Saturday, March 5, 2011

Civilization in action

In part 2 of the Civilization sphere section, I talk about how family is the basic unit of civilized society, and whatever threatens the family threatens civilization. So preserving and protecting the family is paramount in laws and social expectations in a civilized society.

A hallmark of civilized society is the importance of marriage as the only acceptable place for sexual relations. Every society that decides to try devaluing fidelity in marriage eventually (and often quickly) sinks into decadence. Sex within marriage not only provides offspring, it cements the bond between the two parents, so that the child will grow in a home of love and protection and guidance. No other situation is even remotely as beneficial for the child.

I show the ethos a civilized society must have regarding failures. It's one of the areas where our current society is most obviously distant from civilization. But there are still some strongholds.

This week the Number 3 college basketball team in the country suspended its star forward for the remainder of the season--for breaking his oath not to have sex outside of marriage.  It was an anomaly in colleges today, but I think a fine example of civilization in action. There were comments on both sides, both ridiculing and honoring the school for keeping its commitments. One of the best commentaries came from Michael Otterson, Public Affairs spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsored Brigham Young University. It's worth reading: here

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