Decline in Moral Values and Crisis of Faith


From The Editor's Desk

(Hinduwebsite Editorial - Exploring Truth Amidst Illusions and Distortions)

Have you noticed people protesting in the streets because some goon or criminal was arrested by the authorities?

Have you noticed how laws were subverted and propaganda was unleashed to promote certain illegal and unethical practices or defend certain criminal actions?

Did you ever feel that the darker side of human behavior was gaining traction in certain social and political circles?

These trends are not confined to a few countries. It is now a global phenomenon, a product of the decadence in our values and morals and the crisis faith.

When people lose their moral compass, they resort to perverted logic. This is called viparyaya or vitandawada.

According to our scriptures, it is usually tamasic and demonic people who indulge in this type of arguments.

Frankly, there should be no confusion about right and wrong, unless you are dealing with existential problems or abstract concepts.

With intelligence, you can discern the true from false just as you can discern the day from night. Same is true with morality.

At the most fundamental level, there should be no confusion to know the right from wrong. Morality is not about freedom, but about responsibility.

Morality is mostly not about actions but about values, discipline and self-restraint. There is a lot of confusion in people's minds about what freedom means or how to express it or enjoy it.

The decadent values of progressive movements equate sexual freedom with individual freedom while they have no issues with government trying to control the lives of people and taking away their individual liberties through voluminous laws and deceptive slogans.

These very people who talk of individual freedom campaign for insincere politicians in elections and support governments that pay lip service to the Wellbeing of the people.

When you live in the world, you become a part of an unwritten social contract, which imposes certain obligations on you in return for some comforts, opportunities and facilities the world offers in return.

Obviously the irresponsibly rich people have the privilege, the power and the freedom to rewrite the social contract according to their whims and convenience.

The Bhagavadgita suggests that people should cultivate discerning wisdom (buddhi) to discriminate between right and wrong.

Without proper discrimination, it is impossible to overcome suffering and ignorance or achieve self-transformation.

You do not have to read great shastras to know the right from the wrong. What you require is pure common sense and the ability to know instantly and intuitively what is good for you and for society and what protects your soul from evil and what does not.

A discerning person is saved from downfall, while those who lack common sense and the discriminating intelligence perish by their own indiscriminate actions.

The order and regularity of society is ensured only when people abide by certain social and moral norms. In every age, people followed their own set of laws to regulate their lives and society.

When these laws fell into disuse or corrupted by perverted logic, society usually fell into chaos and disorder.

When disorder sets in, no one is safe. The rot that sets in society in times of disorder due to the ascendance of evil gradually spreads.

In the early stages of this decline, you will hear about a few sporadic incidents of crime and evil happening here and there. Then more and more people will be drawn into it and suffer from it.

As the decline continues, at some point of time, evil becomes the standard and people begin to forget what is right and wrong. When it happens, only the most heinous crimes will be considered evil and sinful while a lot of evil goes unnoticed.

Excesses become the norm, and people's tolerance and acceptance for them increase proportionately.

Indian society, like many others, is presently going through a similar phase.

It does not matter if women are raped every day and the culprits evade the law, if people are killed because they fall in love against the wishes of the elders or defy the privileged or if justice is denied to millions because they cannot afford to spend money or exert influence.

It does not matter if more than half the humanity live in abject poverty and subsist on unhealthy food because they belong to socially deprived classes and castes and have meager means and opportunities to improve their lives.

While poverty may be a mindset as some people argue, it is difficult to break that mind when a person is poor.

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