September 20, 2011 12:00 A.M.
Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally
Moral standards have been replaced by feelings.
Last week, David Brooks of the New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Here are excerpts from Brooks’s summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. It was led by “the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith”:
● “Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing.”
● “When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all.”
● “Moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheati
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