BRYCE ON MORALITY
– The observation of consequences (reward and punishment) is an important part of learning moral values.
This is Part 5 in my series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY.”
In Part 4 we discussed how Morality is taught and learned. Here, in Part 5, consider the other institutions affecting morality.
Let us also consider the other institutions affecting morality:
FAMILY – it is the inherent duty of parents to teach the lessons of right and wrong to their offspring, either at the dinner table or by being a role model. However, due to the economic pressures of today, more and more are taking a “hands off” approach for teaching morality to their children, thereby defaulting the responsibility to others. Many simply do not grasp the significance of it.
SCHOOLS – still have a role to play, but mostly on issues relating to cheating, plagiarism, and general conduct (fighting, tardiness, absenteeism). Formal training on morality is certainly not in the mix. Consider this, reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag is now considered optional in many schools.
COMPANIES – establish codes of conduct, but somehow immoral practices still surface in the cutthroat world of business. Too often, companies fail to practice what they preach.
NONPROFITS – youth sports programs and scouting were originally designed to teach such things as citizenship and “fair play.” To illustrate, consider their Oaths, Laws, and Pledges:
Boy Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Boy Scout Law
A Scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,
Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
Brave, Clean, Reverent.
Little League Pledge
I trust in God
I love my country
And will respect its laws
I will play fair
And strive to win
But win or lose
I will always do my best.
Despite their good intentions, such organizations are experiencing a decline in membership. For example:
“The organization, long an icon of wholesomeness in a simpler America, has seen its membership plunge by 42 percent since its peak year of 1973, when there were 4.8 million scouts. In the last decade alone, membership has dropped by more than 16 percent, to 2.8 million.”
– New York Times
“Boy Scouts Seek a Way to Rebuild Ranks”
July 30, 2010
“As for Little League, which covers kids aged 4 to 18, about two million kids played in the U.S. last year, compared to about 2.5 million in 1996—an overall decline of 25%.”
– Wall Street Journal
“Has Baseball’s Moment Passed?”
March 31, 2011
Fraternal organizations, who also claim to promote morality, and organized religion are also in decline. Consider the Freemasons and their allied bodies, such as the Shrine, Grotto, Eastern Star, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, et al. Membership in the Masons is in serious decline. So much so, Lodges and chapters of the various allied bodies are shrinking and closing their doors. According to the Masonic Service Association, membership in the Masons (in the United States) has dropped 68% since its high in 1959.
Attendance at church services has also dropped over the last fifty years, but appears to have stabilized, particularly as the Baby Boomers grow older. In December 2012, Gallup reported New England and the Northwest are now considered the most non-religious states in the country (with the South being the most religious). It’s hard to believe New England, the birthplace of many of our founding fathers, has retreated on religion.
Is the decline of fraternal and religious institutions indicative they are not keeping up with the times or are the attitudes of the public changing in terms of participating in such perceived moralistic organizations? Probably both. Are we really ashamed of participating in such organizations or are we being conditioned to think this way? I suspect the latter.
In the absence of everything else, our youth learn morality and religion from the media as delivered through technology. If morality and religion is lampooned, youth will take note and likely follow suit. It is rather sad when Hollywood has more sway in influencing children than their own parents.
SOME BASIC MORAL RULES
Let’s try to define some basic moral values that all can accept. This should be done as a group discussion, be it at the dinner table or office. Here are some commonly referenced values:
* Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
* Respect elders and those in superior position.
* Adhere to the laws, rules and regulations of the land.
* Help, aid, and assist all persons less fortunate, as I am able to.
* Not wrong, cheat or defraud another.
* Respect the property of others.
* Work faithfully, professionally, and industriously for those employing my services.
* Respect the dignity of the human spirit and treat people equitably.
NEXT TIME: In Part 6, we will consider some Moral problems as an exercise.
Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
NEXT UP: STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 6 OF 8) – Solving problems of Morality (an exercise).
LAST TIME: STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 4 OF 8) – The observation of consequences (reward and punishment) is an important part of learning moral values.
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