ON CHANGE AND MORALITY

ON CHANGE AND MORALITY

Our society has been under furious change where we failed to introspect ourselves about what actually we are promoting

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “change” means the process of replacing something with something new or different. Our society is in this phase, where the so-called “change” is occurring and it will occur so far the world exists. Now the problem with this change is the ability to transform the social values. The transformation of these social values is appreciable, but there is a barrier to this transformation, why the barrier is there because it is a threat to our cultural identity in the sense that it threatens our culture, our values and our being. What actually “change” means for any society? The probable answer will be; when it replaces or changes the essence of the existing social values with a new view of understanding those pre-existing values. This new view of discovered understanding is the resultant of the pre-existing value, the new resultant is also the manufactured product of the heterogeneous cultural mosaic. We in modern society have appreciated the concept of being heterogeneous culture, but on the name of this concept, there is a notion of Macdonalisation which is being followed. Being heterogeneous means being tolerant of other cultures which pre-exist in the society or shaping the pre-existing social structure in a way which allows others to be part of that society in a peaceful atmosphere [here the view is moral, not political], but the thing with our society is different. We have not understood the consequences of this cultural transformation led by the internet where we are appeasing the culture of online things i.e. internet and being nonconformist towards our own culture or values which has become an immense threat to our identity.
In our valley, the abrupt social change started in the year 2020 (here I should point out that the change I meant here is the social change influenced by the internet), the phase which occur from 2020 to date was fast and furious where we not able to introspect ourselves i.e. is it right what I am promoting in the society. The cause which led to the change in society is obviously what we call the internet or technology, as more people around the world gain access to all the tools of the digital age, the internet has played a great role and is the armament which played an essential role in degrading the social behaviour of our young generation or overall society. According to the Pew research centre, there was a report published on the use of the internet, where the public in emerging and developing nations are more convinced that the internet is having a negative effect on morality. The intense use of the internet increases the risk of alienation, isolation, depression, and withdrawal from society or socio cultural gaps. The impact of the internet has most significantly changed the lives of young people. Friendships and interactions are increasingly conducted online via text messaging and such interactions have several cultural implications. Online communication has influenced the evolution of language, new rituals and symbols and had significantly impacted the identity of young people, exposure to inappropriate content, the easy access to a vast amount of content, which may include explicit and immoral material. Children can be exposed to inappropriate content, leading to moral degradation. It is also associated with cyber bullying, online harassment and addiction; internet facilitated the spread of misinformation, fake news, conspiracy theories and hate speeches.
The moral judgement of society in itself is degraded i.e. the lens by which we weigh the action of individuals in a society is lowered by the influence of the internet. The notion we believed that the heterogeneous culture will make essential changes in our society in respect of tolerant society and will infiltrate the spark of pacifism, no doubt it may, and in this very manner internet has played a frontline role, but at the same moment we also should not forget that how it has been also playing a role in demoralising the pre-existing social values, as mentioned above. Whether heterogeneous culture is good or bad let that be decided by political scientists, but the cultural heterogeneous promoted by the internet is unethical in the sense that the internet has been contributing to the objectification and sexualisation of women, particularly through the proliferation of pornography and the objectification of women’s body in advertising and media. This has undermined values like respect for women and gender equality.
Society has devaluated the notion of respect e.g. when some anonymous person stalks a girl on social media, it is being noted we let it go as if nothing has happened. The possible reason for this is that we don’t have weighted it as an immoral act either by the doer or by the receiver, but the same thing will become an immense act of harassment in near future not in the near future but it is, We will accept it as immoral act when we get it weighted by our understanding as immoral, but that understanding is now subject to that internet which is promoting it and the promoters are the society itself. I think no one will accept it as the new view of understanding those pre-existing values. The level of degradation of social values is not acceptable by any civil society. It is the duty of both civil society and the state to take measures to minimise the negative impact on morality. This column is not against the use of the internet, but it objectifies the necessity of being aware of the ills of it, if not used in a certain manner.
The young generation is also at the same moment the promoters of social values when they are the victims. By the advocacy of social causes that we care about, such as gender equality, human rights, and digital literacy; by advocating for these issues, we can raise awareness and influence public opinion, which can lead to changes in social values. Young people can sever as role models for their peers and the younger generation. By demonstrating positive behaviours and values, we can inspire others to adopt similar attitudes and actions. Young people can impact social values through education. By learning about different cultures, religions and lifestyles, we can broaden our understanding and tolerance of diversity. We can also use education to challenge social norms and stereotypes that perpetuate inequality, discrimination and immoral or unethical behaviour. I think our society has been under furious change where we failed to introspect ourselves about what actually we are promoting. We should take immediate steps regarding these vital issues for a healthy social balance or the moral conduct of society. In my concluding remarks, I will quote: “Morality is religion in practice; religion is morality in principle.”
The author is a student at the Department Of Philosophy, Aligarh Muslim University. He can be reached at [email protected]

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