In this video I explore the cause of what many commentators have commonly referred to as the 21st century culture wars. In general, we are now living in a time where political thinking has become extremely polarised around a very limited and defined set of ethical issues which include women’s reproductive rights and LBGTQI issues. Unfortunately, these issues are now dominating how people choose to vote resulting in the election of governments that are much further right economically than in previous generations.
In this video I critique the simplistic idea that most ethical questions occupy the binary space of simply right/wrong. Rather I suggest that the ethical issues, which are now dominating Western culture, occupy an ethical spectrum. Furthermore, if more people engaged in thinking about these ethical questions, in terms of viewing them on a moral spectrum, they might choose to deprioritize some of their ethical desires for other important political considerations when they exercise their democratic vote at the ballot box.
During the presentation, I give a working example of the ethical spectrum in terms of examining the two polarised positions around female reproductive rights: critiquing both the left (pro-choice) and right (pro-life) positions in terms of showing how neither position is considering the ethics of abortion on a normal ethical scale that possesses degrees of wrongness. Rather both camps are assessing the issue using a simple right/wrong dichotomy.
Finally I argue that because so many people are adopting binary views on hot-topic issues, there is not a intense peer group pressure for people to move away from balanced positions because those who try and hold a middle ground view, are rejected by both political camps and so there is a strong pressure for individuals to adopt ever more uncompromising positions so they do not receive harsh criticism and rejection from their peer group.