Moral Collapse in London

Unrest in London has been headline news that past few days.  We read from the news wire in London (CNN)

Prime Minister David Cameron blames the riots that shook Britain over the past 10 days on a “slow-motion moral collapse … in parts of our country,” he said Monday, as police arrested a new suspect linked with one of the deadliest incidents in the violence.

Cameron listed problems including “Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences. Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control,” in a speech in his constituency in Oxfordshire.

And he promised that the government will “review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society” in the coming weeks.

Chuck Colson writes concerning London: As a result, he says they’re looking for fun, for something to make their lives interesting. As one female looter told the media, they wanted to show the rich and the police ‘we can do what we like.’ And what they like is stealing and destroying.

Colson then quotes British historian and journalist Max Hastings concerning the riots in London.  “First, he says, these young people are utterly adrift. ‘Nobody,’ he writes, ‘has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community.’ And I would add their God or their fellow human beings. They are functional nihilists; people who believe in nothing except satisfying their urges.”

“Second, Hastings says, ‘The [liberal] social engineering industry unites to claim that the conventional template of family life is no longer valid.’ Single motherhood is encouraged, fathers are missing.

Finally, British schools are basket cases: teachers have lost control and are frequent victims of threats and curses.

Hastings concludes, these young hellions ‘are the product of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings.’”

Colson concludes with:  “Folks, Hastings’s brilliant if bleak analysis is right on, and we are right behind the Brits. For more than 35 years in the prisons, I’ve seen the results of family breakdown, of young men turning to the gangs because they had no male role model. In our overflowing prisons, I’ve seen first-hand what Harvard professors James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein concluded: Crime, they said, is caused by a lack of moral training in the morally formative years.”

England over the years has moved away from the teachings of Christianity and more towards secularism; away from an objective standard of morality to relativism.  Without God as a foundation for objective (universal) morality, then good and evil is decided by society or the individual.  Terrorism is not bad in and of itself; it is only evil if society says so.  This is called moral relativism.  However, under relativism if the individual thinks it is acceptable to rob and burn buildings, then those actions are morally acceptable for him.  Many scholars think we as a country are following the lead of England.

Based on the quotes from the young rioters they have adopted an individual moral relativistic view.  They are acting upon their selfish needs which meet their moral standards.  I believe a relativistic society is a dangerous one.  I contend we already see the fruits of moral relativism in our society.  We see living for self-interest it in our families, schools, and throughout our communities.  We need to pay attention to what is happening in England.  Without an objective moral standard, taught to our children while they are young, are we the next to experience widespread violence from our youth?

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Tom Wright September 24, 2011, 10:46 pm

    Once again you’re assuming there is no morality without religion (Christianity). Where is the proof? You give no credit to the individual for morality uninfluenced by God (Which God, by the way)?

  • Steve September 25, 2011, 7:24 am

    All morality must be grounded somewhere. I am referring to the source of morality. Morality is either grounded in the nature of God or humanity. My proof is the fact we all know objective morals exist; some things are really wrong. An example of an objective moral law is, “It is wrong to torture babies for fun.” If you agree objective morals do exist then there needs to be an objective moral lawgiver.

    If you don’t ground objective morals in God, then where do they come from? Tom you need to come up with a source for obvious objective morals (murder is wrong, rape is wrong). My proof is God is the only source of objective morality. The question of which God is a secondary question, that is answered once you establish the source.

    Your problem is the source; if God is not the grounding of objective morality, then where do they come from?


  • Tom Wright October 27, 2011, 9:18 pm

    You say this:
    My proof is God is the only source of objective morality.

    Where is the proof you state? Why is it so hard to admit there’s morality based behavior beyond religion? My proof is that agnostics and atheists can be moral without religion. Why is an “objective moral lawgiver” necessary?
    Is the God you describe a God for all the world and a codifier of all morality? Is it possible that non-Christians are also moral?
    The source of that morality is undefinable by me at present, but I know it exists.


  • John Holmes October 30, 2011, 10:52 am

    Whenever there is discussions about morality etc atheist frequently inform us that you don’t have to believe in God to be moral which of course is perfectly true. But surely it is the cause of these attributes that are the only point of contention.
    Some believe that the evidence points to a creator God. Others, that we are the product of some as yet unproven fluke event having occurred that began an unguided process that has no purpose other than the survival of the fittest in mind.
    The outcome of a faith based on the latter is explained by atheist, Professor William Provine, Cornell University.
    “There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’
    So life is a farce, basically, and when we die, we become mere worm fodder and ultimately fertilizer to feed plants. Such is the lot of a true atheist who believes only in nature, with no supernatural Creator.”
    The bible makes it perfectly clear that Gods existence cannot be proven. That it has to be accepted by faith on the evidence around and in us.
    One must assume that Tom Wright is in accord with the beliefs of professor Provine and those like him who reject the concept of a creator God in favour of chance. This being the case we cannot be certain of anything and this to my mind has always been the primary cause for most if not all human ills and their resulting conflicts.


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