frgavin on August 21st, 2011

By Michael Nazir-Ali, Conservative Home

Someone said recently, in the aftermath of the rioting, looting and killing” “this is what a godless society looks like”. It is certainly true that we have created a situation where people have only material and financial expectations. Even the ‘Body and Soul sections in the newspapers are mainly about the body. Quite apart from the spiritual dimension, there has been little emphasis on growing as a person, on integrity, on commitment in relationships, on a concern for others and on the importance of contributing to society. The stress on personal fulfilment has led to selfishness and greed and to a neglect of the sense of mutual obligation which lies at the root of every kind of social organisation.

Codes of moral conduct have all arisen within the context of the great religious traditions; whether it be the Torah of Judaism, the Laws of Manu of Hinduism or the Shari’a of Islam. In Britain, for centuries, moral conduct has arisen from the Judaeo-Christian vision of the Bible and, specifically, the Ten Commandments. It is true, of course, that non-believers can be moral, even more so than believers, but this is usually within the context of an existing tradition. What made Britain great was a sense of responsibility, of accountability to one another and, ultimately, of having to answer to God, the very source of our existence. It is the loss of this framework that has led to the darkness we have all been experiencing. Instead of finding numerous excuses and denying the real origin of our problems, we should make the recovery of such a framework central to the task of the moral and spiritual regeneration that everybody now thinks is necessary.

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