General Question

Lunar_Landscape's avatar

Do you treat things that are common practice the same as things that are right?

Asked by Lunar_Landscape (301points) October 25th, 2014

In my experience, this is everyone’s reflex reaction before whatever circumstances intervene that allow them to give it more thought:

The reaction to most everyone we know of doing a certain thing a certain way is that it’s hard to even think of questioning the rightness of what they’re doing. And, the reaction to most everyone we know of condemning a certain way of doing a certain thing is that it can be hard to doubt the wrongness of that thing.

To summarize: We end up taking how often we hear a point of view repeated as proof of its accuracy or inaccuracy, but by definition that’s a method that only coincidentally leads to the right answer, and is therefore unreliable.

People who do the above things aren’t aware that they’re doing it when they do (or else they wouldn’t do it), so if anyone here does do those things, they’re unlikely to answer that they do. Therefore, this question is possibly pointless, but whatever, I feel like stirring the pot.

We also end up doing things we ourselves believe to be wrong, but without being challenged by anyone around us or even feeling very guilty, as long as they’re considered acceptable in the society we live in.

What’s your experience?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I like the saying that there is no right or wrong, only consequences.
Everything else is a matter of preference. Of course the human ego doesn’t like this answer very much because ego is invested in being right whether that is about how to wash the dishes or drive a car or paint a room.
Results are all that count, not right or wrong methodologies

talljasperman's avatar

Sometimes I skip the wall of text and give up on answering properly, and write a platitude. I stopped praying in class and so did my other classmates.

Zaku's avatar

No, unless I have a very high regard for my company and their rightness about the “thing” in question, or I am being polite and the “thing” doesn’t seem to harm anyone.

This is an extremely general question. And much of what is considered “right” or “wrong” is invented and meaningless, so in many common cases, going along with common practice may be fine, or even helpful. Following common practice can be a good and useful thing. Such as: common greetings and other customs, following most laws, behaving as others generally expect and not doing things like running around screaming all the time, just for fun.

On the other hand, I also do intentionally do many uncommon things, also generally for good reasons, sometimes just as counterpoint.

However, I was often raised and educated to be suspicious of common practices, beliefs, fads and other popular herd behavior. My skin even cringes a little bit at the chosen wording of the question, and notices the exaggerated statements such as “this is everyone’s reflex reaction” and “the reaction to most everyone we know”.

Lunar_Landscape's avatar

@Zaku I actually knew before clicking ‘submit’ how general and exaggerated certain parts of what I wrote were, but those times were when I was choosing to use figures of speech instead of proper descriptions, for the sake of brevity and clarity.

gailcalled's avatar

Speaking of brevity and clarity, that was so abstract that I don’t know what you mean. Can you give a few concrete examples?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I try not to and I think I do a good job for the most part. I’ve been known to annoy people (unintentionally) simply because I don’t just “go with the flow”. It’s in my nature to question pretty much everything.

@gailcalled Although this is currently being talked about in another question, it can be used as a good example: Male circumcision is such a “normal” and common occurrence in America that people tend to say it’s weird or even unclean (hence, wrong, in a way) when a male isn’t circumcised. Therefore, people treat male circumcision as what is “right” simply because it’s what is common, and most people don’t even think to question why their baby boy is getting circumcised (religious reasons aside, since those parents are very aware of why they want it done). If this isn’t along the lines of what the OP meant, then I will also need other examples, too.

flutherother's avatar

I throw out household rubbish every day. I don’t think it is right to inflict this on the environment but everyone else does it so I do it too. Most of it is unnecessary packaging.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther