It’s been awhile…Right, Fair and Necessary – Part 1 of 3

For those 13 regular readers of my blog – I’m sorry I’ve been silent for some time.  You know how it is – work and life in general intersect with ones desire to wax philosophically about various things…hence my recent hiatus.

That being said, I’d like to talk about the differences between the concepts of “right” and “fair” and “necessary”.

I’m not making a value statement on these terms but rather seeking to apply the principals of Rational Theory to said terms.  Furthermore, by saying Rational Theory, please take note that the term is a proper noun and not the simple word rational – this would of course imply that anyone that has a contrary position is in my eyes irrational.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  

With the appropriate warnings and disclosures dispensed with – let us now proceed to my position.  I encourage supporting and dissenting opinions.

Right

The concept of right and wrong (or good and bad) is a subjective one and is dependent on the observer.  Case in point, one of my mentors told me a Zen story about a poor farmer.  

One day, the the local government official comes to the farmer and says, “Farmer, tomorrow, we will be coming to take your only son away to serve in the military.”   Upon hearing this news, the farmer’s friend says, “Oh my, what bad news.”  The farmer simply replied, “Who’s to say what is good or bad?”  

That night, the farmers son fell off his horse on his way home from working in the field and shattered his leg.  Upon hearing this news, the farmer’s friend says, “Oh my, what bad news.”  The farmer simply replied, “Who’s to say what is good or bad?”

The next day, the government official comes to take the farmer’s son away and he says, “No, this is not good, your son has a shattered legand will likely never walk again – he’s no good to us” and he leaves without taking the farmer’s son.  Upon hearing this news, the farmer’s friend says, “Oh my, what good news.”  The farmer simply replied, “Who’s to say what is good or bad?”

The story goes on and on with each event being perceived in isolation by the farmer’s friend as either good or bad but if you change the time horizon, the evaluation changes.  This leads me to conclude that there is in fact no absolute right or wrong, good or bad, but rather a contextually sensitive right and wrong which is informed by the observer, the players and the point in time.

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At this point, it occurs to me that if I pile all my thoughts into one post, two things are likely to happen.  

1) I may do them a disservice by moving too quickly through them.
2) You, as one of the august 13 readers of my blog, may lose interest before the end.

Given those possibilities – I choose to pause at this point and reflect on what has been put to “paper” thus far and await any response.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of this point and your ensuing discourse.


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