The general lack of moral conviction today arises from two issues:
(i) Individuals seeking to exploit one another
(ii) Society’s impeachment of Religion
The first comes from personal inhibitions. Individuals, unaware of their soul, personally feel an urge to triumph over others – this is the case when people operate through a state of ‘Fear’. In this case, the fear of being powerless and ultimately lacking control. This fear pushes people to affirm themselves by assuming a false dominion over others. An unease in personal adequacy hides sourly behind the veil.
The warm-hearted exploiting others believe that if they don’t possess an overbearing over people, people would have one over them. Therefore, the fear of being exploited drives. and in their mind, personally justifies their exploitation over others; they conform in order to survive. This is equally wrong.
Society practically views kindness as a weakness and hostility (which inspires fear) as a strength. Thus, it justifies the latter. Cruelty is respectable whilst the warmth of affection is relegated to naivete and foolishness. The pious route is thus disdained by conformists seeking to “get ahead” of one another in society and it’s inherent reliance on hierarchy.
Religion, on the other palm, has been dethroned for as much scientific reasons as ethical. Not only have people disbanded from religious belief systems , they’ve come to dislike the very essence of it based off its history. It’s waged wars, burnt people and had its books used to promote racial oppression. The Christian doctrines, featuring Heaven and Hell in an ‘afterlife’, have inspired worship out of fear rather than love. This false notion is further diminished by the fact that religion, which is meant to work in-hand with philosophy, believes its famed ideas are beyond reproach based off the sanctity of its writers and age of its writings. This only serves to heighten people’s living anxieties (if they choose to believe it) and disillusionment (if they don’t). It also poses the question:
“If God loves all equally and alike, why would most burn for eternity and only some reap the pleasures of an afterlife? Furthermore, if destiny were decided beforehand then surely an individual’s fate would be sealed before birth.”
The literal interpretation of the Biblical text serves to distance it from the sciences and the stubborn emphasis of ‘belief’ over actual experiences creates a dissonance between modern intellectuals and religion itself. The commonplace promotion of ‘church-going’ over seeking to abide in the temple also serves to detract religions from their fundamentally theological principles. This, matched with the deification of their apostles, saints and Christ himself have further alienated contemporary individuals from beacons of light, who are to be emulated instead of being prayed to.
Hence, society has seen its most popular religion(s) run out of favor and the instantaneous result has been a seismic backlash in moral principles and cultural values. The waywardness we see in our own moral convictions, as a whole, is deeply rooted within these issues which are further sanctioned upon us as individuals. The change in focus and rise of materialism has then seen individuals become bedazzled and society; transfixed, by the surface world (clothes, property, products) rather than the internal world (values, sensitivity, spirituality). This lends into the ‘Consumer Culture’ we’re experiencing today, propelling the pursuit of money, status and power.
Only through personal introspection would individuals come to fathom, purify and transcend themselves yet society’s littered with external distractions and filler tasks to occupy our minds and time. The men and women of tomorrow won’t have to lead lives of quiet desperation if they know not to trample over one another as karma cries in its primordial silence.