Canada -- a moral nation?On February 18, 2002, Leger Marketing released the results of a poll on "Canadians and Morality." The report was brief and concise in its findings, for the most part simply a regurgitation regurgitation /re·gur·gi·ta·tion/ (re-ger?ji-ta´shun)
1. flow in the opposite direction from normal.
2. vomiting. of the percentages with little analysis proffered. However, I believe that a real education on the state of morals in Canada can be drawn from this report if we dig a little further from a Christian moral perspective. And the picture is not pretty.
The first question asked the respondents was whether Canadians, generally speaking, have a moral sense that is very strong, somewhat strong, somewhat weak, or very weak. Nearly three-quarters replied that they believe Canadians have a strong (very or somewhat) moral sense. This in itself is interesting, because, as we shall see, not nearly this many believe that most of the immoral activities they were asked to pontificate on are immoral.
The table below groups the activities according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. which of the Ten Commandments Ten Commandments or Decalogue [Gr.,=ten words], in the Bible, the summary of divine law given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They have a paramount place in the ethical system in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. the activity violates.
As presented, the list is a smorgasbord of immoral activities. At first blush Adv. 1. at first blush - as a first impression; "at first blush the offer seemed attractive"
when first seen , it is astonishing a·ston·ish
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise. that shoplifting Ask a Lawyer
Country: United States of America
caught shoplifting at sears 12/05/05, first time, 20yearsold, have no criminal record. ranks as the number one immoral activity, with abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality far down the list. Second, given that most of these activities presently, or at one time in our recent history, were against civil law, it is a sad comment that the percentages are not much higher across the board.
Finally, it is hard to reconcile the finding that three-quarters of Canadians have a strong moral sense when 13 of the 17 activities fall far below this "moral threshold." We Canadians seem to be schizophrenic when it comes to morals, but this is hardly surprising given the moral relativism The philosophized notion that right and wrong are not absolute values, but are personalized according to the individual and his or her circumstances or cultural orientation. It can be used positively to effect change in the law (e.g. of our times.
The natural moral law
The results from this poll seem to indicate that people have separated their modern sense of morality from God's natural moral law. The Catechism of the Catholic Church The Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC, is an official exposition of the teachings of the Catholic Church, first published in French in 1992 by the authority of Pope John Paul II. states that "[T]he natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie" [CCC CCC
A very speculative grade assigned to a debt obligation by a rating agency. Such a rating indicates default or considerable doubt that interest will be paid or principal repaid. Also called Caa. 1954]. The Catechism further states that the "principal precepts [of the moral law] are expressed in the Decalogue," the Ten Commandments [CCC 1955]. Finally, it states that "[T]he natural law, the Creator's very good work, provides the solid foundation on which man can build the structure of moral rules to guide his choices," that the moral law "provides the necessary basis for the civil law with which it is connected" [CCC 1959].
A Christian perspective on the poll's results
How then do these findings compare with the natural moral law handed down to Moses and written on all our hearts, the Ten Commandments? With the aid of the Holy Bible Holy Bible
name for book containing the Christian Scriptures. [Christianity: NCE, 291]
See : Writings, Sacred (NRV NRV New River Valley (NC, VA)
NRV Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (North German Regatta Association)
NRV Net Realizable Value
NRV Non Return Valve
NRV Net Reserve Value (accounting) , Exodus 17) and the Catechism, it is easy to group the activities according to which of the Ten Commandments each activity violates: being an atheist (the first commandment -- I am the Lord your God); swearing (you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain); taking hard drugs, alcohol abuse, and taking soft drugs soft drugs npl → drogas fpl blandas
soft drugs soft npl → drogues douces
soft drugs soft npl → (honor your father and mother); suicide, abortion, and doctor-assisted suicide (you shall not kill); extramarital ex·tra·mar·i·tal
Being in violation of marriage vows; adulterous: an extramarital affair.
Adjective affairs, prostitution, homosexuality, premarital sex, and divorce (you shall not commit adultery); and shoplifting, tax evasion The process whereby a person, through commission of Fraud, unlawfully pays less tax than the law mandates.
Tax evasion is a criminal offense under federal and state statutes. A person who is convicted is subject to a prison sentence, a fine, or both. , working under the table, and gambling (you shall not steal).
The First Commandment
And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me" (See also Mark 12:28-34).
Given that we live in an aggressively secular society, it is perhaps not surprising that only 26.2% find that being an atheist is immoral. If anything, being at the bottom of the list would seem to provide justification for the mixed-up sense of morality that can be gleaned from the rest of the list.
The Second Commandment
"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless guilt·less
Free of guilt; innocent.
guilt who takes his name in vain."
The report does not definitively suggest that taking the Lord's name in vain is the type of swearing being referred to, but given the laxity laxity /lax·i·ty/ (lak´si-te)
1. slackness or looseness; a lack of tautness, firmness, or rigidity.
2. slackness or displacement in the motion of a joint.lax´
looseness. that is evident in a popular culture which routinely takes the name of the Lord in vain, it is a sad commentary that less than half the population find this immoral.
The Fourth Commandment
"Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you."
The results here are somewhat encouraging in that most Canadians feel that it is immoral to subject our bodies to the abuse of harmful substances (taking hard drugs; alcohol abuse; taking soft drugs). However, moral anarchy reigns supreme with regard to the 5th, 6th and 7th commandments.
