The Loss of Ethics in America

Wikipedia tells us that ethics, sometimes known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct, often addressing disputes of moral diversity.

That’s the long way of saying “doing the right thing when no one is watching.”

A large part of ethics is, and has been sustained, by faith. But we are beginning to see a nation that is questioning faith while trying to establish a non-religious common conscience. Good luck on that… Take a stroll down the back streets of Los Angeles or Chicago and tell me how well that’s doing. This establishment of enlightened morality can really only be done by exercising one code of human behavior in which we all obey and apply the same set of rules.

When we do that, we find ourselves back at the tenets of faith.

ethicsI believe that science and human compassion continue to raise the bar on society, but it’s ethics that keeps us from slipping backwards. Even so, ethics are constantly challenged by power and money – truth and honesty are constantly threatened by the almighty dollar and of course, government has become more and more ethics challenged.

James Macgregor Burns said, “Divorced from ethics, leadership is reduced to management, and politics to mere technique.” Today we find ourselves in a struggle not just with injustice, but the baseness of avarice and twisted ideology. We either fix this or we perish.

In America we are losing the fight to preserve ethics. Schools no longer practice any ethics-bound philosophy, unless it relates to race. We no longer salute the flag, or pray together, or honor the founding fathers who built this nation on moral conscience.

I’m reminded of the quote by the great writer C.S. Lewis – “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man a more clever devil…”

I think in our search for more of everything we have lost the essence of what is really important, and we have re-defined character. We look to become cogs in the wheel, failing to seek out the magical essence inside each of us that spins the eternal mechanism.

Now, more than ever before, it is the responsibility of all sound men and women to stand and protest – to return us to the common denominator of morality.



Somehwhere on the Road to Key West


Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years.

He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist.

Be sure to check out his latest best seller, Somewhere on the Road to Key West.

You can see more of Michael’s work and a short biography at



The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Michael Reisig

Michael Reisig

Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist. Be sure to check out his latest 2-part best-sellers, "Caribbean Gold - The Treasure of Tortuga and The Treasure of Time" -- "If you have enjoyed Michael Reisig’s best-selling “Road To Key West” novels, you will love his new “Caribbean Gold” series, which begins with “The Treasure of Tortuga."

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