A Wrong Can’t Be Right, Can it?

Most people know the difference between right and wrong. Sometimes we find ourselves doing things that we know in our hearts are wrong, but we can easily justify our actions.

The problem is that we can rationalize anything. We’ve gotten quite good at it too.

I should know. I find myself doing things that are wrong but giving myself a reason as to why it is okay in my circumstance. It seems I’m not alone in this.

I’ve been thinking about it since last week when I read a column by Jeffrey Seglin.

It was an interesting piece that tackled this very subject. Seglin’s readers told him that even though they knew some given actions were wrong, they planned to continue doing them.

So he asked the question, “Do these people really think what they are doing is wrong? If they did, they’d be compelled to stop.”

So here are the things that I have done even though I knew they were wrong.

1) I have copied complete albums from friends.

IT’S OKAY – at least my friend bought it. The artist still gets supported. And if I really like it, I’ll buy it too. Maybe.

2) I have photocopied teaching resources before.

IT’S OKAY – I buy lots of resources for my class. It’s for the benefit of my students. I can’t afford to buy all the things I need for my class. If I use it a lot, I”ll buy it one day. Maybe.


I must admit that I don’t copy books as much as I used too. But if a good resource does come along, I will probably still copy it. As for music, sorry I tried. I just can’t seem to stop.

Does this make me a bad person? Is it okay to admit to doing something wrong? Or is the admission completely pointless and worthless because the action is the only thing that counts. A wrong is a wrong is a a wrong. Right?

I hate to admit it but I think Seglin might be right. What do you think?

2 responses to “A Wrong Can’t Be Right, Can it?”

  1. This is what I think we think: We think in a perfect world, what we do that is wrong would really be wrong. However, to us, it’s not wrong, because we’re not perfect. We’ve justified the act in our minds and it’s no longer wrong for us, although it would be considered wrong in society as a whole. So yes, Seglin is right, but only on a individual basis.

  2. Hi Oktober Five,

    We aren’t perfect but can’t we strive to be? I try to improve myself all the time, but those two above things don’t seem to be important.

    Why do we justify things we know are wrong? I don’t think we can ever get to the truth of this one.

    I’m sure you do things I’d never do and vice versa. It’s true of all of us. But isn’t there a universal right and wrong? It feels like maybe there should be.