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Americans' views on morals have changed through time

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  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 3, 2013 9:19 p.m.

    Re Copy Cat

    I don't believe it is socially acceptable to mistreat Mormons or white people or other Christians. Fat people? Not really that acceptable either. Many Evengelical Christians believe the earth or universe is 12,000 years old and I have seen ridicule of this belief because there is so much evidence to refute it, but that's about it.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    Pagan, Massachussetts' divorce rate is low because the state's *marriage* rate is low. You can't get divorced if you don't get married. - TheProudDuck

    And yet, Massachusetts was the first state to allow gay marriage in 2004.

    Today, in 2013 you can cite zero adverse effects of gay marriage. Even the article I provided was x5 years after gay marriage was legal in MA.

    Please, keep up.

    x5 years after gay marriage, MA has the lowest divorce rate, since the 1940's.

    Zero adverse effect.

  • Copy Cat Murray, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    cjb
    "It used to be socially unacceptable
    to have premartial sex, but acceptable to
    mistreat people who were a different race.
    Now its just the opposite."

    I disagree. It is no longer socially acceptable to mistreat people of certain colors or certain religions, but it is acceptable to mistreat people of other colors, religions, and size. All we have done is change the protected class.

    Groups that are PC to mistreat:

    Christians
    Especially Mormons
    Fat people
    White people

    And of some of each political party totally demean and mistreat all of differing views from themselves, some even resorting to calling the others racists.

    I don't call that improvement.

  • The Sensible Middle Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    From reading this article, one would think morality was all about sexual customs. Why focus on just sex? In many ways we are better than we used to be. Environmental concern, race relations are two areas where we have improved. Why weren't these mentioned?

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Feb. 2, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    I just need to state for the benefit of anyone reading that Redshirt and I may share the same religious tradition, but our views on theodicy, punishing people, and approaches to science couldn't be further apart. Please don't make the mistake of assuming we all share the same opinions.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 2, 2013 5:20 a.m.

    Morals haven't gotten worse, but they have
    changed. It used to be socially unacceptable
    to have premartial sex, but acceptable to
    mistreat people who were a different race.
    Now its just the opposite.

    In my estimation, overall we are morally better
    Now than yesteryear.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    re: Redshirt

    *Actually we don't know how old the earth is.*

    You stated, in a previous post, the earth is 6000 yrs old. So, which is it?

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    To RedShirt
    "How do you know that the Old Testament is a work of fiction? Were you around at the time of Moses when he wrote Genesis?

    Were you?

    "...What that means is that if you extrapolate the speed of light backwards, and relate that to time, the earth is only about 6,000 years old."

    & I thought just the Earth revolved I mean spun. Can you prove, substantiate, back up this "theory"?

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 1, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    Pagan, Massachussetts' divorce rate is low because the state's *marriage* rate is low. You can't get divorced if you don't get married.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 1, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    I find that sinning is so much more enjoyable when there's at least some moral code to sin against.

    I am entirely serious. Rules are made to be broken, as much as to be kept. Sometimes breaking a rule makes us happier than keeping it. But those are the exceptions. I worry that we're moving into gray, bland Brave New World territory, where we all do just what we like as purely physical, material animals, hardly different from a sponge. We never have to struggle morally; this spares us some pain, but it also robs us of the satisfaction of declaring independence from convention. How can you be a heroic individualist, when the conventional wisdom has become "whatever, man; do what you like"?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" yes, some times God uses earthquakes to clean out areas.

    Remember 3 Nephi? There was 3 days of earthquakes, followed by God announcing which cities were buried, burned, or dropped into the ocean. He declared that they were destroyed because of their wickedness. That sure sounds like a "cleaning up" to me.

    What about Noah? Why was the earth flooded while only a handfull of people were saved?

    Actually we don't know how old the earth is. Do you know how long each of the 7 creation periods lasted? We know that they were called a day to put a label on it, but it was not a 24 hour period.

    Maybe you need to re-read your scriptures.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 11:08 p.m.

    After 5 Years of Legal Gay Marriage, Massachusetts still has the lowest state divorce rate...' - Bruce Wilson - AlterNet - 08/24/09

    Line:
    'Massachusetts retains the national title as the lowest divorce rate state, and the MA divorce rate is about where the US divorce rate was in 1940, prior to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.'

    Source? National Center for Vital statistics.

    See, people who support gay life-long mongamy can support why, they should have it.

    Those against it, rely on faith. Something they cannot prove.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    I am not surprised by the insults from some on worldly side of moral issues, nor am I insulted.

