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Moral America, where do we go from here?

  1. Mar 7, 2004 #1

    Kerrie

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    In the past few years, it would seem that America is having a tug of war over morals vs. freedom...to give examples:

    gay marriage
    cloning
    stem cell research
    discussion of evolution in schools
    the pledge of allegiance in schools
    abortion
    legalization of marijuana
    prostitution
    topless female statues in government buildings (this one makes me laugh)
    the list goes on...perhaps you can name more

    the real question is, where do we draw the line? is there a happy medium for all? originally america was based on freedom of beliefs, however due to the ever changing pace of society, that borderline of freedom of beliefs has been pushed and continues to move way beyond the perimeters of the church...

    they say that church and state shouldn't be mixed, but some would argue that without some kind of moral code, american society will go downhill (ironically, the capital building in salem oregon is at the corner of Church and State street!)...personally, i don't believe this is true...just look at what has happened recently within the catholic church!

    so what do we base american morality on in order to mandate laws of controversial subjects?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2004 #2
    One of the problems, Kerrie, is that we don't all agree on those being "moral" issues. When in doubt, though, if one group is not directly affected by the behavior of another, there is no question that freedom comes first. I'm sorry that the religious fundamentalists hate living in the present, but that's their look-out, not mine.

    In addition, why is it that parents and communities are putting the blame on everything but themselves? If you want your kids raised by your standards, then get involved and raise them by your standards! And, when they become adults, it is up to them to decide how they want to live. If you raise them "right", they'll do ok. If you expect the government to ban everything you don't like, instead of teaching your kids, then you are a bad parent. REAL parents teach their kids about everything, and show them why certain thinsg are better than others.

    Damned culture wars, when all you have to do is close your door and control your TV remote.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2004 #3

    matt grime

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    As a non-American (though I have lived and worked there) I find the pledge of allegiance one less of a moral issue than one of a misunderstanding of history. (Similarly, on many occasions people cite the Constitution as inviolable, yet it codifies attitudes in the past, which are not necessarily relevant, and has amendments.) The pledge of Allegiance only got its reference to one nation under God following the desire by some politicians to distinguish the US from the 'Godless Communists' post-Mcarthy. Perhaps now it is acceptable in the different climate to rescind that addition.

    We in Britain have similar misunderstandings which people use to negate calls for change: we can't change this that or the other because it would contradict several hundred years of tradition. Yet a lot of those traditions were just snap-shots of the then vogue. That is why our judges wear red robes and wigs: that was the fashion when these things were formalized.

    Change for change's sake is not necessarily a good thing, but neither is inertia becauase 'that's how it's always been' (when it hasn't always been). Our current government finds it difficult to ban hunting with hounds because of traditionalists' claims, yet it's more than happy to remove trial by jury from many people even though that dates from the Magna Carta (1215).
     
  5. Mar 7, 2004 #4

    Hurkyl

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    That might work if the children didn't have to go outside to make friends and go to school, and if some TV stations could be relied upon to broadcast "clean" programming.
     
  6. Mar 7, 2004 #5

    Kerrie

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    i absolutely agree that we won't agree on all moral issues, so what basis does america format laws that are fair for all? are these controversial laws based on religious views or for the benefit of others (for example)...abortion was one of those laws based on a religious morality then practical reasons...how many of our issues/laws are based on the religious factor? now for the example of janet jackson exposing her breast during the super bowl, that becomes an issue exposing children to something they are not normally exposed to more then a religious factor...(i am trying to give examples)

    i don't think there is a true separation from church and state
     
  7. Mar 7, 2004 #6

    FZ+

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    Am I the only one who finds it downright amoral to:

    1. prohibit gay marriage
    2. teach children creationist junk
    3. prevent life saving stem cell research
    4. stop embryo cloning medical research
    5. force religion down children's throats by the pledge
    6. prevent the right to abortion
    7. keep cannabis users underground, in the hands of criminals
    8. obscure perfectly good art without the artist's consent?
     
  8. Mar 7, 2004 #7

    Kerrie

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    no you are not FZ...i am with you on it too, however, it seems in america today, everyone has to watch what they say or do because of someone's beliefs...my point in this thread is do we need to determine the base moral code for america that can be accepted by the majority so these issues can be either enforced or protected? abortion is still legal of course because the practicality in it---to be honest, i am not in favor of myself ever having an abortion for birth control reasons, but that doesn't mean i am going to march to my local abortion clinic and throw tomatoes at women seeking one for that reason...i guess i strive to be tolerant

    the pledge of allegiance is a good example of what i am referring to. you have the tug of war of the child being raised to not know "god", thus it is offensive if a classroom says the pledge in front of him or her...however, the pledge is very patriotic for the most part...do we write a new pledge of allegiance to accomodate the diverse beliefs and cultures of america (as a suggestion to solve this issue)?

    teaching children about evolution/creation...do we offer both perspectives in the classroom in a vague sense? (there is already another thread going on this, so i won't go into too much detail)

    cloning-this one personally scares me, but are there any scientific benefits that could happen if we can clone body parts/organs? how possible is it that if a human being is fully cloned they will be healthy as the human being naturally reproduced?

    marijuana...well, i have done a lot of reading and researching on why it is illegal in america, and it has nothing to do with the dangers, but has to do with big business...

    i won't continue, but with science advancing at the rate it is, these moral issues with religion are going to continue, and we need to progress with it, instead of fighting it...
     
