Risks of Reducing Ethics in Society

Jawaharlal Nehru

On 14 November, India celebrates the birthday of its first prime-minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He led the Indian independence movement along with Mahatma Gandhi and served as the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964. He was recognized for his focus towards education and hence his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day in India. During his tenure various schools and colleges were established all over India. Most renowned are All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) from which India has benefited tremendously in the long run. He was focused on social reform and Indian parliament under his leadership passed laws to criminalize caste discrimination, and increase rights and freedom of women.

He envisaged India as a morally and socially conscious country. He propagated equal opportunities for all, while living in a free, just and ethical society. His famous quote about moral and ethics was  – “To be in good moral condition requires at least as much training as to be in good physical condition.”

Unfortunately, worldwide there is a concern about morals and principles of the present society. With globalization and technology,  deteriorating social norms is insidious and is now becoming visible. Boomers and Gen X are responsible for globalization and advancement of technology; hence they are also accountable to Gen Y and later generations, to offer a safe social environment. Society needs to focus on building an ethical and moral world culture.

In this week I am attempting to highlight the moral corrosion of our society. Below is news which will shock you, hence please take care. To read the full story of the posts mentioned below, click on the headings.

1.      The Education of Future Slaves ( via Rogue Operator)

Across the world parents are concerned about the education provided to their children. The focus is on receiving ‘A’ grades or 90% in various subjects. The educational institutes are not focusing on building moral character of their students. With lack of focus on morals and principles at young age, can we expect these children to grow up as morally conscious adults? The Rogue Operator blog post “The Education of Future Slaves” clearly brings out these concerns.

Every year Americans are increasingly appalled by the nation’s decline, but seem unwilling or unable to properly attribute the source our intellectual and moral decay: The “state-run” education system. Entrusting their childrens’ education to the power-hungry, parents are amazed when politicians instrumentalize their childrens’ minds as a means to preserving their own power. Yet they need not be surprised. The goal of the state is to expand the power of the state; and this includes power over the human mind.

The abysmal state of public or “state-run” education is well-documented. Sub-standard math and science education (evidenced by deteriorating international test scores), as well as skyrocketing costs and an increasingly immoral curricula (including pre-teen sex education and environmentalist indoctrination), have led to the creation of an irrational, immoral, and confused electorate. This proposes tremendous problems for American patriots, whose political ideology is explicitly predicated on history and rationality.

2.    Japanese man commits suicide in front of online audience (via Allvoices.com)

A 24-year-old Japanese man committed suicide while the world watched. He was in depression due to suspension from his job in August 2010. Viewers of the live stream video prodded him to take his life. My question is- where is compassion for a suffering person and will the viewers be held responsible for murder? Is there any respect for human life left or is it that to relieve boredom viewers will take part in any activity, even if it amounts to a human being losing his/her life? Read the article below from Allvoices.com

A Japanese man hanged himself in front of a web camera, as forum users continued heated debate over the authenticity of the footage.

­The 24-year old from the northern city of Sendai began streaming live images of himself via Ustream online channel just after midnight on Tuesday. As people logged on to watch, the man made one unsuccessful attempt to hang himself by tying a rope to the pillar of a balcony. Two hours later, at approximately 5:30am, he tried again at a different location and succeeded.

Some forum users had been posting messages urging the man to kill himself, while others attempted to talk him out of it. The streaming service was interrupted shortly after 6am, following calls to the police. Officers arrived at 8am to find the man dead.

He had been suspended from duty at a bank since August, and a week prior to his suicide had posted messages announcing his plan to take his own life.

3.      Artist Lets Internet Users Vote on His Fate: Live or Die (via Aol News)

A Russian artist has strapped himself to an electric chair and shows live coverage via internet. Viewers’ are participating in giving him electric shocks by voting on internet. Should this kind of experiment be allowed and people permitted to view this on internet? Are those participating not indicating extremely sadistic personalities and irresponsible behavior? If this artist dies, who will be legally and morally held responsible for his death? These are some deep concerns which should be discussed when reading this story.

Oleg Mavromatti, a radical performance artist wanted by Russian authorities, is submitting both his case and his very life to the judgment of Internet voters.

The voting is part of a very interactive performance titled “Ally/Enemy.” And if the majority of participants find him guilty, he says an electric shock will be administered to stop his heart.

Oleg Mavromatti, shown here in a screen grab from his website, is a Russian performance artist who is letting people vote on whether or not he should be electrocuted.

The performance began Sunday and is set to end — perhaps very dramatically — on Saturday. Each day, Mavromatti straps himself into a homemade electric chair for four hours while users decide whether he should live or die. Wires from a makeshift generator are taped to his temple.

The performance begins each day at 7 p.m. (noon EST) in Sofia, Bulgaria, where Mavromatti has been living. Twenty minutes before the end of each live session — at 10:40 p.m. local time (3:40 p.m. EST), the votes are tallied. If a majority vote guilty, a device administers a 600,000-volt shock to his body.

The duration of the shock will increase by one second each day. As Mavromatti explains in his blog, one second is enough to burn skin. Three seconds can leave a severe burn. Five seconds can cause a more severe burn and knock the victim unconscious. A shock of six or seven seconds can be fatal.

Reading the above was shocking for me.  It shows complete lack of empathy in the society. We are fast losing our moral bearings. We are participating in various activities without analyzing the moral and ethical issues about them. This is a disturbing trend and we need to change it.  To make the world a better place to live in, we need to impart ethics training from childhood. A morally conscious adult is a far better citizen than a technically educated adult. Let us understand this and focus on building strong characters of our children.