Christian Guy, who was formerly David Cameron’s special adviser on poverty, tweeted out a question that has generated some debate. It was: Someone I met earlier asked a great question: which common attitudes/traits in Britain today will be considered outrageous in 150 years’ time?
What we (or at least I) are talking about here, is what laws or customs will be considered morally outrageous in 150 years’ time? I tweeted in reply that this depends entirely on whether the West collapses into a post-Christian nightmare, or whether somehow it stumbles on and maintains its Christian foundations so that they still influence law and custom.
People often point to slavery as something that was widespread and now think of as morally abhorrent. But we should remember slavery was the historical norm, and is still widespread in some parts of the world.
Slavery was abolished due to Christian crusaders, Wilberforce being the most obvious. There was nothing inevitable about its abolition, nothing whatsoever. Wilberforce pushed Britain to abolish the international slave trade even when Britain controlled the seas, and would have continued to benefit enormously from the trade. It was Wilberforce’s Christianity that motivated him on this decades-long crusade.
So I am going to be brief and split it into whether Britain and most likely Europe becomes a post-Christian hellhole or its Christian foundations hold.
If we move to post-Christian nightmare, I predict the following will become routine. In a socialised health system such as the NHS, peace be upon it, with lengthening lives there will be a moral obligation to end your life ‘peacefully’ on some God-forsaken NHS death ward to save resources. So assisted suicide will not just be legal but as I said there will be a moral obligation to end your life should you become too much of a burden because of disability or old age.
The number of abortions will continue to rise and again it will become a moral obligation to abort a child with a diagnosed disability (such diagnoses will become much more widespread with further pre-natal testing). There will be no babies born with Down’s syndrome in 100 years’ time.
Marriage laws will change completely. Polygamy probably will be legal as there is no logical argument against it, once gay marriage was introduced. The only requirements now in custom (if not in law) is that there is consent and love. As such there is no reason why marriage should be restricted to two people.
Gay marriage also said that the genders of the marriage union do not matter – we do not need complimentarily. This together with the long-standing feminist argument that advocates there is very little if any difference between the genders/sexes will further fuel the rise in transgenderism.
Once people can self-identify legally, and legal documents can be issued confirming a lie, gender will no longer be listed on legal documents and then in general use. TFL abolished ‘ladies and gentleman’. The language and belief that there are two very different sexes will probably fall out of use completely in 100 years’ time.
The sanctity of human life having being undermined so thoroughly will blur the lines between animal and human life. Some animals will enjoy the same legal protections as humans; in fact some will enjoy greater protections than humans at the early stages of development. Vegetarianism will probably be seen as a superior moral choice although meat eating, I believe, will remain.
Now depending on religious freedom laws, it may be the case that Jewish and Christian groups hold out until this post-Christian society collapses and there is change once again. That is difficult to predict.
If Christianity does not collapse completely in the West, then we will hobble along in our uneasy toleration of Christian moral norms and leftist secularism. Those who proudly proclaim their atheism will continue to live in a society with deep Christian roots, roots that make their lives so pleasant.
There are three issues, however, that will have a major impact on moral norms of the future but I cannot predict how. They are: immigration, technological changes and declining fertility. There will be a slow Japanese-like fertility collapse in the West, which will accelerate in a post-Christian society. This might increase immigration to keep the ageing population afloat and the impact of this remains to be seen.
(Image: Quinn Dombrowski)