATH.....ONE RIGHT ANSWER, one will probably not even consider something that is not part of their own beliefs regarding one right path/answer.
  • Apr 6 2014: Esteban, for the last time lets keep it straight, simple and honest. I believe ANYBODY WITH ANY SELF RESPECT AND INTEGRITY knows exactly what is right and what is wrong. The rest of you need to catch a wake up. You corrupt a simple example about returning property to its rightful owner. You also corrupt the question as to why you twist things. Methinks your kind therefore lacks self respect and integrity... a disease that needs a cure.

    Hopefully we will be able to enlighten, educate and transform your species into becoming self respecting and dignified human beings.

    Now go jump in the lake.
  • Apr 5 2014: Esteban,

    Not funny and you know it. Are you deliberately being dense? One thing for sure; you have a wicked sense of humour... ha ha. Some of us go out of our way to make sense out of nonsense while others(like yours truly) take great pleasure in doing exactly the opposite. A fly in the ointment; a stick in the mud; a royal pain in the ... .I keep asking why?

    Your kind thrive on chaos and war? Sad for mankind that your species is ruling this world ... for now.
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      • Apr 5 2014: Dear Esteban,

        See? " yours truly" can play your stupid games too.

        Go on with your insane merry-go-around, chasing your illogical tail, until you meet Joe Black. I couldn't care any more since its become rather tiresome for me to carry on trying to address your impeccable logic.

        Yes I'm from outer-space and light years ahead of you and your kind.

        Adiós Amigo
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          Apr 6 2014: Absolutely Esteban....as you say...."in life each chooses which possibilities to enliven and cultivate…", which is consistent with your statement....."you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception".

          In the comment above, you write...."You probably know that we are all on the same path for there is only one path…"....and......" Is it the right direction?"

          These comments seem contradictory to your other comments....each chooses which possibilities, and we are all entitled to our own perceptions. There are many different paths we can take throughout the life experience, and this is demonstrated by everyone, every day of our lives......IF.....one is aware, we can clearly see and understand that.

          The challenge with your conversations, is that you seem to believe that what YOU think, feel, and the ideas that you advocate are the one and only "right" path. When someone does not agree with you, you sometimes seem to want to tell folks what is "right" in your perception, so it is no surprise that you sometimes get hostility in return.

          What you are constantly projecting, does not reflect your suggestion that the "better way" involves understanding, wisdom, peace, tolerance, and "everything that be rightful" to cultivate....as you say. You do not seem to be reflecting what you seem to be trying to teach.

          So, it often feels like you are playing games, going round and round with rhetoric that often is contradictory and does not make sense. It is amazing that you have been told this so many times in various conversations, and you still think you are "right" about everything!
  • Apr 5 2014: Esteban,

    AGAIN " No thanks! not if you are going to use your dumb logic and mumbo-jumbo to justify the unjustifiable. Sweet dreams."
  • Apr 4 2014: Carumba!
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      • Apr 5 2014: No thanks! not if you are going to use your dumb logic and mumbo-jumbo to justify the unjustifiable. Sweet dreams.
  • Apr 4 2014: Esteban, for crying out loud! Where in heaven's name do you get your logic from? Indeed you COULD "validate" or "justify" anything you choose to. History and religion have done that ie Slaves obey your masters. Yes you could but why WOULD you? What for the love of mankind motivates such dishonesty and crudeness. You choose to be the problem rather than the solution? Again why? What are you?
    • Apr 4 2014: I think he's feeling energetic.
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      • Apr 5 2014: ESTEBAN,

        Some wicked and obtuse people claim special racial privileges: job reservations, more pay for exactly the same job, cheaper rent and better facilities, etc. They justify and validate such evil as their god given right(they are christians-ouch!) e.g. they have a higher standard of living to maintain. Sounds like your kind of dumb logic? Right! Wrong! Grow up man.
  • Apr 4 2014: Good God. Right and wrong? In an effort to keep it simple and logical let us examine a rather crude example:- you find a wallet in a public place loaded with money. Do you return to owner or keep it? Those who choose to keep and benefit from the "find" are dishonest and WRONG, Who would say otherwise and provide valid reasons?
    • Apr 4 2014: Too simple. "How do individuals decide what is right rather than what is convenient to do?"
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      • Apr 4 2014: Esteban,
        Yes and this is precisely the "mumbojumbo" that muddies the water. Why would you do that - dishonesty(playing games)? Keeping something you know belongs to someone else is THEFT - plain and simple; no matter how much "mumbojumbo" you sell saying otherwise. Again why would YOU try to sell that MJ???
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      Apr 4 2014: I'm thinking that your thinking is very different from my thinking. :)

      Your explanation here helps a bit but I still view the formula as complicated. I personally would not view this as a helpful reference though it may be a very effective tool for you.
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          Apr 4 2014: I agree Esteban, that the conversation could be about "dialoguing", and maybe learning something in the process.

          Yes Esteban, I say the idea that "you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception" is most insightful, because I consider it to be so. I do not only say those words when it might be "convenient" in a conversation. I totally embrace the idea of respecting other people's thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

          If you don't have anyone willing to listen to your rhetoric, there is no one to dialogue with. If you do not accept and respect other people's thoughts, feelings and ideas on the topic, you will be continuing to dialogue with yourself.

