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Switch to Forum Live View Are past generations more moral than the next?
5 years ago  ::  Aug 11, 2009 - 3:49PM #11
Suezlu
Posts: 119

When you look at past generations around the world (ancient Greece to modern today), I really think children and young adults have the same common elements.  The surroundings and circumstances are different. That is all.  Moral, hmmmm well, there are some grandmother's who were the "have to get married" types.  There are more than we know because that keep that a secret.  Hush, hush in certain eras where now, we are doing stats on the overall population of pregnant teens.  Rude, that isn't new.  Luxury, each generation seems to be getting more and more.  That can change at any given time.  Comes and goes with the economy, I believe.  I have been an advocate of this generation being rude and disrespectful and when you actually look back, other generations were too.  So is this new, nope.  Same with differences would be my two cents.  Of course when someone pops off to me, it takes everything not to retaliate.  LOL!

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 4:47PM #12
ManzanitaBear
Posts: 946

I think the trouble here is that people are defining "moral" as "following the rules."  And the rules have been changing from generation to generation.  Naturally, that makes older people think younger people are less moral--because the younger people are following somewhat different rules.  How you dress, how you dance, how gender roles are defined, when and with who it's permissible to have sex, what kind of substance use (ie smoking or drinking) is socially acceptable--all that changes with the times.  But that's not a question of basic morality.


One generation is not really better or worse than another about basic morality--treat others right, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  They may be better or worse about particular aspects of it.  Past generations tended to maintain stronger family ties and be more helpful to their neighbors, especially in rural areas, small towns, and close knit urban neighborhoods.  Later generations are much more isolated and disconnected in that respect--but people born in the second half of the twentieth century and later have gotten progressively better than their predecessors about accepting people of different races, religions, and sexual orientations and treating them with basic human respect.  Of course, those are sweeping generalizations, not necessarily true of individuals--but the zeitgeist has moved in that direction.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 10:23PM #13
indep
Posts: 324

I agree , thats well stated ManzanitaBear.   Its hard to generalise with any accuracy tho.  It also depends what one means by 'moral' and who's definition of moral we are following.


One thing I do object to tho is the influence of consumerism and advertising on people generally and on the young.   I think North American kids see more stuff advertised, want more stuff, and depend on it.  I don't know if this is a moral issue as such or not, but I don't think its good for character development when having clothes, ipods, videos, nikes and whatever is so important to youth.  Or maybe its just human nature?

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 11:05PM #14
ManzanitaBear
Posts: 946

Aug 25, 2009 -- 10:23PM, indep wrote:


One thing I do object to tho is the influence of consumerism and advertising on people generally and on the young.   I think North American kids see more stuff advertised, want more stuff, and depend on it.  I don't know if this is a moral issue as such or not, but I don't think its good for character development when having clothes, ipods, videos, nikes and whatever is so important to youth.  Or maybe its just human nature?




What's important to everyone, at any age and in any era, is being loved and accepted.  Marketers have figured out how to tie acceptance to products.  For kids, that translates to other kids picking on them if they don't wear the right clothes, have the right toys, or like the right things.  Adults aren't immune, either.  If they were, no one would care whether they drove a Lexus or a Honda.  Gucci or Prada wouldn't carry any weight.


Take away the influence of advertising, and there will probably still be such a thing as status symbols, but probably not such crass materialism.  If nobody placed any importance on brand names, what people did for the sake of being accepted by their peers would be very different. But the drive for acceptance would still be there.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 5:37PM #15
Iwantamotto
Posts: 8,075

I don't think it's about morality at all.  I catch myself, even at age 31, having issues with the next generations ... but I'm open-minded enough to know they have quite a few good points.  I talk to enough teenagers on other forums to realize that many do want the world to be a better place.


But like I said, it's not about morality.  Each generation doesn't like being shown up by the next one.  My mother's generation was bent on believing their parents' generation was rigid and bigotted.  I grew up under the impression that Baby Boomers were hypocritical, arrogant whiners. ;)  Each generation has its issues, which no one wants to admit.  They don't like thinking that someone can be better than them ... at certain things.


I like to gripe about America's work ethic (I can probably count on two hands people I honestly respect).  However, this isn't a generational thing.  The concept that people should get money they don't deserve cuts across generation, socio-economic status, religion (or lack thereof), etc.  I think what is considered a generational (or racial, or economic) problem is actually just a general historical/cultural problem.

