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moral compass is missing or dysfunctional

Updated on September 15, 2010

Moral compass in society

Is there a moral compass?

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society compass missing

Abortion rights for women, pornography, legal prostitution, immigration rights, gay rights, hate speech, and campaigning for more money using pictures of "a sick child in Africa," all are issues bordering on today's moral-free society, where its okay if it feels good. Are we seeing birth-pangs of a new society where the moral compass has become irrelevant?

All of these issues and many more have one thing in common, they poke at us and try us. There are not many people today or ever who would willingly put their 12 year girl, or for that matter, boy child, out for prostitution. Therefore as we see more of these things happening, it reminds us that something has shifted. And I suspect it is the sense of community and the compass of society.

Reflecting on the concept of community, of culture, and norms, it is easy to show on one hand we seem to have lost it but on the other it is still with us.

Although individualism seems to rule, community is intact. If a "fellow national was mistreated in another country, the entire nation would rise up in defense. When the Reverend Pastor Jones in Florida threatened to burn copies of the Holy Muslim book, the entire world arose in defense. Every time a universal cause is found and the bell sounded, nations arise and follow.

The issue then, I think, has to do with the internal compass, the moral compass. I don't think anybody really knows who is responsible to service that compass or when it was last serviced. Neither does anyone really know where it is.

It used to be, many would argue, in the Holy Church or shall we say in religion. Religious leaders still argue that they are the moral voice of society. However, if we look closer inside the church or indeed inside religion we realize that societal changes have swept there too. Like the missing Ark of the Bible, society seems to have lost the compass to navigate through troubled times.

I think we are seeing signs of society in flux; the birth-pangs of a new world order where the compass will no longer be necessary.

We seem to have moved from "Each man his brother's keeper" to "Each man for himself," from "Do to others as you would have them do to you," to "Do whatever seems good for you," from "God first" to "Me first." I think the prophets of this new era have already sounded the trumpet, we are the lay people reminding one another of the abundantly clear signs.

[Listen to these lyrics from a distance by Bette Midler about our world through her eyes.]

Although the debate is usually focused and directed at the narrow issues like rights for commercial sex trade or liberalization of prostitution, the real issue is about the compass. Where is it? Is it in the White House as some would have us think? Is it in the Supreme Court among the select Judges? Is it with the Pope or in "Israel (with the chosen people of God)," in the Ark?

Please tell us if you know! (Lol)


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    • profile image

      Adrian Bishop 6 years ago

      The Moral Compass Foundation

      Celebrating Our Common Moral Compass

      If you are concerned about society’s moral compass and are searching for a clear secular moral compass as an ethical benchmark. Read the Moral Compass Foundation’s project to promote social cohesion with the “Celebrating Our Common Moral Compass” campaign at

      The Moral Compass

      Never instigate the use of coercive force

      Accept responsibilities for personal actions and the consequences of those actions

      Practice a duty of care

      Affirm the individual’s right to self-determination

      Put the truth first

      Never use a person as merely an unconsenting means to an end, even if the end benefits others.

      Be honest

      Honour agreements

      Treat others as you want to be treated yourself

      Leave a positive legacy to future generations


      Adrian Bishop


      The Moral Compass Foundation



    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 7 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      You've touched on a lot. Thanks for stepping out and saying what we all know.

    • mcwriter profile image

      MacDonald Chaava 7 years ago from Lawton. Oklahoma

      Dave, thanks for a profound thought!

      Does society have a "bearing," as in compass bearing, towards a "certain moral core" or magnetic center?

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Everyone has a moral compass within. It's that little voice inside that tries to guide us in the right way. Thing is the right way is usually harder than the wrong way and we are always seeking the easy way out.

      Brother Dave.

    • J.R. Smith profile image

      J.R. Smith 7 years ago from Delaware

      Glad someone else can see the lawlessness