Tuesday, May 2, 2017
The last chapter I decided to look at asked the question “is there moral progress”? To me this was an interesting question considering with in the last century this world has seen terrible acts against humanity such as the Holocaust, the killing fields of Cambodia, child soldiers in Africa, and chemical attacks against a nations own people. With all this in mind along with current terrorist attacks and on going conflicts it is had to say that this world has become more moral.
Yet the United Nations adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has a different way of looking and judging the general moral level of the world takes a dramatically different approach to this question. Instead of looking at big events such as the Holocaust and how frequent these events a happen, they set out to answer the question “how well have we done in combating racism and sexism”. This was done by giving surveys to nearly 15,000 people in sixteen different countries, some of the bigger names including China, Egypt, India, Mexico, The Palestinian Territories, Russia, and the United States. All in all this was supposed to represent 58% of the world population. I believe straight off we can assume some of these countries have already made much larger strides in combating racism and sexism. The United States being the first example, while we still have a long way to go we have made some amazing strides when we think about Gay Rights, the feminist movement, and having our first black president. While there is still discrimination you have to admit that we’ve at least taken a step or two in the right direction of becoming more moral. However when we look at countries such as Saudi Arabia, it is easy to see the women are still considered second-class citizens. The women of Saudi Arabia do not have the right to drive a car and the idea that woman should be able to vote is a joke, and sadly these ideas are not contained to just Saudi Arabia. With those countries in mind can you really say that as a global population we are becoming more moral? However one laughable static that came out of these surveys was that “86% of all people who took this survey reported that equal rights for women were important”. When looking at this same question in Saudi Arabia, 82% of the population believed that equal rights for woman were important.
While this study found that sexism and racism is on the decline as a global population, personally I am not convinced. Instead I would argue that there are pockets of the world that becoming more accepting of other races and woman being of full equality in society, while other pockets of the world have seemed to push a pause button on this subject and are stuck in there racist and sexist ways. I also believe that this will be a long and slow fight, for it is not the generation that first accept these ideas but the next generation that will actually but to ideas to work and make a change.