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Is Moral Decline a myth?

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posted on Oct, 5 2015 @ 09:39 AM
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originally posted by: Antidisestablishment
Is moral decline in the Western world a real thing to be worried about, and worry about our children's and grandchildrens future, or is this a social construct created by the religious right to demonise liberalism and enforce their values upon the populace?

As bad as things seem, they're actually relatively pretty good. Crime is actually down, teen pregnancy is actually down, we've got awesome infrastructure, electricity/water/sewer for pretty much everyone. EVERY generation since the beginning of time has thought they were the worst and the whole she-bang was going down the drain. Certain doom around the corner. Yet humanity has creeped along, lurching slowly but surely into the future.
It's a pretty universal thing, you're reading too much into it with the 'religious right' and 'demonizing liberalism' and such.


Are the Ten Commandments still valid as moral laws, or is human nature and human conscience inherently good and in no need of moral laws?

Ten Commandments are pretty good. Some people live morally without religion. And some people are eff'd up jerk wads no matter what. Each and every one of us must take moral responsibility for our own actions and to reach out and uplift those less fortunate. Maybe if some of the 'bad guys' were reached out to with help and love early on their 'evil deeds' can be prevented.

Or do you thing that the human condition is in decline and is manifesting in depraved and sordid behaviour because of it?
Does the elite actually reward the most depraved and immoral people and use moral laws to keep the rest of us in servitude and prevent us from rebelling against them? Is it this dog eat dog, Machiavellian mind set which gives the elite or "illuminati" their power, whilst all along they use laws and religion to control our morality?

Again, you're reading too much into it. I've seen corruption up close and personally. THEY aren't as clever and well planned out as you think. Up top is basically a cluster f*ck of greed and corruption. Each one's out for himself and they do as much as they can get away with. It's not as dastardly/master plan/well networked as you have pictured.

What of the human rights abuses such as slavery and oppression of women, which are supported by religion?
A sad fact, but these points are slowly, but surely on the decline.

Was there ever a Golden Age when kids could play out in the street and you could leave your doors unlocked or is this just a case of wistful, magical thinking?

There was a time. My grandmother (97) took a bus to the State Fair and spent the day there when she was like, 7!!! She had 11 brothers and sisters and they had to pick cotton in the fall to buy their own shoes for winter. People left their cars unlocked and the kids would just hop in strangers' cars and play in them. My grandmother left home at 15. My dad remembers the only rule being 'be home by dark'. He and his friends did goofy stuff like blowing stuff up with fireworks- which would get you a felony and a 'terrorist' label with the NSA nowadays. He and his little brother (now roughly in their 70s) would take the bus by themselves to the movies on the weekend and spend a quarter for admission and popcorn.
That was how things were back then, but there was still crime.
And there are still people who live free like 'the good ol days'....they're mostly out in the country. In the city some busy body would call CPS on you for letting your kids walk to the park down the block. Out here in the country my rule is "Don't bother me unless you're bleeding. Watch out for cactus, copperheads, brown recluses and black widows." Lol! Seriously, it's how I grew up and some people may gasp in horror at the 'danger' of such a lifestyle, but it really is a good way to live. Respect and harmony with nature. Observation and critical thinking skills. Imagination (playing outside instead of on a computer). Self-sufficiency.
edit on 5-10-2015 by ladyvalkyrie because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 5 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: Antidisestablishment

Well that depends on your interpretation of Morality and who you think governs it. Look at the animal kingdom.

The Black widow consumes their mates after copulation, Why? to ensure the survival of her offspring. Cannibalism is commonplace in nature, yet people will call that a barbaric practice. Certain species of fish change sex all the time. Why? to increase the likelihood of progeny. Yet when a man wants to become a woman? That's profane in some folks eyes.

Animals aren't governed by morality because most of them are not self aware. Self awareness is why we have a moral compass.



posted on Oct, 5 2015 @ 02:34 PM
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originally posted by: MyHappyDogShiner
Why act right if there is no reward for doing so?.


Well, the whole idea behind religion, is that there is an instant reward for doing wrong, but later, after some time has passed, there's a punishment that follows, which is much greater than the immediate reward. So, that's why we restrain ourselves from doing wrong.

Before we learn to think, all of our actions are governed by the immediate feedback that we get when we act in the world.

That's the way of the animals.

When we start to think, we begin to observe the connection between events over the longer term, and begin to realize that past actions have distant future returns, and can see that those more distant returns are often contrary in nature to the immediate feedback we got.

