The decline of morals and values is one of the largest and most talked-about issues in American and global society today. There are so many examples of this in our culture that it is hardly fair to isolate a few examples, but a few that come immediately to mind include the startling rise in teen and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, the increases in drug and alcohol abuse, the rise in crime (especially violent crime), the popularity of low-class talk shows and “shock jocks,” whose programming contains very little intellectually or morally stimulating material and very much of the sort of titillation formerly associated with strip joints and other gatherings of impolite society.
No doubt you can come up with several further examples, but the point is made. Many trace this to a number of causes, but the roots of the problem may ultimately lie in a single factor.
In this essay, we will examine the immense problem of defining morality and seeing what forms it can take in modern society, consider the role that the national loss of pride and shame have played in its decline, and trace the roots of the problem back to what I consider to be the true cause: the lack of maturity that results from irresponsible parenting.
Finally, we will look at what can be done to reverse this problematic trend, in order that future generations will be able to receive a proper moral foundation and ultimately to create a culture in which the highest forms of human nature are rewarded, rather than our basest animalistic instincts. It seems a f ormidable undertaking indeed, but let us make our best attempts at understanding the situation so that we may rectify it.
- Understanding Morality
- Pride and Shame
- The Root of the Problem