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Grey area

A grey area is a term for a border in-between two or more things that is unclearly defined, a border that is hard to define or even impossible to define, or a definition where the distinction border tends to move. There are several flavors of grey areas:

  • A grey area of definitions signifies a problem of sorting reality into clearly cut categories. Example: where is the border between erotica and pornography?
  • A grey area of law[?] is an area where no clear law or precedent exists, or where the law has not been applied in a long time thus making it unclear if it is applicable at all.
  • A grey area of ethics signifies an ethical dilemma, where the border between right and wrong is blurred. Example: is killing always abominable?

Grey areas are widely accepted in democratic societies and have a clear connection to the notion of tolerance, whereas in societies of totalitarianism, grey areas are typically not accepted on any level.

Many people accept grey areas as a natural part of the human experience, whereas others may react with suspicion and a feeling of defectness or uncompleteness of any thought-system (or paradigm) accepting grey areas.

See also: Gray Areas (magazine)



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