Right or wrong?

Today I was driving the man I work for home.  We got out of the car and I set the car alarm, two clicks to make the horn sound.  He asked why I did it.  I explained that I wanted potential criminals to know I have an alarm so they will leave my car alone.  He laughed and said it was a good idea.  Then he said, “knowing my luck, I would get caught either way.”  That comment got me thinking.

How many things do we refrain from doing just because we don’t want to get caught or get in trouble instead of refraining because it is morally wrong?

As children, we are taught that if we draw on the wall we will get in trouble, not that drawing on the wall is wrong because it means someone has to do extra, unpleasant work because of it.

Religion teaches us this also.  Thou shall not steal- not because it hurts people financially but because if you do you will go to Hell.

What would you do if getting caught was not an issue?  Would you steal? Cheat? Lie? Or would your sense of what is right and what is wrong keep you from taking that DVD?  Would thinking about how your actions affect others make you stop lying?

Be honest with yourself, I’ll never know what you really think.

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4 thoughts on “Right or wrong?

  1. Ok, so this really got me thinking….and it is so true. I like to think that I do things based on my own desire and set of morals (I do or don’t do this because I believe it is wrong) however, I know I am guilty of doing or not doing things just because I could get caught. That being said, I think you addressed a much more important point in what are we teaching our children…so, so true. It doesn’t matter that your actions will effect others, as long as you didn’t get caught. I have always said that I believe that curriculum in the United States (as far as what we are teaching the next generation) is way off base, but what is worse yet is what they are learning or not learning at home… scary really… That’s why I have dogs!!!! hahahaha good luck Tania, at least Lex has a chance!

  2. This has me thinking about the opposite. I like to think that I do have a well-developed sense of morality and refrain from doing “bad” things regardless of whether or not I get caught. However, sometimes I wonder if those morals that were taught/learned are artificial, and that I’d be better off not having them. One day on the radio I was listening to a discussion on the “prisoners dilemma” and how it applied to business. The professor of the class, on the first day, told his students this: “the first rule of business: cheat early, cheat often.” I once heard someone take a different view of “the boy who cried wolf.” “The moral isn’t to not lie, it’s to not tell the same lie twice.” Nothing is more irksome than seeing someone who does lie/cheat/steal/etc… get ahead because of it.

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