A Look At How American Society Muddles Through Its Claim Of "Morality".

1094 words - 4 pages

As a country, we define America as a land of opportunity where men and women are created equally: a just society in which oppression and discrimination are archaic, deplorable institutions of our ignorant forefathers. Ironic, then, in a country that espouses equity, human rights, and freedom of choice, that a gay man is beaten and left for dead; ironic that a young woman is harangued and even physically assaulted when she attempts to enter an abortion clinic; ironic that our former president--the physical representation of America's idealistic values & morals--is exposed as an adulterer and a liar. Just what ARE values and morals in a country of meaningless hate crimes, White House sex scandals, and tolerated intolerance? And are laws effectively built on the so-called basis of morality and self-interest?First of all, "morals" are defined as principles with regard to right or wrong behavior, and "values" are a set of ideals and institutions that evoke an emotional response in a given society or individual. These two ideas create "ethics," any quality desirable as a mean of an end in itself. Arguably, each individual has a different set of ethics, which adds up to a different personal character. No one cares about the personal character of Joe Lunchpail, who works at the local GM plant, drinks beer, watches football, and beats his wife.But Joe is a single cog in a vast wheel that is turning at a rate he can't comprehend. His personal character is unimportant; he himself couldn't care less about the moral structure of his measly existence. Since Joe doesn't care, he remains at the bottom of the social totem pole, maintains only a rudimentary understanding of how America works, and reserves the right to bitch about high taxes and how the "big game" has been pre-empted by the State of the Union address.When Joe finally goes over the edge and takes an assault rifle to the plant and wastes twelve of his coworkers, he is accused of lacking any sense of morals or values: his personal character is that of a monster. But: if Joe were driven to commit a murder, if the fundamental urge to take another's life was stirred within him and he didn't hesitate to comply with that urge, then his moral standards were set to "It's okay to kill another person" and he met that standard, HOW CAN HE BE IMMORAL? Even if his values infringe upon the values of someone else he is no more immoral than his God-fearing, white collar counterpart.BUT when Joe's boss Dan Corporation has an affair with his secretary, no one, excluding Mrs. Corporation, is really surprised, nor do they care. Whereas Joe ends up in Ol' Sparky, Dan comes out with nothing more serious than divorce papers. Why? Because America has inbred this sort of moral standard in her society, and no one knows it's just as bad as blowing some schmuck's brains out.The laws that were designed to protect Joe's coworkers failed, despite their claims of moral superiority. It's illegal to kill another human being, but...

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