This is great quote one man’s meat is another man’s poison.It is simply defined as what should be good for someone, maybe bad for another person.Not two faces in this world are exactly similar, no two minds think exactly alike. ‘Minds differ as rivers differ’, says Macaulay. In constitution, in temperament, in physical powers of endurance and assimilation men differ from one another.
- This difference is partly natural and partly acquired. We are born with some and some are got through the traditions in the midst of which we are born, through education, culture and environment.
- When there is so much difference between one man and another, what wonder there is that what is injurious to one would be beneficial to another and vice-versa. This difference of results is sometimes due to natural constitution. It is seen that milk which is so very nutritious to one baby is positively harmful to another. One man thrives on fruit, another’s stomach is too delicate for it.
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- It also depends upon tradition. Too many a Hindu beef will often prove very injurious to health, just as ham will be to a Muslim. It is nothing but tradition which does it. Tradition moulds mind and mind rules the body. Therefore what is taken against tradition affects the body.
- Similarly, the agreeable or disagreeable character of a food will depend upon our habit and environment. Tea, wine, tinned food are of this nature, they will affect injuriously or otherwise according to our physical and social environment.
- But this habit is applicable not only to food, it is not less true of other forms of enjoyment. The agreeable or disagreeable nature of these will depend upon our tastes and character things which are the product of heredity, tradition, culture and environment. A pig Wallowing in the mud is said to be as happy as a philosopher engaged in philosophical speculations. The mean people thrive on low and coarse enjoyments which are positively harmful to the good. Different pleasures will suit different characters. “Tell me what you like and I will tell you what you are.”
- From all these it seems to be proved that there is no such thing as absolute good or absolute evil,they are only relatively so. What is go to one is evil to another, what is condemned in one age is extolled in another. All these are no doubt true, to some extent, but if it had been absolutely true, real moral judgement would have been impossible. No doubt moral judgement depends to some extent on age and environment, but there is also such a thing as a final standard of good and evil in reference to which all moral judgements are to be framed. This shows that there are things which are good for all men, just as there are things which are universally evil. There are some absolute foods and some absolute poisons, e.g., hydrostatic acid.
But their numbers are very few. In the majority of cases whether a thing will prove food or poison to us depends upon our tradition, habit, culture and environment. As these differ with men so what is meant to one man will be poison to another.