, I have to agree with you. I am glad you posted that quote from Socrates; the when I read the first post of this thread, my first thought was of a foggy memory of a bit of text written by a Sumerian describing how the youth of the day was lacking education, morals, and responsibility. solaris32
, interesting topic!
Though certain elements of our society do seem to have digressed in terms of conventional morality, we have certainly gained in many areas as well. Social growth is often slow, painful, and certainly non-linear. But then, you and I are lucky that we haven't lived in an era when things were
in fact bad, so let’s put it into perspective.
When people talk about how much better the "good ol' days" were, I often wonder which days those were
, exactly. Were they back in the 50's when open racism existed everywhere? Were these wonderful days further back still, when children were forced to work on factory floors? How about back when slavery was widespread? Good times, moral days? How about the 1850's in the Western US...between killing and displacing countless natives, do you imagine that things were healthy and moral in frontier towns...whore houses, gunfights over gambling debts, violence exceeding anything we experience today. Are those the days you long for? Oh, I know…how about the witch burnings of the early puritans or the inquisitions in the middle ages?
And you think swearing, rebellious teens "texting" on their cell phones during class marks the beginning of the "end of days?"
I would argue that in fact right now we are experiencing social growing pains. We have cast off the shackles of many forms of early repression; but we aren't sure exactly how to deal with our new freedoms. Some embrace the "wind" but are in effect experimenting as they go; others try to cling to and even reinstate some of the "social control mechanisms" of the past.Animal
made some very good responses to your original post, so I will continue with your rebuttal:
1. First, when I said drugs, I was refering to illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, etc.
2. Drinking, especially underage, is immoral because it puts you and other people at risk.
3. Not to mention it harms your body.
4. Youth's obsession with fast driving is dangerous and against the law (when they go above the speed limit).
5. Rebellious attitude and behavior refers to how many youth talk to and treat their parents, teachers, and other authority figures.
6. Sex in the form of pornography is wrong because sex is a private act between 2 people and not for anyone else to see.
7. Sex, I am refering to adultery and anything else that is not between 2 married people.
8. Many more refers to other behaviors like a lack of caring towards other people, and unsolicited violence. Of course, there are MANY nice people. Many of these references to immoral behavior is based on a religious fortified standpoint. If you don't have that, then you probably won't relate very well.
9. Just because the 60's era didn't bring about the downfall of the USA, doesn't mean that it was ok or acceptable. Personally, I'd rather this nation not go through that again. But thank you for your opinion, I appreciate it...
1. Does the current legal status of a drug determine its moral standing? How many lives are shattered by the legal
drug: alcohol? On the other side of the coin, marijuana can be used to ease the suffering of cancer patience. Making it illegal even for that purpose is equivalent to creating
suffering...to cause pain and suffering is immoral, no?
2. Underage drinking: I can't think of another besides the US that sets the drinking age at 21. So even the term "underage" is relative. Is the rest of the world "immoral" for allowing 19 year olds to drink legally?
3. In large doses, yes. In moderation, both beer and wine have shown health benefits.
4. Youth's obsession with fast driving is a new thing? How about the 60's...muscle cars and cheap gas? Gee, no fast-drivin' kids back then!
5. Rebellious attitude is nothing new either. Sometimes it is simply a matter of immaturity; most kids with that sort of "rebellious" nature grow out of it.
6. Pornography, to me, might constitute immorality in the sense that it can so heavily damage the lives of the individuals who partake in its creation.
7. I would also consider adultery in monogamous relationships to be immoral, again because in the end such behavior cannot but harm someone
involved. But then, consenting adults, in my opinion, must have open communication in their relationships and in that way "lay the ground rules" for the nature of their relationship. In other words, two "swingers" who agree to the nature of their relationship ahead of time are not committing adultery by stepping out. Since their actions are consensual, it is therefore not immoral as such. On the other hand, if a couple was committed to monogamy and one partner chose to have relations with someone else, that would be adultery; it would be immoral, since it would harm the unwitting partner.
8. The ongoing theme here, methinks, is that your "religious fortified" viewpoint of morality is based on the idea that there are set behaviors in which morality is pre-ordained; the situation, the history, and the ramifications of the given behavior are besides the point. To me there are many variables that have to be included in any analysis of morality. I suppose that's where the "relative" bit comes in, at least, in my opinion. I view the world as far too complex for clear cut answers when it comes to human social interaction.
9. You might not have liked those "stinking hippies"
...but the 60's brought with it much needed social change. The oppressed fought oppression; our nation confronted racism and sexism, breaking the repressive molds of the past and moving toward and era where there is equality...not that we are there yet...but it was an important start. The civil rights movement is not something I would ever
wish away. Seafox
, I know you've often spoken against moral relativism. But how often have churches changed their views on things? From the obvious, such as the policy that killing heathens and heretics was a positive thing to do; the use of torture to force conversion; and let's not forget centuries of holy war. Or move to more recent times, where, for example, the Catholic Church supported Mussolini's fascist Italy (Hitler fashioned his national socialist movement in Germany after Mussolini's in Italy). Somehow, Jesus doesn't strike me as someone who would have supported fascism. Yet at the time, the church thought it was "right" to do so.
Time and time again churches, both Catholic and Protestant, change their positions in a decidedly "relativistic" way. If churches weren't "relativistic," they'd still be burning people for practicing "witchcraft" today!
Edited by locally pwned, 11 April 2007 - 07:41 AM.
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein
"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
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