Morality is a set of values whose adoption is essential for, and dictates, understanding, which in turn controls behaviour.
The values that underpin our community's understanding are the Christian ethics — the Ten Commandments — whose contemporary acceptance, or rejection, is revealed by popular behaviour. The following list are the Ten Commandments, each with a brief interpretation and a description of how they are treated by contemporary citizens (circa 2004):
Thou shalt have no other gods before me:There is only one God, and it is not you. Most citizens claim they believe in a single god, but not one whose words are interpreted by a church, but one that exactly reflects their own values. That is, God has become a private creation of the individual with each citizen possessing his own version. This makes such citizens their own judge of right and wrong, thereby contradicting the first commandment.
You shall not make for yourself any idol:Belief in good or bad luck, that is, idle superstition, is forbidden. Idle superstition is rampant, with advertisements that offer good luck charms for a fee being commonplace.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain:God is to be treated with awed respect. Awed respect is reserved for self and private prejudices.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy:Every Sunday should be a reminder to worship god. The restrictions that once closed shops and businesses on the Sabbath are rapidly being discarded.
Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth:Treat your parents with honour and respect. Few, if any, children treat their parents with other than familiarity, which is disguised contempt.
Thou shalt not kill:
Every one's life is precious, without exception. The courts have ruled that murder is ok if the murderer can generate enough sympathy. And the community have labelled suicide as a cry for help, whereas it used to be a crime, winning contempt for self-killers. Both are public demonstrations of growing contempt for the gift of life.
Thou shalt not commit adultery: Our words and actions will be clean and decent and everyone will love and honour their spouses. Marriage has become a devalued institution with divorce no longer carrying any blame. The president of the USA (circa 1999), Bill Clinton, and his wife, were notorious adulterers, who escaped public penalty for their vice.
Pornography is commonplace, along with public nudity. Public dress and behaviour is no longer modest, with the courts ruling that public use of the Saxon word for copulation is no longer obscene.
Thou shalt not steal:Respect other peoples property and rights. Public contempt for the property of others is nowhere revealed more clearly than in the supermarkets. When grapes are placed on sale, customers can frequently be observed eating the fruit for which they make no attempt to pay. To some this is a taste test to decide whether to purchase the grapes, but many just take them as they pass, and frequently hand them to others in their group. I have observed customers nonchalantly eating the grapes while queuing to have their purchase weighed. Every one of these examples is blatant theft, which is common practice.
Public contempt for the rights of others is demonstrated by the large number of official complaints about the behaviour of others, the popular clamour for, and the widespread adoption of, tyranny: the suppression of tradition.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour: Always tell the truth and refrain from malicious speculation about others. Truth has become a detested commodity, while malicious speculation has become commonplace in the media, with special attention to famous people.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is thy neighbour's.Respect other people's right to own land, their private relationships, their private property etc.. The Queensland land titling system makes it clear that people only own land at the discretion of the Queensland's government computer; which is a denial of the private ownership of land. (The diminishing rights of private property are further outlined by Dr. M. Cooray.)