Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Meaning of Moral Decadence
A comprehensive understanding of moral decadence requires first a meaning of morality the term 'morality' is derived from the latin plural 'mores' meaning 'manner' or 'morals' which means generally accepted code of conduct in a society. Therefore we speak of an individual as leading a moral life or of public school morality'. The oxford advanced learner's dictionary define morality as principles concerning right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. Morality can then be seen as a standard set by a society which members of that society are expected to adhere to and any break in rules and regulations accords punishment. According to Norman (1969) "Moral progress has always been made by individuals who have gone against the accepted morality of their day, and so who have generally suffered for doing so". 

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Norman went to say that no one acts upon a moral principles or precept or rule, unless he is first aware of it.

Morality as seen by some school of thought as the responsibility of the society to lay down for its members the ways of life which are known as norms and convention. The questions is then asked by what means are they influenced and in what manner are the individual members of the society persuaded to make these norms part and parcel of his life made for peace and harmony to be in the society? This then where religion comes in due to the fact these school of though see morality as an integral put of religion and its formulation as well as its process of enforcement are exclusively religious matters.
The traditional position holds that morality and religion are inseparable, one flows from the other and that morality has its sole basis and justification on religion. This is to say that if religion goes, morality also goes with it and the end will be moral confusion and decay when man loose their hold on religion.
Norman noted that the traditional view has three characteristic, first it sees morality as an outflow from religion, indissolubly bound up with it, secondly, without religion there can be no effective morality, for its content forms learning and its sanction are rooted in the supernatural. Thirdly, moral decay is the logical consequence of religious decay.
If man neglect the supernatural he is equally lest, if religious faith weakness the moral code bound up with it must inevitably loose its hold. According to Egbule (1994), an individual moral consist of his ideas what is right an wrong. And his conviction about his responsibilities he noted that moral conscience consist of system of ideas, attitudes and inner motives or control that decrease what is right or wrong. It employs term such as 'good' and 'bad' right and wrong to express preferential decisions and choices or to criticize grade, persuade praise, blame and encourage.
From the above one can deduce that morality has to do with what is good and striving to do that which is right.
Moral decadence is therefore seen as the deviation from the value system of the society which defer from ones society to another. In this sense the violation of societal values, ethnic and all forms of unacceptable behaviours are very high in practice. According to Professor O.A Nduka (1983) Nigeria in its third decade of independence in a state of moral crisis – a deepening crisis which pervades every aspect of national life. Westlake (1969) sees a departure from typical average or model behaviour appearance or attitudes as deviancy.

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There are different forms of immoral acts which secondary school students engage in and it has been of great concern to parents, teachers, government and the general public at large on the need for the establishment of vices capable of destroying the future of Nigerian nation. Anikibe (2004), sees hard work and seriousness as been given way to pleasure of vices and some of these vices he enumerated includes the following: cultism, rape, prostitution, bribery and corruption examination malpractice amongst others which has plagued our educational system. Other forms of immoral acts includes: truancy sexual promiscuity, stealing, rioting and brutalism, lying, bulling and cruelty. The major ones found in our school are being expatiated on below truancy is when children stay away from school without permission and this form of immoral act cannot be attributed to a particular cause in every case. According to Casper, J. (1976) "students play truant because they cannot see what profit they will derive from sitting through their lessons. They find them borings they make no progress and are not likely to succeed in examination. The commonest reason for truancy is the dislike for school which may be acquired because of the student's mental dullness which keeps him away from his students. Even the intelligent and smart students also plays truant, this can be to the teachers lack of effort in making the lesson interesting. Students can also stay away from school when they know they will be punished from a previous mistake or failure of doing a required assignment.
Sexual promiscuity or fornication which is seen as sexual engagement between young boys and girls who are not yet married. According to Jeffrey's (1971) there can be number of the fact that in the western countries at least there is a marked trend towards permissiveness attitudes and conduct due to the permissiveness in our society, the young ones are now fully aware and engage in sexual activities even at an early age of ten years. This has lead to different harvest like unwanted pregnancies where by the child either die or become a nuisance in the society.
Rioting and vandalism which is seen as an unnecessary demonstration which has become part of school system that even the school and state authorities has found it easy to stop. Government has tried as much as possible to come up with preventive measures capable of putting an end to student's violence protests in order to restore discipline but all effort has proved abortive. Even the suspension are imposition of levies on the students to cover damages made, has done little in the total eradication of violent and vandalism in schools.
Lying has to do with untruthfulness which can be learnt through example and experience and the habit usually formed as a result of faculty home environment. This can be found when parents in equitable assess the guilty of their children's offences or fail in their self control and then the only remedy for the children to escape from punishment is by lying because of the discovery that lying is best believed than speaking the truth.
Bullying and cruelty, is seen as unnecessary wickedness exhibited by the senior students towards the junior ones.
On the ground of being ahead of them in class, these actions can be as a result of craving to be loved and given attention and affection especially when the basis which is the family has not being able to meet these needs of the child.

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Stealing which is another form of immoral act can be due to denial of the child basic needs or an excessive granting of the child basic needs or an excessive granting of the child's wish. When the child is derived it leads to stealing in doors which eventually becomes excessive and can lead to arm robbery when not quickly dictated, while the child whose wish is too often granted finds it difficult to resist a strong desire to steal due to disappointment on his wish being granted. Studies has been shown that student of such behavioural pattern are not only handicapped by enlightenment and training, but are below average in intelligence and intellectual dullness almost suggest a difficulty in acquiring a moral code and I controlling impulses and desire as dullness is also often accomplished by weakness. This type of students and up joining gang similarly minded friends and are led up by the strongest willed into delinquencies such as truancy, stealing, bulling and cruelty etc which does not only satisfies their desire but also their inquisitive instant.

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