All cultures require a set of moral principles in order to maintain a sense of self-worth. Our own culture is currently in the process of redefining our understanding of morality to better conform to the dominant social and political ethos. All that was once a moral imperative is now passe and a new sense of morality is appearing on the social and cultural landscape.
Issues such as premarital sex, cheating on exams, attending church, drug use, abortion and a long list of others have gradually eroded from the moral radar and have left a vacuum that is being filled by a new set of moral values.
Interestingly these values, while they assume a moral importance, have little to do with morality in the absolute sense and tend to be more political as well as relative in nature. The terminology that defines this new morality involves words such as “sexism”, “homophobia”, “racism” and my own personal favorite “denial of global warming”.
It’s pretty easy to be a moral person nowadays, given that nothing is really expected except that one talks the talk.
Belief in global warming has now assumed religious proportions with those who question the orthodox explanation for our changing climate being labeled “deniers”. In another age those who defied orthodoxy were deemed “heretics” and tortured or burned at the stake. There appears to be little difference in our current attitudes and the attitudes displayed during the Inquisition, except we no longer burn people at the stake.
We define fundamentalist Christians as “scary”, yet condemn those who express concern about radical Islam as being “Islamophobic”.
Few graduates from our universities possess the tools necessary to make a meaningful contribution to society, as throughout their educational career self esteem trumped achievement. Now we’re turning these unfortunates loose to fend for themselves with a less than adequate skill set. But they all seem to think very highly of themselves.
The morality that we are abandoning is the glue that has held our civilization together for centuries. The morality that we are adopting in its place will only speed up our decline, as it requires almost no meaningful commitment on the part of individuals. On the contrary, being moral is now easier than ever with no effort required.
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