That's when we begin to record these more distant connections, and document the observations, and construct the religion.

A woman has sex today, and gets an orgasm, feels good, immediate reward, but nine months later she feels pain giving birth to the consequence, and is then burdened with care and protection of her young for years. That same paradigm is repeated throughout nature. And sex and birth are the biggest clue, to the design of the world.




edit on 5-10-2015 by AMPTAH because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 5 2015 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: ReadLeader

Morals aren't in decline which has caused that, it's that people are more aware of the dangers out there. Violence and crime are at their all time lows. Kids are safer today to play outside, after dark than any time in the past.



posted on Oct, 5 2015 @ 05:58 PM
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Morality is kind of a moving target; it’s both subjective and dynamic. We each live by our own moral code, but often “cheat” when the circumstances are right. And, as life marches on and our priorities change, so too does our moral perspective. Things that once made sense may now seem irrational, and what used to be of monumental import may no longer have relevance. With time everything changes.

In a more general sense, “moral standards” are pretty much dictated by things like religious persuasion, cultural customs, societal mores, ethnicity, legal codes, ethical standards, blah, blah, blah... Our individual codes may differ, but usually don’t stray too far from the regional standard. Otherwise, we’re considered freaks.


It seems to me the thread is basically questioning whether our sense of “right” and “wrong” has changed over time. And whether it’s changing in a way that is increasingly accepting of “wrong” behavior. The problem here is there’s no consensus on what’s “right” and “wrong”. That being the case, I guess everyone’s opinion is correct. There’s no absolute means of determining.

Personally, I think I often see the “good old days” through rose-tinted glasses. My brain has twisted and reconstructed my memories to the point that I often question them. I believe I’ve likely blocked out many of the “bad old days”, making it impossible to make an apples to apples comparison to the here and now. My “recollection” tells me things were better back then, but have gotten all screwed up now. Society seems to have become so impersonal these days. Kids don’t climb trees anymore, or run to the ice cream truck on a hot summer afternoon. We’re becoming immersed in an ever-increasing virtual reality, and are less interested in social activities. We’re steadily losing our privacy and moving toward an Orwellian existence. It’s not safe to walk the streets at night anymore. Don’t trust anyone or they’ll surely take advantage of your weakness. Innocence is no longer a virtue. And the Doomsday Clock is fast approaching midnight...

Hmmm... Maybe I should see a shrink.

Bottom line is, I don’t know if humans are racing to the Gates of Hell or the Garden of Eden. I don’t know that I can view it objectively. I do know that it’s a much more dangerous world than ever before. We’re basically a heavily armed gang of monkeys sitting on a huge stockpile of thermonuclear devices. Whether we end up in Eden or burn in Hell, I guess depends a lot on what we choose to do with that stockpile.

Let the Good Times Roll!!

edit on 10/5/2015 by netbound because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 03:57 AM
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originally posted by: Antidisestablishment
Is moral decline in the Western world a real thing to be worried about, and worry about our children's and grandchildrens future, or is this a social construct created by the religious right to demonise liberalism and enforce their values upon the populace?
You are right about the demonisation agenda, but there are concerning signs that values such as good manners and respect at the communal level are decaying. You also notice the newer generation (tend to) have a stronger "entitlement complex" compared to generations past.


Are the Ten Commandments still valid as moral laws, or is human nature and human conscience inherently good and in no need of moral laws?

The Ten Commandments are not relevant today (in their original form) and religious dogma should not be used to govern a country.

Unfortunately, human nature is NOT good and people are NOT inherently good, so some form of law is needed. But judicial laws should not be confused with moral laws. "Moral laws" should not exist because everybody has a different view on what it entails, whereas judicial laws are objective laws that are good for a particular society to enforce.


Or do you thing that the human condition is in decline and is manifesting in depraved and sordid behaviour because of it?
One positive of human beings is their ability to adapt to external factors which are initially unfavourable. People of the past faced different issues than what we face today, and people of the future will face different problems than what we currently face. It's all about our ability to adapt.


Does the elite actually reward the most depraved and immoral people and use moral laws to keep the rest of us in servitude and prevent us from rebelling against them? Is it this dog eat dog, Machiavellian mind set which gives the elite or "illuminati" their power, whilst all along they use laws and religion to control our morality?