The Fifth Commandment
Decades of relativistic rel·a·tiv·is·tic
1. Of or relating to relativism.
a. Of, relating to, or resulting from speeds approaching the speed of light: relativistic increase in mass. arguments on the "value" and "quality" of life have fostered the nihilistic ni·hil·ism
a. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
b. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
2. notion that human life is a matter of convenience whose "value" and "quality" are to be determined by a subjective judgment about whether a person is useful. This is selfishness, the opposite of Christian charity. While six in ten find suicide immoral, scarcely three in ten find doctor-assisted suicide immoral. What are we to infer here? End your life, but don't forget to involve your family physician?
Regarding abortion, it is a scandal that less than half the population views the killing of unborn children as immoral. Again, selfishness (my "right" to choose) is set above the law of God.
In all cases, we must awaken to what is taking place here: a perversion Perversion
See also Bestiality.
bondage and domination (B & D)
practices with whips, chains, etc. for sexual pleasure. [Western Cult.: Misc. of Christian charity that calls on all of us to assist the weak, the dispirited dis·pir·it·ed
Affected or marked by low spirits; dejected. See Synonyms at depressed.
Adj. , and the disenfranchised. Instead these findings point to a growing callousness, a disregard for our fellow man, and a denial that the desire to kill, let die, or help to die is morally wrong.
The Sixth Commandment "You shall not commit adultery."
In passing, it is noteworthy that five of the seventeen activities surveyed concern concupiscence concupiscence Horniness, see there (extramarital affairs; prostitution; homosexuality; premarital sex; and divorce). Supposedly, eight of ten of us would condemn extramarital affairs as immoral, yet the reverse number, only two out often, would find divorce immoral. This raises two concerns. First, there may be an apparent self-justification in condemning extra-marital sex while approving of divorce, because the first can be readily obtained with the easy availability of the second. Second, as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, easy civil divorces do not break the sacramental bond of a Catholic marriage ,so some segment of society is under the delusion that post-divorce sexual relations sexual relations
1. Sexual intercourse.
2. Sexual activity between individuals. are morally dissimilar to extramarital sex Noun 1. extramarital sex - sexual intercourse between individuals who are not married to one another
criminal congress, unlawful carnal knowledge - forbidden or tabu sexual intercourse between individuals .
All these activities act against the call to be chaste (until marriage between a man and a woman). It is astonishing that there is such a wide variance in the societal moral view of these essentially equivalent immoral activities (extramarital affairs, prostitution, homosexuality, premarital sex and divorce) in light of God's natural moral law.
The Seventh Commandment "You shall not steal."
Once again, it is remarkable that there is no consistent approach to all of the listed activities (shoplifting; tax evasion; working under the table; and gambling). While gambling in moderation in and of itself is not immoral, obsessive gambling is immoral because it sins against support of self and family. Shoplifting, tax evasion and working under the table are different forms of stealing or undermining the common good of society.
It is apparent from this survey that Canada's moral compass no longer points in the direction of God's law, but rather to self-interest. Material violations such as shoplifting, tax evasion and working under the table are perceived as greater sins than violations such as abortion, homosexuality and extramarital sex. This "me-first" approach to morality implies that it is a greater crime to commit material violations (keep your hands off my stuff) than to commit sexual violations.
The survey illustrates the subjective nature of moral relativism. The wide variance of the immorality of sins against charity, human dignity, chastity and property is indicative of a personal view of right and wrong that is devoid of the direction of God. The finding that abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia and divorce all appear in the lower rankings of immoral behaviour demonstrates the effectiveness of the anti-life, anti-family campaign that is threatening the Christian nature of our nation.
A thorough read of the survey report also exposes another disturbing trend. Almost without exception, there is a greater tolerance for immoral behaviour among those with a university education, professionals, and those with incomes greater than $60,000 (both of the latter two are likely also to possess a university education). It would seem that our institutes of higher learning are degrading our moral behaviour. This is contrasted with the general findings that those with an elementary education and lower incomes tend to be more moral.
Further, more older people (retirees, 65 years old and over) who presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. recall our nation's earlier moral character tend to be less tolerant of immoral behaviour. Lastly, the province where people are least concerned with moral behaviour is Alberta.
I cannot help but wonder what results a follow-up survey might produce that polls Canadians on their moral views of lying, masturbation, slander, Sunday work, coveting, pornography, corruption, and capital punishment capital punishment, imposition of a penalty of death by the state. History
Capital punishment was widely applied in ancient times; it can be found (c.1750 B.C.) in the Code of Hammurabi. .
Violates Activity Immoral? % Commandment Shoplifting 89.3 7 Having an 80.8 6 extramarital affair Taking hard drugs such as Cocaine and heroine 79.2 4 Tax evasion 77.0 7 Prostitution 68.4 6 Alcohol abuse 66.1 4 Suicide 61.8 5 Working under the table 52.8 7 Taking soft drugs such as marijuana 47.5 4 Abortion 41.8 5 Gambling 41.4 7 Swearing 40.2 2 Homosexuality 32.1 6 Doctor-assisted suicide of a person who is ill 31.3 5 Engaging in premarital sex 27.3 6 Being atheist or not believing in God 26.2 1 Divorce 22.3 6
Nick Burn is a computer statistician and a freelance writer based in Ottawa.