Changing Views On “Good Morals”

Polling study finds the majority now sees what we might call “traditional” moral standards are now bad standards. This is the first time polling has reflected a reversal by so many Americans.

This does not surprise people who watch what is going on around them. Children have been taught these new moral views by their peers and in public schools for quite a while.

In the survey 19 questions were asked about 19 moral issues. These included gay marriage, physician assisted suicide and divorce. Respondent’s acceptance on 13 of the 19 issues was more liberal than when the same survey was taken a few years ago. No category of the moral issues polled as accepted less.

This not to say people are happier about the moral state of the country. For their own reasons, people still think the morals of the country are bad.

There no doubt are millions of people in the U. S. who think the Bible provides them with sound moral principles. Yet the Bible is full of behavior attributed to both God and Jesus which we would find less than moral today. Moral principles do not come from religion but from the accumulated experience of all human history. Values that are harmful to societies tend to disappear and ones that seem to help society are adopted as good.

Most helpful at this point in our history would be a frank discussion of moral values that left out religion. We could discuss practices that are harmful to other people and to the future of human kind.



21 Responses

  1. Adam Heckathorn

    This is an important topic. The religious especially the fundamentally religious are often taught to think (Really that they do not have to think in terms of cause and affect) in black in white terms. Abortion is bad I’ll fry you for all time. Being Gay? fry for infinity! My religious background did not teach a burning hell but they did teach everlasting life or everlasting death based on your attitude or your obedience to what a few idiots say is moral. Religious cover ups of child abuse that have resulted in multiple children abused by the same individual because appearances were more important that substantive progress are a prime example of the moral bankruptcy of this thinking. As a JW I was bringing literature to the public exposing this among the Catholics unaware that we had created our own pedophile paradise among JWs That had existed for decades created by their inane policies. But let’s shun the teenagers that had premarital sex or the individual that got a blood transfusion.

  2. Matt Noah

    Putting morals to an opinion poll is like putting science to an opinion poll. No matter what the majority opinion is on “1+1”, the correct answer is always 2.

    1. entech

      You are right as usual Matt. If some think there may be a god and some think that there may not the result will always be “maybe + maybe = maybe”. That some like Matt are quite convinced of the truth of their position does not affect the result it will always be maybe.

    2. Matt Noah

      Murder is a very good moral example. Murder is always immoral. It is not subject to an opinion poll.

      Theft is a very good moral example. Theft is always immoral. It is not subject to an opinion poll.

      Lest one thinks the civilized world does not understand the so-called exceptions to these two examples, you can save yourself embarrassment in bringing up self-defense, war, a starving person, etc.

      Notice the lack of the word “God” in my 2 posts on this blog. Some zealots like to jump the shark on ascribing that which is not present in an argument.

      (Note: I do believe that murder and theft are wrong primarily because God said so. But don’t tell the lapdogs.)

  3. Clearly, Jon fails to grasp the distinction between morals and ethics. They may be related but are not the same thing. Morals change. Ethics are fixed. Jon is correct to link morals to values. Values change as a society’s attitudes change. However, under Jon’s scheme as society’s values change so do their morals. So if a society’s moral seek to exclude gay marriage, and view atheists as dangerous he would be immoral to speak on behalf of such values.

  4. Rob

    Actions speak louder than opinion polls. Is the crime rate dropping? Do people feel safer in their homes or out at night now as opposed to 20, 30 years ago?
    Do 10 year olds have free reign to play and roam the streets of Fargo until dusk like they used to? Do you feel more or less likely to be taken advantage of in business, or in any part of life for that matter now vs X years ago?
    Or has the steady decline in Christian values been met with a steady increase in bad moral behavior? Or is it all just a convenient coincidence?

    1. entech

      “Decline in Christian Values” what strange thing to say. Tell me which values have declined? Perhaps the value of truth has declined with the history of covering up clerical abuse.

      1. Rob

        Jon mentions weekly how there are fewer and fewer Christians. What part of that is confusing to you?

        1. entech

          Confusion seems to be your strong suite. You talk about the decline in Christian Values. When I question this you switch to Jon talking about the number of Christians.
          What we do get quite often is people saying that the decline in Christian values, the liberalisation and so on is the cause of the decline in the numbers of worshipping Christians.

          Perhaps a little elucidation would not go amiss:
          Is the decline in the values held by the Christians remaining the problem?
          Is the decline in the number of Christians remaining?

