NY Times Op-Ed on Moral Relativism - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-14-2011, 03:36 AM   #16
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Are we surprised a generation spoon-fed self-esteem, multiculturalism and non-judgementalism regurgitates moral relativism?

Youth is youth but even a teen should have a value system that allows them to differentiate between good & evil, virtue & vice.

I don't find moral ambiguity an appealing or desirable trait in the workplace, marketplace, personal relationships or in a political leader.
And am I suprised that someone who has time and time again showed that his vision can't extent beyond his own hand is regurgitating the same type of answers that people used to opposed integration, equal rights, and argues a monopoly on moralism?
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:50 AM   #18
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because you refuse to hate people different from you?
It's not about that for everyone, and I wasn't talking about that at all. For me there aren't shades of gray as far as my personal moral code, especially as far as hating people who are different.

I hardly think that all young adults aren't thinking about moral questions, but for sure at least some, and possibly many, aren't. Some/many older ones aren't either-or they're morality hypocrites.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:58 AM   #19
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I think one reason why some young people don't think about moral issues or any issues is because they are still at the age where it isn't cool to analyze, be concerned about important issues, etc. Not all are like this, of course, but quite a few are.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:04 AM   #20
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Absolutely. I just really despise the tone of the article.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:09 PM   #21
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You guys complaining about "kids these days" rhetoric do realize that neither the column nor the study are claiming young people's moral behavior is worse, right? (The column emphasizes repeatedly that it's not making such claims.) It's an observation about the language used to conceptualize moral problems, combined with some speculation as to what that suggests about the thinking underlying it. There's plenty to question in that approach (why was there no control group? does the way the conscious ethical process works matter that much if behavioral outcomes are the same? doesn't the reluctance to cite moral absolutes date back at least as far as 'Gen X'? might these kids' Philo 101 profs have a different take on what they're capable of articulating if pressed in a structured way? etc.). But usually "kids these days..." talk suggests that actual moral behavior is worse; that's not the claim here.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:15 PM   #22
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Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally - Dennis Prager - National Review Online
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Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally
Dennis Prager

Last week, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Here are excerpts from Brooks’s summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. It was led by “the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith”:

● “Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing.”

● “When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all.”

● “Moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner.”

● “The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste.”

● “As one put it, ‘I mean, I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways, so I couldn’t speak on behalf of anyone else as to what’s right and wrong.’”

● “Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.” (Emphases mine.)

Ever since I attended college I have been convinced that “studies” either confirm what common sense suggests or they are mistaken. I realized this when I was presented study after study showing that boys and girls were not inherently different from one another, and they acted differently only because of sexist upbringings.

This latest study cited by David Brooks confirms what conservatives have known for a generation: Moral standards have been replaced by feelings. Of course, those on the left only believe this when an “eminent sociologist” is cited by a writer at a major liberal newspaper.

What is disconcerting about Brooks’s piece is that nowhere in what is an important column does he mention the reason for this disturbing trend: namely, secularism.

The intellectual class and the Left still believe that secularism is an unalloyed blessing. They are wrong. Secularism is good for government. But it is terrible for society (though still preferable to bad religion) and for the individual.

One key reason is what secularism does to moral standards. If moral standards are not rooted in God, they do not objectively exist. Good and evil are no more real than “yummy” and “yucky.” They are simply a matter of personal preference. One of the foremost liberal philosophers, Richard Rorty, an atheist, acknowledged that for the secular liberal, “There is no answer to the question, ‘Why not be cruel?’”

With the death of Judeo-Christian God-based standards, people have simply substituted feelings for those standards. Millions of American young people have been raised by parents and schools with “How do you feel about it?” as the only guide to what they ought to do. The heart has replaced God and the Bible as a moral guide. And now, as Brooks points out, we see the results. A vast number of American young people do not even ask whether an action is right or wrong. The question would strike them as foreign. Why? Because the question suggests that there is a right and wrong outside of themselves. And just as there is no God higher than them, there is no morality higher than them, either.

Forty years ago, I began writing and lecturing about this problem. It was then that I began asking students if they would save their dog or a stranger first if both were drowning. The majority always voted against the stranger — because, they explained, they loved their dog and they didn’t love the stranger.

They followed their feelings.

Without God and Judeo-Christian religions, what else is there?
I didn't get into the religious angle but yes, when you substitute a moral code of absolutes (Judeo-Christian) for a non-judgmental code based on equivocality what else would you expect other than moral uncertainty.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:31 PM   #23
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Gee, I kind of like a less harsh, judgmental world characterized by acceptance and inclusion valuing individual conscience over arbitrary hierarchy that feigns sole knowledge of the whims and desires of the infinite.

You're a rugged individualist INDY, if you don't want your government spend g your money why do you want a religious Institution telling you how to live and treat others? Can't you make up your own mind? Why do you have to be told what to do by the ultimate Big Brother?

Sounds like moral socialism to me.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:35 PM   #24
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Also, Prager is an idiot who's column is loaded with words that conservatives find sexually arousing.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:36 PM   #25
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Also, I know some very moral Buddhists, who have no God or saviour, and moral Hindus, who have a whole bunch of gods.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #26
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Also, Prager is an idiot who's column is loaded with words that conservatives find sexually arousing.
I'm afraid to ask.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
You guys complaining about "kids these days" rhetoric do realize that neither the column nor the study are claiming young people's moral behavior is worse, right? (The column emphasizes repeatedly that it's not making such claims.) It's an observation about the language used to conceptualize moral problems, combined with some speculation as to what that suggests about the thinking underlying it. There's plenty to question in that approach (why was there no control group? does the way the conscious ethical process works matter that much if behavioral outcomes are the same? doesn't the reluctance to cite moral absolutes date back at least as far as 'Gen X'? might these kids' Philo 101 profs have a different take on what they're capable of articulating if pressed in a structured way? etc.). But usually "kids these days..." talk suggests that actual moral behavior is worse; that's not the claim here.
My issue is with the idea that seeing different shades is somehow a bad thing.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:35 PM   #28
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I imagine if people were being honest and you presented them individual cases they would admit shades.

It would be an interesting challenge.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:33 AM   #29
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It was the realization that conservatives want everything to be black-and-white that made me first realize I wasn't conservative. I was 15. Up until that point I was Alex P. Keaton, sans the liberal parents.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:57 AM   #30
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I don't think the issue is having an expanded moral filter, or being able to think in a nuanced manner about moral issues, or having shades of grey. The issue -- in the initial article posted, anyway -- is that there is an increasing lack of moral filter, period...an inability to frame issues within a moral context. The ramifications for a host of issues that have fundamental judgments at their core -- from human trafficking to civil liberties -- are or should be obvious.
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