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When You Are Wrong In Knowing Your Right Part1

Source: Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus
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The science of Ethics seeks to study and to evaluate human conduct. It deals with questions of Right or wrong Good and Bad. It however considers man’s obligation and what ought to be done. Ethical science seeks to examine conduct, and to deliberate or correct modes of conduct. Down the centuries man have speculated about what constitutes “the good life”. The Greek great philosopher Socrates maintained that education is the secret of virtue for which knowledge is virtue. The Epicureans, on the other hand, regarded the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain as the only worthwhile aim in life.

The fact that people use the same word, but understand it directly leads to great confusion. Yes, man has spent a lot time in knowing his rights; all over the 36 states of the federation emphasis is made in all our media on the education of human right. Nigerians are engulfed in knowing their constitutional rights; no emphasis is made on how to know of someone’s wrongs. One may argue that one’s knowledge of his/her right gives him/her the leeway to understand his wrongs, but not in all cases.

Man is a unique creature possessing higher powers than any animal. His conduct is controlled by thoughts and emotions, by desires and intentions. His actions become the subject of his own and other men’s criticism. These actions may be judged good or bad, praiseworthy or blameworthy, right or wrong; in the light of these facts of his nature he is termed a moral being. Now, the early Greeks considered consciences as the reaction of man’s own nature against any violation of what he considered good or right. Later the Greek philosophers saw conscience as a power of mind which pointed to the highest good or as faculty in man which should rule within him. Some scholars link conscience with the intellect. The advocates of this view like Immanuel Kant in his “Practical Reason” or Butler’s Supreme Cognative Authority….” Make conscience entirely a matter of knowing or of human reason. To Kant and Butler, given knowledge of what is right, a man will reason things out and conscience will point to the right course in any particular circumstance.

It becomes obvious here that following the reality of rights and wrongs, man’s moral standard on which man’s conscience has to work is very important. If man’s standard is wrong it is a virtual certainty that his conduct will also be wrong. Therefore man must know his wrongs! It is man’s inability in identifying his wrongs that have indeed kept our world in this unbelievable and deplorable state. Everybody wants to know his/her rights and none is willing to know his wrongs and to correct same.

I recognize no superiority in mankind other than goodness that is aimed at rectifying an identified wrong. No man is perfect. No wisdom can be greater than kindness and no kindness can be greater than the pain taken to say the truth. I may be wrong here but it’s expedient that you hear me out first before concluding that I am wrong. I do not support falsehood no matter who is involved.

Upon the number of time spent in educating humanity their rights, none has been able to know his wrong. Yes, we have known our right enough, yet we cannot right our wrongs. The degree we have acquired in knowing our rights, have left us as students who have refused to learn our wrongs.

Our prognostic dream of building an acceptable and comfortable future, rest on our knowledge of our wrongs and the willingness to correct same. The much of our rights we have known have kept our society in this deplorable quagmire. Let us therefore know our wrongs and build a lasting and enjoyable society.

Majority of us are too litigious because someone nay have infringed into our highly esteemed and venerated rights, thus one is left with no other option than litigation to enforce his right. Who has ever enforced his wrongs? We have venerated our rights to the extent that the method we employ in fighting for it has become the wrong that is threatening the basic value of love and unity. Today it is indeed quizzical that our morals are now standing before us asking to be replaced due to the apex of our ignoble behaviors that have sent it far to the nibiru.

Our attitude appears to be in tandem with the fables of Aesop on the goat and the donkey, according to Aesop, “A man kept a goat and a donkey. The goat became jealous of the donkey, because it was so well fed. So she said to him, ‘what with turning the millstone and all the burdens you carry, your life is just a torment without end’. She advised him to pretend to have epilepsy and to fall into a hole and get some rest. The donkey followed her advice, fell down and was badly bruised all over. His master went to get a vet and asked him for a remedy for these injuries. The vet prescribed an infusion of goat’s lung; this remedy would surely restore him to health. As a result, the man sacrificed the goat to cure the donkey.”

We have being sacrificing our selfish desires to the advantage of our wrongs. Our fleshly desires are now tormenting us to the extent that we discuss about the wrongs of others without discussing ours. Sometimes the wrong advice we give to people bounce back to us in a way that we begin to complain. The goat never knew that the vet was going to recommend his lung for the cure of the donkey.

The point here is that the goat advised the donkey to pretend to have epilepsy not knowing that the vet was going to prescribe the goat’s lung for the cure of the donkey. When you know too much of your right without acknowledging your wrongs, you are then at fault. No one is perfect and no one is right when he is too wrong to know his right. No one is too right as well to know his wrongs. Life must be lived forward even when is necessary to live it backward. When one accentuates more on his rights, he or she becomes too wrong to know his or her wrongs. Let us know more of our wrongs and then serve the King better.

When John Quincy Adams 1867 to 1948, at 80, was asked how he was, he answered, “John Quincy Adams himself is very well, thank you. But the house he lives in is sadly dilapidated. It is tottering on its foundations. The walls are badly shattered and the roof is worn. The building trembles with every wind, and I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of it before long. But he himself is very well.”

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