Emotivist Ethics

Christian Smith recently published "Souls in Transition," a study of the moral and spiritual lives of America's 18- to 24-olds, based on extended face-to-face interviews.  The moral outlook of many young Americans--an ethic based on emotions rather than on reasoned principles--was encapsulated in the words of one respondent, when asked to explain how to tell the difference between right and wrong:

"Morality is how I feel too, because in my heart, I could feel it. You could feel what's right or wrong in your heart as well as your mind. Most of the time, I always felt, I feel it in my heart and it makes it easier for me to morally decide what's right and wrong. Because if I feel about doing something, I'm going to feel it in my heart, and if it feels good, I'm going to do it."

For more on the consequences of doing what your heart feels, consult Jeremiah 17:9.