          I dislike your practice of twisting other people's comments to suit yourself and your practice of "restating" and reinterpreting other people's comments to suit your own personal agenda. The kind of dialogue you perceive to be "effective" is NOT effective Esteban, as you have been told many times.

          I have clearly expressed my thoughts, feelings and ideas about the topic question. It seems like you simply want to be argumentative and continue with your twisting of people's comments.
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          Apr 4 2014: I communicate with my kids using a different technique than when I'm talking to my co-workers and I speak to them differently than my bosses.

          Depending on the atmosphere and everything I know about the person I'm talking to I attempt to adapt so that the message I'm conveying is more likely to be received.

          The topic of this thread is making good decisions.
          Esteban - you have been addressed as having a difficult time holding your audience and conveying a clear and concise message. Any chance there's a decision in your future regarding your communication techniques?
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          Apr 4 2014: That is correct Esteban, I do not twist other people's comments to suit myself. I listen respectfully and assimilate information that people offer.

          "you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception".

          I do not simply say the words Esteban.....I wholeheartedly believe it, live it, encourage it and support it.
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          Apr 5 2014: That is correct Esteban, regarding your insightful statement which I agree with.......
          " you are entitled to your perception as I am entitled to my perception"

          You've got it Esteban....yes.....I wholeheartedly believe it, live it, encourage it and support it, and that is reflected in my conversations and interactions....thanks for noticing:>)
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          Apr 6 2014: Yes Esteban, individual's perceptions may differ....it is good that you realize that.

          Perceptions are not "legal" or "illegal" Esteban. We all have a right to our own personal perceptions. Those perceptions may however, manifest into legal or illegal behaviors when one can justify the perceptions and/or the behaviors.


          EDIT regarding comment below:
          Esteban, you stated in your previous comment....
          "Some do have a legal right or a just claim to receive or do something …while others may not!"

          It is clear that is the statement I responded to.

          You are still twisting words, comments and your perceived interpretations/misrepresentations of the contents of pervious conversations Esteban.
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      Apr 1 2014: I think you can interpret Esteban's question to include situations in which people determine/know what is right to do but then choose to do something convenient instead.

      In fact, I interpret Esteban's interest from his comments as promoting movement in the direction of favoring right actions over those that may simply be convenient.
  • Apr 1 2014: Dear Esteban, è in un tempo di crisi che si ha bisogno del NEMICO per costruire la propria identità, è la crisi che crea la ricerca del NEMICO. Del resto secondo C.Schmitt il 'politico' è all'origine della forma politica che si organizza autonomamente intorno allo schema amico/nemico.
    Da ultimo, sapendo che l'idea è un intreccio di pensieri a me interessa in questa interlocuzione analizzare e descrivere ciò che io faccio con la mia testa per svolgere quei certi pensieri, invitando anche Lei ad adottare lo stesso metodo perchè tutto ciò può arricchirci . Thanks.
  • Apr 1 2014: Last year, I discovered a document that proved to me that I had been lied to in my mandatory public "schooling" (as opposed to education). That one document amazed me so much that I started researching to see if I was taking it out of context. After nine months of intense research, using only original documents, I discovered that the entirety of all that I was taught about American History is a lie. Those (many) lies are the reason why so may Americans are not able to perceive the simple way to end all of America's woes. Much (repairable) brain damage was provably done to us.

    It is now my personal mandate to make every effort to write a book proving what was done to us and how to fix it. If I fail to act under these circumstances, I am violating myself and humankind. I would rather be killed for saying something in this circumstance than live keeping silent. Mr. Snowden's revelations PALE in comparison to what the USA has already admitted (in declassified and unclassified documents from reliable CIA and military sources) doing to Americans without their ability to be aware of it.

    Knowing what I know, I am a supporter of Mr. Snowden. I understand what he is saying. He doesn't know the half of it.
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      • Apr 2 2014: I did say that ALL that I was taught about "American History" is a lie. And as to your suggesting that I had a choice in the matter while in mandatory public schooling, where children are taught to the test, with the test result being more important than the truth, is doing a disservice to the others who were indoctrinated with lies; thus have no way of knowing how to fix what is broken.

        As to the "cure" to what ails us, you have hit on the head. (In addition to learning the truth) We need to know the power of thoughts, words, actions, feelings, emotions, and beliefs. (emotions and feelings being two different things). The reason the indoctrinated don't know about the power of these things is because the failure to allow those things to be mentioned OR EVEN CONCEIVED, was intentionally and provably built into our compulsory schooling.

        Much documentary evidence exists for all that I say.