          1. Rob

            Decline in numbers is what I was referring to. We aren’t all 80 and have all day to proofread.

            What is this suite you speak of? Are you staying at a Holiday Inn?

          2. entech

            I would have thought that the values held by those calling themselves Christians was more important than the numbers gathered. That would be why Paul (or another using his Name) would need to write so many instructional pamphlets to hep get them on track and keep them there, maybe the converse is why the increase is negative. in these times.
            Not 80 (getting close), have many things to do all day and every day.

            a set of rooms designated for one person’s or family’s use or for a particular purpose.
            “a suite of reception rooms”
            synonyms: apartment · flat · set of rooms · suite of rooms · [More]

            a set of instrumental compositions, originally in dance style, to be played in succession.

            a group of people in attendance on a monarch or other person of high rank.
            “the Royal Saloon was built for the use of the Queen and her suite”

            synonyms: retinue · entourage · train · escort · cortège

            a set of programs with a uniform design and the ability to share data.

            I can’t find the reference although I am quite certain I did say it, just can’t remember why – take you pick.
            Peace be with you.

          3. You said “Confusion seems to be your strong SUITE” while seemingly being unable to understand what I meant by “decline in Christian values”. More irony.

            Anyway, to elaborate further, I said “decline in Christian values” because the opening blog post was referring to moral values in the country, as a whole. Fewer Christians = fewer with Christian moral values, does not seem like the great quantum leap you are purporting it to be.

    2. Grandma

      The world has been going to hell in a very large handbasket for quite some time. See below for some information on the first Great Awakening of four in the U.S.

      7b. The Great Awakening
      … Not all American ministers were swept up by the Age of Reason. In the 1730s, a religious revival swept through the British American colonies. Jonathan Edwards, the Yale minister who refused to convert to the Church of England, became concerned that New Englanders were becoming far too concerned with worldly matters. It seemed to him that people found the pursuit of wealth to be more important than John Calvin’s religious principles. Some were even beginning to suggest that predestination was wrong and that good works might save a soul. Edwards barked out from the pulpit against these notions. “God was an angry judge, and humans were sinners!” he declared. He spoke with such fury and conviction that people flocked to listen. This sparked what became known as the Great Awakening in the American colonies.

    3. Matt Noah

      Answers: (1) Less safe. (2) No to roaming. (3) More likely. (4) Yes, it has. (5) It is not a coincidence.

      Jon and others like to tell us the USA was not founded on Judaeo-Christian morality and ethics. Watch the following short video and tell me symbol is most associated with gravemarkers in these cemeteries.

      TWIMC: Tell me again how this is not a Christian nation.

  5. Jinx II

    Child molesting priests, other clergy, and the cover up are a great example of good morals AND ethics for society. Its bad enough when anyone molests kids but when religious figures do it, it is particularly heinous since they tout themselves as moral guardians.

      1. entech

        Right again Matt, the real victims are the Paedophile Priests, the children have no values they can’t keep a secret and the press exaggerate the problem. The Hierarchy are only trying to maintain the good name of the Church and they too get victimised by the press for their efforts.
        The fact that the Church lost any semblance of respectability hundreds of years ago should be overlooked, do not draw attention to it rather divert attention by pointing out all the others that do bad things.

        Matt, you know this is a fake victim – how? As you do not know the name you cannot have access to court records and you cannot validate your claim. I do believe this is called bearing false witness and is amongst the list of things you are most against, sometimes referred to as being a lying, odious toad.

        1. Jinx II

          ……the banned worm will never know my name, I am protecting my elderly Mother who does not need this type of information floating around her little town. He is christian in name only and a disgrace to the ideals of his catholicism.

          After digging up the worms history of rabid behavior in the political ring and the Fargo Soccer Club, witnessing the same rabid behavior on this blog, I would be crazy to give him any clue as to who I am. The last thing I want is a nut ball so called catholic stalker who lies like a rug.

          1. entech

            If you consider that when it comes to child abuse the Church often “lies like carpet” you have to compare Matt to the underlay 🙂

  6. Adam Heckathorn

    I know this will surprise many but we are actually substantially less violent than our ancestors. The last century even with the world wars saw less violence than the ones before. Poverty is decreasing overall with a global view. We are more aware of crime but there is actually less of it. I encourage all to read Steven Pinker’s book I think you will find it interesting.

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