Moral Degradation of Modern society or Moral Evolution?

“I fully subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of all the difference between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important”
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man.

Is it the phase of moral degradation of society?

To even attempt answering this question we have to first arrive at a definition of morality. The first question is are we clear as to what it is? In the study of ethics morality has been defined from two perspectives, personal morality which is what you feel from your conscious as right and social morality which is what the society as a whole feels to be right.

 

While the origin of personal morals are very simple and pure dictated by only one basic dictum that is innate nobility of the human soul. A person may be a criminal but he will always know from deep with that he is wrong unless he is a psycho. Social morals however are not so, they evolved for the singular reason that is to control man, to tame him so as to allow sustenance of society. In its essence it too is noble, for society too is a need of humanity. We wouldn’t have evolved to this juncture without this structured organisation called society. If I am sitting here and typing this, it is because someone else is cooking for me. Not everybody can be thinker and scientist, but they all in their own ways help in sustenance of the society and evolution of mankind as a whole. It is however difficult to conclude from here that social morality is right in all its perspectives. The sad part of the society is that it was not formed best logic of will full cooperation and subordination, with reverence to human soul and its spirit. For most part of the history it has been dominated by mystiques and brutes, the purpose of the society was to serve mankind as a whole but it ended up serving a few who had the power and intellect to manipulate the rest.

 

It is for these lacunae in social morality that I consider personal morality as a far more superior guideline to judge whether you are right or wrong. There are many such arbitration in the social code of morality that has no logical support to its stance except some vague religious dictums or traditions that a society has been following from time immemorial. This article Honour Killings….the Ultimate Price Women pay for the False Male Ego is an apt example of how unjust and harsh these codes of socio-religious morality can become.

 

Of the many such debatable issues of conflicting personal and social morality I would like to discuss here the issue of sexual morality. The sexual liberation of the modern times has been largely viewed as a serious moral degradation of the society at large. On the issue of sexuality and our sexual needs, first question is whether it is our need or of the society. I believe that all of us would agree that we have sex not just to produce kids, to refurbish the human resource. We have it because we need it, nature made us so. I have a deep reverence for nature, for I believe that any need that nature instilled in us has a purpose and is innately good. The society in its primitive from had put in a lot of restriction on sex. The first reason was If sexuality is liberated it would have killed the institution of marriage and therefore the society. Models of these societies were all very authoritarian/ tyrannical where men were expected to have a very high quotient of obedience. As we evolved we slowly moved on into more democratic and cooperative models of society where the quotient of personal responsibility and maturity and free volition outweighed any kind of socio-religious adherence or obedience. Many a moral codes of conduct however were just borrowed from the old model of society which obviously has no space for these individual freedom and volition

 

The new world order as was dreamt by philosophers and intellectuals is slowly coming to reality. It is for sure that if you refer to the old book of social morals we would find ourselves morally degraded, but if we believe that at least now we are living in a free world free society, then society must start existing for man rather than vice versa. We need to rework on our studies of ethics and come up with better a moral code which cater for needs of a man and gives him/ her freedom to seek what they desire as long as they are not harming the society at large. A society that respects man as an entity, his rationales his intellect and his judgement and the innate goodness in him.

 

There used to be a time when it was moral to burn wives down alive on their husband’s pyre (Sati). Is it today moral? Will all of us call our change in perspective as moral degradation? How can those women think of another man? What is wrong in free sexuality, if it is forced, it is a rape then it is wrong because you are violating the will and independence of another person. Is homosexuality wrong? I think no, not at all because it is volition of individuals, it is what they need what they desire. It is thus I feel that we need to rework on our books of ethics, make our moral codes more humane and Man friendly. And that actually is Moral Evolution.

(Rudra)

12 comments for “Moral Degradation of Modern society or Moral Evolution?

  1. June 16, 2008 at 11:00 am

    hi thr….
    a wonderful and thoughtful blog entry…..i share your views ion tht…
    here’s mine…
    http://www.tales-oflife.blogspot.com

  2. rinzu
    June 16, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    a must read for all the men…!!!
    :)

  3. siddharth ranjan
    June 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Another breathtakingly critical analysis… reasons staring in our face…
    i just wonder how do u manage to write so much!
    Hats off to the wonderful diva :-)

  4. Freesoul
    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    @siddharth

    I guess you didn’t noticed, the author of this article is Rudraksh!

    I add articles with id freesoul!

    There are four contributers for this blog including me.

    And yes article is nice and apt.

  5. June 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    morality….very much related and depended to socio-economic situation of a society…..it varies…evolved with changes of a society

  6. Ruchi Sharma
    July 11, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Now that is a nice read.
    I agree, its evolution, but human need to evolve allot to be called as civilized.

    @Noni
    the people you have commented on doesn’t seem to be of those chores which will agree with your idea of morality.
    They seems to be postmorality people which becomes the cause of change in society and its moral accords.
    From Leonardo da Vinci to Gia, theres allot such people which kept revolutionizing societies. Even india faced many such peoples. The kings of Chandel should be mentioned here.
    Khajuraho Temples are famous for its free and civilized moral expressions.

  7. May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    OK, you say “The new world order ” do you mean somehow the old was disorder? Or this new order is better than the old?

  8. John
    March 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Define what harms a society. Sexual liberation is seen as a degradation partly because people are now focused on pleasing themselves instead of working towards a common good. You put too much faith in the perceived goodness of nature. How can you call someone wrong if they feel that what they do is right or okay, and part of their nature?

  9. A Theist
    May 7, 2011 at 8:16 am

    The New World Order is evil itself. Do a little Internet Research on the NWO and their planned degradation of societal and personal morals. It’s happening already. Wake up, idle philosophers. Traditional morality has a lot of positive features. An overemphasis on freedom to do “whatever” leads to selfishness, narcissism , chaos and confusion. Eventually, people slip BELOW the level of animals. You can see this coming if you open your eyes. What is all around us IS moral degradation – not moral evolution at all. I know this may seem hopelessly old-fashioned, but if you want a good basic guide to morality, try reading the Bible (especially Ten Commandments, Proverbs, Psalms and the entire New Testament). Or the Quran. You’d be surprised at how much common sense can be found in old books and in religion. Want something more exotic? Try Confucius, then. There’s a reason these texts are still around after such a long time. They work – if you let them. (By the way, honor killings are an innovation, not part of Islam. The same holds true for widow-burning and Hinduism).

  10. Anya
    October 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

    homosexuality does lead to moral degradation of societies because it is not what nature formed it is what people’s small and abnormal thinking formed.

  11. roadali
    December 11, 2011 at 1:56 am

    what is acceptable today may be wrong tomorrow and vice versa.4r example slavery was accepted long ago but is wrong today.just because someones morals and beliefs are different 4rm yours dosent mean they are inferior.morality socially or individually never degrades it only changes.4r example people should not watch porn because it is immoral but why is it so ?it is so because it causes more people 2 watch it.

  12. December 29, 2011 at 8:34 am

    We have numerous examples about nations that rose to power in the past then were enihilated by their own waywardness and moral degration eg nation of Loot,
    West is experiencing same thing

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