Yes they do reward negative behaviour because they know it keeps us divided, focussed on each other instead of looking at the puppet masters and their agenda.


What of the human rights abuses such as slavery and oppression of women, which are supported by religion?

Religion cannot be blamed exclusively for these things. They existed before religion and they will exist after religion. Some human beings believe they have a right to mistreat others and these people cannot be reasoned with.


Was there ever a Golden Age when kids could play out in the street and you could leave your doors unlocked or is this just a case of wistful, magical thinking?

No, there have always been bad people around doing bad things. The reason you hear so much about it today is because of the ease at which we can share information via advancement in technology.


edit on 6/10/2015 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 07:44 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

If all a person can talk about is abortion and homosexuality, which seems to be the main focus of the conservative Christians nowadays, of course they think we're in moral decline. They have a very bigoted and blinkered view, and no empathy or understanding of why someone would even disagree with them.

Issues such as domestic violence, rape and child abuse have not risen, but in the past were kept hidden behind closed doors. Now they are much more likely to be reported in the media, which makes it look like there is an increase when actually there isn't. Surely this is a sign that moral standards are getting better?



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 08:15 AM
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a reply to: AMPTAH

Works the same way with how people treat each other on a day to day basis regarding the mass shootings and the seeming refusal of many to get back to work....Why bother working when one will only be trapped in debt regardless of effort exerted?, why do unto others as you would have done unto you if everyone refuses to recognize you exist for any reason other than to be exploited, abused and taken advantage of ?.

Religion does not accomplish anything other than to offset one's conscience and make people think they are right when they are actually not right.

In the future people will know what the problem here is, correct things for a time, and then they will forget and repeat their mistakes once again.

Book: An American Prophesy; The Fourth Turning. William Strauss and Neil Howe.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 08:42 AM
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originally posted by: MyHappyDogShiner

Works the same way with how people treat each other on a day to day basis regarding the mass shootings and the seeming refusal of many to get back to work....Why bother working when one will only be trapped in debt regardless of effort exerted?, why do unto others as you would have done unto you if everyone refuses to recognize you exist for any reason other than to be exploited, abused and taken advantage of ?.

Religion does not accomplish anything other than to offset one's conscience and make people think they are right when they are actually not right.


What religion does, is say "look, why do you want those things from other people, that you are being denied?"

Do you realize that if you wanting nothing, there would be no problem with other people?

A person can only be exploited, when he or she wants things that require other people helping them to get.

The exploiter has to "entice" the exploited with some promise of reward. In the case of slavery, the reward was simply "lack of punishment". But, in modern society, it's all the things money can buy.

We no longer beat people, to get them to work. It's all done through greed today. People want more than they need, and thus they are willing to put themselves in debt to get these things.

People look at what other people have, and say to themselves, why should I not have those things too? So, there's the element of jealousy. My neighbor has a brand new Porsche, so I want one. Do I need one? No. But, it looks cool.

In essence, people exploit themselves. They collect desires, by looking around the neighborhood, and then setting themselves unrealistic targets, to get all those things they see other people have. In doing this, they wreck their own souls.

What we actually need in this world is quite minimal. Some food, clothes on our back, basic shelter, something to do that interests us, to occupy our time, and a little spiritual guidance helps to show us why that's all we really need.

Then, there would be no more shootings.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: AMPTAH


What we actually need in this world is quite minimal. Some food, clothes on our back, basic shelter, something to do that interests us, to occupy our time, and a little spiritual guidance helps to show us why that's all we really need.

This above is true, and it is taught in Buddhism. NOT in Christianity.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: AMPTAH


What we actually need in this world is quite minimal. Some food, clothes on our back, basic shelter, something to do that interests us, to occupy our time, and a little spiritual guidance helps to show us why that's all we really need.

This above is true, and it is taught in Buddhism. NOT in Christianity.


Get the Christian teaching from Jesus' own words:



Luke|18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what
shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luke|18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is
good, save one, that is, God.
Luke|18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not
kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy
mother.
Luke|18:21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
Luke|18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet
lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come, follow me.
Luke|18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was
very rich.
Luke|18:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Luke|18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luke|18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
Luke|18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are
possible with God.
Luke|18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
Luke|18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man
that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for
the kingdom of God's sake,
Luke|18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and
in the world to come life everlasting.


Hence Priests of all orders take a "vow of poverty".



