I took a class in modern Chinese history (1644-present) a few years ago and one thing that struck me is how the relationship between parents and children, or more broadly ancestors and descendents has recently changed. In the past, the Chinese venerated their ancestors to the point of worship and status in society was largly based upon age, gender, and degree of kinship. As a collary to this system, large families, particularly a large number of sons, was among the most desirable goals among families in this society.
Today, under one-child-per-family requirements, the child, rather than the patriarch has become the focus of attention. This leads to a system where doting parents and grandparents are investing thier energies on the young rather than upon ancestors. Therefore one could say that what is good for the child is what is good for society, rather than what is thought to be appropriate as to not embarass ancestors as being the goal.
I was wondering if such a change is occuring outside of China due to other modern factors. For one thing, large families are also dwindling in number in industrialized nations, which may lead to more of a child-focused, as opposed to adult-focused culture. How many times have we heard the rationale behind a decision subjected to "but what about the children?" in the USA?
A second factor that may contribute to a descendent, rather than ancestor-based morality is that the internet is actively archived. This means that virtually every homepage, every post, indeed every rant, will become part of history. One's descendents will be able to trace each utterance made public by their ancestors in a world where such postings may be a matter of pride, or of shame.
So my purpose in this PNT is to see if people agree society is tending to move from an ancestor to a descendent-based morality and if so, what does this mean about what the future may hold. Will individuals become less likely to engage in behaviors due to tradition and instead be more motivated to behave in a manner which benefits children? Will our freedom as adults be restricted to what is good for children? Will people become more or less supportive of religion and/or science under such a change in focus? Indeed, will the aged become less respected and perhaps discarded?
Perhaps a coffee house topic? or is it miscellaneous topics in Creation/Evolution as it involves a social science topic despite its speculative nature?