The Ethics of Self-fulfillment

As defined by Carter ( The Rules About the Rules 182 ), integrity entails three steps. The first is to distinguish what is moral and immoral. Judgment takes time and emotive energy. It is a lot easier to observe it among the crowd. The subsequent step is to put effort to live according to the logic of the determined moral and immoral ways of living. The third is to be prepared to explain individual actions and its reasons. The lack of integrity has led to an ethical shift in family life. The family unit has been altered over time due to the ethics of self-fulfillment.

Whitehead (The Making of a Divorce Culture 224) asserts that family life is declining with dire consequences for social integration.  According  to  the  book  “The Divorce Culture”,  there  has  been  an  ethical  shift  in  the  family  unit  in  America.  The  family  unit  has  changed  greatly  with  time,  and there  are  many  couples  engaged in divorce. Whitehead (The Making of a Divorce Culture 225) states that the history of American divorce can be divided into two periods, evolutionary and revolutionary. She further claims that divorce was unusual occurrence and unimportant factor in social and family relationship. Divorce was fairly common in the first six years of the 21st century, however, it was barely usual. In the 1960, the rate of divorce was considered to be at a relatively modest level. After 1960, nonetheless, the rate of divorce grew at a dazzling rate. In roughly a decade, the rate of divorce doubled and continued its acceleration until 1980 when it became stable at the peak level among advanced Western societies. Divorce shifted from the margins to the mainstream of the American life in the period of three decades as a result of a sharp and constant growth.

Whitehead (The Making of a Divorce Culture 225) illustrates that such ideas are significant for revolutions, however, little attention has been dedicated to the ideas that gave momentum to the revolution of divorce. This recent revolution has its basis in a distinct set of thoughts. Whitehead (The Making of a Divorce Culture 225) illustrates the notion behind the revolution of divorce and how these ideas have fashioned divorce culture. Divorce culture has entailed three related changes. First and foremost, the appearance and extension of diffusion of a historically new and distinct set of notions concerning divorce in the last third of the 20th century. Secondly, the shift of divorce from an insignificant place within a system controlling family relations. Thirdly, a common shift in thinking about the obligations of parenthood and marriage.

She further states that from the late 1950s, Americans started changing their ideas about individual obligations in the family and society in general. Generally described, this shift was away from an ethic of responsibility for others and towards a responsibility for self. People became more acutely aware of their obligation to deal with their own needs and interests. The new thinking proposed moral responsibilities to look after oneself rather than a moral obligation to look after others. This shift indicates that integrity has been compromised (Whitehead, The Making of a Divorce Culture 225).

This ethical change had a profound effect on ideas concerning the state and function of the family. In the American society, the public square and the market place have been models of realms of life dedicated to the pursuit of personal interest, freedom and choice whereas family have been a model of realm described by self-sacrifice, voluntary commitment and duty. On the other hand, family welfare grew to be a subject of a new metric with the greater focus on personal interest in family relations. The conception of family’s position and place started to change because people began to judge family bonds according to the ability to promote personal fulfillment and individual growth. Whitehead (The Making of a Divorce Culture 226) further states that the family began to lose its distinctive identity and separate place as the realm of service, duty and sacrifice. In accordance with the fact that it turned into a realm of the obligated self, the family was ever more viewed as yet another realm of expression of the tolerant self.

These changes focused on creating a new understanding of divorce, which spread widely and gained influential adherence in the society. Once viewed chiefly as a legal, social and family event in which there were other stakeholders, divorce now turned out to be closely related to the pursuit of personal satisfactions, growth and opportunities. The new outset of divorce was based on a number of the oldest and the most reverberating themes in American political culture. In marital, as well as political relations, bonds of responsibilities were developed voluntarily on the basis of mutual regard and affection. When such links turned oppressive and cold, people got the power to dissolve them and form new ones that were more perfect (Whitehead, The Making of a Divorce Culture 226).

The  family  unit  has  changed  greatly  starting  with  the  changing  role  of  fathers  and  conditions  in  nursing  homes.  Many students are victims of divorce. Lots  of  them  vividly  remember  the  feelings  of  hurt  and  betrayal. Divorce has played a central role in children’s lives.  It  has  shaped  their  views  and  attitudes  toward  family, as well as commitment and  relationship  with  members  of  the  opposite  sex.  Barbara Dafoe  Whitehead (The Making of a Divorce Culture 224)  argues  that  the  willingness  of  American  culture  to  accept  divorce  is  new  and  promotes  divorce  cases. Her  book “The Divorce  Culture”  clearly  explains  how  the  American  culture  has  come  to  accept  divorce,  thereby  leading  to  its  adoption  by  the  society. Couples end up breaking their marriages because of little disagreements (Clarke-Stewart and Brentano 6).