        I would appreciate your clarifying your last paragraph. Thanks in advance.
  • Apr 1 2014: Long term benefits always outweigh short term satisfaction.
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      Apr 1 2014: I am glad you are learning from your thread, that it gives you new ideas you can consider.
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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. René 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!
  • Mar 31 2014: Dear Esteban, I am at variance with you because "the values are in things and in individual's behaviors" is wrong!
    La mia domanda è: l'acqua ha un valore positivo o negativo?, visto che essa è positiva per l'assetato ma è negativa per l'affogato.
    Riguardo alla tolleranza faccio notare che essa conserva la differenza tra gli esseri umani come negativa, poichè ha come presupposto l'individuo borghese autosufficiente, che si sente indipendente fintantochè le cose funzionano, altrimenti, nei momenti di difficoltà, l'altro diventa il capro espiatorio della nostra incapacità di risolvere i problemi.
    Infine non ho alcun dubbio che la violenza prende vita quando la differenza fra individui (o gruppi) non è tanto vissuta come mia, di me che vorrei promuoverla, coltivarla, piuttosto di voi che non mi volete uguale -ad esempio nei diritti-,mi giudicate negativamente, mi chiudete la vostra strada, secondo il mio giudizio rappresentate l'ingiustizia. Siete dunque la causa della mia sofferenza e io reagisco con la violenza, che del resto costituisce dai tempi di Caino e Abele la prima modalità di soluzione dei conflitti. Tanto Le dovevo, cordialmente.
  • Mar 30 2014: 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?
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      • Mar 31 2014: It is obvious TED does not care about right and is being manipulated by a few individuals with an agenda.

        If you believe TED forum does not have an agenda you are not paying attention.
      • Mar 31 2014: You are going to fit in real well on TED Esteban. You have the gift of being able to subordinate what is right in order to be accepted by a group.

        Now are you doing that because it is convenient or out of fear of rejection- that is the question?
      • Mar 31 2014: There is no such thing as absolute right Esteban. History is full of people that claimed to have absolute right through religious principles or supremacy and then acted in violation of those very rights.

        Right is subjective and based on circumstances.

        The Jews refused to stand up to their guards and fight back because they thought being peaceful would somehow save them.

        Better to die a single death of a hero than the many deaths of a coward.
      • Mar 31 2014: No there is no contradiction in my statements and it is only your misguided opinion that there is an absolute right.

        I have given you many examples that proves an absolute right does not exist and people will throw their values out a window when it comes to a life and death situation and the survival instinct kicks in.

        The survival instinct is not an absolute right because it often contradicts our own values and "right" is based on a person's values.
      • Mar 31 2014: Esteban you are not speaking truth you are spouting opinion not based in facts.

        I have given you the examples that show an absolute right does not exist.

        You are welcome to your opinion but please stop trying to promote it as anything but your opinion.
      • Mar 31 2014: No Esteban- you have made it clear you believe there is an absolute right and even when shown the examples that your belief is incorrect you keep pushing your belief.

        There is NO absolute right and your belief is incorrect and you just don't want to accept that.

        You are now just arguing for argument sake and it is not worth my time to argue with you.

        Have a good day!
      • Apr 1 2014: OK Esteban lets put this to rest- you claim that absolute right exists.

        So I will assume stealing and abusing your family is wrong correct?

        1- If your family was starving and the only way to get food for them was to steal it would you steal or let them starve?

        If you do not steal and your family starves it would be your fault and you would be abusing your family and have violated an absolute right

        If you steal you have violated an absolute right.

        They can not both be the "right" action Estaban and as I said repeatedly it is a choice that only YOU can make in that moment.

        There is NO absolute right!
      • Apr 1 2014: Not in the mood to play games Esteban.

        Answer the question or admit there is no absolute right.
  • Mar 30 2014: Esteban

    I suppose I was reflecting on the influences on western capitalist society for us all to swim in certain directions and how strong and subtle those are. Where one thinks one ought to be is usually related to value systems and my thought was that we are in a society that has certain values with which we may or may not agree but those values shape the environment in which we exist. Society and my point was especially the commercial world are shaped by those values creating the convenient direction to swim. Perhaps the right direction if you don't want to follow convenience is always against the stream.
  • Mar 30 2014: Dear Esteban, se considero il 'giusto' come un valore, allora devo darmi un criterio per applicarlo alla cosa valorizzata -ad esempio una mia azione-: ora sono disponibili alcuni criteri quali la legge, il merito, il risultato, il bisogno, il privilegio, il prima/dopo secondo C.Perelman.
    Allo stesso modo 'il conveniente' assunto come valore richiede un criterio di applicazione alla cosa valorizzata -ad esempio un mio comportamento. Ora il criterio economico designa 'il meno costoso', in campo politico significa 'ciò che è opportuno' (al modo di Gambetta), nelle situazioni vitali ed ambientali si ha 'il più adatto' et similia. Thanks
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      • Mar 31 2014: Dear Esteban, con il mio contributo volevo richiamare l'attenzione sul fatto che i valori non stanno nelle cose o nei nostri comportamenti, poichè li costituiamo noi ponendo qualcosa in un rapporto e considerando la possibilità di soddisfarlo o meno.Il Suo commento ci propone una situazione contraddittoria: il non violento come deve trattare il violento, ovvero si deve reagire con tolleranza rispetto a chi è intollerante? Thanks.
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      Mar 31 2014: Wrong. It’s not that “individual do not think about stuff and instead just choose what is most convenient.”. On the contrary. Some do think what’s right and wrong, what’s ethical or unethical. Precisely because they think about all this, they sometimes choose the mental (moral) convenience rather than the physical convenience. In reality it’s not so easy to make the moral choice as almost all of us are not that perfectly idealistic individuals. I made the perfectly idealistic case of making the choice in my original comment just for the sake of simplicity.

