American Concept of Morality and Its Problems
Some scholars claim that “American society is in a dire moral state, and there is urgent need to renewal, revival, and recommitment .” Are these scholars right with their claims? Is American culture lacking morals? The essay about morality aims to discover the concept of morality in American culture and whether it has its pros and cons.
So the battle between right and wrong exist across cultures and is not unique to any one group of people. American society, like many others, is built on individuals’ perceptions of right versus wrong, good versus bad, darkness versus light. Morals are a set of beliefs and ideals based on human emotions that can vary from person to person and group to group. In American society, the concept of right and wrong are taught from the start of infancy. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs or lack thereof, the main idea of right and wrong is not only taught and accepted but is also used in order to judge others. Accepting the idea that there may be more than one right path requires the acceptance that our ability to control things is very limited. Accepting the idea of only one right path but many wrong paths, gives hope that we can control our destinies and provides structure that some need to get through life. Culture plays a huge role in an individual’s perception of right and wrong. It is the cultural and other environmental cues that shape the morality of a person.
American morality has always found itself deeply rooted in religious beliefs and values, frequently looking to the Christian bible. The old American morals were based on family, usually between a man and wife, education, and religion. Those ideals like most things have become outdated to some degree and need amending. Also, the fact that not everyone adopts the same morals and ethics is a fact that seems to slip the mind of many of those who choose to force their ideals upon others, often using religious text to advance their own personal agendas. The American society is indeed in need of a moral cleansing and renewal as they have become cold and uncompassionate. What is supposed to be a place that embodies freedom has become a country of intolerance and ignorance. A clear example of such is the treatment of women and their rights for abortion. The state of Alabama has enacted the strictest abortion laws making it illegal to get an abortion unless the mother is undergoing life threatening circumstances. “Women reserving the right to abortions is not only fair, but it was also deemed a fundamental right. For any entity to attempt to remove said rights would be an act against the independence of women. Regardless of the stance one a person in favor of abortion or not, the irrefutable fact remains that women should reserve that right because only she can say what should or shouldn’t be done to her body”. “Tocqueville said that religion secures morality, and morality secures freedom. But in recent decades, American religion has concerned itself less and less with morality. By ceding its moral footing, it has grown weaker. And its enemies have grown bolder and more numerous. They have managed to transform the concept of separation of church and state to enforce the secularization of public life—not as a protection of religion but as a legal weapon against it”. For a country to preach kindness within the church that it so proudly looks to for ethical guidance, the reality seems to be that to be aggressively self-interested and anchored with specific biblical text is to be acting as an American with “reasonable morals”. Americans desperately hold on to their religious values so tightly that they become a hindrance when attempting to make decisions that are meant to affect the entire population. It is not possible to successfully nor realistically govern a mixed ethnic group of people when it is based in religion. The morality of combining church and state is unethical. To do so would be to exclude much of the population whose religion dose not align with the practices of the governing body. A governing body should have a moral basis. Yes. But not one based in superstition. To take and learn from the teachings of a certain religion and grow off of them is one thing but to adopts them as is should not be the foundations of a multiethnic society especially when said religion plays such a large role in it. “The notion that religion is a precondition for morality is widespread and deeply ingrained. More than half of Americans share Laura Schlessinger’s belief that morality is impossible without belief in God”. To be moral is to be good not religious. There is nothing that states that one should adopt a belief in a higher power in order to govern one’s self in a lawful and “good” way.
The American moral compass has failed but has not yet found a clear and present replacement. Although the new generation is showing a great amount of acceptance in terms of gender identity, race, and religion. Nonconformity is becoming the new norm. New morals in American society include compliance on sexual norms, gender roles and definitions, racism, and multiculturalist acceptance. Whereas it was once expected for a person to get married in order to have children and for women to be more or less seen and not heard, it is no longer expected for children to be born with in wedlock. The question of whether or not that is right or wrong is irrelevant because that originates back from a religious stance on the nature of relationships between two people that states that two people should be married before having children. The new American morality is an idea of self-defined expression, such meaning that “if one of these men believes he is a woman that is truth, and Moral. We all must play along. We should allow this man into women’s bathrooms, and anyone who is uncomfortable with this is a bigot also to allow children to choose their gender from their earliest years. It is Immoral to encourage them to conform to sex stereotypes, such as instilling in boys a duty to protect girls” The new American morality has become so focused on having everyone feel included that it has begun excluding and ostracizing those that cane before it. For instance the idea that the man should be the head of the household; it’s not necessarily a wrong standard to uphold and practice for those that should choose this way of life to be criticized and told that this life style further upholds the misogynistic superiority complex of men is not only inappropriate and unwarranted but its also a reach in reasoning as well. As morality changes as time goes on, what was once unacceptable might now be acceptable and what was once bearable could now be unbearable, but regardless of the upswing of a new set of morals and ideas does not deem it acceptable to completely abolish the old.
Last bit not the least, the morality that many Americans have adopted is either one that is unnecessarily rooted in the notion that to be religious is to be good and that to be good is to be moral, and that in itself is have proven to be untrue because many that take the mantle of being religious often times in attempt to “live right” find themselves between religion and humanity, or one that has abolished the old way and have now made there own morality code. The notion that their must be a prerequisite for morality has been long played out. To be moral is to simply think of others before you act and make decisions accordingly. Both religion and morality can be endlessly assembled and reassembled in culturally and historically contingent ways. Like the constellations of the astrologer’s imagination, these assemblages of psychological and behavioral traits and tendencies may be artificial, contingent, and arbitrary, rather than grounded in any stable underlying regularities. Religion is meant to aid in morality not to dictate your every decision. Society puts entirely too much thought in to being good and moral when in fact its quite simple and for that morality is overrated.