Moral Education for Americans

Moral Education for Americans

Moral Education for Americans

Moral Education for Americans

Synopsis

Since World War II the regulation of conduct in the United States has become problematic. This condition has been recognized by ordinary citizens in the soaring crime rates, illegitimate births, neglect of the public good and increase in special and individual interests, preference for fame, fortune and power, gross immoral acts by public figures, and fascination of the media and the audience with spectacles of evil. The troubled control of social behavior in the nation is suggested by the fact that our society has no commonly accepted set of standards that can guide our actions. Heslep penetrates the bazaar of competing normative principles that Americans subscribe to in search of those logical and feasible standards of behavior that will conquer our nation's moral crisis. He then constructs an idea of character education for Americans, applying it to recent policy recommendations and to cases of individuals with moral education needs.

Excerpt

This book tries to help solve a profound problem that has emerged in the United States since the middle of this century: the widening and deepening decline of the control of our behavior toward one another. the piece of the solution presented here is a conception of moral education. This conception, developed through a method that means to be dialogical in spirit even if not in form, is discussed at the practical as well as the theoretical level.

Since World War ii, the regulation of conduct in the United States has become problematic. This condition, which has been recognized for some time by ordinary citizens as well as social commentators, is suggested by familiar facts: soaring crime rates; the enormous growth inillegitimate births; a decline of concern for the public good along with a huge increase in regard for special and individual interests; a growing preference for fame, fortune, and power along with an absence of a sense of shame; gross immoral acts by public figures; and the fascination of people and the media with spectacles of evil. the troubled control of social behavior in the nation is suggested also by the fact that our society has no commonly accepted set of standards by which to comport ourselves. the nation today is a bazaar of competing normative principles, running from those of extreme individualism to those of cultural pluralism, communal unity, and divine will. To be sure, the United States has suffered serious normative lapses during much of its history. Widespread drunkenness, child labor, slavery, the unequal treatment of women, the destruction of native societies, entrepreneurial greed and fraud, lynchings, political corruption, and gangsterism are only some of the most notable episodes. Moreover, some of these episodes occurred . . .

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