      All the options you gave are valid in different proportions depending on the case and the personality. I think in most of the cases it’s an instinctive choice, depending on the chooser’s personality. I mean first the decision of what is right and what is wrong and then having the mental ability to follow the right way as one has decided upon.

      So IMO, it’s very important how each one had instructed oneself beforehand, for a long time, before one gets bumped into such mentally challenging incident. In short, a lot depends upon who you are deep inside and this cannot be changed instantly on that very moment of mental challenge.
  • Mar 30 2014: Good question but if taken literally rather conflicts with the modern capitalist economy. The marketing departments of companies spend their lives persuading us to do what is convenient above all else. Business does not have morality (despite the strap lines) people do, so you are constantly swimming against the tide on this one...
  • Mar 29 2014: I would guess that one day an algorithm will be able to calculate what is actually right. I also suspect that we only use the experience and education that we have on what we believe to be the "right" thing to do. Cannibalism is probably just peachy for those that are brought up that way and have not been exposed to anything else.
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    Mar 29 2014: "Esteban Trevino
    13 hours ago...Yea I realize that what is convenient may also be right and the other way around… "

    Now that you agree that what is right and what is convenient are not mutually exclusive Esteban, how about providing an example of what you perceive to be an individual deciding what is right rather than what is convenient...and.....an example of an individual making a choice that in your perception, is convenient rather than right.

    If you truly understand that "right" and "convenient" are not mutually exclusive, perhaps you can also offer an example of a decision that might be right AND convenient.
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      Mar 29 2014: Here is how I interpreted the distinction Esteban was making. Your kid is at a practice about a half hour's drive East of your house. When you are about to drive him home, you notice another kid who lives about half hour North of the practice whose Dad has forgotten about pickup and has not yet left his house.

      So you tell the kid to tell his Dad you will bring the kid on home. It is not really convenient, because it is well out of your way and will get you and your kid home about 45 minutes later than otherwise, but it is arguably the right thing to do, because it prevents the other kid from standing in the dark for half an hour until his Dad gets there and it gets that kid home sooner.

      Convenient might have been to get home faster.
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        Mar 29 2014: Would it be gracious and constructive first to try to answer the question Colleen asked you, if you can?

        You used to say, didn't you, that the best way for people to communicate is for one to ask the other clarifying questions to make sure she understands what he means and for him then to answer those questions. Should that apply here?
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          Mar 30 2014: Fritzie,
          I agree....asking questions, clarifying and sharing information COULD apply hear and in all discussions...."if you can".....as you insightfully recognize.
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        Mar 29 2014: Sure I know about the prisoner's dilemma, though normally the options are not characterized as "convenient" and "right." What there are are interdependent payoffs.
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    Mar 29 2014: The other approach to deciding (as contrasted with the rational approach)...

    We can instead use an intuitive approach, which is heart-based. This does involve information about what one is deciding about, but it does not require exhaustive gathering of data. While it does require a certain degree of knowledge, it also requires understanding and wisdom. Rather than being a piecemeal, step-by-step process, it is a holistic encompassing, an awareness that reveals an answer through an inner feeling; an inner knowing. It can and often does happen nearly instantaneously, although it may then take a bit of time for the mind to get a grasp of it so it can be mentally or vocally stated for sharing and discussion. It's quite possible that a strongly felt knowing of what is "right" might not be rationally explainable to others who are unable to understand the "rightness" of it in their own hearts or minds. Once one really "knows" in one's heart what is "right" to do, there will be no changing the decision, and the inner "knowing" will be all-compelling, meaning the revealed action or inaction will be unavoidable. Personal "cost" or "gain" (convenience) does not factor into such a choice.

    In addition, what is "right" or "appropriate" action for one person may be, or at least appear to be, "wrong" or "inappropriate" from another person's point of view. We have individual paths in life and sometimes (often) they do not coincide, or at least they appear to not coincide. We each have our own role to play in life. This is not to suggest predestination determines our roles in some mechanical sort of way.
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        Mar 29 2014: The holistic approach: complete integration of our capacities...

        Ultimately, all decisions should be intuitively heart-based, and should arise from an awareness, understanding and realization that we are all in this together, that all beings are intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. This means all thoughts, feelings and actions should arise from application of the universal Law of Reciprocity, a.k.a. the "Golden Rule" that is expressed in many different ways from many different spiritual, religious and philosophical traditions. It is through our hearts, through Love, that we are all interconnected and interdependent; only in our minds do we appear to be separate and independent.

