Could be many things, indeed. I've always thought of it as a statement against what people usually consider 'right' and 'wrong'. As if the words themselves were damaged by history of usage.
However, what 'God' is talking about is the motivational ethic. If you do things for the what you believe is right, then what does it matter if other people label it as wrong?
Though, it may just be poking fun at it.
I see what you're saying, that right and wrong are subjective, but that's like saying a serial-killer is right (to himself) in murdering, but to the rest of us is wrong, so what does it matter? Shouldn't there be some objective measure of right and wrong so as to give a standard by which we can value our actions? And even so, if Bender's intent was to prolong the life of his people, isn't there definitely an objective measure of right and wrong in that case?
That's intersting, I read it the other way; that it's not only what you intend to do [right or wrong are just words] - but what the consequences of your actions are [what matters is what you do] that count.
It kind of echoes the New Testament 'faith without works is dead' bit, too - idea that acts, works, behaviour are important to 'right living'.
Don't "right" and "wrong" provide a measurement of outcomes in addition to intent? If I do something (i.e. which has a consequence), shouldn't I be able to use right and wrong to see how much and in what way that consequence matters?
I think it is meant to tell the person to not get hung up on what others may think about your choices (right & wrong are usually judged by a society); what matters is how you judge yourself & your actions.
Nice, you seem to be in agreement with what Svip said.
I've always assumed it is talking about something like this:
Since no one can predict the future and since any given action can have many unintended concequences…
Doing the "right" thing may have a good outcome.
Doing the "right" thing may have a bad outcome.
Doing the "wrong" thing may have a good outcome.
Doing the "wrong" thing may have a bad outcome.
Especially in unfamilar situations.
So when it comes to deciding what to do, you may as well just use your own judgement rather than relying on (someone else's opinion of) what's "right" or "wrong".
(Well, that's what I get from it, anyway.)
Your final point is also similar to what others have said, but you're reasoning behind it is interesting. Can't we at least say that doing the "right" thing will more often than not lead to a "good" outcome, at least compared to doing the "wrong" thing? Also, according to your final point, good and bad can be subjective, so why are these words part of your argument?
Also consider that the choices you make not only affect you but also those around you, many that you don't know. You can be aware that your actions always have some effect on others and judge what risks you are willing to take.
If you drive under the influence you could arrive safely, while making some body swerve to miss you and they land in a ditch. You will be home asleep, the other guy permanently asleep.
Your life should be as free from turbulence as possible. Turbulence is random as uncontrolled.
So do you think that it's impossible to control turbulence to some degree? If we can control it to some level, then isn't that some form of being "right"?
These are all great ideas, everyone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And I don't mean to antagonize anyone- I just want to encourage discussion and make sure I really understand what you're saying and what I'm missing.