Creativity outside of right and wrong

A lot of creativity is about thinking outside what is considered “right” or “wrong”.

Yet, in societies around the world – and especially in the United States – people are trained to believe in a universal right and wrong. For example: 2 + 2 is 4, but exactly how right is that answer?

In The Relativity of Wrong author and scientist Isaac Asimov explains why thinking in terms of universal right and wrong is… well, wrong. Asimov writes:

“Now where do we get the notion that 'right' and 'wrong' are absolutes? It seems to me that this arises in the early grades, when children who know very little are taught by teachers who know very little more…Suppose you said: 2 + 2 = an integer. You’d be right, wouldn’t you? Or suppose you said: 2 + 2 = an even integer. You’d be righter. Or suppose you said: 2 + 2 = 3.999. Wouldn’t you be nearly right? If the teacher wants 4 for an answer and won’t distinguish between the various wrongs, doesn’t that set an unnecessary limit to understanding?”

Asimov gives some powerful examples of how thinking in terms of right and wrong can hinder creativity ‒ as well as innovation, understanding, and science in general – by describing how the Earth really is flat, but not entirely (although the Earth isn’t round either, if you were thinking that was right), and several other examples.

If you want to think creatively, it’s best to come to terms with right, wrong, and everything in between. Take some time to read the whole article today, you’ll be surprised at what you learn.

Photo by Image Editor.