Sunday, September 18, 2011

We Are Failing To Give Our Young People A Moral Compass or Vocabulary

OR THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG, ALL TRUTH IS RELATIVE; NON-JUDGMENTALISM EXALTED TO A NEW RELIGION...AND THE BEST ONE, ALL RELIGIONS ARE EQUAL AND LEAD TO THE SAME GOD....which makes learning right from wrong, discernment and judgment very difficult for kids indeed.

This piece is by Peter Wehner on David Brooks recent column is well worth a read. It's not news, but bears repeating. We have lost our moral bearings, unless it's about trans-fats or man-made global warming which is fair game. But the larger moral issues are buried and left neglected by parents, public schools and the main stream media. Seeking only happiness and guidance from feelings are the new compasses. Teaching children morality, right from wrong at home, Sunday school, church and faith-based community is neglected for more fun pursuits. Most teenagers today don't even know what a moral dilemma is, let alone how to talk about it. And, oh brother, how our families, communities and society will come to regret it, not just today but increasingly in the future. Here's the intro, but feel free to read the whole thing:

EARLIER THIS WEEK, David Brooks wrote a fascinating column on young people’s moral lives, basing it on hundreds of in-depth interviews with young adults across America conducted by the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith and his team.

The results, according to Brooks, were “depressing” — not so much because of how they lived but because of “how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.” Asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life, what we find is “young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.” What Smith and his team found is an atmosphere of “extreme moral individualism — of relativism and nonjudgmentalism.” The reason, in part, is because they have not been given the resources — by schools, institutions and families — to “cultivate their moral intuitions, to think more broadly about moral obligations, to check behaviors that may be degrading.”

This is part of a generations-long phenomenon. In his 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom​ wrote, “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” And the university, Bloom argued, is unwilling to offer a distinctive visage to young people. The guiding philosophy of the academy is there are no first principles, no coherent ways to interpret the world in which we live.

Read the rest.


fraydna52 said...

When we were young newlyweds in the early 1970s, we attended a little Methodist church.

We were not members but were immediately recruited to take on the youth group. None of the parents ever met us or knew anything about us, yet they trusted us to teach their kids and to take them on excursions on weekends!

I distinctly remember that the teaching materials were based on situational ethics. (It reminded me of my philosophy class in college a couple of years earlier.)

I agree that it is "a generations-long phenomenon".

William said...

Moral relativity brings to mind those tea partiers cheering Rick Perry's execution record, and those yelling out their approval at the suggestion that society should let an uninsured accident victim die.

The culture of life on display.

(The same people who support war and torture).