Korean students relying heavily on private institutions for academic assistance (Hagwon in U.S. cash in on Korean undergrads (JoongAng Daily)… I feel that this is not a new topic. Meanwhile, more importantly, it seems that the morals in our society are failing, according the everyone – teachers, my parents, and media, including the following article:  US teens lie, steal, cheat at ‘alarming’ rates.

Why is this happening? It mostly has to do with the fact that, in general, today’s world is affluent, compared to the past. With this affluence, we no longer fear anything – especially anything can be “tolerated” and “accepted.” In the past, humans always formed communities and depended on human relationship to live. However, in today’s society, with the thriving individuality and independence and the transformed structure of society, people rely less on each other, and value independence and individuality.

I’m not saying that these phenomena are necessarily bad. However, what are some of the negative consequences? People fear the eyes of the others less, and personal morals and standards replace the society’s. In a sense, the individual becomes superior to the society – that the individual has the freedom, or even right, to do anything one wants without reprimand.  Also, the ideals of the American society and of the modern world are being distorted and abused. The idea of privacy and personal freedom has become such an integral part of the modern society that we speak of it freely and no longer stop to ponder over the conditions that are associated.

This is in a way an exaggeration, but the occurrences these days seem to support this point of view. The American teens who have grown up and been educated under the modern system are showing a sharp decline in morality and honesty.

Yes, sciences are important. Literature is important. But isn’t the most important education we need to be providing the young generation the one on morality and ethics? Without this, our society would crumble due to eventual and inevitable depravity.

As a Catholic, I would like to say a word in defense for the religious schools. In the second article, the author rather obviously insinuates that the morally corrupt behaviors are more rampant in religious school. However, I believe that it is more likely that the students at such schools hold different standards of  “honesty,” and consider something dishonest that students at non-religious schools would may consider perfectly morally acceptable. In addition, it could also be true that the students at the religious schools were more truthful in responding to the survey. I recognize that I have no authority to prove this or aggressively advocate this point of view, but what with the recent “trend” in attacking the religious institutions, I was slightly irritated by the way the author structured the article.


~ by stephanieec on December 9, 2008.

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