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 09:25 AM
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Golden Age Fallacy. Beginning at least with Plato, thinkers in the West have been captured by the idea of the Golden Age, the time “back then” that was so much better than now, when everyone got along, when everything was perfect, when nothing was like it is now. A main thrust of religion and human thinking over the years has been an appeal to this Golden Age. Politicians promise it; priests and ministers preach about returning to it; everyone yearns for what once was.

Remember back when you were a child, and the world wasn’t so complicated and messed up? That was a simpler time, wasn’t it? WRONG. It was a simpler time for you, because you were a child, free to play and almost entirely free from responsibility. We live in the most peaceful time in all of human history. Thinking that things were better in the past is called the Golden Age Fallacy.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: AMPTAH

I have been denied the basics because I supposedly wanted nothing, or didn't want enough like others did. Still the exploitation comes because being small and without any kind of safety net the greedy bastards can see I appear to be exploitable.

Twice this year alone I have hobbled away for the reason of not being paid for my labor by the criminal business element.

I don't need much though.

I have been what amounts to "working homeless" for over a decade and yes, it does suck at times.

I have a cheap and obsolete computer and there is free WiFi in many places, A bank account so I can find and get what I need cheaply online. A modest car which I maintain myself out of necessity.

There is a shortage of impulse control in this world. When I tire of abuse and exploitation I remove myself from the situation and start again somewhere else.

Most people are trapped in a cage of debt and misery and many cannot take the abuse and some snap. Many others simply fall ill from the stress of existing here in this world.....Others....

Whether one believes the media has little to do with the way people think and act, much of the occurrences in the last few decades were first seen on the TV and media.

Drifting off topic.

Out.
edit on 6-10-2015 by MyHappyDogShiner because: kjwaec



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 10:36 AM
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I think it's a combination of things. Lack of morals. Lack of knowledge. Lack of concern about what consequences we'll see 10 years down the road from what we do today.
We live in a society where one feels like they're in an alternative universe when they see someone reading a book, a society where "celebrity" gossip is viewed as "knowledge" rather than considering things that really matter.
We live in a society where everyone is a victim. There's a ready made excuse for anyone who has done something heinous. Corporations, people of status are never held accountable. I don't mean the typical slap on the wrist "accountability," I mean ACTUAL accountability.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: MyHappyDogShiner
I have been what amounts to "working homeless" for over a decade and yes, it does suck at times.


It is difficult to be poor and alone, and survive in this world. This is why those who take a vow of poverty often seek the shelter of a community of like-minded folks. This is where the idea of monasteries, nunneries, temple communities, and various orders of this or that persuasion come from. There is a whole island called Mount Athos in the Mediterranean that supports the lifestyle of having little material possessions, hence little of this world to worry about, that provides sanctuary for those of the Christian faith.

Now, the trick is, how to live among the hectic environment of modern society, and conform to its rules, and still live the minimalist lifestyle. This is harder to accomplish. If you have a piece of real estate, you have to pay taxes on it. So, you need cash flow to support anything you own. To get cash, you need investments, or a job, or a community that holds the real estate allowing you to reside there without actually owning.

In India, it is relatively easy to be poor and alone, and survive. That's because the whole society believes in the spiritual paths, and accept street beggars as "holy men" who are helping the society to reflect on their own mad rush to acquire material things. So, people pay the solitary types to live the extreme minimalist lifestyle. In the west, nobody admires the beggars, so you can't try that there.

Essentially, is a matter of where on planet earth, you happen to reside. You can move to another place. But, you need "knowledge" of what goes on in various parts of the world, to know where to go. Trying to work things out where you are at the moment, maybe the difficulty. Some people go into the woods, setup a log cabin near a lake, support themselves with fishing and a bit of farming, and isolate themselves from the chaos. You just have to have the will and determination to make whatever change is necessary to improve your condition.

If your employers didn't pay you, then perhaps that's a signal that you need to find employers with better morals and ethics. So, for example, find a church, volunteer some of your time to help the church with its activities, get to know the priest, and mention your problems. Someone employer in the congregation will probably offer you a job and pay you, because it's the Christian thing to do. Seek out better environments, socially, physically, and things must change for the better.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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originally posted by: Plotus
We live in the most peaceful time in all of human history. Thinking that things were better in the past is called the Golden Age Fallacy.


It is really a matter of where exactly on planet earth you happen to live.

I doubt anyone in Syria or Iraq would agree that this is the most peaceful time.

