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STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8)

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 22, 2013

BRYCE ON MORALITY

– “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.”

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Today I begin a series on “Morality” as derived from my new eBook “Stand Up for MORALITY,” which discusses morality in American culture, the properties of morality, and how to teach it in a uniform manner. “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly discuss.” Herein we will tackle the subject head-on.

Let me preface my remarks by stating unequivocally, this is not about religion. I am not a member of the clergy, nor am I here to preach dogma. I am certainly not interested in your particular faith, if you have one. Religion is your business, not mine. I will make comments pertaining to organized religion as an institution but my intention is to comment on the need for promoting fundamental morality in our society. By understanding the properties of morality, it will enable us to support and perpetuate it.

Laced throughout this text are exercises designed to promote discussion. We cannot solve a problem unless we truly understand it. As such, the discussion points contained herein are intended to stimulate thought.

This book is a companion to a training seminar of the same name as conducted by the author.

I would like to thank the many people who took the time to review a preliminary copy of the manuscript and offer suggestions. Although they generally believed morality is a lost cause in this country, they encouraged me to persevere and light a torch to help show the way. The path to a moralistic society is a long and arduous one, requiring tenacity and conviction. In my office, is a framed quotation from President Calvin Coolidge which has inspired me for years:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Let us now “Press On.”

THE STATE OF MORALITY

In May of each year, a Gallup poll is conducted regarding the country’s “Values and Beliefs,” the most recent being conducted in 2012.

Two questions are asked:

How would you rate the overall state of moral values in this country today?
20% – Excellent/Good
36% – Only Fair
43% – Poor

Right now, is the state of moral values in this country getting better or worse?
19% – Getting Better
05% – Remain the Same
73% – Getting Worse

The poll paints a rather bleak picture of the values of our country and does not offer much hope for the future. One can only ask, why this is occurring? Answers vary:

People have become self absorbed (“Looking Out for #1”, “Dog-Eat-Dog World”)
Apathy
Greed.
Permissive society (too tolerant).
Affluence – people believe they are above morality.
Cavalier attitudes about sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence.
Parents have abdicated their responsibilities.
Organized religion is in retreat.
Schools are not doing their jobs.
Business and Government are perceived as corrupt.
We’ve become too tolerant of abuses and too ready to forgive & forget.
Hollywood is corrupt and disseminating immoral messages under the guise of entertainment.

Morality is everywhere. I know of no other word that has so much to do with the way we live and act. It represents a pattern of living, setting standards or drawing a line in the sand for which you will not cross. Morality is wherever the human animal dwells, be it in schools, offices, or other institutions, for example:

The Israel Defense Forces teach morality for armed combat situations. They believe a new type of warfare has arisen whereby soldiers need to be able to identify combatants and deal with them accordingly, not to mention the treatment of prisoners as well.

The Government of New Zealand teaches morality to police officers. The aim is to equip police with “a commitment to goodness,” to “recognize evil” and “confront it more effectively”.

The real purpose of such programs is to devise a standard approach resulting in uniform morality, which is also the intention of this paper.

What one family teaches their offspring, may be different than the next. What one boss teaches his subordinates, may be different than the next. What one church or organization teaches their congregation, may be different than the next. Organized religion generally teaches uniform lessons of morality within their faith, but not everyone goes to church anymore. In fact, church attendance has declined noticeably.

To America’s founding fathers, religion and morality were recognized as a requirement for good government and citizenship. Hence the first Congress in 1787 passed the Northwest Ordinance (CLICK for more) which defined how America would expand and admit states from that area (land surrounding the Great Lakes). An important part of the legislation was Article 3 which states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Through Article 3, our founding fathers foresaw the necessity of teaching knowledge, religion, and morality in a uniform manner, and for many years the schools did so. Even well into the 20th century, public schools were used to provide religious instruction albeit it was not compulsory and conducted after normal school hours. Aside from this, schools used to teach general religious concepts, such as one divine entity, and moralistic concepts of right and wrong. This was all abandoned in public schools over the last fifty years.

NEXT TIME: We will define what Morality is and describe its properties.

“Stand Up for MORALITY” is an eBook available in PDF, Kindle and Audio formats.
All are available through MBA Press.
>The Kindle version is available through AMAZON.

Mr. Bryce is available to speak on this subject

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 2 OF 8) – Morality is a COLLECTIVE concept which defines us as a culture.

LAST TIME:  NOISE, NOISE, NOISE – How the Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz of radio annoys me.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

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18 Responses to “STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8)”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “Good morning, Tim. Finally receiving your emails again. Great start to a new series!! As mentioned to you before, I grew up just 1 block away from Madelyn Murray O’Hare, and even though I was only in my teens in the late 50s, I witnessed hundreds of people that would picket her house and denounce her attempt to get God out of the schools and eventually many other venues. http://goodnewspirit.com/america-spurnsgod.htm I knew at that time, even though I wasn’t a person of faith at that time, that if she would be successful at this, that the entire moral fabric of the country would begin to fall. You mentioned in your article that morality has been declining for 50 years. If you go back exactly 50 years, you will see from reading the info from the link, that it was in 1963 that SCOTUS upheld her bid to “eliminate God” from all public venues. Now you see people picketing to eliminate God at Christmas, Easter, Passover, and any other holiday set aside to honor God and or Jesus Christ instead of picketing to keep God in these venues. Yes, times have certainly changed and I only see it getting worse, as so many have left their churches and no longer hear the “good news” of the Gospel or of God’s love for them. It is sad and is one of the reasons I always have the below sentence included in all my emails that I send, no matter whether they believe in God or not. I am quite concerned that God is about to say “All right, then, have it your way”. Maybe your 8 part series will at least wake some people up, as to what the problem is and the solution. “

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A J.T. of San Diego, California wrote…

    “Separating morals from the “legal issue” is the trap that liberals/progressives/socialists/Marxists set for those who faith is a foundation of their life. The “separation of church and state” which is not in the bill of rights. These people have been very successful in changing our rights of freedon of religion to freedom from religion!

