The OP is a person not an ‘it,’ thank you, Mother T…!
It is not enough to explain our actions by referring to ‘a variety of reasons.’ Though it must certainly be possible to try to do something right and end up doing it wrong. My ‘A’ level must testify to that fact. I, furthermore, certainly seek pleasure; the feeling of a job well done, or a mate well screwed; but who is to say which is right or wrong?
This fact seems to be most pertinent: we don’t know what is right or wrong. It’s like we are aware that that there might be right and/or wrong, we may even have experienced the effects of right and wrong actions, for example. But we still, ultimately, don’t know if they were right or wrong. How can we know since we can’t really tell the results of our actions? Can we really understand the results of our actions? Can we separate intention from act and would that mitigate any guilt or virtue resulting from said intention or action?
How can we say anything positive about which we can’t know anything?
How can we trust the scriptures or the teachings handed down from our parents, absorbed through society, touted by idealists, thinkers, teachers or spiritual authorities, when we don’t seem to know for ourselves?
The only thing we seem to be able to say positively, is that it seems rational that if we do not know what right or wrong are, we can not understand them. If we can’t understand them, we can not act on them. Therefore, lacking understanding of them we will transgress, or fall into error. If we don’t know the rules of the game we will inevitably break them.
How then can we find out what is right or wrong? Or are they just some cultural baggage we inherit to help keep society organised? Can we know the results of our actions? Do we need to know the results of our actions to be able to say what is right and wrong?