Decline Of Civility In Society Philosophy Essay

1251 words (5 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Philosophy Reference this

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What do we consider “civilized” nowadays? Civilized by definition is having advanced cultural and social development or refined in tastes. Does society today look or act like that? Research shows that society most definitely does not, at least not anymore. What causes people to be so rude? First off, part of the problem is that in this day and age when people choose to be rude they pretty much go for broke. There is no subtlety to their unruly conduct; instead, it is right there in your face.

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Secondly, sometimes people ignore certain rudeness and simply shrug their collective shoulders and sigh that is the way of the world, no bothering to utter any word of displeasure or disgust at such a display. Such a situation would be far worse because at that point, people not only have learned to accept uncivilized behavior as being par for the course, but they have also lost the drive and will to take a stand and say “Sorry, but I refuse to accept that kind of behavior.”

Finally, the problem could, in fact, be society itself. Think about it, is not peer pressure not one of today’s leading causes of people to act like one another in their behaviors? Not to mention the fact that society is becoming more reliable on technology to do everything for them and when it does not people get mad and assert their aggression on others instead on fixing the problem.

One cause of the lack of civility is that people these days just do not care anymore about other’s feelings, at all. Let’s not be nice about this, people do have a choice and control how they conduct themselves around others. What could cause such inconsiderate behavior? “Our behavior toward people tends to be the catalyst — the motivation for how they relate to us. Consequently, treating others with courtesy usually causes them to be courteous to us. Patience and kindness promotes patience and kindness, etc. Ask yourself how you wish to be treated? Would you like to be shown encouragement? Do you want your shortcomings to be treated with tolerance and forgiveness? Do you desire to be shown love and acceptance? (Robbins 1)”

Therefore, concluding from Dr. Robbins article, we should treat other we the same attitude and thoughtfulness that we wish to be shown. People have reasons for being inconsiderate, even if they do not realize it. Opening up communication and finding out the cause for the behavior can help the situation. Don’t, however, expect the situation to change. In recovery, we learn that we can’t change people; the other person must decide whether to change inconsiderate behavior.

Another problem of incivility is society accepting such inconsiderate behavior rather than doing something about it. Since when is rudeness justifiable? Apparently as stated in ‘A Decline in Civility or just a selfish request 4 respect?’ “…to live life in a permanent revolution is taxing and we get tired eventually. We transition to old age and start complaining that nobody gives us the respect we deserve, forgetting, most of the time to dispense it ourselves onto others. Our increasing alienation and reliance of cold, impersonal technology for interpersonal communication seems to push us into a downward spiral, where the decreasing human contact makes us feel more stressed, we feel we’re getting less sympathy and respect from others and in return we start to give out less ourselves. (Edutarian 1)”

This means that we need to interact with one another more often or otherwise everyone become insensitive towards each other because no one cares to even talk to them. Personally this sounds stupid because if someone wants to talk, they will find someone to talk to, just saying. Unfortunately, aging could be a factor in rude behavior. How so? Well diseases like Alzheimer’s or being senile can cause older folks to be uncivilized or irritable, but in most cases it is more of the person’s mentality and psyche.

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Lastly, the main problem with rudeness could be society itself or the advance technology that we are compiling to make life easier but yet complex at the same time. Rudeness was originally associated with Northern citizens of America, as stated in Stephen Carter’s “The Etiquette of Democracy”, which says “the old bromide that people who live in cities are not as polite as people in the country. New Yorkers, we think, epitomize rudeness, whereas folks in the South, say, are just as friendly as they can be. The bromide, however, turns out not to be a bromide: more and more experimental evidence confirms it. Something seems to happen to the psyche, to the personality, maybe even to the soul, when people live together in vast numbers.

We find ourselves avoiding each other if only to keep from tripping over each other. We demand what has come to be called our space. (Carter 366)” He furthers this by quoting Stanley Milgram, psychologist, who overstates the urban incivility “in the city, traditional courtesies are violated; rather, the cities develop new norms of noninvolvement.” Thus, when visitors arrive from rural areas with very different rules of conduct and complain that they seem to have landed in a foreign country, they are, in a sense, absolutely right. The city, like any other community, creates its own standards of behavior, along with its own pressures to obey them. The only trouble is, the standards are often morally inferior to the ones they replace. (Carter 366)” Instincts tells us that Milgram is right. People do not want to get involved in each other’s affairs or problems, so instead they steer away from each other or just become out right selfish.

Technology like television, the Internet, and cell phones are a possible and refutable cause of disrespect. Television is a big reason why people act so rude. Patricia Crowley, author of “Causes of Today’s Incivility”, states that the “children think that whatever they see on TV is true and that how everyone on TV acts is the way they are supposed to act. They also think that if they want to be tough like the boy they just saw on TV that they have to act like he does, which is without manners. The girls think if they want to be popular and beautiful they have to dress and act just as rudely as the girl they just saw on the sitcom they were watching. (Patricia 1)” Television is not the only one though. The Internet brings a mighty bunch of uncivilized declamation to the ring. Social networks, blogs, and so on, cause others to acquire a rude behavior due to certain situations. What makes matters worse is when technology fails and the human temper elevates, because we are society of instantaneous service which drives us to be angry and rude towards the “infernal contraption” because it will not dispense the coffee or something.

So, what is the cause of the decline of civility in society? Frankly, society itself is the problem and the solution. Society causes us to be rude due to the fact that people are rude to one another without any remorse or consideration of the significant other. The only we can combat against this epidemic is by acknowledging the person’s rude behavior and stand up against, also not to let the little things get to us. Only way an attitude can be fixed is with a new attitude.

