Evaluating morality in society

How do we as religious Jews critically evaluate and respond to the state of morality in our nations/homes today? (Whether America, Israel, Canada, England, or elsewhere)

Ethics Morality
image from philosophy.utoronto.ca – Halbert, rights wrongs conference

Here is the beginning of one such analysis:

“In America, the breakdown of accepted norms has brought us to the brink of ethical ‎nihilism. The catalogue of catastrophes is awesome–widespread corruption in ‎government and public service, in business and academic life; the irruption of ‎violence, not only in the cities but in the countryside; the drug-and-drink culture; the ‎deterioration of education; the collapse of personal and family morality in favor of ‎instant gratification; the escalating polarization of economic, ethnic and racial groups; ‎and the legitimization of lying and cheating on all levels of society ‎”

– Judaic Ethics for a Lawless World, Rabbi Robert Gordis, 1986

When looking at your nation’s popular culture, what ethical resources do you draw on to decide right from wrong? What lines for morality do you draw – and when is it appropriate to rethink them? Just because something is increasingly popular, of course, doesn’t make it ethical, nor does a position being less popular make it unethical.

What Jewish texts does one draw from – and more importantly – how should one do so in a fair and balanced way, maintaining context and perspective?

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