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Morals
05/13/2010
IconThe good, the bad, and the ugly....That was the title of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western (I loved all of them), but in this case, I'm referring to the Internet, but in the same way that I would refer to guns or electricity.' Do you think I've blown a mental fuse?' No.' Here's my outlook:Right now, the governments of China and Iran are working ceaselessly to block web access to its populace.' Why?' So information the government "does not want you to know about" won't get in, and the truth of what is going on inside these totalitarian regimes will not get out.Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and their ilk have revealed the atrocities against the people of Iran protesting the sham presidential elections.' Beatings and murders have been viewed around the world, as people have had the courage to use cell phones and such to take the governmentally prohibited pictures.This, obviously, is a case of calling the Internet GOOD.On the other hand, we have people in the United States of America (where communication is completely open, some say to an unfettered fault) using the Internet for pornography.This, obviously, is a case of calling the Internet BAD.Internet sites have been used to defame and harass people.' Internet sites are being used to "publish" speculation, opinion, and downright meanness as "fact."' Internet sites have been used to troll for victims in order to rob, rape, and murder.' Internet sites have been used to incite violence, threaten, and frighten.This, obviously, is a case of calling the Internet UGLY.Electricity and guns can be thought of in the same way:' you can get electrocuted by dropping a hair dryer in the tub when you're in it, or electricity can be used to run a ventilator and save lives.' Guns can be used in robberies and murders, or they can be used by the free to ward off tyranny and other assailants.Objects have no moral value - the way they are used is the issue - and that assessment is in the hands of the user.' We all have the ability to choose right from wrong.' Our choices, though, generally depend greatly on the human atmosphere around us.' For example, we are more likely to be able to do atrocious things if we're part of a group.' We wouldn't dream of doing them alone.' Yet, there are those who can perpetrate evil all on their own.We are more likely to choose good when we are surrounded by people supportive of "good," and judgmental of "bad."'' However, when the cultural atmosphere dissipates with respect to values and moral judgment, it's easy for an individual to operate out of the moment without regard to circumstances or their soul.'It takes a strong person to choose good for its own sake.' There is often little reward or regard given to them.' There was a time when a child, seeing a dollar fall from an elderly gentleman's pocket, would race to give it back to him.' He would then get his picture on the front page of the local paper - rewarding him for character.' Now, that same child would probably not even entertain the thought of returning the money.' What for?' Look around that child - parents cheat, politicians cheat, entertainers and sports stars cheat.' What's the motivation?The good, the bad, and the ugly - two out of three are on the wrong side.' You choose every day which side to be on.' Now, go do the right thing. More >>

Tags: InternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconAn all-too-typical issue that comes up on my radio program is cowardice, because someone didn't stand up for others, for values and/or for ideals.' The standard excuses range from not wanting to escalate a situation, being afraid of other people getting mad, fear of being marginalized or left out, being afraid of being "judged," not "liking" confrontation, not wanting to lose the image as a nice person, and so on.I disrespect the actions of not standing up for friends, fairness (even when a friend is not involved), and values.' Some of my callers are parents whose adult children are behaving recklessly, thoughtlessly, and in total opposition to how they were brought up.' Too many of these parents are more concerned with "peace at all costs" instead of continuing their parental leadership by clarifying their position and drawing the line.I remember a long time ago, there was a talk show host coming on right after my program.' We were polar opposites in our political views, and she would use her three hours on the air to critique my program.' This, of course, annoyed the heck out of me, but I never spoke about it on the air - not even once - because I don't use my air time to do anything but help people do and be better in their lives.Fast forward several years later, and a feminist group went after her with venomous attacks, attempting to destroy her career.' Mind you, she was a feminist activist leader herself, but she dared to have her own opinion about something that went against the grain of the activist group's position.' It turns out that I was the first person who called her the next morning - with a call of support.' It galled me that there was a concerted effort to unfairly destroy her career.' I just don't like life's unfair qualities, and I have generally stood up to them no matter what.Fast forward again years later, and I was being unfairly attacked by a different activist group that she had once been part of.' She went into numerous public venues to defend and support me.'We both took hits for doing these things, but we both turned out to like each other very much, and we both still maintained the bulk of our differing opinions.' We did, however, agree on one point of ethics, morals, and values:' you defend who or what is being attacked unfairly, and consequently, we both defended responsible free speech.We both lost to the power of the activist groups, however, but we won each other's respect and support, all while keeping the high ground.' We each went on growing in success and the respect of our peers as well.'That's one very personal experience for me.' I hope the next time you see rudeness or cruelty, you will stand up.Racial comments coming from Don Imus are as ugly and unnecessary (except for ratings) as the joke about Sarah Palin's daughter getting "knocked up" by a baseball player.' It isn't the term "knocked up" that's the issue - I use it all the time for out-of-wedlock pregnancies, because they usually end up with the child being aborted or growing up with the chaos of a life with one parent gone.' David Letterman wanted to shoot insults at Palin simply because she's Republican, and he aimed his gun at her child.' That's disgusting.' How many of you would stand for that happening to your child?'Imus lost his job...temporarily...and Letterman's ratings are higher.' And I'm left wondering if you'll stand up for others (or values, morals, ethics and principles) when most others around you will turn their gaze away. More >>