        Our minds serve us best when they operate in service of the inner knowing of our hearts, so the best way to discern what is "right" is by heart and head working together. One of my teachers put this into interesting perspective when he said "The mind is the surface of the heart, and the heart is the depth of the mind." In other words, heart and mind are really two aspects of the same way of knowing, with the mind being more "outer" and superficial and the heart being more "inner" and having great depth. As such, the mind provides much of the interconnection between heart and environment. While the mind operates in piecemeal fashion, the heart is (or can be) all-embracing. Unfortunately, many do not know how to listen to the inner voice of the heart and they are instead ruled by and limited by their minds.
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          Mar 30 2014: You might be interested in the work of psychologist Joshua Greene of Harvard. He studies when we use automatic/intuitive bases for judgment and when we use "manual"/reasoned bases for judgment. He takes the position that rather than favoring one over the other, it makes sense to consider when one is more useful or likely to result in good decisions and when the other is more reliable (in terms of the social good) as the dominant driver of moral decision.

          He is not a TED speaker, but you can find his work online: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~jgreene/
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    Mar 29 2014: As I have come to understand life, there are two ways we can decide what to do or not do. I'll have to post one approach here and the other one separately, because the whole picture takes a bit of explaining, beyond the 2000 character limitation.

    We can use a rational approach, which is mind-based. This involves gathering data and processing it in some way. Effectively, this involves making two or more lists with evidence or reasons for or against any particular option. The decision comes down to "Yes" or "No" based on the relative lengths of the pro and con lists. This is a slow, step-by-step process that is fraught with difficulties. One problem is that there is, ultimately, an infinite amount of data that could be gathered and evaluated, but only limited resources - time, energy, money, accessibility, capability, endurance... - available for such research. The resulting decision, then, comes from analysis of an arbitrarily limited set of data. It's like putting a puzzle together without all the pieces, yet at some point calling it complete, or complete enough to see the whole picture. There is also the factor of bias, whether conscious or unconscious. The mind ultimately decides according to its pre-inclinations, and any decision can be rationalized. The supposed "rightness" of such a decision can then be explained and defended. In discussion/debate it's possible the decision might be changed based on persuasive arguments and adjustments of one's pro and con lists. Also, personal "cost" or "gain" (convenience) may become a determining factor - if not in deciding what is "right" or "wrong," then quite possibly in deciding whether or not to follow through.
  • Mar 29 2014: People generally will take the easiest path to the desired result. So by nature we avoid difficult tasks if we think we can accomplish something in an easy manner.

    That applies to every situation including relationships and in dangerous situations and often results in more hardship or bad decisions because the easy or convenient choice may go against our own values or result in harm to ourselves or others.

    What is "right" to do is a very personal decision and what you may consider right in a situation may not be right for someone else. Abortion is a good example. People may make that decision because it is easy or convenient and later regret that decision and others may make that decision because they feel it is right for them and feel no regret.

    We train soldiers to follow orders even when it violates their own values and children are taught to follow orders of older people and teachers without question because if people stop to think about what is the right thing to do things that the people in power want done would not get done.

    Choosing to do what is right over what is convenient then can become a matter of life or death or complete violation of your values and it may be a survival instinct to choose that which preserves your life over your own values.

    Since "right" is based on a persons values and people are capable of justifying any action they can then make what is convenient or fills their survival instinct into a "right" action in their reality.

    I am sure Hitler believed killing Jews was "right" in his reality!
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      • Mar 29 2014: I think the answer lays in the moment of that decision with that person. Feelings vs. logic and which one wins.

        So I can not answer for the human race and can only answer for myself and say in the moment that I faced a life and death situation I did what was "right" according to my values. Hopefully no one has to face that decision too often in their life.
      • Mar 29 2014: I believe that answer lays with the individual at the moment of that decision. If you regret the decision then you probably chose what was convenient over what was "right" according to your own values.

        We make small inconsequential decisions throughout life that establishes our values so when a big decision needs to be made most individuals have already decided in their head and heart what they will do but until that moment of decision it is still a coin toss based on a survival instinct.
      • Mar 30 2014: Teaching children to value and contemplate decisions from all perspectives is what a good education should be about however our systems in the west are more about indoctrination to manipulate the thinking of children so by the time they become adults they have already set a pattern for their values that is difficult to change for good or bad.

        I enjoyed the discussion and topic!
  • Mar 29 2014: You also have the issue that is right for one individual and wrong for another individual. The pressure to go with the flow can be very high - social pressure. In 1965, the pressure not to oppose the Vietnam conflict was high and lasted until 1974. Similarly, the pressure to support the invasion of Iraq was quite high after 9/11.
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      • Mar 31 2014: I guess my concern is the term what is right which depends upon ones point of view and society.
  • Mar 28 2014: Edward Snowden's choice wasn't between right and convenience. Because he couldn't predict the net outcome in pain/pleasure. Human beings are compelled by nature to indulge. His choice was: what to indulge in? He chose whistle-blowing.
  • Mar 28 2014: Human beings are compelled by nature to indulge, (we are overwhelmed with calories, it is boring at the top of the food chain.) What should we indulge in? Opium? War? Veganism? Whistle-blowing?
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      • Mar 28 2014: "Human beings are compelled by nature to indulge.. What should we indulge in? Opium? War? Veganism? Whistle-blowing?"
    • Mar 28 2014: This is arrogance at its finest. I do not use the word arrogance to offend. The lack of human humility is amazing.

