An example of a modern secular moral code gives a sample of important moral values. In nonemergency situations- don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder. The 10 commandments which have been the basis for Judeo Christian morality have been watered down to 6 with two new modern moral principles- don’t destroy biodiversity and don’t be inefficient.
It is significant to differentiate between moral values and about 50 core values or other ethical principles which vary in degree from situation to situation such as caring, empathy, friendliness, cooperation, sharing, discipline, courtesy, etc. which are also vital to maintaining wholesome helpful human interactions and are reflections of basic humanity and are mostly indicators of relatively peaceful human cohesion and interactive complexity. Moral values are basically cross cultural essentials or must exist in most modern cultures and core values vary in degrees from culture to culture and from individual to individual.
To all those interested in pursuing and understanding the difference between moral and core values I refer you to my book SECULAR MORAL CODE which goes into the necessary detail for a better understanding of the difference between moral values and other ethical principles.
Perhaps the only important moral value which is not rapidly deteriorating in the west is don’t murder. The rates of homicide in the general population have basically stabilized, except in some big cities.
Crime rates have also generally stabilized with the exception of some metropolitan areas so we can assume that traditional stealing is also not increasing at an alarming rate. The high incarceration rate, surveillance cameras in many places, and theft protection devices may be contributing factors to the relatively stable stealing rate.
In the United States internet stealing or theft is about 1.4 billion dollars a year and probably increasing on a yearly basis so we are confronted with the challenge of a modern form of stealing which is not stable or decreasing.
Due to the promotion and more general acceptance of promiscuity, adultery is on the increase in the United States. Financial hardship is one major contributor to divorce but a second major cause is marital infidelity. Family life is deteriorating and there are fewer and fewer healthy financially and morally responsible two parent households, especially nuclear families.
A common shared morality is a major reason why males and females stay together in matrimony over the long duration. If a married male and female don’t lie to one another then there can be trust in the relationship, if there is no adultery then there can be trust in the relationship, if both parents try to raise offspring responsibly then there is another reason why couples can and probably will want to remain together in the relationship. Break this trust with lying, adultery, deception, and excessive selfishness and this immoral behavior will ruin any relationship.
If you immorally lie then trust breaks down and a relationship generally does not last and the feeling of security is lost with it. There is much deception and some lying in the media mostly in the form of biased opinions without a factual foundation. Add to this the ongoing deception of politicians and abundant deceptive advertising and this leads one to conclude that trust in the establishment’s ability to rule is being destroyed even more rapidly than in the past. The tabloid like establishment press, left wing biased dogmatic academia and celebrities are an indication that lying and deception has become institutionalized and is spreading throughout society and not getting any better with time.
Some studies have shown that average humans lie once or twice a day, usually about minor things. Whether this is intentional or merely results from ignorance in most cases is debatable. Some studies even claim that about 40% lie on their resumes which appears to be intentional.
Trump has been accused of lying over 4000 times by MSNBC so far and it is debatable whether these have been intentional lies, opposition to liberal biased opinion which is now considered a lie, or merely unintentional ignorant incompetent statements about personalities, foreign and domestic affairs. Over 4000 lies in about two years is about 7 lies per day so I strongly feel that MSNBC is lying or that it is another example of establishment media fake news.
Not so obvious is the bad effect that very bad habits and hedonistic or live for today behavior is having on morality. There is growing drug abuse, pornography, alcoholism, mental illness, gambling, eating of unhealthy food, living from paycheck to paycheck, and a general philosophy that you should do only what makes you happy. Live for today and don’t plan for the future creates many crisis situations in daily life and morality often suffers in the long duration.
How many humans do you know of who have integrity or are honest and moral? These humans are indeed becoming a dying breed throughout society, top and bottom.
An affluent nation with less emphasis on morality gets more corrupt, gluttonous, lazy, and hedonistic with time so prosperity is not always a road to long duration moral stability. Add to this popularized relativistic situation ethics which almost justifies many bad and some immoral behavior and you have a recipe for continuing moral decline in society.
Many psychiatrists and psychologists are morally flawed humans out to make a buck at the expense of patients, so mental illnesses in the form of depression, anxiety, etc. are increasing and not getting any better nor are the symptoms being cured with mere pill popping.
Addictive bad habits are incredibly hard to change with verbal persuasion so it is no mystery why supposed professional advice givers succeed so infrequently in curing dysfunctional lifestyles in wayward adults. Yes, mental rehabilitation sometimes succeeds but it is time consuming and expensive, luxurious treatment which the average human who really needs treatment simply can’t afford.
Moral decay is not even addressed politically since the constitution does not mention morality directly and blindly assumes that the majority of the population will remain moral in the long duration. A common shared morality which promotes trusting behavior amongst citizens and among family members is essential to the ongoing peaceful interaction of citizens and spouses in the long duration. Letting immoral behavior flourish nationwide without punishment inevitably results in social chaos and ultimate transformation into tyranny or rule by severe censorship and rule by fear and the threat of mortal punishment.
When moral indoctrination of impressionable young minds in elementary school and at home is no longer done effectively, social and interpersonal cohesion suffers and society becomes ever more unpredictable and chaotic. Students must respect their teachers and parents for proper moral indoctrination to take place and that means that the teachers and parents must earn respect by being competent moral role models and proficient disciplinarians who enforce just rules of behavior.
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