I recently read a discussion on another forum about the evils of TV and the crap that is on television these days; programs that provide no moral guidance and no morality whatsoever.
This got me thinking. Is TV designed as a tool for us from whence to get our morals, or is there something more at work here?
Instead of getting our morals from television, why not apply our morals to it instead?
A properly formed conscience, using the revealed truths of the Church and Christ, is the best way to judge an act or action. We have this great thing in the faith called morality, and it is not a grey area. We know what is right and wrong, we know what a sinful act is, and we can figure out when a person is acting morally, immorally and possibly even amorally.
If I were to use the reverse, and if I were to actually get my morals from TV, I would believe the following:
Moral relativism - Diff'rent Strokes. This is from the theme song along, "What might be right for you, may not be right for some." We know of the great evils of moral relativism because we live in a Hollywood society in which sex is an icebreaker, but it doesn't matter, because one day, I might find my spouse at a trendy club and marry them. And if it doesn't work out, then we'll just get a divorce and we can marry someone else for forever/5 years. And all because Arnold didn't know what Willis was talking about.
Proportionalism - 24. Jack Bauer made a living off of saving the world. Which would seem like a good thing if he didn't execute his boss at a train yard in order to save hostages. Or kill a guy and then cut off his head with a hacksaw in order to gain entrance into a secret organization. Or let his daughter get eaten by a cougar.
The ends justifies the means - Dexter. Who doesn't love rooting for serial killers? Showtime has been asking us to cheer for Dexter Morgan for 5 years, a serial killer who kills serial killers. Why? Because Dexter cannot control his urges to kill, and rather than kill innocents, he only kills those who deserve to die because of their criminal lives. Nevermind that he is the prime example of a vigilante, taking the law into his own hands. He kills so these people won't kill again. Sounds like the justification of a mad man to me.
Animal Cruelty - Garfield. Every time Odie was standing on the edge of the table (why he would stand here, I have no idea), Garfield would push him off. And not just push him, he would actually kick him in the behind, sending him flying off the table and onto the ground. Couple this Garfield's constant shipping of Nermal to Abudabi, and we get the idea that violence to animals is not only ok, but is quite funny.
On the other hand, if you take the morals you already have and apply it to the worlds that television creates and provides, you will be able to enjoy all that it has to offer to a much great degree. You will know what is right and what is wrong, and more importantly, you will be able to discuss why it is so.
Studying sins and vices does not lead you to a life of the same, but rather can lead you to a life in which you understand your faith and your values better. An understanding of the truth sometimes requires a glimpse into the falsehoods of the world, and this offers, too, an appreciation of the objective truths by which we live