Figuring out the foundation’s gone

David Brooks and the New York Times take a look at where relativism and a refusal to enforce standards has taken us:

The health of society is primarily determined by the habits and virtues of its citizens. In many parts of America there are no minimally agreed upon standards for what it means to be a father. There are no basic codes and rules woven into daily life, which people can absorb unconsciously and follow automatically.

Reintroducing norms will require, first, a moral vocabulary. These norms weren’t destroyed because of people with bad values. They were destroyed by a plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refused to assert that one way of behaving was better than another. People got out of the habit of setting standards or understanding how they were set.

Nice to see a recognition that in a society where “everything goes,” eventually everything does.  But the prescription — ‘reintroducing norms’ — begs the question: whose norms?  Whose ‘moral vocabulary?’  And exactly how will we determine which habits and virtues to inculcate?

As Vox (on whose site I found this) points out:

“In light of the failure of secularism and multiculturalism, the nations of the West are going to embrace some past moral structure, absolutist judgments and all.   The only question is if it will be pagan or Christian. And the former is considerably less pretty than its historically ignorant proponents understand.”


3 thoughts on “Figuring out the foundation’s gone

  1. Pingback: In what do we trust? | A True Progressive

  2. Pagan art is pretty, and the concepts are pretty at times. But no one seems to believe in it.

    Paganism has become more like entertainment: People read it for enjoyment, but the Bible is read for faith. You just won’t find devout pagans anywhere, unless they’re abstract believers who are essentially culturally Christian.

  3. Chronicles used to warn Islam would ultimately be a major threat, as an alternative to Christianity.

    Cosmotheism is the most odious religion I’ve come across. It embraces evolution/eugenics. I don’t know how it could be resisted really, so outside divine intervention, they are likely the ultimate inheritors of the Earth. Even if one says progress falls to relativity, it is easier to destroy than to create. So, I suppose I’m expecting Christ’s return, not that I’m wanting to work towards the end.

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