Post-modern thought is characterized largely by what is known as cultural and moral relativism that sprung out of the atheism movement called secular humanism. In short, individuals determine what is moral and ethical for themselves. This can be rationale, or based purely on feelings or emotions and subject to change contextually, it is not universal. If a person is willing to do the rigorous work of critical thinking, and can stave off animalistic tendencies and narcissism this could be a significant feat in social consciousness. Removing the constraints of religious moral guidance for that which is purely intellectual is optimistic, if not a little naive.
Moral and cultural relativism determines how bad or good an action is through the relative lens of whom, which group, or where it is happening. Coveting, murder, stealing, lying, violence are not universally considered bad; it is contextual i.e. some nasty words spoken by a certain type of person may be viewed as more offensive than mass genocide done someplace else by a different type of people. A single murder committed by one group may spark more outrage than a thousand by another. Without universality it really is all relative and often subjected to feelings.
All of the major world’s religions teach similar things. This is not by accident. Humans, a 200,000 year old species, had gained some collective wisdom and realized that if they were going to progress, they would need to temper their baser instincts and behaviors with some sort of universal conscience, and apply a thin veneer of civility over the dark sides of an animal nature. They learned not to kill or steal, but also not covet or slander, and how to treat others how they’d like to be treated.
Today it assumed that each of us can determine that which is best, or rely on some benevolent bureaucrat or state leader to guide the way. We are swimming in an ocean of information, with hardly a drop of wisdom. Our emotions and feelings lead the way. We are told to trust our passions and that god is dead. The ancient knowledge that built western civilization, culture and community is passé.
This is nothing new, all successful cultures and civilizations reach the point of decadence. The hard work has been done, and the fruits of labor and blood are realized. Abundance and freedom are the spoils we enjoy. Yet, our baser natures are never satisfied, conflict and offense must occur even if it threatens the very thing so many have fought, suffered and died for.
Enjoy the decline, bitches!