Tags: EthicsMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconNewsflash from the University of Colorado, Boulder: scientist believes that animals can have a sense of morality that shows them the difference between right and wrong. Professor emeritus Marc Bekoff explains in his new book that morals are "hardwired" in a mammal's brain and has gathered - he says - evidence showing how various species appear to have a sense of fairness, will help other animals in need, and can even show empathy.First of all, the very word "hardwired" indicates a lack of choice.' There is no knowing or choosing between right and wrong without a clear conception of the notion of consideration of options.' Animals other than humans are, indeed, "hardwired" - that is, they act by instinct.' Secondly, using anthropomorphic terminology is misleading.' I remember being on a morning television show eons ago, when some feminist was pointing out that rape was ubiquitous, and then showing a clip of alligators mating.' Trust me...that wasn't a pretty or comfortable sight...but it wasn't rape.' Alligator males have to overcome resistance so that the best sperm wins.' That's the female alligator's world of making a choice with whom to hook up - as violent as it appears to humans.A hungry lion coming into a room with ten frightened human beings is not going to starve to death because it isn't "nice" to kill innocent humans.' He's going to eat the first guy or gal he clamps his jaws on.' That's not an immoral act.' Morality requires a choice.' The lion is "hardwired" to eat meat.' That's it.Here's an example from Dr. Bekoff's book that I believe is way off base: "Vampire bats need to drink blood every night, but it is common for some not to find any food.' Those who are successful in foraging for blood will share their meal with bats who have shared with them." He considers this a reciprocity which indicates the acting out of moral precepts.' I think that conclusion is just silly.' Bats are gregarious and need to be in "packs" for safety and comfort.' Therefore, they are wired to keep each other alive.' You'll see competition when they're mating.Ants will pile up over waterways to allow other ants to pass.' This is not self-sacrifice after kissing your family goodbye - this is instinct built into the tiny brain of an ant, over which he has no control.And that's the point.' Morality is an issue of making a choice between personal gain and the welfare of another which may even take away from the self.' Risking one's life to pull a child out of a river in which you might very well die is not an instinct.' Most people would never set a toe in the water.' That's their choice.' However, some souls will put their lives on the line, because their compassion overwhelms their sense of personal survival.That's what makes some human beings magnificent.' The stories of people standing by and not helping others in other in need are legion, and include individuals, groups, and even whole countries.' This sort of analysis about animals is emotional , not scientific, in my opinion.' And it seems important fodder for PETA-types to argue their points.The good and bad point of the human brain is obvious:' we can figure out how to walk on the moon and discover penicillin.' We can also think of ways to fly airplanes into buildings to kill as many innocent people as possible for the sake of our "god."' CHOICE is wonderful in concept, but either beautiful OR deadly in actuality. More >>

Tags: MoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityValues
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05/13/2010
IconDuring his recent African trip, Pope Benedict XVI said that the distribution of condoms would not resolve the AIDS problem.' The Pope has made it clear that abstinence is going to be the best way to fight AIDS.Google "Pope" and "condoms," and you'll never run out of reading material excoriating the man for his observation and opinion.' Many health advocates have gone ballistic in their criticism of his comments.' They feel it is one thing to promote abstinence as part of the Catholic religion, but that it is an entirely different thing to preach it to the world.On a person-by-person basis, wearing a condom does, of course, offer some protection against contracting various venereal diseases and (of course) unwanted pregnancy.' It is also true that condoms sometimes break, slip, or are put on incorrectly (taut to the very end).' Everything has its limitations...except abstinence.I remember listening to a rabbi describing a situation that occurred to his kosher family.' His 7 year old child was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at one of those fast-food hamburger establishments.' When he came to pick up his child at the end of the party, one of the mothers - clearly annoyed - chastised him for the pain he caused his son.' "All the children had hamburgers, chicken nuggets, french fries and dessert, and your little boy had to sit there and eat none of it.' Imagine how terrible your son must have felt?' How could you do this to him?' Food is food.' There is nothing sinful about food.' What you are doing to him is just cruel."' Just about at the end of her tirade, his son bounded up to him, gave him a huge hug around the waist, and said "I had a great time.' This was a fun party."The woman blanched and walked away.' The rabbi followed her and gently told her the following:' animals will eat whatever is around, even if it will make them unhealthy.' Humans are to rise above animals and become masters of their urges.' Imagine my son in a dorm room where harmful illicit drugs are being passed about.' We already know that peer pressure and urges will not force him to relent and give in to the impulse.' Learning at his early age to control impulse and desire is not a harmful trait - many times, it might be a life-saving one.' Look at him.' He enjoyed the company of your son and the rest of the children without giving up his values.' He looks happy and satisfied.' We really need to bring up our children to be masters of their instincts, not slaves to them, don't you think?The woman scowled, but listened to him.Yes, in any one instance, a condom could protect, but in the overall scheme of humanity, why do so many people wish to push away the enormous protective power of moral values?When the Pope suggests that human beings are best off saving their sexual passion for the stability of a covenant of marriage, he is making a statement that the act of sexuality is elevated by the context, and ultimately protects both man and woman from a myriad of hurtful consequences from venereal diseases to unwanted pregnancies (complete with abortions, abandonment, single-parenthood, and homelessness to name a few).The naysayers all have one thing in common:' they refuse to want, believe or accept that human beings can commit to a higher spiritual state of thought and behavior.' The Pope believes in us more than that.I am not Catholic, so this is no knee-jerk defense of my spiritual leader.' The truth is that he is simply correct and too many people don't want to hear it, because they want to live lives unfettered by rules.' It is sad that they don't realize that this makes them a slave to animal impulse versus a master of human potential. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-Consciencechoose wisely - treat kindlyChoose Wisely-Treat KindlyDatingHealthMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityReligionSexSexualityValues
