We've moved!

Check out our new site at
and be sure to update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Moral Values of Lebanese Society

As part of the World Values Survey conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, sociologist Mansoor Moaddel and his colleagues from Lebanon and Sweden asked a nationally representative sample of Lebanese adults—which included Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, and Christian groups—which behavior is the most immoral: stealing someone's property, violence against others, or premarital sex. In total, 48 percent said stealing is the worst moral offense, 31 percent picked violence as the worst, and 21 percent chose premarital sex as the most immoral behavior.
"I've used this test with my students in large introductory sociology class recently. And at least 90 percent of my students agree that violence against other human beings is the most immoral," said Moaddel. "But in Lebanon and in Iran, which I surveyed in 2005, stealing is seen as the most immoral. It's hard to say why. It may be that all the violence has desensitized people to it, or it might be that the reason there is so much violence is that people don't view it as that bad. Or it could be that the attitude toward violence is fall-out from a patriarchal culture in which brute strength and physical force are seen as natural, normal ways to obtain your rights." —Heather Wax


Anonymous said...

In the case this is a scientific activity , I would very much like to know the researcher's presumptions, underlying theory(ies) (psychology, moral theory,sociology,theology etc. ) , and methodology, to see how he/she has come to this (in my view, distorted) interpretations.

I think this kind of news or hasty interpretations of data will undermine the scholarship of this site- and should not be mailed among serious news of S&R today.
In the same hasty manner one could interpret the data, that many western contries may have experienced a plenty of economic scandals (systematic stealing), etc. that they have become indifferent to them, since this is a part of their daily lives/ or experiencing the violence in their neighborhood/ schools and/or family life as effects of alcohol and drug abuse, etc, and so have become more sensitive to it , identifying them as signs of danger for their security . It can also be interpreted by media effect etc.
All these hasty interpretations of coarse are only at the surface and according the presumptions and taste of the interpreteur, showing the lack of scholarship - or critical thinking.