Value erosion is currently a subject of hot discussions among some critical thinkers. Values are defined as ‘your beliefs about what is morally right or wrong and what is most important in life’ (cf. Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary – 2nd edition).
Let’s take the first part of the definition: ‘Your beliefs about what is morally right or wrong’. Say, you were travelling in a luxury liner. A devastating storm caught it on its cruise. Before you could all know what was happening, the ship splintered into pieces. Next day, on regaining consciousness, you found yourself lying on the beach of a small island with no human soul around. For anything you would be doing in that context to maintain your life, do you think anyone is going to raise the issue of morality? It is definitely no. Your behaviour is neither moral nor immoral. It is simply amoral.
You might have seen at the city’s garbage dumping site or on the tracts of railways near a station, garbage pickers would be often eating the remnants of food items. For such people who scratch for a living, we never say that either they are doing something moral or immoral. It is simply an amoral life.
Say, instead of just you, there was also a co-passenger whom you spotted to be lying beside you. As you stroked him, he woke up. Since both of you were feeling hungry, you two headed towards a nearby grove. You came across a thickly grown population of banana plants alongside a swampy pit. And there your eyes caught a bunch of ripen bananas hanging in one of the plants. As you jointly struggled to reach it and bring it down, your friend slipped his step, had a splashing fall in the pit and got him completely soiled.
A little ahead, there was a thin stream flowing on its serpentine course. As he went to wash, you availed the opportunity in quickly taking some bananas and hiding the remaining behind a bush. When your friend returned, he found you in a crying mood. You narrated how the fate had been cruel: ‘No sooner...