Monday, January 14, 2013

On the evolution of culture and morality

I just posted a comment to a thought provoking article on this topic ... thought I would share my views

There is widespread confusion across the whole of society between lasting principles of reality and temporal best practices only applicable within particular social paradigms and sub-cultural practices. For example one thing I have found to be fairly pervasive across most branches of Christianity is the notion that perhaps Levitical laws towards food were simply examples of a divine 'God' revealing his scientific knowledge of food cleanliness and sanitation in a way that primitive ancient people would understand. The notion of temporary practices espoused as moral codes is accepted by most Christian leaders across all sects in various examples -  even Paul addresses an example of this concept directly with his 'weaker brother' argument in Romans 14. Yet despite numerous examples there is a massive selective enforcement of this notion across sects and rigidly dogmatic views espoused for concepts that theology might imply could be similarly temporal. The result is a global citizenship marked by widespread confusion about the separation of ethics, morality and religious principles ... most don't know how to separate the concepts and many that see the separation are torn asunder by religious leaders who are rigidly dogmatic and threatening - inconsistently using terms like "moral relativism' to scare their audience into compliance with narrow-minded and selectively enforced dogma. 

As pervasive as this mentality has been across our country it has fueled a larger challenge to most sociocultural concepts that are new. Our society has been conditioned by the idea that we had already reached perfection in our governmental and sociological systems and need to work backward to get back to the time when these systems functioned ... all the wile the reality is they never did. And these religiously-motivated ideologies bleed into all aspects of culture. For example being from a single parent home used to be seen as inferior causing numerous social problems and there were legitimate studies to back that up. I was raised in a single-parent home during a time when it was far less common and got to experience the sting of being a bit of a social pariah due to the rarity and the pervasive cultural judgmentalism towards single-parent families. Today we see single-parent homes becoming much more pervasive, and correspondingly more recent studies of this no longer show the same negative psychological delta between those raised in single and dual parent households, so perhaps it was never about single vs. dual household but rather about being an outcast and victim of rigid societal close-mindedness and rampant judgmentalism. A similar example is the modern 'slut' - wasnt that long ago that it seemed majority of the most well regarded psychological experts claimed definitively that having multiple sexual partners had a much more negative & traumatic psychological impact for women - and their reasoning was that clearly monogomy must be physiologically wired specifically into females ... and now in the post-sexual revolution it doesnt take more than a trip to a local college or a survey of the healthiest and most successful women in our society to see how misguided this notion was. As ridiculous as it sounds that is the past we are currently awakening from - . My mom is a nurse and she always said the biggest surprise in her life was that childbearing actually caused physical pain as she went to nursing school at a time (not long ago, in the early 70's) where the male-dominated medical field taught that labor pain was just a figment of the female imagination. 

Perhaps in a war-centric population, it may have been necessary to have only a very limited set of social norms that were acceptable, but today as the world moves rapidly into the information era and the creative economy, success is contingent on our ability to move past these outdated norms and re-examine in detail what it is that makes our society the most CREATIVE, happy, healthy and successful that it can be.

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1 comment:

  1. One of the practices the Taoism religion had taught us is the essence of being at peace and contentment. The yoga, say for example, it help us attain the peace of mind we needed.

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