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What Is Modern Culture?
This is an Inactive Session within the Topic Culture
Session Type: What is the nature of this topic? Grasp this issue deeply.
 
 
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Progress Developing this Session (Public View)
 
This Session in under development. Want to contribute? Anyone can share a Perspective or Resource. Add your thought, hope, story, book, or action!
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Perspectives: 3
 
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Perspectives and Resources
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Visionary
Neil Postman
 
 
 
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Perspectives are simple statements on any perspective or opinion about the Topic. Our goal is to present a wide variety of varying opinions - both for and against a situation - so users can explore and decide on the Topic as a whole.

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Resources
Other Resource: Text: Most of us have ceased to be shocked
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Most of us have ceased to be shocked

“We live in an age when most of us have ceased to be shocked by the increasing breakdown in moral inhibitions. The decay of conscience fills the air with a pungent smell. Good and evil, which were once as distinguishable as day and night, have become a blurred mist. But that mist is man-made.” 152
“Now we reap the fruits of failure. Through centuries His voice cried in the wilderness. How skillfully it was trapped and imprisoned in the temples! How thoroughly distorted! Now we behold how it gradually withdraws, abandoning one people after another, departing from their souls, despising their wisdom. The taste for goodness has all but gone from the earth.” 152
Decline of the holy and growth of the profane. “We have trifled with the name of God. We have taken ideals in vain, preached and eluded Him, praised and defied Him. Now we reap the fruits of failure. Through centuries His voice cried in the wilderness. How skillfully it was trapped and imprisoned in the temples! How thoroughly distorted! Now we behold how it gradually withdraws, abandoning one people after another, departing from their souls, despising their wisdom. The taste for goodness has all but gone from the earth.” Abraham Heschel, Man Is Not Alone, 152

‘Sex was remade in the image of Hugh Hefner; Eros demoted from a god to a buffoon. Over the last thirty years, America transformed itself into a pornographic culture....A pornographic culture is not one in which pornographic materials are published and distributed. A pornographic culture is one which accepts the ideas about sex on which pornography is based.” Maggie Gallagher. Enemies of Eros, 1989, 251


Most of us are no longer shocked by immorality and the taste for goodness is gone
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Other Resource: Text: We are miserable, greedy, and depraved
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We are miserable, greedy, and depraved

“They took the bread and milk and meat from the people of their fields; they gave it to feed, and retain here in their service, this fermenting mass of unhappy human beings, — news-mongers, novel-mongers, picture-mongers, poison-drink-mongers, lust and death-mongers; the whole smoking mass of it one vast dead-marine storeshop, — accumulation of wreck of the Dead Sea, with every activity in it, a form of putrefaction.”


Work and pleasure is dissolute

“They took the bread and milk and meat from the people of their fields; they gave it to feed, and retain here in their service, this fermenting mass of unhappy human beings,—news-mongers, novel-mongers, picture-mongers, poison-drink-mongers, lust and death-mongers; the whole smoking mass of it one vast dead-marine storeshop,—accumulation of wreck of the Dead Sea, with every activity in it, a form of putrefaction.”

John Ruskin, The Genius of John Ruskin
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Other Resource: Text: We can’t distinguish between good and bad (Nihilism)
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We can’t distinguish between good and bad (Nihilism)

"Nihilism as a state of soul is revealed not so much in the lack of firm beliefs but in a chaos of the instincts or passions. People no longer believe in a natural hierarchy of the soul's varied and conflicting inclinations." Allan Bloom, The Closing Of the American Mind, 155

“Today’s students hesitate to articulate their reasons for loving—they must certainly have such reasons somewhere within them—for fear that they may come up with negative judgments about someone else’s tastes or practices. This would be illiberal and might lead to persecution. Liberal society guarantees the right to privacy, even when nobody wants to keep anything private. A de facto equality among all preferences and practices is declared in order to avoid criticism and comparison.” Allan Bloom, Love and Friendship, 434


Radical freedom of expression advocates equate the best with the worst

“There is apparently nothing that a flummery of professors will not testify has ‘serious value.’ When Cincinnati prosecuted the museum that displayed Mapplethorpe’s photographs, the jury deferred to defense witnesses who said the pictures were art and hence could not be obscene. Cincinnati was widely ridiculed and portrayed as benighted for even attempting to punish obscenity. One typical cartoon showed a furtive figure stepping out of an alley in the city to offer ‘feelthy pictures’ to a surprised passerby. The picture was a reproduction of a Michelangelo. It is typical of our collapse of standards that Mapplethorpe’s grotesqueries can be compared even in a cartoon to Michelangelo’s art.” Robert Bork, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, 146

Immorality is no longer definable or defensible

“Today’s Court majority would have difficulty understanding Chaplinsky’s statement that an utterance could inflict an injury to morality. Morality itself has become relativized in our constitutional jurisprudence, so that the Court no longer has the vocabulary to say that something is immoral and, for that reason, may be banned by the legislature.” Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, 149


Allan Bloom and Robert Bork
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Primary Resource: Link: Chris Hedges, Diseases of Despair Chris Hedges, Diseases of Despair (Edit)
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