Kids today, they suck at moral reasoning. I know this because David Brooks told me so. He read a book by some Domers about it. He takes this as his starting point. He then concludes:
In most times and in most places, the group was seen to be the essential moral unit. A shared religion defined rules and practices. Cultures structured people’s imaginations and imposed moral disciplines. But now more people are led to assume that the free-floating individual is the essential moral unit. Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.
Way back, "cultures shaped people's imaginations and imposed moral disciplines" but now, "people are led to assume that the "free-floating individual is the essential moral unit." Sorry for retyping those two sentences, but together they sound kind of funny. On the one hand culture has no more moral force, but, on the other, in a masterwork of passive voice construction, people are "led to assume" stuff about morality. By whom? I wonder. Since we're talking about free-floating individual units, I imagine that Brooks is talking about Kant, or maybe John Rawls, whose views must have percolated down into the brains of the young ones these days. Whatever is doing the assumption leading, after all, it's not culture.
It's silly. The whole thing is even sillier. Better just to read this blog: Shut up David Brooks.