      We are not at the top of the food chain.

      HOW DO YOU MEASURE POWER?
      physical power or strength is subjective to each individual.
      knowledge or sentient power (what you know) is subjective to each individual

      Humans are not the smartest and are not the strongest creatures alive. Just because we lack control and compassion does not put us at the top of the food chain. A LION is "at the top of its food chain". When was the last time you ate LION or Killer Whale for that matter. Both of these powerfully intelligent and physically dominant animals would destroy you in there own natural habitat. Thats if they even bothered to recognize your (if in there natural habitat) useless power. In fact killer whales have (in captivity) killed humans. They do not even eat the bodies. We do not even qualify as a fitting meal to some animals. LOL but you think we are at the top of the food chain.
      • Mar 28 2014: We eat them. They don't eat us. "Human beings are compelled by nature to indulge.. What should we indulge in? [Beef? Chicken? Lion? Whale?]"
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    Mar 28 2014: Mr. Trevino, how does right mean to you?
  • Mar 27 2014: "Individuals can decide what is right, rather than what is convenient to do, from [the] experience [of pain and pleasure], either their own or [another being's]." Pain hurts, aaargh, pleasure is nice, ooooo.
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      • Mar 27 2014: "Individuals can decide what is right, rather than what is convenient to do, from the experience of [physical, emotional and mental pain - in all it's forms including nightmares, life-long guilt, loss of freedom, permanent disability, bereavment -] and pleasure, either their own or another being's. Pain hurts, aaargh, pleasure is nice, ooooo."
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    Mar 27 2014: Why decide what is right? What can right get you? Who is in the market for right? What would society do with right?

    I am a perfect example of how choosing right is wrong. Those of you who have been to my discussion know I advocate complete human immunity to disease. Choosing "right" does lead to immunity. It's great to be immune but it is not great to try to share the knowledge. Even here, the concept of obtaining "immunity" is boarder line offensive.

    People truly believe they are "right" enough know that if immunity was possible they would already know about it or have it.

    Even the typical thought process for answering this question is wrong. Look at the answers, how complicated they are. Look at the BELIEF injected into them. The comments are romantic, attractive and probably pretty popular but the fact is being RIGHT means being arrogant and standing alone. Right contradicts everything we know or believe.

    That's all I have to say about that because this is another topic that can only go round and round. At least when discussing immunity, immunity is the extremely accessible result. We cannot save the world or change the world we can talk about if for days, years and decades but we cannot save it. Immunity on the other hand can be obtained by the middle of next month.

    Do people want immunity, not at the expense of accepting just how wrong "right" is. "Right" is a belief today, once it becomes an action results will materialize.
    • Mar 27 2014: It appears your viewpoint on right and wrong follows a subjective thought train. E. Snowden did not believe the same way. He said he acted on what he knew "was right". He did not determine what was right or wrong. HE KNEW what was RIGHT and determined or decided to do that as opposed to the more convenient thing.The sense of RIGHT in universal. The choice to do right is not.
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        Mar 27 2014: E. Snowden was incapable of enjoying full immunity to disease. He too missed the point and the fruits of being right. "Right" escapes everyone. "Right" contradicts everything we "BELIEVE".

        Right makes free energy. Right makes cures. Right makes prevention for disease. Right makes the population stable. Right makes the environment safe. Right eliminates poverty. Right brings peace of mind.

        The problem today is RIGHT is whatever one chooses to believe is right which is why there is no free energy, cures, preventions, equality, clean environments or peace of mind.

        On the internet you all can talk about what is right or wrong but only in your personal lives can you enjoy the benefits of being right.

        You and I cannot save the environment by ourselves but we can be immune to disease by ourselves. Now if obtaining immunity is not RIGHT enough for you to pursue than forget the rest because immunity is in your hands and if one does not pursue it what would indicate one would pursue things out of their hands?

        Esteban knows why I came to Ted. I came here to give people ONE solid tangible "RIGHT" and that is the fact that man has the ability to be immune to disease and has always had it. You "believe" me to be wrong but you have no justification to "believe" me to be wrong other than the fact that you like Esteban would know about it because you guys are knowledgeable people.

        Everything one believes is wrong.
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          Mar 28 2014: HEALING UNDERGROUND BY DAVID FLOWERS: Forum Topics Posts Last post; Trained Personal Who Offer Full Immunity Around the World This section is available to people who have donated. Donations are what make ...

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        Mar 27 2014: Right or Truth lead to solid factual tangible results. Anything that falls short of tangible factual results is just and idea, dream, belief or speculation. MOVE ON to the next idea. Everything today is proven to fail and NO ONE moves on.

        I think your intentions are good Esteban but I can't be certain. It almost looks like you are trying to complicate the simplicity of the value of being right. It's almost like you want "right" to be a mystical "thing" and not a matter of fact thing. It's like you are justifying shortcomings by making choosing right a complicated issue.

        The masses refuse to choose right because that is the way they are being raised, that is our educational system. We are being raised to fail because in failure is profit. Success solves the problem, success comes from being "right".

