ⓘ Two wrongs make a right. The phrases, Two wrongs make a right and two wrongs dont make a right are English phrases that denote philosophical norms. The key idea ..


ⓘ Two wrongs make a right

The phrases, Two wrongs make a right and two wrongs dont make a right are English phrases that denote philosophical norms.

The key idea is based on the two wrongs phrase which consider the two things as wrong.

Two wrongs dont make a right”, is a proverb used to rebuke or renounce wrongful conduct as a response to anothers assumed transgression.

Two wrongs make a right” in which an allegation of wrongdoing is countered with a similar allegation. In English language, it might be considered as a fallacy of relevance.


1. Two wrongs make a right”

Two wrongs make a right” might be considered as a fallacy of relevance when assuming that, if one wrong is committed, then another wrong will cancel it out.

This phrase considers the two actions are wrong. for this reason it is not used by a wrongdoer which does not consider its action as wrong.

This phrase considers breaking the law or the wrong is justified, as long as the other party also does so.


2. Two wrongs do not make one right

Two wrongs dont make a right is a proverb which means that a wrongful action is not a appropriate way to correct or cancel a previous wrongful action, in regard to a norm.

Additionally, it alleges the first action is also wrong.


3. Criticism

Common use of the term has been criticized by scholar Gregory S. Kavka writing in the Journal of Business Ethics. Kavka refers back to philosophical concepts of retribution by Thomas Hobbes. He states that if something supposedly held up as a moral standard or common social rule is violated enough in society, then an individual or group within society can break that standard or rule as well since this keeps them from being unfairly disadvantaged. As well, in specific circumstances violations of social rules can be defensible if done as direct responses to other violations. For example, Kavka states that it is wrong to deprive someone of their property but it is right to take property back from a criminal who takes others property in the first place. He also states that one should be careful not to use this ambiguity as an excuse to recklessly violate ethical rules.

Conservative journalist Victor Lasky wrote in his book It Didnt Start With Watergate that while "two wrongs dont make a right", if a set of immoral things are done and left un-prosecuted, this creates a legal precedent. Thus, people who do the same wrongs in the future should rationally expect to get away as well. Lasky analogizes the situation between John F. Kennedys wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr. which lead to nothing and Richard Nixons actions in Watergate which Nixon thought would also lead to nothing.

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