What do we consider “civilized” nowadays? Civilized by definition is having advanced cultural and social development or refined in tastes. Does society today look or act like that? Research shows that society most definitely does not, at least not anymore. What causes people to be so rude? First off, part of the problem is that in this day and age when people choose to be rude they pretty much go for broke. There is no subtlety to their unruly conduct; instead, it is right there in your face.

Secondly, sometimes people ignore certain rudeness and simply shrug their collective shoulders and sigh that is the way of the world, no bothering to utter any word of displeasure or disgust at such a display. Such a situation would be far worse because at that point, people not only have learned to accept uncivilized behavior as being par for the course, but they have also lost the drive and will to take a stand and say “Sorry, but I refuse to accept that kind of behavior.”

Finally, the problem could, in fact, be society itself. Think about it, is not peer pressure not one of today’s leading causes of people to act like one another in their behaviors? Not to mention the fact that society is becoming more reliable on technology to do everything for them and when it does not people get mad and assert their aggression on others instead on fixing the problem.

One cause of the lack of civility is that people these days just do not care anymore about other’s feelings, at all. Let’s not be nice about this, people do have a choice and control how they conduct themselves around others. What could cause such inconsiderate behavior? “Our behavior toward people tends to be the catalyst — the motivation for how they relate to us. Consequently, treating others with courtesy usually causes them to be courteous to us. Patience and kindness promotes patience and kindness, etc. Ask yourself how you wish to be treated? Would you like to be shown encouragement? Do you want your shortcomings to be treated with tolerance and forgiveness? Do you desire to be shown love and acceptance? (Robbins 1)”

Therefore, concluding from Dr. Robbins article, we should treat other we the same attitude and thoughtfulness that we wish to be shown. People have reasons for being inconsiderate, even if they do not realize it. Opening up communication and finding out the cause for the behavior can help the situation. Don’t, however, expect the situation to change. In recovery, we learn that we can’t change people; the other person must decide whether to change inconsiderate behavior.

Another problem of incivility is society accepting such inconsiderate behavior rather than doing something about it. Since when is rudeness justifiable? Apparently as stated in ‘A Decline in Civility or just a selfish request 4 respect?’ “…to live life in a permanent revolution is taxing and we get tired eventually. We transition to old age and start complaining that nobody gives us the respect we deserve, forgetting, most of the time to dispense it ourselves onto others. Our increasing alienation and reliance of cold, impersonal technology for interpersonal communication seems to push us into a downward spiral, where the decreasing human contact makes us feel more stressed, we feel we’re getting less sympathy and respect from others and in return we start to give out less ourselves. (Edutarian 1)”

This means that we need to interact with one another more often or otherwise everyone become insensitive towards each other because no one cares to even talk to them. Personally this sounds stupid because if someone wants to talk, they will find someone to talk to, just saying. Unfortunately, aging could be a factor in rude behavior. How so? Well diseases like Alzheimer’s or being senile can cause older folks to be uncivilized or irritable, but in most cases it is more of the person’s mentality and psyche.

Lastly, the main problem with rudeness could be society itself or the advance technology that we are compiling to make life easier but yet complex at the same time. Rudeness was originally associated with Northern citizens of America, as stated in Stephen Carter’s “The Etiquette of Democracy”, which says “the old bromide that people who live in cities are not as polite as people in the country. New Yorkers, we think, epitomize rudeness, whereas folks in the South, say, are just as friendly as they can be. The bromide, however, turns out not to be a bromide: more and more experimental evidence confirms it. Something seems to happen to the psyche, to the personality, maybe even to the soul, when people live together in vast numbers.

We find ourselves avoiding each other if only to keep from tripping over each other. We demand what has come to be called our space. (Carter 366)” He furthers this by quoting Stanley Milgram, psychologist, who overstates the urban incivility “in the city, traditional courtesies are violated; rather, the cities develop new norms of noninvolvement.” Thus, when visitors arrive from rural areas with very different rules of conduct and complain that they seem to have landed in a foreign country, they are, in a sense, absolutely right. The city, like any other community, creates its own standards of behavior, along with its own pressures to obey them. The only trouble is, the standards are often morally inferior to the ones they replace. (Carter 366)” Instincts tells us that Milgram is right. People do not want to get involved in each other’s affairs or problems, so instead they steer away from each other or just become out right selfish.

Technology like television, the Internet, and cell phones are a possible and refutable cause of disrespect. Television is a big reason why people act so rude. Patricia Crowley, author of “Causes of Today’s Incivility”, states that the “children think that whatever they see on TV is true and that how everyone on TV acts is the way they are supposed to act. They also think that if they want to be tough like the boy they just saw on TV that they have to act like he does, which is without manners. The girls think if they want to be popular and beautiful they have to dress and act just as rudely as the girl they just saw on the sitcom they were watching. (Patricia 1)” Television is not the only one though. The Internet brings a mighty bunch of uncivilized declamation to the ring. Social networks, blogs, and so on, cause others to acquire a rude behavior due to certain situations. What makes matters worse is when technology fails and the human temper elevates, because we are society of instantaneous service which drives us to be angry and rude towards the “infernal contraption” because it will not dispense the coffee or something.

So, what is the cause of the decline of civility in society? Frankly, society itself is the problem and the solution. Society causes us to be rude due to the fact that people are rude to one another without any remorse or consideration of the significant other. The only we can combat against this epidemic is by acknowledging the person’s rude behavior and stand up against, also not to let the little things get to us. Only way an attitude can be fixed is with a new attitude.

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