Morally Bankrupt: lack of moral values in today's societies



I have been reading some texts about Ancient Rome, and although I don’t agree with many things that occurred in that society (slavery, female illiteracy, Patrio-Poter etc), I admire immensely the moral values Romans abode to in order to lead a good life:


  • Virtús: sacrifice, endurance to pain, self-control, courage. The observance of these virtues resulted in respect among one’s peers and remembrance after one’s death.

  • Pietas: scrupulous observance of one’s religious, civic and family duties. Religious duties – respect the gods, and fulfillment of one’s destiny (fatum). Civic duties – to be a good citizen. Family duties – respect and love one’s father, follow his advice, and recognize his moral authority.

  • Fidés: respect for the promises made. A promise was a sacred act, and it presided both civic and social lives (specially when referring to agreements between citizens, and treaties among nations).

  • Gravitás: earnestness and composure. This value is characterized by the constant concern of maintaining a good reputation, through carrying out one’s duties and occupations with a serious stance.

  • Constantia: strength of character, and ability to resist to whatever that might deviate a person from fulfilling a fatum, or maintaining a worthy attitude. This value implied self-control, discipline and obedience to moral principles.

  • Industria: zeal and appreciation for a well executed activity. This value was present in State issues and Government.

  • Comitás: benevolence and affability. This value was meant to offset gravitás, without excluding it.

After finishing my readings, I put on “Toccata e fuga” by Bach, and thought to myself “although our society has improved on several issues (such as women’s Rights, Human Rights, technology etc), it also became decadent.”
Instead of being concerned about our moral health, we have decided to not only neglect it but also design a new set of values:
  • Anti-God: very trendy nowadays. However it is a huge step towards nihilism.

  • Anti-Family: lack of strategy. Denying one’s family is the same as “free booting” on success.

  • Anti-State: the refusal to exercise the right to vote; fraudulent behaviour against the nation (i.e. tax evasion) and, at the end have the nerve to demand better NHS services, education, and pensions for all.

  • Materialism: one is not interested in leading a good life anymore; instead one aggravates oneself to achieve the so-called good life.

  • Futility: the cult of shallowness. Lack of purpose and intentions in life; disrespect for intellectual inheritance.

  • Instability: self-imposed aggravation. One struggles too hard to fit in. Life is perceived as a gigantic Venetian carnival, where one’s true identity, essence is barred.

  • Corruption: (Constantia replaced by corruption) instead of aspiring to the sublimation of one’s customary behaviour one chooses to be bought, at any price, to appease one’s own demons.

The above can be viewed as evolution of behaviour, or a trend of modern societies; however I have sadly reached the conclusion that as individuals, group, society and nations, at this point (21st century), we are morally bankrupt.


Please continue your Graffiti experience with…Livingsword

Comments

  1. Ciao Max!!scusa se è tanto che non vengo a trovarti!Però ti assicuro mi è mancato leggere leggere il tuo blog. Il tuo inglese è praticamente perfetto e parlare di questi issues non è semplice in un'altra lingua che non è la propria. Non credo che la nostra società sia decadente, lo dicevano già i romani della loro società. La nostra società è semplicemente cambiata e dato che gli unici termini di paragone sono quelli del passato non possiamo fare altro che giudicare in base a questo e non al futuro. Credo che ci siano ancora persone leali, che si preoccupano per gli altri. Credo che la laicità sia importante, perchè è giusto che gli individui si comportino bene non per la ricompensa futura dopo la morte ma perchè è giusto e basta (anche se io stessa ho un'educazione cattolica,ma questa è un'altra storia). Ritengo giusto che stia crollando lo Stato-Nazione che ci propina tutti quei falsi ideali che portano i giovani a morire e ad esser fedeliper la patria (che altro non è che un pezzo di terra delineato da linee invisibili).
    Il punto che mi fa più pensare è quello sulla religione. si vede troppo spesso che la religione è un terreno fertile per gli assolutismi, dogmi e odio. Non dovrebbe essere così e invece purtroppo lo è. Che ne pensi?

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  2. Hi Max;

    Very interesting article that with many permutations….

    I have a large library of ancient Roman and Greek writers so I am quite familiar with them, also of course the New Testament of the Bible was written during the first century within the Roman Empire so I have good context.

    After reading your article the first time I quickly went and grabbed Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Boston Symphony Orchestra, very nice version) and slapped it into my CD player. One of my favorite classical CD’s!

