By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ethical Buffoonery--40 Years On

Sixties / Seventies Era Floral Print Wallpaper...Image by Dominic's pics via FlickrIt's worth reading David Brooks'  NY Times column on the latest findings on moral illiteracy in which all ethics comes down to this magnificent, profoundly civilized insight that is the end result of centuries of human struggle: if it feels right, do it.

The column is based on a recent survey of young adults. But not too fast. I know and know of people in their fifties and sixties who practiced the same--what shall I say decorously-- "baloney" back when they were young adults.

Now graying, wrinkled, and looking worn-out in every sense of the term, some of them still believe the same baloney and have not yet figured out what fools and foolishness they have made of themselves and of their lives and are passing on that foolishness to the next generations. The baby boomers and, in some cases, their antecedents even of the World War II generation (not all of that generation were great in spite of the hype) created the moral illiteracy crisis--which can also be aptly called the epidemic of buffoonery, plain and simple. Here is an excerpt from the column in which Brooks, I think, catches this intergenerational reality:

When asked about wrong or evil, they [the young adults surveyed] could generally agree that rape and murder are wrong. But, aside from these extreme cases, moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner. “I don’t really deal with right and wrong that often,” is how one interviewee put it.
. . . .
Smith [the academic researcher] and company found an atmosphere of extreme moral individualism — of relativism and nonjudgmentalism. Again, this doesn’t mean that America’s young people are immoral. Far from it. But, Smith and company emphasize, 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 degradingIn this way, the study says more about adult America than youthful America.

Source link (emphasis added).

Back in the seventies, a young minor begins to thumb through the best-selling and highly misleading Joy of Sex, free-and-groovy love manual left around the house by a dysfunctional parent. The rest is a continuing history of multiplying stupidity--40 years on.

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