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Ellen Feig

Professor, Bergen Community College


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Can one teach young people to be moral? Is morality something that must be taught in the home? Is it innate?

Currently I am working on a professional development platform focused on teaching college students ethics and morality. Young people seem to be incredibly disengaged from others, have little sense of what it means to be moral, gracious or ethical and don't care. How can we teach morality or is it something that is innate?

Topics: ethics morality

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    Jan 23 2013: It is true that morality is contextual in nature but as Mark states all religions/faiths do abide by the golden rule.
    • Jan 23 2013: No they don't
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      Jan 23 2013: The religions/faiths might abide by the golden rule Ellen, but the individuals in those religions don't necessarily live by it.

      This I think contributes to young people's confusions. They see so-called religious people proving false to their faith's teachings, and so they reject religion because of the hypocrisy they see.
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        Jan 23 2013: I think you are right about that - I was speaking today to some colleagues who are devout Catholics and they were espousing the argument that the reason we are seeing so much gun violence is due to the fact that religion has been taken out of school. Wow, is all I could say...that has nothing to do with gun violence
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          Jan 23 2013: I think that at times people cannot fathom what is happening in the world. So, they go about explaining it away with what little they have come to understand or know to be true in their own life.

          There is so much we just don't know Ellen......

          I think what Random said, is good advice for you and your students:

          "Maybe a good place to start would be asking them to attempt to define morality themselves without being the slightest bit brainwashed with any ideas coming from someone else."

          When you get them talking, you might be surprised at what you hear.

          You have your work cut out for you.....best wishes!
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          Jan 23 2013: I would to say something about religion at school . I'm teacher of history and social science and I am from Poland. Religion was introduced to polish schools in 1993 , few years after the overturn of communist regime. And for teaching religion, teaching morality it was very bad decision - how we see now . I belong to the generation which had to go to churches to learn principles od religion, it was forbidden at schools. But we- as children, students - had more respect for these principles . Now the most of pupils and students have religion at schools and there are a lot of problems with ethical behaviour, with respect for different nations and culture. So religion at school it's not a solution

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