What is right and what is wrong? Who can say what is right and what is wrong? How can we know what it is? Does it really matter, does it make a difference to know what the right thing and what the wrong thing is? I'm talking about stuff like sexism, racism, money, society etc.

Well, things are wrong if we shouldn't do them; they're right if we should. As for which specific things, there are many. Some people think they can boil it down to a simple principle or two (e.g. things are right if they produce the largest balance of good consequences over bad.) Other people think right and wrong are too varied for anything more than rules of thumb.

Who can say what's right and what's wrong? If you mean who's qualified to pass judgment, then pretty much all of us are—at least about some things. It's wrong to mock people's infirmities. It's wrong to beat someone up because you're annoyed by something he said. It's wrong to kill someone so that you can collect on her insurance policy. And so on. You're in just as good a position as I am to make those claims.

(Of course if you're asking who can make something right or wrong by declaring it right or wrong, there's a pretty good case that no one can. What's right and wrong isn't up to us.)

Does it make a difference to know the difference between right and wrong? It does for the people on the receiving end. If I realize it would be wrong to take the cell phone you left on the table while you were buying your coffee, that might keep me from doing it. And you'll be a lot happier if I don't. It's easy to see how the same sort of point applies to racism, sexism, etc.

Does it make a difference to you? Depends on what sort of difference you have in mind. There are side benefits from acting rightly; people will trust you more, respect you more, think better of you. But the best reason for doing the right thing is that it's the right thing to do. Caring about that makes you a better person, though to understand this, you already have to care—at least a little—about doing what's right.

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