TED Conversations

  • Lisa L
  • Staten Island, NY
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

Has morality deteriorated in this world? Or simply changed? And if so, is it for the better or worse?

Given the riots and worldwide economic troubles we now face as a global community, it seems that we as a collective society we have turned away from living within the confines of morality. Is that truly the case, or is what we are seeing simply a matter of history repeating itself?

Topics: morality morals
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    Aug 22 2011: Morality decreases through history.

    The relative number of killings decreases (kills per 100000) over time (though there are some fluctuations)

    Humanity is getting ever more collaborative, connected and interdependent...
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      Aug 22 2011: Hi Chirstophe

      Have you included the unborn children in your calculation ?

      :-(
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        Aug 22 2011: You are referring to abortions?
        They might have increased.

        Child mortality and mother mortality after birth have diminished heavily though.

        And you should not discount the number of abandoned/orphanised children...

        But debating abortion would be another topic altogether...
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    Aug 22 2011: There is nothing true in that statement, the world is constantly becoming a better place. There's bumps on the road but you cannot honestly look at the past and say morality is deteriorating. There are have been worst riots and the world is still better off than it was 50 years ago, even at the low-end of the economic downturn. Many of the things we collectively thrown upon our days were commonplace less than a century ago. Remember each time you think our morality is being lost that slavery used to be a business only a few centuries ago and that we went through two world wars before finally coming together. Were headed the right way, even if we take a wrong turn here and there as individuals.

    I invite you to check out Pinker's TEDtalk on violence: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

    Incidently, if the voices of religious people tell you that this world is losing its morality, remember that they believe that they have exclusive rights on morality and that what they're really reacting to is not a drop in morality but a drop in adherence to their faith (and that's a good thing in my opinion!).
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    Aug 22 2011: Chris summed it up i think, i mean, look we get to share drinking fountains now. and i really dont think the riots have much to do about morality.
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    Aug 22 2011: Hi Lisa

    It all depends on what you think morality is, & where it comes from. Is it by democratic consensus ? Well aren't the rioters just flexing their democratic muscles. We generally applaud the uprisings in the muslim countries, but condemn the riots in Britain; why is that; who decides ?

    So what are "the confines of morality" that you speak of ?

    Historically in the West the bible has been the guideline. If you take that as being the true source then history does repeat itself. We obey, we get blessed; we get big headed & chuck out the rule book, it all goes pear-shaped; we obey, we get blessed. What we never seem to do is learn from history.

    :-)