I believe you would agree with me that the general rule which people will use in discerning the practice of right conduct is that first of all, they should not feel shame from the judgment of their family and friends when thinking or doing something right.
Next, the feeling of shame at the scorn of acquaintances and strangers would be the next level of measurement between right and wrong.
Generally speaking, all of us eschew the wrong and do what is right in this manner from adolescents to adults; from our family’s influence to society’s cultural norms. This will then naturally become a habit, and in time we shall acquire the disposition to prefer the right and dislike the wrong.
Question of subjectivity
As people who are naturally communal in nature, the reason that why we want to do what is right is more to gain acceptance or to avoid displeasing others. Though this is not entirely unhealthy or wrong in itself, but the question that demands to be answered is what is the true definition of good and wrong? And is there one global standard to follow?
For instance, in some countries it is an offence for a couple to hold hands or to display public affection. Such couples that are caught or usually shamed and slapped with a fine like this case that was committed by two students in Malaysia.
Not sure which part of the world you are in as you read this, but I can safely assumed that holding of hands between couples are perfectly normal in most countries. I think in some society norms, couples might even be looked upon as being weird if they are not holding hands or being affectionate to another assuming that they are of opposite genders of cos! Ha ha…
What if a child is raised in a family where the parents are chain smokers? I think the likelihood for this child to grow up thinking smoking is alright in spite of its ill-affects would be higher than a child that grows up in a non-smoking family.
When a person from a non-smoking family thinks of lighting his/her first cigarette, the first natural thought would be how it will affect his/her parents; the unwanted shame would be a resistance against smoking.
Objectivity with the truth
In truth, our world be a less chaotic and peaceful one without political and economical wars if there was one standard or authority on what is right and wrong that nations submitted to. As one man would always see himself greater and better than his counterpart, there will be no end of petty squabbling and politicking.
In my personal opinion, God is above all and is the highest authority. His word is what clearly defines right and wrong. It is eternal and powerful, and has proven itself true all these years in spite endless attacks to discredit what it claims to be as the Word of God.
The Word of God is not just for Christians, but for all mankind. Everything in it, provides the framework for us to discern the right from the wrong, and to practice what is right towards improving our quality of life.
More importantly, His Word points to our need for a God in our lives and His grace that we need to live by in order to live a righteous life.
You stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.….
….. my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
So the answer to the question of what or how do we accurately distinguish the right from the wrong: The Word of God.
Without the knowledge His Word or the lack of it, would have an adverse affect on our lives as we would be plagued with inconsistencies and confusion; and to the extend of affecting those around us.