Collapse of two main moral influences led to City greed

From: Paul Andrews, Great Habton, York.

CORRESPONDENCE on the way we live and are being governed prompts me to indulge in one of my deeply held views on education and morality.

Up until fairly recently, there were two fundamental influences which governed behaviour: for most people it was the Christian religion which, in its pure form, provides a code of behaviour which is designed to keep families and society together.

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It also promotes a caring attitude towards the less fortunate, and encourages a responsible attitude to wealth creation.

For the few, there was the Classics – which at its highest level involved an exhaustive study of Roman and Greek literature, history and philosophy in the original languages which are challenging to learn and translate.

The difficulties of learning the languages forced the student to develop a highly trained logical discipline.

For those who could not believe in religion, ancient texts, particularly those on ethical philosophy, provided a rational code of behaviour which was also designed to promote cohesion in family and public life, and also encouraged a responsible attitude to wealth creation.

This generated a highly intelligent and highly motivated political leadership which conquered the world, and sought to pass on to the conquered nations the benefits of their own enlightened values – nations which have collapsed into corrupt authoritarian rule, disorder and sectarian chaos after we left them.

What has happened in the last 70 years? The church has sadly lost its influence and authority, and the study of the Greek and Roman classics has gone out of fashion.

So when the two main influences which in the past kept families and society together have broken down, should we be surprised if we now have a “broken” society?

When the two main moral influences which restrained the unbridled lust for wealth have lost their power, should we be surprised by the unscrupulous, self-interested and irresponsible behaviour of the leaders of the world’s financial industry?

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

WHAT a splendid article by Chris Skidmore MP (Yorkshire Post, December 21).

It really is amazing that it should be necessary to have to make such a strong case for history to be a compulsory subject right up to age 16.

As Mr Skidmore points out, to encourage a national identity, it is vital that all students are aware of how this country came to be where it is.

One cannot understand the present without knowing the past.

I do hope that the powers that be can re-introduce history in the depth it was taught in my days at Secondary School – 1947-53 – people will then understand better the problems which are permanently with us – Middle East, Arab Spring and the like.