David Brooks (of the NYTimes) has taken to the net today to bemoan the loss of morals in “young people”.
He’s read a study in which the young people say horrifying things to the interviewers like:
“It’s personal,” the respondents typically said. “It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?”
“I mean, I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways, so I couldn’t speak on behalf of anyone else as to what’s right and wrong.”
Yeah, I know, I’m shocked.
He goes on to claim that the results say,
…they have not been given the resources — by schools, institutions and families — to cultivate their moral intuitions, to think more broadly about moral obligations, to check behaviors that may be degrading.
Gasp! Degrading behaviors! Cats and Dogs living together, mass hysteria!
A shared religion defined rules and practices. Cultures structured people’s imaginations and imposed moral disciplines. But now more people are led to assume that the free-floating individual is the essential moral unit. Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.
I don’t know about you, but I’m proud that kids that age aren’t blindly and forcefully shoving their morals down the throat of anyone within stuffing range. I hope they’ll grow into adults that hold true the insane idea that everyone has their own moral standards, carefully considered through their experience and acquired knowledge.