We are as a society, becoming more sensitive about several social issues. About human rights and what is acceptable behaviour towards, and acceptable treatment of others. About the treatment of minority groups. About gender equality and the balance of men and women in the workplace and other environments. About freedom of sexual orientation and religion. About racial differences. About language censorship and which words not to use in which situation. About the meaning of what people say - not just literally, but in the particular context in which they say it. About animal and non-human rights. We notice these issues more, scrutinize and speak up more openly about them as they become more delicate subjects overall.
It is not uncommon in recent times, for society to go after people's past actions and actions of people of the past, and judge them by our updated standards.
However are we becoming more ethical in the process? Is the overall increased sensitivity (and hopefully awareness) matched by an increase in morality? Is the increased realization of racism in everyday activity and condemnation of it marked by a decline in racist incidents? Is the media frenzy about celebrities and people in power abusing their power and other people's rights and privacy, accompanied by a decrease in incidence of such events? Or are we just interested in pointing out new social scandals daily for the sake of creating the next day's media news story and racking up views? Are we truly more tolerant about other religious, political and sexual orientations? Or have we just become quicker to act concerned when incidents that violate other's freedoms occur? All the while maintaining and nurturing the same old deep-rooted selfish views and when no one is watching, casting our vote for the same people who share these borderline immoral views against these freedoms?
Furthermore, if at all we now more than before, refrain from unethical behavior, is it because we have higher standards as a society or because we are more afraid of the consequences that will follow as a result of the more sensitive society we have come to be? If the latter is the case, are we not doing the right thing for the wrong reasons? If we do good out of fear of the consequences of doing evil it surely is a step in the right direction. But shouldn't social awareness, virtuousness, consideration of others and how good leads to more good be the driving forces for doing good rather than mere fear of consequences?.
The world is certainly becoming more sensitive about social issues. We can only hope it is as a result of people being internally more conscious and striving to be more ethical, and not just an increase in reactivity and fear of looking bad.