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Morals and Ethics of Current Societies – No

The idea that morals and ethics are eroding in society today is a repressive attack on modern people and the secular society promoted primarily by religious evangelicals and nostalgic old timers. They use fantasies of a “golden age” of humanity where morals and ethics were upheld to the highest degree and society was a stable, working, and good structure in the world. The thing is, a time like this never existed. The morals these people will suggest improved society actually historically were vessels for oppression and therefore were extremely dangerous to society and its members.

The first objective that must be dismissed is the myth that society was better in the past because of a higher standard of morals. To do so, the difference between morals and ethics must be determined. Moral values are a belief of an individual or group that an individual is a member of. For example, most Christians are opposed to sex before marriage. This is a moral value Christians usually hold. Ethics are a individuals morals in practice, their actions instead of beliefs. Moral failure is when a person has a poor set of morals, for example, most people would agree a racist has poor moral believes. Ethical failure is when someone does something that goes against what they believe to be good. For example, a Christian having sex before marriage is an example of ethical failure.

The difference between the two is important because ethical failure will always exist, no matter what set of morals a society holds, the standards will never be upheld in all circumstances. When someone argues under the assumption that a society is degenerating because it’s moral standards is low, it violates the understanding of ethical failures, and is therefore very difficult or impossible to tell exactly how well a society is operating ethically. For this reason, morals are typically a mere facade for an unethical society that wishes to promote emotional appeal by holding a set of moral standards that really aren’t being upheld anyways.

Next we need to decide what moral standard we are discussing. In American society, it’s a safe bet to choose the Christian moral standard, as it has held the hearts of the American people since it’s inception. But looking at the history of Christianity, examples of ethical failure are so abundant it seems absurd to even suggest that this set of moral standards has done anything to strengthen society. War, money, oppression, and hatred are widespread and the most common examples found within this standard. Ethical failure exists under every moral standard, and its very fair to say that the level of ethical failures in societies remain very similar regardless of time or place, and it is therefore completely unreasonable to suggest that ethically people were stronger during a certain time period or in a specific country.

Stepping aside from ethical failure, let’s discuss the moral values themselves. Why is their set of values better than another set? This question actually is a false question, because there is no answer that can remain true for any period of time. The “No free lunch” theorem proves the fact that no one set of values can benefit most individuals in any situation. Because of the infinite number of variables, and the multitude of individuals that can be exposed to the infinite variables, no one situation can ever be best for all of the individuals taking part. Logically, a moral standard as exclusive as the Christian moral standard can never even think of being the best standard in any situation. Following that, a moral standard that is a broader and more objective evaluation of humanity that allows for the highest degree of freedom in individuals is unequivocally a better model for an entire society of different individuals.

Even if the moral standards were feasibly beneficial to society, it’d be a rather frightening situation. Many of the values that it’s followers claim to be positive are in actuality weakens society to a high degree. Chivalry is a perfect example of a moral standard that absolutely masquerades itself as a “good” value while in truth is a piece of an oppression structure. And people love to use it against modern society, because it carries a false emotional appeal of respect and appreciation. But in reality it is a standard that allows for a sexist structure to remain in place, as holistically chivalric methods treat women as a less capable being than men. It carries such a reputation of a strong value, but it simply a faade for a morally corrupt system of oppression.

Exactly when did such a “strong society” exist because of its moral values? Surely it is outrageous to suggest that society was morally superior to today’s standards prior to the 1850’s, when slavery was still fully legal and approved by societies members. And it must be equally absurd to claim anytime before the 1920’s when women could not even vote and were oppressed much further than that. And nonwhites still couldn’t vote or even enter a white establishment. Further than that, anytime before 1964 doesn’t make sense either, because at that time the civil rights act was passed and offered some protect to nonwhites and women minorities. An unequal society could have never been a morally strong society, and the moral values claiming to strength the society were often used to promote oppression of women and nonwhites at all stages of history.

As oppressive as society was, people still push the idea that moral values are somehow eroding and society is weakening. That’s absolutely shocking and dangerous to modern society, that people are so wrapped up in their emotional yearning for a fantasy past that they are willing to ignore the entire history of the earth and its people. Society isn’t weakening; it’s growing stronger! Its people are finally overcoming extreme oppression that has been upheld by the moral standards that in the past was claimed to be necessary for a stable society.

Attachment to moral beliefs that have historically been vessels of extreme oppression and hate just isn’t rational. Craving a perfectly structured society by these moral values doesn’t strengthen society at all; it does the exact opposite, because it requires oppression of individuals different than yourself. A societal structure that upholds oppression as a necessary part of its moral system is not a moral society, nor is it a strong society, and it cannot remain a society, because against all odds, the minorities that are being oppressed will slowly break down the unjust social and moral structures that have held power and equality above them.

Equality and freedom for all individuals is necessary for a morally strong society, not an oppressive religious or emotional moral standard for society that never has worked and never will work.