re: Mike Richards 4:51 p.m. Jan. 5What are you saying? It takes a
Thinking more about losing our moral compass, we can recall lots of cases in the
past where people acted in very immoral ways, native Americans, slavery,
apartheid, etc. But in those times the perpetrators tried to justify their
actions as being special cases of the moral law. These days, the
belief that there is no moral law or absolute morality is becoming prevalent and
that will lead to serious problems. Iran and China both make arguments that
human rights is a Western social construct.Nearer to home, in these
comment sections people will argue one day that morality is relative and there
is no absolute (but the next day they argue that some action or view is evil).
They are beginning to lose their moral compass.I can imagine the
ruckus that would be raised if abolitiionists tried to ban slavery today.
People would wail about the imposition of religion into the political arena.
I think that we lost our moral compass in the 1990's when Bill Clinton gave
MFN status to China despite their dismal human right record.
Mike Richards:I put out some questions about our so-called moral
compass in past generations but I also wanted to add something. You talked
about a time when people helped each other, whatever their political beliefs. I
think this occurs today, at least in my neighborhood. I live in a politically
and ethnic diverse neighborhood and we take care of each other. A neighbor
shoveled my driveway when my wife and I were away at work the other day, people
bring food to those in need and other random acts of kindness dot our
neighborhood every day. There are plenty of good people living in today's
world who have a strong moral compass. I suppose this also existed in
yesteryear as did the problems I pointed out as well. But acts of kindness by
people doing the right things for the right reasons. Our local high school even
raised over 40,000 cans for the food bank, a total unheard of in this generation
or any generations previous. I thought that was an incredible feat. Look
around Mr. Richards and you will see the stuff you claim happened years ago
Gosh make one comment about agreeing with both John Florez and Mike Richards at
the same time and the DNews doesn't put it in. I have made similar
statements in the past and have never been shut out. Being polite and respectful
and being able to find common ground with those we sometimes disagree with (both
Mr. Florez and Mr. Richards who even they disagree with each other from time to
time) and not having a post published I have to ask: when those who usually
disagree find agreement on an issue should this be celebrated? Yes. If we can do
it then why can't our elected leaders? And why is it not promoted by the
"Our moral compass dissolved on Nov 6. Secularism now rules the day in the
US and for the first time we are no longer under God's protection."These are the kind of ungrounded statements that lost Republicans the
election, and continue to fuel the exodus from organized religion. Who wants to
"fellowship" with nattering nabobs of negativism and fear mongers like
Our moral compass dissolved on Nov 6. Secularism now rules the day in the US and
for the first time we are no longer under God's protection.
The Bush tax cuts, passed by "conservative" Republicans who were in
charge of the House/Senate/prez, turned budget surpluses into deficits. Even
better, they set artificial "expiration dates" to hide the true deficit
costs, just like their off-budget gimmicks to hide the wars' costs. Now
that the expiration dates have finally arrived, how are the same Republicans
surprised at the resulting chaos? Republicans increased federal spending every
single year of the Bush presidency...no legitimate claim to fiscal
responsibility at all, just a bunch of Republicans hoping for a public with poor
short term memory. Reps or Dems, both are going to spend us into oblivion -
it's just a choice of whether we want Reps to waste it on military toys and
welfare for rich people, vs. Dems spending it on bloated social programs here at
home. At least with the Dems I get health care and a retirement plan out of it.
Maybe I'm not getting this moral compass argument:Like when did
we have a moral compass? In the 1950's when we segregated schools, had
scores of lynchings and segregated everything from buses to drinking
fountains?Was in the late 1800's when we had children working
in factories, were wiping out the way of life for Native Americans slaughtering
women and children at places like Wounded Knee and Sand Creek?Was in
the early 1800's when Andrew Jackson wanted to relocate all Native
Americans west of the Mississippi River and instances of biological warfare
occurred where small pox infested blankets were traded up and down the Missouri
River wiping out whole Indian nations? Or when we practiced slavery?Was in the late 1700's when women had no political rights, we practiced
slavery and the slave trade and our own third president of the United States was
having an affair with one of his slaves?Was it more recently in the
1980's when scores of corporate raiders nearly caused our economy to
collapse with the Savings and Loan Scandals?Again Mr. Florez, I want
to know when we ever had a moral focus let alone lost our moral focus?
Yesterday, I made a quick trip to my home town in Eastern Utah and
"remembered". I remembered that one set of grandparents were true blue
Democrats and the other set were bright red Republicans. It didn't make
any difference in our community. If somebody was sick, everyone helped. If
someone was hurt, everyone showed up to milk the cows and feed the animals. If
someone was out of work, baskets of food "mysteriously" appeared. No
one complained that they were not as "rich" as the "rich guy"
who lived in town. They all knew that the "rich guy" hired more people
than he needed and kept paying some of those "poor people" long after
they finished being able to work. No one demanded that someone else haul their
water or pay their way. They all worked hard. They all provided for their own
- as best as they could. No one had his hand out. No one expected anyone else
to pay a higher tax rate than they did.A lot has changed since my
boyhood. A lot of people have learned how to sit around and blame somebody else
for their own failures.
Moral Compass? The US, which condones torture? Which encouraged the Death
Penalty? Which even protected WWII war criminals from Japan in exchange for
their information on human experimentation - in US and Allied soldiers?The
US has no claim to any kind of moral leadership.
Hollywood, video gamers and comic book publishers are not going to like you for
telling the truth.
MONEY has become our moral compass. Maybe we need to try to change that.
(We seem to resign ourselves to the growing violence as the "new
normal." )Roland nailed it. Violence is in decline around the
entire world. It clinically called "rosy recollection" when you view
past event more positively than you did when you experienced that time. My point is if we aren't aware of our natural biases and flaws of
logic we are wasting our time and damaging our ability to react appropriately to
the present.People would hoard less weapons and prepare a little
more optimistically if they just realized that the world is getting safer not
more dangerous. There are many reasons, some nobody understand yet
but the fact is that violence is waning. Steven Pinker has a great TED talk
about it and a book called " The Better Angels Of Our Nature" which
documents the violence of human history and shows we have a lot to be thankful
"We have those who contribute to our growing atmosphere of violence today,
be it politicians or special-interest groups that thrive on anger that inflicts
lasting damage to our society. They create fear, hatred, mistrust and conflict
among us."I do think we are losing our moral compass.Many people who believe in a God and consider themselves to be religious have
become purveyors of hate radio, and propaganda TV whose business model is to
create divisiveness and fear. At one time, the "trusted" source of
information was someone like Walter Cronkite. Today the "trusted"
sources have few, if any, journalistic standards. Demonization is the tool
often wielded by the hate/fear mongers who've found a large audience.What is particularly troubling is these "us-vs-them" them themes
are creeping into our houses of worship, rahter than focusing on themes of love,
kindness, charity etc. The leadership at the top is insulated from many local
level issues. Local and mid-level leadership are often co-opted by the same
faulty/divisive thinking and paranoia. While many church-goers look
at the "outside" world as the threat, they are ignorant of the evil that
has co-opted them.
I might accept were it not for the fact that violent crime has decreased
markedly over the last twenty years. It spiked in the seventies and eighties and
began declining in the nineties. Now it is back to where it was in the sixties
before it started climbing. Mass shootings seem to have become more common, and
horrifying as they are, they have not nudged the overall murder rate higher.So society must be doing something right too.