    Think on this, people who choose to reserve sex for their marriage partner do not add any burden to those who do not. My morals have given my children a better start in their lives. I have respected my fellow man by making choices that maximize the chances that we can provide for our children without public assistance. My morals honor my God, the giver of all. My stating my religious views has no power over you, nor does it hurt you in any way. If you feel a little angst about something you are doing, it is not my doing, it is called your conscience, which is a gift from God, not from me.

    On the other hand, those who engage in promiscuous sex spread STDs, often need abortions or have babies out of wedlock. Society pays for the results of reckless sexual habits, in welfare and medicaid for single parent families, in STD/aids research and treatment, in Planned Parenthood services, etc.

    I am completely comfortable with my moral stand.

    The criticism seems pretty shallow.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    People are pretty tolerant of any belief as long as it does not oppose them. I don't beleive God ever allowed slavery humans did. Of course life is not chutes and ladders if righteour rewarded and sinners punished immediatly defeat the purpose of mortality.

    I do beleive in modern revelatin and since God is all knowing he will only do what is best for his children and some circumstances things will be diffrent than others. Peter was told to eat Pork or something forbidden by law of moses. Revelation there. Don't take coffee or tobacco for same reasons.

    People can pretend there is no God thereby pretending there is no sin. But you can't pretend there is no gravity or you are effected by weather and escape the consequenses such as falling off three story building or going out in cold. What will laws against that do?

    You can use the Bible to defend any beleif you want or criticize it. However God does live and he only gives laws and does what is best for his children.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    @RanchHand:

    "They are among the most likely to commit various other sins themselves. Take a good look at those who claim to worship and be religious and see just how many are committing adultery (another sin) or have participated on one or more of the various sins listed in the bible (there are many)."

    You've said before that bigotry is evil. You've just made a incredibly broad blanket statement about those who believe in sexual morality.

    Preach to me some more about your beliefs in tolerance and diversity and how bigotry is evil.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    Morality keeps us from doing things which seemed like good ideas at the time but are really dumb in the long run.

    Business morality, honesty maintain trust in a society. Making tons of mortgages to people who can't pay them back, packaging the loans as securities and selling them to others increased economic prosperity as housing prices went up. It seemed like a great idea, but it was based on dishonesty and the prosperity was a housing bubble. Now millions of people are out of work. There are 50 other ways why it is a bad idea.

    Sexual morality deals with being responsible about procreation. Lots of poverty is created by out of wedlock births. Again there are dozens of ways why it is a bad idea. That is why I support traditional marriage.

    Ignoring human rights creates its own problems. Ignoring cold war dictators, Saddam Hussein, etc. came back to haunt us big time. The term for this is 'blowback', the chickens come home to roost, etc.

    Slavery, there was a reason that the South lost the Civil War, their economy was in an economic dead end based on cheap labor and agriculture.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 31, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    RedShirt
    USS Enterprise, UT
    To "Blue" sometimes it is just their time to go. Sometimes God, has to clean out parts of the earth, so the floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis are sent in to clean things up.

    What that means is that if you extrapolate the speed of light backwards, and relate that to time, the earth is only about 6,000 years old.

    2:58 p.m. Jan. 31, 2013

    ===========

    Oh dear RedShirt,
    I'm afraid you've laid all you cards on the table --

    EarthQuakes are God's way to 'clean things out'?
    We'll never run out of oil, because the earth is creating oil faster than we can possible burn it,
    And now -- that you solidly believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old?

    Aside from your political views to which we disagree,
    it is now quite clear you are also an adimit Science hater/denier as well.

    The more I learn about what you think and believe,
    the further and further we become.

    I'll stick with my beliefs of truth: science, religion, and political.
    I do not need to compromise, force, twist or justify any of them using pseduo-explanations to reconcile them.

    Good evening...

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    Chris B
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Nature has decided that homosexual behavior is not normal, by virtue of the fact people would cease to exist if only homosexual relationships occurred.

    Mother nature has spoken. Sorry.

    -------------------

    I guess older couples marrying are not normal either, by virtue of the fact that people would cease to exist if only couples beyond childrearing years were in relationships.

    Mother nature has spoken. Sorry.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    @chris b
    yet homosexuality exist throughout nature, your right mother nature has spoken but you appear to be deaf.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    I think the authors focus on sex caused them to miss the number one reason that gay marriage has gained so much support. The number one reason is the sheer inability of those that are against gay marriage to develop an argument that is not based purely on lies and half truths, which is also a sin. Such a mistake making it that much more suspect that the author choose such a narrow view on cause and effect.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    @redshirt
    its just their time to go, but sinners get punished. this is why I could never do the religion thing you really have to tie yourself in knots to justify the conflicting beliefs within religion.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    Nature has decided that homosexual behavior is not normal, by virtue of the fact people would cease to exist if only homosexual relationships occurred.