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05/13/2010
IconI'm very sad that, generally, girls today are pigs.' I was speaking with a group of young men in their early twenties, about their social lives.' They each admitted to multiple girlfriends with "overlap."' Most of them expressed some disappointment that they really can't find what they know Dr. Laura would label a "nice girl." "You think they are good girls, but the minute you show them some attention, if they're at all interested, they are all over you with zillions of daily suggestive text messages and sex.' They're open for, ahem, servicing us, even before we've taken 'em out on legitimate dates - which can usually be just a visit to a bar or club. "I think," one fellow continued, "that just about all girls these days are pigs." This made me very, very sad.' Because the more that young women act like "pigs," the less respect and regard men have for women in general - and the less they hope and fantasize the blessed possibility of a lovely wife and mother to their 84 children.I opened the paper today to read about a young woman from San Diego who is selling her virginity on a website so that she can pay for her - get ready for this - education as a marriage and family therapist!' Her sister apparently led the way by being a call-girl/hooker to pay for her education.' Well, there is nothing new in women selling their bodies for financial compensation; what is new is the bold and cavalier way it is happening today.' The young women I mentioned said outright that sex and virginity means nothing today.' And this is the sort to help families and marriages?' Are you kidding?When everything of value is demoted to "nothing"...then how is anything ever elevated to "something."' See?' That's why I'm sad.' I'm sad for all these young men who have been taught by the piggish women of today that love, fidelity, and intimacy mean nothing.' I am sad that our young men have been robbed of hope that they can ever be secure in a marriage, because how can they trust a cavalier "pig" to ever be anything else? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCharityChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingSexSexualityValues
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Tags: CharityEthicsFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingReligionValues
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05/13/2010
IconA listener sent this in and there's a punch-line:According to a news report, a certain school in Garden City, MI was recently faced with a'unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the washroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror, leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back.'''''Finally, the principal decided that something had to be done. He called all the girls to the washroom and met them there with the maintenance man. He explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night. To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, he asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.''''''''''''The maintenance man took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.' Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''THE MORAL OF THIS STORY:'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''There are teachers, and then there are Educators. More >>

Tags: EducationEthicsFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingValues
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05/13/2010
Icon"Disney Accused by Catholic Cleric of Corrupting Children's Minds," was headline from The UK Telegraph that obviously caught my eye and curiosity.' I grew up with all the Disney cartoon movies...and save for Snow White shacking up with a lot of dwarfs with funny names - but no funny business - I can't think of anything corrupting about that Disney era.In fact, moral stories were always at the center: good guys and gals were ultimately saved and rewarded; and bad guys got their comeuppance in spades. What possible problem could Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, England have with Disney?He argues that the Disney Corporation pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture which is in danger of losing its soul because of growing consumerism and the decline of religion.'Whoooo.' He's got something there.' These movies are wolves in grandma's clothing?' They present a dichotomy of good and bad and then market the heck out of it and make oodles of money seducing kids into buying all kinds of junk in the image of the cute - or nasty - images on the screen.Father Jamison targets the behavior of Disney in particular, which he says is "a classic example" of how consumerism is being sold as an alternative to finding happiness in traditional morality.' While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil (i.e., moral battles) he argues that this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be a good and happy family and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.While Father Jamison makes an obviously good point...it is a matter of the free market.' I don't begrudge Disney trying to make a buck selling stuffed animals and t-shirts based upon their story characters.' I do begrudge the weakness of parents saying, "Yes, dear," each time their child yells and demands something.' How 'bout instead of giving in so readily, you tell them to save up their money from putting out the trash or collecting leaves so they can buy their heart's desire for "101 Dalmatians" plastic or stuffed dogs?' The children will learn patience, and the art of saving toward a goal - actually gaining pride in earning what they desire.' In fact, after they work that hard and that long, that toy may not look as nearly as interesting a use of their hard-earned change.' This way, your children learn self-discipline, self-control and a real appreciation for the value of "junk," so they can make an informed decision as to how important it really is to them. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSocial IssuesValues
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