In my last article, I mentioned that two major obstacles to a virtuous society are:
- A lack of a common standard for morality
- A lack of self-control in the populace
Both of these are very difficult obstacles to overcome, and they are interconnected.
Many people have attempted to establish a common standard for morality to no lasting avail. Socrates thought (and his followers still think) that education was the cure for vices, since ignorance and poverty were the cause of them. But that depends entirely on what you mean by “education.” The modern concept of education (as morally neutral) is one of the most insidious causes of social immorality in human history. And all of our attempts to overcome poverty as a source of crime and immorality have also failed. Are not the rich just as vicious, if not more so, than the poor?
If we are to educate our youths in virtue, we must be clear about what we are going to teach them. It is my contention that virtues mean nothing outside of the worldview system that supports and defines them. Take for instance one of the central points of agreement among almost all moral codes: human life is sacred.
Most everyone would agree that murder is wrong. But why? What is murder? Unjust killing? What makes it unjust? One needs a worldview to inform the boundaries of the sanctity of human life.
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