        I wrote more than was needed. My opening statement was sufficient. Right renders results and success. What doesn't isn't right. Failure is profitable and right is not.
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          Mar 27 2014: I expect everyone in every thread in TED Conversations means well when he shares his point of view. When a troll occasionally joins us who does not mean well, he is usually identified and exited pretty quickly.

          The other term of use I might mention, as you are new here, which I don't think is something you personally need to worry about but which may explain some discussions on the site is that proselytizing is against the term of use.

          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.

          .
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          Mar 28 2014: HEALING UNDERGROUND BY DAVID FLOWERS: Forum Topics Posts Last post; Trained Personal Who Offer Full Immunity Around the World This section is available to people who have donated. Donations are what make ...

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        • Mar 28 2014: I also felt the sting of the hosting prowess of Fritzie. TED is great because it consist of people who chose to do the right thing. Being drawn here based on our intellect and need to sustain it and share it we all posses a certain awareness. This is why trolling is not a "major" issue.

          Fritzie could have said you and you are close to breaking terms of use. Fritzie may not have felt we were close to breaking terms and may have said what was said coincidentally. However there is a hint of truth in his statement that made me and apparently Esteban take note.

          Esteban has confirmed without breaking terms of use to me that we share an understanding of the origin of TRUTH. Fritzie has not confirmed a solidified opinion but as host has contributed and guided the conversation accordingly. Esteban and now I know we cannot PROSELYTIZE the truth if we want to enjoy using TED. Fritzie will not proselytize the truth because he is duty bound as host.

          But WE all know the truth? RIGHT? (note i am pressing you to agree or disagree) Wether you agree or disagree; Is the truth not the same? That is the real question.
        • Mar 28 2014: We all write more then we need to. We have accepted the truth but as you state it is not our nature to "move on" we are analytically subjective. We are slaves or subject to our bodies and minds. These among other things. The barriers that prevent us from saying the truth directly force us to mystify the truth with over wording and explanation. Rest assured that we are all discussing the same truth.
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          Mar 28 2014: I agree David, that this conversation seems to complicate simplicity!

          Excuse me for a moment......off topic......
          Is that a brook trout or rainbow trout you are holding??? WOW that's a good catch!
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        Mar 28 2014: Francisco F Moreno

        0

        9 hours ago: HEALING UNDERGROUND BY DAVID FLOWERS: Forum Topics Posts Last post; Trained Personal Who Offer Full Immunity Around the World This section is available to people who have donated. Donations are what make ...

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        DONATIONS?

        **********************

        Francisco, I have taken my forum down and my website. Yes I accept donation, don't get too many but I do accept and I have non-profit status.

        I took my forum and website down to use Facebook instead. I figured if people can't talk about immunity, prevention and cures in a social setting then it probably isn't something I should continue to share. People are often timid when it comes to openly contradicting mainstream popular commercial science and medicine. There are not too many other places on the internet were it is permissible to contradict commercial medicine and science. That is the reason there are no real improvements in commercial health care it is censored.
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        Mar 28 2014: Colleen it is a Idaho Steelhead. A hatchery fish, hatched in a hatchery then released as a smote allowed to travel from Idaho to the Pacific ocean to grow to adult and then come back to Idaho to spawn which means get trapped and taken to the hatchery again to keep the cycle going.

        It's a no no to take a native steelhead out of the water.
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          Mar 29 2014: Thanks David....I was in the ball park guessing it was a rainbow.....rainbow/steelhead! I've caught rainbow trout here in Vermont, but NEVER THAT big!!! Mostly 1-5 lbs.:>)
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        Mar 27 2014: Esteban, there is no way you can have any experience in being right. Society is sabotaged that way. All you can do is speculate what is right. Hence the lengthy wordy comment on such a simple situation.

        It doesn't not take feat of greatness to turn an idea/belief into a fact or into a "right". Not nearly as complicated as you are under the impression it is or can be.

        It's not your fault, we are a profit driven society not a result driven society. "Right" seems like a difficult task hence it being worthy of a discussion in your mind. If you want "right" it's RIGHT there in front of you, you simply need to accept it in it's simplest form.

        If a "belief" can become a "right" it will happen with intense efficiency. Efficiency you cannot imagine because of your social upbringing. Dilly dallying in matters that cannot be proven true or false is a waste of time and energy and makes up the upbringing that is crippling you and society. That is why DEBATE is so popular, people trying to turn a wrong into a right. Right always works its way out with the utmost efficiency if someone wants the right to be known.

        However censorship is live and well. Almost everything I have shared here on Ted would be banned elsewhere. I'm grateful that no one is attacking me here because anywhere else I would be attacked without mercy.

        Being "right" is probably a lot like being "immune". Maybe we have to make both socially acceptable before we can be right or immune on a cultural social level. Can I get a thumbs up for being right? :)
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          Mar 27 2014: The terms of use do not allow personal attacks. If it ever happens to you, David, please flag the offending comment so moderators can delete it.

          The whole point of TED is to encourage the airing of different points of view, as long as people present their ideas respectfully.

