8.28.2008

A New Moral Code

New Barna survey on morality. Here's the bottom line analysis from the story:

According to George Barna, who directed the survey, the results reflect a significant shift in American life.

"We are witnessing the development and acceptance of a new moral code in America," said the researcher and author, who has been surveying national trends in faith and morality for more than a quarter-century. "Mosaics have had little exposure to traditional moral teaching and limited accountability for such behavior. The moral code began to disintegrate when the generation before them - the Baby Busters - pushed the limits that had been challenged by their parents - the Baby Boomers. The result is that without much fanfare or visible leadership, the U.S. has created a moral system based on convenience, feelings, and selfishness.

"The consistent deterioration of the Bible as the source of moral truth has led to a nation where people have become independent judges of right and wrong, basing their choices on feelings and circumstances. It is not likely that America will return to a more traditional moral code until the nation experiences significant pain from its moral choices."

Indeed. Who can deny that we live in a society with a "moral system based on convenience, feelings, and selfishness?" The separation of sex from procreation is certainly a shining example of this new "morality." Is this a perversion of the "inalienable right" to the "pursuit of happiness?" Or, is it a natural outcome of believing in such "rights?" The "pursuit of happiness" had a somewhat different meaning to the people who signed the Declaration of Independence than the meaning people take from it today.

2 comments:

Thomas said...

The "pursuit of happiness" had a somewhat different meaning to the people who signed the Declaration of Independence than the meaning people take from it today.

Erich, would you mind expanding on this a bit? How did the signers understand "pursuit of happiness" differently than the average American does today? It may be argued that Americans, then and now, want to live a happy life, provide for our children a life that we did not have, want to be left alone and not be infringed on by others, prosper and be happy in whatever legal way makes us happy. Wasn't "happiness" as subjective in the 18th century as it is today? Or am I missing the point?

Thanks! We are all indebted to your tireless and thorough confession of procreative truth.

In Christ,
Thomas

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

Hi Thomas,

No, the "pursuit of happiness" was not as subjective in the 18th century as it is today. Its meaning was not anywhere near the hedonism of today. Here's a good article that gives the basics of understanding what the meaning of that phrase was in Jefferson's day.