Knock and the door shall open.  It's not my fault if you don't like the decor.
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2009 - 7:17PM #16
johnmuirelcid
Posts: 13

Thought the video was fun enough, and had some points of interest. 


       Great thread, and think the issue of identifying dimensions of problems, racism or socioeconomic, for example, helps lay out some broader territory.  On morality, someone has mentioned "crass materialism". 


       A little historical retrospective might help provide some bases of interest.  Moses brought down at least 10 Commandments, dealing with issues from God to bearing false witness to coveting your neighbor's wife.  Jesus appeared, and said he came not to judge, but to save.  He critiqued all kinds of hypocrisy by the scribes.  By the time of the Nicene Creed, Christian compassion wasn't as important as doctrine.    


       Shortly before the 1920's, the social gospel began with the likes of Rauschenbusch, observing that all the technological developments were benefiting some portion of the society, but leaving many workers and unemployed in difficult straits.  The women exploring new possibilities and having fun in the 1920's would be part of a privileged group, probably including some middle class.  Jane Addams and Jacob Riis had done some good work to identify people who were in trouble, by contrast.


        In weighing the range of issues, my background involved some privileges, influences growing up of awareness of bad behavior by corporations.  I noted in the case of the Nicaraguan contras that violence was a covert US strategy in its foreign policy. 


        Ultimately, evaluating others is most important in terms of understanding any of our own options, and in understanding how the world really works.  I once met a Dutch woman who said she know longer respected environmentalists because they were an extremely small part of the population.  Well, I could explain my understandings, but clearly, she is perceiving things based on her own psychological processes derived from her experiences. 


       Modern education and science give us the ability to evaluate and make choices.  Jesus marked the beginning of a powerful process.  His wonders and exhortations for love have been deemphasized, and yielded in societal development following the magnificence of Newton's formulations about the physical universe, the way the corporate organization could organize investment, and the way economic theory could justify that use of financial power. 


       Robert Owen was a resourceful entrepreneur who surprisingly succeeded in aristocratic England from humble origins.  By contrast to most, he valued the workers.  His efforts, those of striking workers, and others lead some struggling workers at Rochdale to found a successful format of cooperative businesses.  


       Do workers deserve to be treated badly and do executives and investors deserve to profit so much, and at the mistreatment of workers?  Do women deserve to be forbidden to smoke or party like flappers?  In either case, what are the consequences?  Keynes said, such difficulties are probably necessary a little bit longer, in the case of the former.  A woman like Gloria Steinem was able to emerge following Betty Friedan and the founding of NOW.  Ms. Steinem did investigative journalism at Playboy and started Ms. magazine.  Recently, she married a South African in a Native American ceremony.  I'd say the possibilities of female freedom offered some important benefits, in that case.  In the other case, executives and investors have proven highly self-absorbed in their investment strategies, and have acted by prioritizing theory and practice that promises to augment their finances.  In the process, they wreak havoc over the lives of workers, shifting factories to China, for example, not even because of unprofitability, but to multiply their profits.  In the meantime they have influenced politicians to minimize their tax obligations.  Campaigns have been waged against labor unions.  What are the consequences?  Witness the recent debacle of the Subprime Derivatives, social inequalities worldwide and here, and environmental problems disregarded by corporate executives bent on high salaries and resisting technology changes.


         I think, then, that morality has detailed dimensions.  The 10 Commandments yielded to Jesus Commandments related to salvation of a positive nature to "love."  Simple loving yielded to Power and doctrine, and doctrine has yielded in one part to political democracy.  In another part, it has become an economic doctrine that incorporated scientific phraseology, and then used psychological perspectives to further shift mores, expectations, and morals. 


         Given the extremes, then of human rights violations and interpersonal violence that can be correlated with socioeconomic behavior, causes and effects can be recognized, and choices along with them.  Rousseau wrote of the Origins of Inequalities, and even Adam Smith was first a moral philosopher.  Malthus, Sismondi, and Hobson are some other early economists who actively paid attention to social concerns in their ideas by the time Karl Marx was making his own ideas known. 


        Efforts in literary arts resulted in the Beatniks, and in religion in the likes of Alan Watts and his thoughtful explorations of Eastern religion and psychotherapy.  An earlier comment mentioned the hippy phenomena.


