Politics Magazine

Is It Moral Or Not ?

Posted on the 22 May 2013 by Jobsanger
Is It Moral Or Not ? This nation has changed a lot since I was a young man. Things that were once considered immoral have now moved over to being moral for a majority of the American public. For instance, having sex without being married, gambling, engaging in homosexual behavior, and divorce, all used to be considered to be immoral. But now, a clear majority of Americans consider these to be moral actions. This is a good sign for our society, because it means that more Americans are thinking for themselves instead of letting some preacher do it for them. And they are beginning to realize that good is not determined by some book -- but by what makes people happy (as long as no one else is hurt).
A recent Gallup Poll asked people to rate a list of activities as to whether they were moral or not. The survey was conducted between May 2nd and 7th of a nationwide random sample of 1,535 adults -- with a 3 point margin of error. Here is what they found:
Is It Moral Or Not ? Of course morality and legality are two separate things. Some might expect that people would want things they consider immoral to also be illegal, but that is not true. Take for instance the last item on the list above -- married men and women having an affair. A whopping 91% of the public thinks that is immoral behavior, but I doubt that very many of that huge majority would want that to be illegal (considered criminal behavior).
Abortion is much the same. While 42% consider it moral and 49% consider it immoral, poll after poll has shown that a significant majority of Americans agree it should be legal (with limitations such as are contained in Roe vs. Wade).
Too often in the past, our leaders have thought they could legislate morality by making behavior they considered immoral to be also illegal. Prohibition of alcohol was one excellent example, and it turned out to be a massive failure (just like our current drug prohibition). I am hopeful that the above chart shows many Americans are starting to realize that morality can't be legislated -- even if many of our elected officials are still blind to that reality.

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