Divorce is now an element of daily life.  It  has  been  entrenched  in  laws  and  institutions, individual and societal conduct, movies  and  TV  shows,  children's  story-books and novels. It  has  turned out to be  a  persistent  factor that  a lot  people  naturally  suppose  that it  was  seeped into  the  cultural and social mainstream  in due course.

This research indicates that information on divorce is not collected and listed in the fundamental statistics forms that are filed with each divorce case in most states. People hardly ever list the real causes of the divorce. The reasons listed below come from a study of knowledgeable divorce lawyers. A lot of divorce lawyers deem it to be roughly the most correct listing of reasons of divorce that is presented.

Certainly, the couples and the lawyers might have a dissimilar view of the real reason for the divorce in each case. A lot of the causes listed below are frequently not that serious to lead to divorce. More so, these causes would neither happen in the first place nor get remedied by the couple were it not for lack of commitment to the marriage, which itself is one of the key causes of divorce.

This research found out that not all marriages fall short for the same cause. There is also no typical reason for the collapse of a particular marriage. However, we observe a number of causes more frequently than others. The  key  reasons  for  divorce  are  lack  of commitment  to  the  marriage, financial  problems, poor  communication, a striking change  in  priorities, and  unfaithfulness. There  are  other  reasons which  we  see, but  not  quite  as  frequently as those mentioned  above. Other causes include addictions and substance abuse, failed expectations or unmet needs, sexual, physical or emotional abuse and lack of disagreement resolution ability (Harvey 105).

This research also found out that science and technology are accountable for the many cases of breaking marriages. Facebook and other chat networks lead to marriage breakages as married people are suspicious of each other. The social media has led to increased chances of practicing infidelity, which often leads to divorce. Thus, about half of all American marriages will end in divorce.

Time and again, couples marry with the hope that the other spouse will make them contented and when this illusion dispels, they get divorced. This indicates that society is now putting more stress on individual contentment than the contentment of others. Most people do not understand that being content is their own responsibility. Latest progresses in science and technology have contributed to this change in ethical responsibility. Web developers and software engineers have put the tools they develop ahead of the user. For this reason, technology has the advantage over human feelings. The most of human-centered technology has the ability to be more neutral in its message instead of selecting one characteristic of marriage over the other. The Internet and media are now full of negative depictions of marriage. Additionally, neutral technology would not choose to perpetuate one perception of reality above another, hence compromising integrity.

Various ways in which couples can create families, for example, fertility treatments, and avoid birth via abortion and birth control, point towards a culture of self-fulfillment. To begin with, most couples that choose to undergo fertility treatments search for various features in the donor party by tightening the pool as much as they like according to hair and eye color, religion of birth, state of residence, ethnic origin, weight and height. Most parents will spend time worrying about what their child will be like, even after they have seen a psychologist and a trusted doctor. The woman, who is receiving the donor Baer’s cells, may feel as if the donor lied to the bank and that she really does have an account of mental illness together with cancer. This could result in an unwanted baby once the baby begins to show negative signs during growth. Parents will always wonder if the child born of fertility treatment will become a sociopath, a giant, a moron or even a genius. This will put undue pressure on the child as they grow up. This further indicates lack of integrity.

Cohen (Grade A: The Market for a Yale Woman's Eggs 194) states that contemporary embryo has been aborted, stolen, frozen, researched and delivered weeks early on, along with five or six immediate siblings. This is unethical, first since the birth of six siblings at once puts inconceivable strain on the parents. It also elevates the concern that some of the children will be abandoned since taking care of six children by one mother is more or less absurd. As a final point, the freezing of embryos exposes them to probable manipulation and damage. In addition, it creates a mystery about the further actions with the unexploited embryos from the fertilization. In general, the new ethics of self-fulfillment are embedded in the center of the family and its outlook.

The findings of this research indicate that science and technology are important tools in modern world. However, science seems to do more harm than good as far as ethics and morality are concerned. Science and technology can be used to assist couples with fertility problems to give birth to children. More so, it can be used to reduce the risk of passing hereditary diseases of children. Nonetheless, a lot of people use science to meet self-interest, therefore, compromising family values. This further indicates lack of integrity.

In conclusion, the  account  of  American  divorce  is  separated  into  evolutionary  and  revolutionary  era. Divorce  was  an  uncommon  occurrence  in  America  in  the  evolutionary  era. In  the  initial  sixty  years  of  the  20th  century, divorce  turned out to be  more  common. Today, divorce is more common in day to day life to an extent that it has been included in the laws. Moreover, science and technology have also led to decline in family value. Instead of focusing on the societal benefits of science and technology, most people have used it to meet their self-interest. Therefore, it leads to aggravation of family values.

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