What are traditional values ​​that are immoral

Society without "morals" but with "values" - is that possible?

Nowadays, anyone who is even suspected of preaching something like a generally binding "morality" inevitably makes himself a target. The term "morality" works almost like a dirty word. This can be seen, for example, in the STANDARD forum on certain irritating topics such as veganism or climate protection. Some posters regularly complain that some wanted to "impose" their "morals" on others. Morals - like religion - are a "private matter", it is explained to one.

At the same time, everyone suddenly agrees on a generally binding morality to which immigrants should adhere. Of course, it is not called "morality" here, but all of a sudden one speaks of "values".

Morality and Modernity

This could be the answer to Andreas Urs Sommer's astonishment that the term "values" is currently so popular. Well, the word "values" is used because nobody likes to use the word "morality" in public discourse any more.

What is behind these self-contradictions of comparatively young debates that ignite on topics such as veganism or immigration is a thoroughly older and deeper dilemma, a legacy of the Enlightenment.

Legacy of the Enlightenment

Their motto was: We destroy traditional morality, that is, we destroy morality that was religious, morality based on belief in God. But on what do we then base the possibility of ethics, the rules of our coexistence, norms of all kinds?

But even the declared anti-moralism had the problem of being overtaken by morality again and again. Nietzsche's most passionate tirades against morality are, in a certain sense, oozing with morality. And even the social criticism of Marxist materialism, which dismisses morality as a mere ideology in the service of the ruling classes, without being aware of this contradiction, contains at the same time a powerful moral doctrine.

We all moralize all the time ...

As unpopular as the expression is, as many would vehemently deny that they are doing so: We all moralize, continuously, in everyday life. We keep making distinctions between "good" and "bad". To just declare it a "private matter" is impossible. Our moral judgments never only apply to ourselves, but automatically always to others or even to society as a whole. There is no other way, because that is an indispensable part of people. What can only be ascertained is the difference between those who are aware that they are moralizing and those who are not.

... and especially nowadays again

Even the heirs of the 1968 generation, who rebelled against the morality coded as bourgeois, had to realize that it is not so easy to get along without morality. There is no other explanation for the fact that nowadays a new moralizing tendency is blossoming on the left. And this may also be the reason why the Greens have turned into what is critically referred to as the "prohibition party". Of course, one avoids the word "morality" and does not use the expressions "good behavior" and "decency", which are also regarded as outmoded. What the Knigge or the Elmayer used to be, today corresponds to the discourses on political correctness and gender justice. Nobody here says he is "moral". However, one is against "racism" and "sexism", as a vegan possibly also against "speciesism".

And we are rebelling against it as always ...

It is only against this background of course that some resistance to political correctness and gendering can be explained. In no way do these arise from a mere conservatism. If one refuses to restrict smoking, to set an internal I or to meet a quota for women, it is definitely on the rebellious line of the tradition of modernity, impulses against the regulation of morality. And of course this resistance to morality is itself very moralizing. So it goes on and on in a circle. We are dealing here with one of those strange double social movements that have characterized European civilizations since the Enlightenment. Because the power struggle for control of "morals" has been going on for at least that long, and not just since vegans or mass immigration existed. (Ortwin Rosner, June 20, 2017)

Ortwin Rosner, Born in 1967, completed studies of German and philosophy in Vienna, diploma thesis 2003 with Professor Wolfgang Müller-Funk with the title "Body and Discourse. On the thematization of the unconscious in literature based on ETA Hoffmann's Der Sandmann", published in 2006 in Peter Lang- Publishing company; lives as a writer in Vienna.

He has not yet made it to become a thoroughly moral vegan, but at least he is right and bad to become a halfway moral vegetarian.

On the subject

Further user comments from Ortwin Rosner