I was once asked if I knew the difference between an ethical man and a moral man. I was unsure of the answer, which is: An ethical man knows that it is wrong to cheat on his wife; a moral man would not cheat on his wife. It is unfortunate that we have such problems with ethics, morals and values in the United States.
So few understand the philosophical underpinnings of ethics and morality. For example, why is cheating on a spouse immoral? Cheating makes a lie out of the vow to love, honor and cherish. Cheating destroys the trust upon which the family, the basic unit of any society, is based.
This prompts the question of how well any religion has worked. Evidently, many people pay lip service to the moral concepts taught by religions, but do not practice them. Otherwise, there would not be as much cheating and broken promises that have led to the destruction of the nuclear family.
It’s no wonder that the fabric of American society is ripping apart, and we Americans are held in such disrespect and contempt among foreign countries. Many foreign nationals view Americans as hypocritical liars. One sees the hypocrisy raised to a new level by the politicians, especially in Washington, D.C., and this includes the White House.
In The Divine Comedy, Dante assigns Odysseus to the level in the Inferno reserved for liars and dissemblers.
Victoria E. Antonacci
North Augusta, S.C.