  9. Mar 7, 2004 #8
    Things are mostly fine the way they are, as far as I'm concerned. We open a few more doors of social freedom, and we're good. Also, I think the fundamentalists shoot themselves in the foot, because churches have never been exactly known for being a safe haven either. If their own house isn't in order, why should we listen to them? Preserving religious is fine, and America does a fine job of it. But for religious people to claim that it is someone else's fault for their own failures, and expect the government to preserve their control of the culture, is against the principles that I think SHOULD be upheld in the country.
     
  10. Mar 7, 2004 #9
    The fact that you can't state your positions while adding your thinly veiled contempt for those that think otherwise says a great deal about your own ability to tolerate others.
     
  11. Mar 7, 2004 #10
    expand on this a little?
     
  12. Mar 7, 2004 #11
    My amazing awful, horrible, vile, stances.....

    1. prohibit gay marriage, allow civil unions, and let marriage remain in the realm of churches. This also takes care of those who have a problem with religion in their lives that are heterosexual. Define the law as marriage as a man and a woman. Civil unions between two people. Give equal rights, drop the issue.
    2.That 'creationist junk' has as much founding as evolution. The fact is, even playing the devil's advocate, one can't prove one or the other. I don't care if we only teach evolution - simply stress the required tag of 'theory' to it, and call it a day.
    3. Stem cell research should be allowed, but there has to be a line to where the stem cells are coming from. If the prime place is fetus' and there is a lot of money in getting these for research, then there's obviously a conflict of interest in getting these fetus, in that there will be pressure to get an abortion when it may not be the best choice for that situation or the one that would have been made otherwise. This whole issue hasn't been looked into anymore than human cloning has. Luckily there is new research looking at stem cells from other means that will be just as beneficial as the fetus and we can just forget this whole issue.
    4.ditto
    5.How does the word 'god' force religion? God, as in a higher power, does not inherently require religion to be an aspect unless the person is a believer in a religion. I actually like the word god in there, for a multitude of reasons, but I won't go further into that unless you wish to :)
    6.I am pro-life, but not anti abortion. I am however VERY MUCH anti-late term abortion. There is NO reason that someone should be waiting for the child to develop from some cells into a person, just to kill it then.
    7. I support the research on measures to legalize, regulate, and tax the hell out of marijuana.
    8.Dependson the situation. If the art is in a publicly funded gallery then it can be controlled under decency laws. If it's in a private gallery then it's up to the owner. This is all like free speech. You won't be incriminated for your work/speech, but that doesn't mean you have full reign anytime anywhere.
     
  13. Mar 7, 2004 #12

    Evo

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    Is it just me, or is a large portion of the population seemingly going out of their way to take offense at anything they don’t care for nowadays? If we start banning everything that anyone finds offensive, we will soon be living in a sterile, bland, whitewashed world.
     
  14. Mar 7, 2004 #13
    No, you aren't alone...people seem to really hate what America is all about, in the name of "morals"...a code word for their specific set of biases. Unlike those people, I face up to my own biases, and realize that the world would be a poorer place if anyone, including myself, could simply legislate their own biases.
     
  15. Mar 7, 2004 #14
    100% agree. Political correctness is a great catalyst for failure.
     
  16. Mar 7, 2004 #15
    Right...so when are the Christian right going to quit whining and depending on political correctness to get away with what they do?
     
  17. Mar 7, 2004 #16

    Evo

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    but they spent so much money putting those politicians there...
     
  18. Mar 7, 2004 #17

    kat

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    LOl, I don't know what America you're from but the one I'm familiar with has always used the code word "morals" and has always fought tooth and nail to hold on to those so called "morals". Maybe it's just that you're not very fond of America and like deluding yourself into thinking it's been something it hasn't. But...don't get me wrong..I appreciate it..it never fails to give me a moment of "chuckle". thanks!
     
  19. Mar 7, 2004 #18
    You chuckle now, but wait until they try to convert you by force...


    Seriously, though, what the common person calls "morals" has little to do with what passes for them in political terms.
     
  20. Mar 7, 2004 #19

    kat

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    Often what the politico represents as morals...is exactly what the majority,..often silent until their "biases" are pushed too far, see as their own "morals". Very seldom...in the entire history of the United States has Morality shifted without a vocal majority kicking and screaming the entire way ...until they've either died off...and been replaced with a younger set of moral majority...or they've been convinced that they're wrong by something that shocks them into changing their views. Quite often that something boils down to their own children or family members being affected by the restrictions of the current "moral" view. In this instance it may be just the opposite..parents are scared Pooopless by what they see as an immoral youth that is threatening the future and safety of their children and theirselves...and they may be grasping at anything they can to try and stop the sinking ship. *shrug*
     
  21. Mar 7, 2004 #20

    Evo

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    This has been the case for *every* generation, going back through recorded history, actually I see more positives in the current young generation.

    As for the "moral majority", you were right that they are just more "vocal". Many churches organize letter writing campaigns to get what they want. Unfortunately us non-religious folk don't often congregate to start letter writing campaigns to say that we don't have a problem with things the way they are.
     
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