BRYCE ON MORALITY
– “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.”
Today I begin a series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY,” which discusses morality in American culture, the properties of morality, and how to teach it in a uniform manner. “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.” Herein we will tackle the subject head-on.
Let me preface my remarks by stating unequivocally, this is not about religion. I am not a member of the clergy, nor am I here to preach dogma. I am certainly not interested in your particular faith, if you have one. Religion is your business, not mine. I will make comments pertaining to organized religion as an institution but my intention is to comment on the need for promoting fundamental morality in our society. By understanding the properties of morality, it will enable us to support and perpetuate it.
Laced throughout this text are exercises designed to promote discussion. We cannot solve a problem unless we truly understand it. As such, the discussion points contained herein are intended to stimulate thought.
This book is a companion to a training seminar of the same name as conducted by the author.
I would like to thank the many people who took the time to review a preliminary copy of the manuscript and offer suggestions. Although they generally believed morality is a lost cause in this country, they encouraged me to persevere and light a torch to help show the way. The path to a moralistic society is a long and arduous one, requiring tenacity and conviction. In my office, is a framed quotation from President Calvin Coolidge which has inspired me for years:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
Let us now “Press On.”
THE STATE OF MORALITY
In May of each year, a Gallup poll is conducted regarding the country’s “Values and Beliefs,” the most recent being conducted in 2012.
Two questions are asked:
How would you rate the overall state of moral values in this country today?
20% – Excellent/Good
36% – Only Fair
43% – Poor
Right now, is the state of moral values in this country getting better or worse?
19% – Getting Better
05% – Remain the Same
73% – Getting Worse
The poll paints a rather bleak picture of the values of our country and does not offer much hope for the future. One can only ask, why this is occurring? Answers vary:
People have become self absorbed (“Looking Out for #1”, “Dog-Eat-Dog World”)
Permissive society (too tolerant).
Affluence – people believe they are above morality.
Cavalier attitudes about sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence.
Parents have abdicated their responsibilities.
Organized religion is in retreat.
Schools are not doing their jobs.
Business and Government are perceived as corrupt.
We’ve become too tolerant of abuses and too ready to forgive & forget.
Hollywood is corrupt and disseminating immoral messages under the guise of entertainment.
Morality is everywhere. I know of no other word that has so much to do with the way we live and act. It represents a pattern of living, setting standards or drawing a line in the sand for which you will not cross. Morality is wherever the human animal dwells, be it in schools, offices, or other institutions, for example:
The Israel Defense Forces teach morality for armed combat situations. They believe a new type of warfare has arisen whereby soldiers need to be able to identify combatants and deal with them accordingly, not to mention the treatment of prisoners as well.
The Government of New Zealand teaches morality to police officers. The aim is to equip police with “a commitment to goodness,” to “recognize evil” and “confront it more effectively”.
The real purpose of such programs is to devise a standard approach resulting in uniform morality, which is also the intention of this paper.
What one family teaches their offspring, may be different than the next. What one boss teaches his subordinates, may be different than the next. What one church or organization teaches their congregation, may be different than the next. Organized religion generally teaches uniform lessons of morality within their faith, but not everyone goes to church anymore. In fact, church attendance has declined noticeably.
To America’s founding fathers, religion and morality were recognized as a requirement for good government and citizenship. Hence the first Congress in 1787 passed the Northwest Ordinance (CLICK for more) which defined how America would expand and admit states from that area (land surrounding the Great Lakes). An important part of the legislation was Article 3 which states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
Through Article 3, our founding fathers foresaw the necessity of teaching knowledge, religion, and morality in a uniform manner, and for many years the schools did so. Even well into the 20th century, public schools were used to provide religious instruction albeit it was not compulsory and conducted after normal school hours. Aside from this, schools used to teach general religious concepts, such as one divine entity, and moralistic concepts of right and wrong. This was all abandoned in public schools over the last fifty years.
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 1
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 2
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 3
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 4
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 5
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 6
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 7
- Stand Up For Morality: Part 8
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.