    Mother nature has spoken. Sorry.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    To "Blue" sometimes it is just their time to go. Sometimes God, has to clean out parts of the earth, so the floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis are sent in to clean things up.

    How do you know that the Old Testament is a work of fiction? Were you around at the time of Moses when he wrote Genesis?

    There is a book out there (I forget the name) where they look at recent scientific discoveries and found that the speed of light is slowing down. Now, what does this have to do with anything. What that means is that if you extrapolate the speed of light backwards, and relate that to time, the earth is only about 6,000 years old.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Redshirt: "Bad things happen to good people because the bad people made bad choices. "

    What "bad choices" do the victims of earthquakes, floods and tsunamis make?

    "God is not indifferent. Just look at the old testament. When the people are good, God helps them, when they are evil, he lets them destroy themselves."

    The Old Testament is a work of fiction. Or do you really believe that the world is 6,000 years old, the first homo sapiens were Adam and Eve, and that Noah's flood and ark were real?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    I think the Mormon approach is very good. I dont agree with the Mormons on almost anything related to their doctrine, but their approach to homosexuality seems about right.

    Treat everyone kind, while never accepting what is wrong.

    People who have challenges should be helped. People can overcome those challenges and caving into their challenges is never what is best.

    While I dont agree that sexual relationships need to wait for marriage, I agree they are only acceptable to God between a man and a woman.

    Keep up the good work in this regard Mormons. I'll stand with you on this one issue.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    Sin is the invention of religion. It’s purpose is to offset the defenses that people might have in believing the imaginary story of the religion.

    Before religion there was not sin.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    To "Blue" I feel sad for you.

    Bad things happen to good people because the bad people made bad choices. God will not stop us from making bad choices (Satan wanted this), so when a person makes a bad choice that choice is allowed so that it can stand as a testimony against them at the Judgement day.

    It all depends on what you call good, and the timeframe that you are looking at. If you are only concerned with this life, then go ahead and be jealous of the sinful wealthy people. If you look at this life from an eternal perspective, you will feel sad for those sinners because after this life they will be separated from God.

    God is not indifferent. Just look at the old testament. When the people are good, God helps them, when they are evil, he lets them destroy themselves.

    Miracles are often hard to determine. There are times when you may be involved in a miracle and know it.

    God's commandments are simple, it is only people that make them more complex, like the Scribes and Pharasees.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 31, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    I like our modern changes in morality...
    I enjoy driving into cities and not seeing "sinners" impaled on stakes or left hanging in trees.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    If repubs and conservatives are so moral then why are the southern (protestant) states leading the way in abortion, teen pregnancy, and STDs?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Christian 24-7: "For those of us who are religious, it is simple. Sin is sin. We are not surprised by the negative consequences of sinful actions. It is God's danger signal."

    It's "simple" all right.

    Is simplicity a good thing? You're saying we have no need for an appreciation of the inescapable complexities of life? Everything is just black vs. white for you?

    Why do bad things happen to good people? What was their "sin?" Why did my friend's 4 year old daughter die slowly and painfully from an inoperable brain tumor?

    Why do good things happen to "sinful" people? Why is Hugh Hefner 86 years old, happy and prosperous?

    Are all bad things that happen to people an expression of divine wrath? Are all good things that happen a divine reward?

    Why is your God, historically, so blatantly indifferent to good and evil?

    How do you know which events are due to divine intervention, and which are simply the random occurences that happen naturally in a dynamic, changing world?

    The "simple" approach to life is to believe that diseases are caused by evil spirits.

    I'll take complexity over that kind of "simple" thinking any day.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading an article about the morals and the lack thereof of hedge fund types and co-conspirator banksters...

    Instead...a pithy tome about SEX.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 31, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    higv
    Dietrich, ID
    God does not change his morals sin is still sin

    7:28 a.m. Jan. 31, 2013

    ==========

    Did God change his morals regarding slavery?
    Did God change his morals regarding plural marriage?
    Did God change his morals regarding eating pork, circumsision, shaving, and gentiles being baptized?

    Good grief.

    Why don't some of you ultra-conservatives go back 3,000 years were you belong.
    Hint: The past wasn't as nearly as rosy and morally superior as you might imagine.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Yes, thankfully our ideas about morality evolve with time. We've done some pretty stupid, and cruel, things in the name of morality. Religion, which tries to sell itself as the champion of morality, is much slower to evolve. It takes a while for a 'prophecy' to come through. Plus, the fixation it has with who gets to have sex with whom and for what purpose is becoming a bit, well, disturbing.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    @ Christian 24-7: One problem with your rant - nothing in reality supports it.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Morality is about more than sex.