        I would think that considering the role of economic and religious philosophies and attitudes would be an important part of a moral evaluation.  We are at a point where big businesses and investors have used advertising to create a prevalent corporate consumer culture that accepts rapacious wealth and reckless consumerism.   The manipulations of advertising are based on sound psychological principles that people have psychological needs.  Through techniques and movements like Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication, and spiritual practices which concentrate on similarly essential elements of human living and relationships, understanding different levels of destructive and healthy behaviors from flappers to investors is possible, is my thinking at this point. 


         


       

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2009 - 7:47AM #17
oddjoe
Posts: 811

Aug 7, 2009 -- 8:12PM, Wendyness wrote:


I think it comes down to selfishness and narcissism.  You can look at each generation and ask what is their legacy?  What is the legacy of this generation?  We have scientifically evolved, but have our hearts?  




A report from science daily supports a notion that humans are tending to evolve toward kindness.


www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/09...

Nonself-defensive competition against others (fighting against others) is the root of human evil.
Let's try to overcome humanity's drive to reproduce on this finite planet.
Anarchism + perfect understanding and compassion within the citizenry = utopian socialism.
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2009 - 8:34AM #18
dsfin
Posts: 794

When I see the Salvation Army collecting money today for the poor, I think we have come a long ways from the days of slavery.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2009 - 2:07PM #19
Godgirl
Posts: 973

Very Interesting thread i totaly enjoyed it. Intresting because i too had the opinon that people in past generations were more moral. At least when it comes to sex they probably were...or it appeared that way. But when it comes to race, religious tolarance, and homosexuality (though come on guys we have a long way to go with this one), we are more moral and tolarant. But anyone can see that sexualy we have gone to hell with our current generation. I was just watching the music video "dirty" by Christina agulara OMG (not that i havent seen that video before.) On the other hand maybe our intrest in sex is a good thing because now women are not bound by their husbands to have to have sex whenever the husband wants no ifs ands or buts. So maybe sex now more than before is a choice rather than "i have to because my husband wants it." On the other hand maybe its still that way in marriage i dont know. Having a child out of wedlock the child was treated poorly back in the day (probably) because there was this stigma that the child was born out of wedlock instead of comming from the union of a husband and wife. Now a days if a child is born out of wedlock he or she is probably loved more being born in these times cause there isnt so much of the shame. So it appears that the past generation was more moral but im not realy sure.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 21, 2009 - 11:15AM #20
Ageo
Posts: 453

Dec 9, 2009 -- 2:07PM, Godgirl wrote:


Very Interesting thread i totaly enjoyed it. Intresting because i too had the opinon that people in past generations were more moral. At least when it comes to sex they probably were...or it appeared that way. But when it comes to race, religious tolarance, and homosexuality (though come on guys we have a long way to go with this one), we are more moral and tolarant. But anyone can see that sexualy we have gone to hell with our current generation. I was just watching the music video "dirty" by Christina agulara OMG (not that i havent seen that video before.) On the other hand maybe our intrest in sex is a good thing because now women are not bound by their husbands to have to have sex whenever the husband wants no ifs ands or buts. So maybe sex now more than before is a choice rather than "i have to because my husband wants it." On the other hand maybe its still that way in marriage i dont know. Having a child out of wedlock the child was treated poorly back in the day (probably) because there was this stigma that the child was born out of wedlock instead of comming from the union of a husband and wife. Now a days if a child is born out of wedlock he or she is probably loved more being born in these times cause there isnt so much of the shame. So it appears that the past generation was more moral but im not realy sure.




Lustful people hurt their children.  Their children go on to hurt others.  A small fire then becomes an inferno.


If given a choice of 2 parents, or a mom, which would you prefer for your own well being, and that of others?


Those flaunting their bodies on TV, can be judged as whores.  What about others in life that whore themselves for the monetary needs of a company, or group?  If the company enslaves people in China that work for food, where is the merit of one over another?  People would not whore themselves, if others did not pay, and watch.  Who amongst us is forced to watch music videos, and those that overvalue their shell, that will age and wither?  When people stop exalting the shallow, they may find the value in the deep.


One can walk by the whores on the street, and say "what's wrong with society?  Those damned whores are everywhere."


One may find more benefit with consideration.  What great sorrow there must be for those that pay money to a woman, for a few lustful minutes of touching without love?  Will those men find love?  Have they known love?  They are hurting their sisters, and with forbearance they ignore the hurt they cause to their sisters, and those around them.  Truly this world needs love.  Truly the children are hurting.  How empty are the hearts of those that cause such suffering?

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