    I cannot, nor will I separate, ANY LONGER, my belief in God, our constitution, the founding principles from the public square. The humanist, atheist have been very successful in “shoving THEIR beliefs/religion down our throats”! STOP being a wuss! We have given up to much. Of course if we stand up for OUR beliefs, we will be attacked…………so be it!

    Can you take the heat? If not US, who? If not NOW, when?”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    A D.R. of Columbia, Missouri wrote…

    “Tim – Good article, but I would like to add two things.

    I do agree that all morality is secular by nature; on what a society deems at the time to be proper, the “rights and wrongs” it establishes. Because morality is ever evolving (currently on the question of same-sex marriage), teaching morality remains a philosophical discussion.

    Even when that society is religious, the interpretation of the belief”s scripture also change over time based on knowledge and science. For my students I refer to the religious justification for and then against slavery based on biblical verse.

    Which leads me to my second point. The program you mention in Greece is not one of philosophical morality or ethics (a too often misused word – it means the study of right and wrong – morality) but of the standards of right and wrong of the national police service.

    Your implication is that the morality of policing is not done in the U.S., but that is wrong. From small police and sheriff offices to the FBI, there is a major organizational program of “right v. wrong.” According to a friend of mine, a retired FBI agent and trainer, those programs are revised and update regularly. Even my own “small city” police force has an annual review of policy and conduct – morality.

    I look forward to you next installment of “Morality” and enjoy your and your audience’s commentary.”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “Having seen the video of people stealing merchandise from an unattended souvenir stand after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, it’s clear that there is a desperate need to teach and reinforce morality.”

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    An E.C. of Burlington, Vermont wrote…

    “For religious believers, moral instruction is from both their religious institution of choice and their family. For others, it is from family. Also, don’t overlook the role (for both better and worse) of one’s peers in this process.”

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    An R.C. of Arkansas wrote…

    “Good reading Tim. I used to be proud of belonging to a very moral organization, Freemasonry. Now, only 10% are moral, the rest of them… I don’t know what happened to them—-it fools me.”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    An R.R. of St. Louis, Missouri wrote…

    “Morality is acquired by learning. It is also acquired by un-learning. If my behavior were determined solely by what my religion or my parents taught me, it would probably not be moral. Immorality arises from ignorance of one kind or another, either the willful kind or the inflicted kind. (There is a great deal of the latter in both religion and education.) I come to this position having taught Ethics for several years–and witnessing students change unfounded opinions into informed convictions. “Morality is, at the very least, the effort to guide one’s conduct by reason—that is, to do what there are the best reasons for doing—while giving equal weight to the interests of each individual who will be affected by what one does” (Rachels, Elements of Moral Philosophy, 2012, p. 13). “

    Like

  8. –Hello Bryce, Another interesting Topic that applies to the core of us, {you wrote} Morality is everywhere. I know of no other word that has so much to do with the way we live and act. It represents a pattern of living, setting standards or drawing a line in the sand for which you will not cross.
    –{me} I have found that for many people, myself included, to posses a/the high sense of morals is something we think/feel we were born with. This causes me to think/feel that those with what is refered to as low morals, may have the deep sense that the sense of morality is what they think/feel, they were born with.
    –Suppose that for one person, going against their high sense of morality would be like growing theri arms longer. The chance of success if next to null. So in my thinking the opposite holds true.
    There is a person who has next to no morals, would they be unsuccessful in their attempts to develop a high sense of morality?

    the morally sound vs the morally insane…
    the morally insane vs the morally sound.

    Kind Regards,
    marie

    Like

    • Tim Bryce said

      Marie –
      Thanks for your note. What you describe is why it is necessary to teach morality on a uniform basis, something that hasn’t been done in this country for a long time. As I will explain in the next few chapters, the school system used to be responsible for teaching morality and general religion. This was abolished over the last 50 years. There isn’t even an open forum to publicly discuss morality, which is something I should address. Stay tuned for more.
      All the Best,
      Tim Bryce

      Like

  9. […] TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) – “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly […]

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  10. […] Twitter Facebook ← STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) […]

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  11. Tim Bryce said

    An M.M. of Cincinnati, Ohio wrote…

    You wrote: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    Imagine what a great nation we’d still have if that was still the case.

    Like

  12. Tim Bryce said

    An N.A. of India wrote…

    “i loved this.. the 2 answers from the Gallup survey hit hard and drive the point straight home.”

    Like

  13. Tim Bryce said

    A J.L. of Detroit, Michigan wrote…

    “What is good for all humanity is moral. But, most things are good for some and bad for others. How shall we choose? Group loyalties? Proximity? Cost/Benefit?”

    Like

  14. […] TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) – “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly […]

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  15. […] TIME:  STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) – “Morality is something we all claim to know, but never openly […]

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  16. […] STAND UP FOR MORALITY (PART 1 OF 8) […]

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    iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to
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    Like

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