But, it has always been so. There's always a part of the world that is in turmoil, while another part is seeing its Golden Age.

This is an essential dynamic, that causes people to move.

The living earth requires populations to move about the surface, to bring new thoughts and ideas, and new energies into other regions. And the turmoil you see is part of what motivates this movement.

The Earth is literally "eating people", consuming them in its mouth, chewing them up, digesting them, and spitting them out somewhere else to fertilize the lands in other places.

When you see the mass migrations, it's just the people being digested moving through the earths digestive tracts. Where they end up, is usually the parts experiencing their "Golden Age". They come to fertilize the land, and make those people richer.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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originally posted by: Antidisestablishment
Issues such as domestic violence, rape and child abuse have not risen, but in the past were kept hidden behind closed doors. Now they are much more likely to be reported in the media, which makes it look like there is an increase when actually there isn't. Surely this is a sign that moral standards are getting better?


I happen to agree. There's a much higher level of access to information today so we're more likely to see the negative being reported (especially since that's the more popular news) but when you step back from the emotional feelings of the moment and look at trends over decades and centuries things have greatly improved, and they continue to get better. I hesitate to call it morality though, it's more along the lines of quality of life in my opinion.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: Antidisestablishment

Absolutely its a myth, 100%.

While the world is still pretty screwed up on the whole things have gotten massively better in the last few centuries. You ever wonder how we went from just over one billion to about six billion in pretty much a single century? Because technology, food production and medicine sky-rocketed. There were also big attempts after both world wars to unite the "First World" countries, largely these attempts failed which is why we have a fairly weak UN compared to what was intended. But the result was a sort of cultural connected-ness brought on by mass communication and travel (airliners replacing blimps and boats and phone lines and telegraph wires).

Things like slavery and child labor, once common place and completely legal are largely illegal now in most parts of the world. As I said above there's still horrible things going on, still human rights violations all over the place, but increasingly those sorts of things have to be done in the shadows and can be punished by international law. Slavery is the biggest obvious example, from the 1700s onward it was gradually phased out so that in today's world slavery is illegal virtually everywhere in the world.

Ask the average Christian in the 17 or 1800s whether slavery was permissible and you'd get a wide range of answers. The Bible itself condones slavery with God directly telling Moses that the Hebrews can keep slaves as property for life and even beat them if they want... this is in the very next chapter after the 10 Commandments (exodus 21). Yet today you'd be hard pressed to come across anyone, Christian or not, who thinks that slavery is okay, in fact most people agree that racism is wrong as well and increasingly discrimination against gays is becoming rare in the same way racism against African-Americans has become the exception rather than the rule.

Of course life expectancy has also been pushed way up, people now usually live into their 70s and almost all of us know, or know someone who knows, a person who live into their 90s.

Also people in this thread seemed to suggest that kids today don't play outside or have fun... this is definitely a myth. I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s and spent plenty of time playing outside, as did both of my younger sisters one of which is still in high school, as does my Nephew who is in high school as of this year. The illusion that kids today just sit around and play video games and be on their phones is just that, an illusion, my Nephew runs in track and field, is active in the school play, and yes does play video games sometimes. It's all about moderation and balance and there's plenty of kids who reach a natural equilibrium. Truth be told its more often ADULTS that I see glued to their smart phones than kids, its all anecdotal to be sure but that's just my experience.

All in all the world is getting better, but that's not a reason to be complacent, its still screwed up in plenty of ways that need fixing.


edit on 6-10-2015 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Because what is promoted in the US and to a lesser extent in the UK is capitalist conservative big church prosperity gospel "Christianity" which has less than nothing to do with what Jesus taught and everything to do with flag waving tea bagger zealots.



posted on Oct, 6 2015 @ 12:40 PM
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a reply to: Antidisestablishment

Things were always better "back in the day".

50 years from now, people will complain and moan about how 2015 was the "good old days".

People in Jesus's time probably thought the time of Moses was the "good old days".

It's all relative, we always feel nostalgia and long for times past. This is why I roll my eyes and turn my ears off when people talk about how crappy the world is today and how they wish it was 1950 all over again.

Your great grandparents thought they'd see the end of the world, your grandparents thought they'd see the end of the world, your parents thought they'd see the end of the world...

We all think the end is near, that our generation is the worst/last, and times before were all sunshine and roses.

Man, we're a self-righteous species with one heck of an ego and faulty memory, eh?
edit on 6-10-2015 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



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