    Morality is about honesty and personal values, respecting yourself and other people, facing the consequences of your actions and allowing others to do the same - among other things.

    This is a very narrow look at morality.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    And to think - those on their moral high horse about those who "sin",
    would propbably welcome back public stoning for it.

    Is it any wonder they still do the psychological equivalant of it...

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    The thing that has changed the most in these matters is that consequences have been minimized, by science and social programs. Contraception, abortion, and medication have greatly curtailed the unwanted pregnancy and STD consequences from promiscuous sex. Without these natural consequences, Godless people see no reason not to "be merry" to whatever extent they want.

    But what about the emotional consequences? Breaking up can be tough, but it has an added dimension for those who were sexually bonded. People eventually come to trust no one, and bond to no one, to protect them from further emotional hurt. Many women who had abortions in years past, now suffer from horrible emotional distress from that choice.

    Meanwhile, antidepressant use, anxiety disorder, and other mental disorder rates are skyrocketing. Most our mass murderers are detached (detachment disorder) from their fellow men/women. But we won't bother studying the connection between chosen behavior and mental illness. Inventing more drugs makes more money, and frees the immoral from responsibility for their choices.

    For those of us who are religious, it is simple. Sin is sin. We are not surprised by the negative consequences of sinful actions. It is God's danger signal.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Mr. Mattingly starts with a valid point - that moral behav ior has changed over the past 40 years - but he then he finds it necessary to turn this into a political rant.

    "...the number of Americans who took the conservative stance was leveling off at 38 percent, but the percentage of those embracing the liberal, progressive position was up to 60 percent."

    Just one more person claiming that everyone who claims to be politically conservative is mroally clean and those who call themselves liberal have no morals. This is nonsense. Look at the sex scandels involving our public officials. Is there a distinction between the two in that regard?

    "President Barack Obama announced a long-expected change of heart and openly endorsed same-sex marriage." But the president didn't pass any moral judgement on same-sex relationships. I have gays friends at work and elsewhere and they know that I don't condone that aspect of their lives. But they are wonderful people in so many regards that it would be harmful to me if I rejected them for their sexual preferences.

    Whatever happended to "love one another" and "judge not..."? When will we pratice what we preach?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    higv: "God does not change his morals sin is still sin."

    That is demonstrably untrue.

    How many slaves do you own? Do you treat them well?
    What's the going rate for selling a daughter into slavery?
    Ever eaten shrimp?
    Are you wearing more than one type of fabric on your body right now?
    Do you trim your hair? Wear jewelry? Permit women to wear slacks or speak in church?
    How many disrespectful children and "infidels" have you killed?

    More to the point, who made you the arbiter of what does and does not count as "sin" according your imaginary super-being?

    When some preacher bellows that _you_ are the sinner and _he_ is the virtuous messenger of God, why do you get to tell him to go jump in a lake, but we are supposed to believe that _you_ are an expert on morality?

    Using the ghost stories told by Bronze Age mystics as the basis for morality is a terrible way to run a sane and just society.

    Me, I'm grateful that so many people are really terrible at doing what their religions demand from them.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    For any thing to be sacred, it has to have a purpose. Since the most important thing in life is self preservation. mirage is a commitment to the continuance of life. The gay and lesbian are 4% of the population and only 1.5 of the g@l's that find a friend stay friends.
    I'm can;t understand why this is any thing I can be the least concerned about. But it really makes me wonder about our elected.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    @higv;

    Let those who worship your god follow his rules. Leave everyone else alone.

    One funny thing about those who believe that homosexuality is a sin, or premarital sex is a sin, etc. They are among the most likely to commit various other sins themselves. Take a good look at those who claim to worship and be religious and see just how many are committing adultery (another sin) or have participated on one or more of the various sins listed in the bible (there are many).

    Hypocrites are usually the first to scream when their own sins are pointed out and the last to admit they were wrong.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 31, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    God does not change his morals sin is still sin

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    Yes, our view of morality has changed over time. Thank goodness!

    We no longer believe that eating shellfish a sin.

    We no longer believe that wearing two kinds of fabric is a sin.

    We no longer believe that women must be kept silent in church and never give instructions to men.

    We no longer believe that a woman raped within city limits must be killed, but a woman raped in the countryside must be married to her rapist.

    We no longer believe that people whose religious beliefs are different from our own must be killed.

    We no longer believe in owning slaves.

    Those are all contained in the "morality" of the Bible, yet we have wisely abandoned those beliefs.

    21st Century morality is indeed different from the morality contained in the Bible. It's the only reason we're able to function as a society.

    I think it's fair to say that the more a society tests dogma against reality, the healthier it is.