How Can Morally Right be Distinguished From Morally Wrong?
The definition of right and wrong is one of the most widely discussed questions in philosophy, the one that, in some ways, is the foundation of this branch of knowledge itself. Every human being, every society and every person on Earth has certain understanding concerning what is right and what is not; there are certain general ideas that direct at good and bad actions; the man can act in a certain way because he wants so, but still believe that he is acting in a way that is wrong. Why is it so, where do these ideas come from?
Famous British theologian and philosopher writer C.S. Lewis in his essay The Abolition of Man uses the term “Dao”, analogous with the similar concept from Confucian philosophy that means “the (right) way”. According to him, every human being, no matter what culture, society or nation he belongs to, has some kind of moral compass that gives him subconscious understanding of good and evil. No matter how the man behaves, he always knows when he acts good or bad; in case he states the opposite, it is more sheer reason to persuade himself and the others.
Some things are always considered good, others are always considered bad; moral systems may change, but every new moral system has a bit of Dao in its midst; otherwise, it couldn’t have survived. It means that people are not necessarily inherently good; it means that the knowledge of good and evil is inherent to human being, and there is no way to run away from it even if one wants to.