    Interestingly when you mention the Roman virtues they are generally woven to certain Roman gods (sometimes inseparably, if you like I can provide a list).

    The Romans had 15 virtues (more or less, depending which historian is compiling the list):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_virtues#Roman_virtues

    In Christianity there are also the so called “seven virtues”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_virtues

    It is very interesting that both of us did reference back to the time of the Roman Empire, it was a very strategic point in time that heavily influences us today.

    You said:
    “although our society has improved on several issues (such as women’s Rights, Human Rights, technology etc), nevertheless it became decadent.”

    I respond: I believe that the decadents has always been with us but at times it becomes much more challenging for us to deny, as individuals, societies, and globally.

    This is because it is at the heart of who we are, perhaps with some of us it is better camouflaged than with others but it is still there.

    Personally I do not believe that better education and/or increased knowledge, or self improved virtues are the answer, they may influence the mind but cannot change the soul. For more on that refer to my Graffiti article. I’ll be back.

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  3. This was well said Max. I couldn't agree more on your analysis of what has happened.

    Yet, I am optimistic - there are still some among us who carry one the great foundational virtues that you admire in the Romans.

    ~Oswegan

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  4. I haven't had time to read it now but I will later. So many things to do today. Have to go grocery shopping soon, but anyway, go and claim your award here:

    Totally Fab Award

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  5. Interesting research and observation. Hmmm...now it makes me think whether the world has gone that badly? I know that it's hard to not let oneself be carried away by the "modern school of thought". Let me read Livingsword's version then.

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  6. Yes it's true Max - we are all morally bankrupt but there's still a lot of mileage to go yet before it's absolute! :)

    I think we are heading for a crash of great magnitude then rejuvenation - but not in our lifetime.

    Hope you'll drop by Kissing the Dogwood and pick up the award I just posted for you.

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  7. Ciao Max,

    Well, i think that our values have changed for sure, with all its instances in the inbetween.
    I'll put it in terms of nowadays.

    Thats caused by speed (space/time) actually, there's the before mobile and the after mobile.

    We all must be reachable at any time at the mobile (at any time)
    there's a rush to live as i never seen before, all the requests are to be made yesterday... product cicles are much smaller than they used to, people are seeking for different things and in smaller time spaces.

    Where is the time to give more from ourselves to other, if our cultures push us in other directions?
    Of course were not a driften boat, sailing to where the wind blows, but its up to us to choose the navigation principles...and to whatch for the seeds that we want to sow and collect.

    In the ancient Greece there were also some principles ... but they consider women at the same level of the slaves... Aristóteles wrote about that in the "Politic Treaty"

    So are our cultures so developed that EGO (not men/humankind) is the center of the universe?

    What Leonardo da Vinci would draw nowdays?

    Best Regards
    Gallardo

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  8. Max,
    This a well presented post. You are right on target with everything. I wish I could elaborate but I am in the middle of hotel hopping, however just know that you are a wise Soul.

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  9. If the nightly newscast is a mirror to the values we hold in this society, we live in one sorry state. Of course, this post was excellent... you have such an incredible way of expressing your views, Max. Bravo.

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  10. You know, it's funny, I really didn't have this mental picture of ancient Rome or Greece. Sure, in the books, the society looked like it had some values, but was it like that in real life ?

    Same for us, we have ideals, all societies do : we have laws to protect people, democracy in most countries, great people who do good stuffs... yet we focus on the corrupted and the weak spots. Haven't all societies done that ?

    I hate to disagree with you, I'm just thinking aloud here ! ;)

    I have to refer to Chinese culture where everything is a circle... we just happened to be at the wrong place.

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  11. Wow Max, I really enjoyed this, and especially the way you defined the moral values of Romans, well said and presented. And at the same time you are so right about the new set of values, I wanted to pick the most of concern but they all are. Anna :)
    PS thanks for visiting my blog, appreciated.

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  12. Agree with your post. Sad, but true.

    Anyway, Katrina's blog is at www.beautifulbirdbooks.wordpress.com

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  13. In my opinion, I think the state of one's mind should be looked deeply into for the factors that cause one's to evolve and neglect on the moral values.

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  14. hi max! where did all these posts come from lol everytime i checked your blog, your post about your marriage proposal would be the shown as the last one posted. anyways ;P

    yes, people aren't nice to each other. we're interested only in material wealth and becoming 'important'. we need to realize what is really important in life and stop idolizing people that ought not to be idolized by anyone.

    glad to see you didn't quit your blog and hope to see more :)

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