          Beyond these simple terms, it is up to individuals to put their energy and attention into the exchanges that they find valuable or productive.
        • Mar 27 2014: I feel the passion behind Davids arguments. I hear more an argument against the things that control our decision to do right rather than David actually arguing that he does not know what right is. We know whats right. David your are right today doing the right thing is scoffed and discredited. Personal Value and Ethics heavily outweigh our moral sense.

          "Right always works its way out with the utmost efficiency if someone wants the right to be known. " -David Flowers

          "Even if "Right" is a belief today that becomes a reality tomorrow it remains being the right which induces individuals to act seeking certain rightful results to materialize." -Esteban Trevino

          "Because we are discussing the topic of RIGHT and all desire the RIGHT answer, we have alll come to the same RIGHT conclusion." -Roman Salmon

          Thats is some major philosophy right there ^^^
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        Mar 27 2014: I'm not quite sure what I have gotten myself into Roman. Spending the better part of the day on Ted may be someone what counterproductive, especially in matter of what is right or what is wrong.

        When I work with people with the intention to help them be healthy, when I am right they become healthy even immune to disease.

        When I fish and I put the RIGHT bait out there when the fish are hungry they bite and I have sushi.

        When I golf and I hit the ball just RIGHT it goes right where I want it to go.

        When I bowl and my form is RIGHT the pins all fall down.

        If I try to help a person be healthy and I am wrong I fail. If my bait is wrong and the timing is wrong I fail to catch fish. If my golf swing is wrong I slice or hook. If my approach to my release is wrong when bowling I throw gutter balls.

        I'm a simple man. I have the ability, when I am RIGHT, to be a great golfer, bowler, fisherman and above all "healer" (using the term healer loosely because it's not my immune system healing others, it is theirs through my help).

        Talking about a great golf swing doesn't make a great golfer. Talking about shooting straight doesn't make a hunter a straight shooter. Doing what needs to be done and doing it the right way is productive time well spent.

        What good is a "right" if it isn't well spent?
        • Mar 28 2014: LOL David and Esteban are both RIGHT again lol....

          Even if we attack each other kindly due to the fact that we differ we are all aware to be as polite as we can be. I can hear it in your writing. I am trying to display it in my own.

          Esteban restated what I said. Do not argue the point of being Right just accept being Right. We all concur.

          This was amazing for me. I signed in and created this account just recently although I have reviewed material from this site before. I am writing a book Human Life 101 in which I have done a little research into this very topic. I have been able to explore much with this and have been truly entertained.

          Fritzie shared some enlightening info regarding the logic controlling our decisions. The speeches were both very powerful visual/audio aids to highlight the subject matter here.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?
        • Mar 28 2014: David you keep hinting at this knowledge of HEALTH EXPERTISE. I am very much interested in your healing KNOWLEDGE/POWER. How do we connect outside of this topic? can i leave contact info here.
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      • Mar 28 2014: I like the concept you bring up here.

        "Now when someone who is wrong tells me that I am right I wonder if someone is recognizing what is right or agreeing with me because I be wrong. To me being informed that I be right or wrong distracts from focusing on what be right. It's not about who is right or wrong it is about what is right."

        You also touch on arrogance. You my friend are keeping this conversation alive. A person who is truly right will recognize when they are "SO" right that they are wrong. If being right causes someone to misinterpret our truth we "may" be going about expressing truth in the wrong way.

        I find that if someone says "MAN you are always right!!" this can sound condescending. No one wants to feel wrong so it hurst for them to feel you are right. If chosen we can all pursue right.

        So remind yourself, as i will do so for myself, that it does not matter the source of RIGHT or TRUTH it only matters how you decide to adhere.
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          Mar 28 2014: Roman, Esteban and I are starting to get to the meat of the matter of gaining control of the immune system. It is not an easy topic to discuss because the immune system does not work via verbal or visual stimulation other than placebo and placebo isn't worthy of anyone attention yet the entire industry of natural medicine relies solely on placebo which irks me. It use to rely on unseen "electrochemical" signals back in the day when natural medicine was once effective. No longer. You can see my profile and link up to my Facebook page. I have taken my forum down and my website because they cost me money I do not earn with my work in healing and they prevent people from becoming socially responsible so I wish to try Facebook.

          There is far less information on my FB page than on my forum or website but its FREE!

          If I could get meaningful conversations on forum I would leave it up. As it is, I just tell the truth and there is little if anything to discuss, Nothing kills a discussion like truth. The same goes for health and healing, nothing kills an industry like a cure or immunity.

          I'm glad you are getting some use out of Esteban's and my discussion. I'm more practical hands on and Esteban is more philosophical. I don't have the patience to be philosophical, I once was but time is a factor. I dedicated 20 years at a poverty level to develop my current understanding of immunity and how to obtain it and now I am forever playing catchup or run the risk of living in a card board box.

          Who would have thought that the keys to immunity would be so financially devastating? I didn't but now I know better. Immunity is for individuals who want it, not for profit. I do charge but it is not likely to net a profit.

          I would be open to starting a new question on "how do you obtain immunity" but it would be tricky,, first because I would be the one answering my own question and second the answer would not render immunity to those who read it.