Morality is a set of rules about life. That`s all it is, but that`s a very complex statement.
All morality begins with human thought. Until or unless we discover a language communicating abstract thought in other living beings, human beings alone have stated rules for living.
A major argument we`re facing today is the source of those rules---who makes the rules. History shows one source as a God of some sort, a supernatural being.
Another source is the society, in the form of its governing bodies---the State.
The third option, not yet defined clearly, is that reality itself (i.e., Nature) determines the rules.
Ethics is the way we put the moral rules into action---the implementation.
Since there`s no such thing as a "nation," but only a coming-together of many individual people under some sort of organized system, a "national" morality must be an agreement. We call it the social contract.
Prior to the 20th century, when America was still new and unusual, people from all over the world first examined the principles and rules (morality) of America. They made a choice, then came to America with a specific intention of living according to the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.
By 1945, following America`s victory in WWII, the concept of America began to be taken for granted. Individuals didn`t have to fight anymore to keep the principles in place. In the 1960s, the "hippies" began a long-term project to dismantle the language. The purpose was to dismantle the "rules."
60 years later, we`ve come to a point where everyone is separate. Nobody is part of a society. The hippies told us that "society" was the same as "the establishment." The "revolution" of the 1960s was designed to tear down both religion and society as authorities.
And so we now have everyone claiming they have a "right" (without understanding the word) to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without anyone in charge. "You can`t tell me what to do," is the rallying cry of the so-called revolution.
When nobody knows their own morality, nobody knows "the" rules, everyone denying that any kind of rules are objective, useful, or real, then what? How can we have an agreement on a society when most people can`t even define the meaning of the term?
Instead, we have everyone using needle-point cliches, platitudes, and empty concepts that sound good but mean nothing. We have people placing their faith in symbolic gestures without any sort of follow-up in terms of substance.
What`s a conscience? What`s a morality? What are rules? Why do we need rules? What are values? Who determines reality? What is a theology, sociology, or system?
Nobody "feels" any of those terms and concepts are important. Then everyone wonders why society has broken down, we have no leadership, and the economy is collapsing.