Diagnostic liberty

I just finished reading an article that lamented the loss of moral fibre and core values in todays youth, and laid to blame the development of digital media and electronic games as a reason to this end.According to the research on which the article is based, study subjects took up to six seconds to show activation of a moral response towards stories of social injustice. This slow activation of the brain area involved in moral reasoning and ethical behavior was juxtaposed with the fast paced action and snap decisions found in many computer games, and the article argued that children could therefore not form sound core values by engaging in such activities.

In my own mind this kind of reasoning is flawed and show a poor understanding of the environment in which children of today grow up and function. The world of today's youth moves at a much faster pace than that of their parents, and the ability to make instant decisions based on limited information is a valuable skill that could make the difference between success or failure. If a decision did lead to failure it would be valuable to be able to correct any mistakes that were made without undue loss of time and expense. In the electronic gaming environment this ability quickly seperates the losers from the winners, so too in the environment of personal development and business.

To expect children to develop strong moral judgement through these games is as futile as expecting them to be shocked rather than exited by the explosive carnage that is being advertised as this weekend's TV Movie line-up, or shocked rather than horrified at seeing news footage of soldiers shooting women and children in the name of some moral cause.

Previous research have shown that a moral response is largely the result of reasoning. It is not something that pre-exists as the foundation to decisionmaking and action, but rather something that develops as a result to exposure to situations that demand moral and ethical behavior, either in real life or through digital media. In fact, the article in question confirms other research in this area that show how moral and ethical reasoning change the thinking of those who engage in such decision making processes towards a greater social awareness and perspective. How the results of the research can be used against computer games is somewhat confusing, as is the argument of a pre-existing moral code that could be endangered through digital media and games.

Rather than trying to find out what is wrong with our youth, research such as this should try to focus on what we can learn from a generation of children that are growing up in a world that we created. A world where physical contact and personal communication are limited by the availability of a myriad of electronic devices. A world where the value of love still remain as honest and true as any moral or code.

The value of love is something that can only be learned through experience. If anything, this is the lesson we need to give to our children. To live in love, and grow in the fruit of its labor. Much like the exposure to stories of social injustice, it leads to a greater social awareness and perspective. In addition it gives a sense of purpose and enjoyment to living, and adds value to a life that may seem empty and vain given the nature of the society in which our children grow up today.
Attachment includes the note and its objects

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