Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Social changes

The headlines tell the tale today that social attitudes are changing. "Marriage is no longer the norm".

Our attitudes to marriage have certainly changed - recent articles in the Telegraph on affairs - where to cut a long story short peoples belief in their personal entitlement to certain relationships seems to drive, through to Mistresses, a new BBC drama TV.

The impact of a decline in marriage on significant proportions of society has been adequately outlined elsewhere - not least by the excellent work of Iain Duncan Smith and his team.

There is also a growing realisation that some peoples desire to live without any restrictions is condemning others to a hopeless existence in other parts of society.

But what is driving all this ? Here are my list of factors (add or tack issue in the comments if you want):

    1) Greater proportion of people going to University leading to a prolonged adolescence. At Uni these sort of liberal life style choices have strong attraction ( personal gratification not being the least ), there is also an anti-authority backlash, as everyone has just broken free of their parents. An almost unique community without responsibility that exists under the illusion of eternal youth and that no sacrifices are required or responsibilities to others exist.
    2) The socially liberal media effectively tells people what to believe. It is quite clear that the BBC effectively tries to brain wash inform people in what to think (think East Enders or the Archers). People like the BBC are vastly unrepresentative of the country at whole - but strive to change the country into their own image.
    3) A lack of faith and knowedge of that faith. Now that many people don't believe in revealed truth ( as certainly the abrahamic religions do, and maybe others ) there is no reason not to drift. As long as no one puts restrictions on you, then you don't insist on restrictions on them. This is in many ways the real "no such thing a society" message that people wrongly attribute to Mrs T through too narrowly quoting her famous interview.

Based on these forces, and the only effective resistance being a minority of the Christian church, Islam and other imported religions I would expect drift to continue. It is the ultimate example of the selfish society the left have allowed us to become.

And as always it will be those who are most vulnerable who will pay the price for the country's excesses.


Dodger said...

You make it sound like such a doom and gloom story. I just don't believe that is the case.

Yes there are many things wrong with the country but I fail to see how religious faith makes a happy stable society!

Religion has been, and still is, responsible for most of the hatred we see in the world. It segregates people between countries and now with a multiculutural society the segregations are at a local level. This is not a stable situation, especially when you consider that people with blind faith fail to take any responsibility for themselves. And why should they when they are merely puppets for the bearded one upstairs.

Moral character comes from genetics and environment ie. up-bringing. 'Bad' people will be bad no matter whether they have faith.

As to the lack of marriages - well marriage is a religious institution so I for one do not see a need for it. As a biologist I see so many different lifestyles within the non-human sphere, none of which involve ritualised ceremonies/weddings. Our involvement in these ritual ceremonies is bizarre, when taken into context with the other animals, and as such should be seen as abnormal.

A stable society is one where religion is not, effectively an atheist society. Where people are free to make decisions about their own lives.

Man in a Shed said...

I doubt Moral character comes from genetics - just ask the Nazi's - unless you believe there is a fault in the German generic make up.

Marriage results in better health and child rearing outcomes - hence as a biologist you would expect it to be reinforced by natural selection.

Religion is a more difficult case since there is a fundamental gulf between says Christians and atheists. Socialism is the leading cause of brutal mass murder in this world ( see Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Stalin and Lenin's USSR, Nazi Europe, the French revolution etc )

here all religions don't preach the same thing and don't require the same thing. However the belief in future judgement is a storing modifier on human behaviour. As less people believe in judgement so we need more CCTV.

But my underlying point is not the results of the survey but the social forces in play. They are most important as they will drive society to yet greater extremes.

mexicano said...

Dodger - yours is a naive view not backed up by reality. No society has long survived once it has abandoned the religious faith on which it was founded and we will be no exception.

But my main point is for MIAS - you omitted welfare and the sense of security it engenders in people. This, inevitaby, means they're less inclined to forsake their independence for the old-fashioned security that a marriage provides.

Man in a Shed said...

Yes of course your right welfare has a big impact.

Anonymous said...

This isn't going to change until the government starts introducing the right financial incentives and disincentives when it comes to marriage. It's all horribly wrong at the moment and encourages families to break up or never get married in the first place.

Stable families should be the spine of this country.