Moralis 3: Social Poisons, Striving for a Healthy Future

Abdelmoumen
6 min readNov 25, 2023

Welcome to “Moralis,” a series exploring the intricate tapestry of morality, ethics, and societal constructs shaping our world today

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Social problems have been and continue to be among the most significant obstacles we face in our society, and not only in our society but have become a widespread phenomenon worldwide and in all communities. Social health has become a perspective that the whole world considers, given the presence of many bad habits and traditions that have spread among members of society from generation to generation. The reason for the existence of this phenomenon may be attributed to the relationship between members of society with each other. If the relationship between members of society is repaired, the society as a whole will improve. However, if it deteriorates, the entire society will suffer.

Today, I want to address four issues that we consider in the Islamic society as four poisons, the foundation of the collapse of any civilization or society throughout history. Usury, adultery, alcohol, and gambling.

Usury:

When we talk about the usury, often the first idea that cross our mind that it is forbidden by all the religions. Moreover, almost of people believe that it is somewhat unrealistic because the capitalist economic system is based mainly on usury, which is called interest and is an essential element of the production process.

In fact, many economists argue that usury lending results in clear effects on the economy and society. We mention the following among them.

First, usury leads to the concentration of wealth. In fact, one of the most prominent economic effects of usury is that money moves in one direction, which is the direction of the units that always earn the “lending party,” while the borrowing units commit to repaying his debts in addition to the interest, whether these units did profit or not. This results a concentration of wealth in society, which create a gap between the class of societies. As the Italian scientist Pareto indicated it in his approach that 20% of the population owns 80% of the wealth.

Secondly, the cost of usurious interest is a high contractual cost. Since capital is an element that the production process cannot do without, this will mean that usurious financing will cause the occurrence of what is called cost-pull inflation. Furthermore, usurious financing is financing for those who have money.

Usurious financing is often biased towards surplus units “those who have money” but need liquidity, because they simply have the guarantees and mortgages that convince the lender to give them the loan. Therefore, granting financing will be limited to the wealthy class, and this entrenches classism.

In addition to that, one of the economic effects of usury is that usurious financing carries all the risks for the borrower while the lender does not bear any of the risks. The lender protects himself with mortgages and guarantees so that the chance of not repaying the loan is reduced to the greatest extent. At the same time, the borrower bears all the investment risks, and in the event of a loss in the project, it will be the borrower is unable to pay the principal and the interest resulting from it.

In summary, one of the most important economic effects of usury is the occurrence of economic and financial crises and business cycles. Some economists have linked the occurrence of business cycles to usurious financing because usury gives the largest share of the value of the output to the rich and impoverishes the masses of consumers who constitute the largest part of society. When consumers are unable to buy goods, they will accumulate. Goods are on the market and the economy enters a recession and then a depression.

Adultery:

Human Rights Watch described the recent decision by the Indonesian government to criminalize sex outside marriage as a human rights disaster.

But it seems that the Human Rights Commission has begun to work against what is best for humans and seeks to make them a slave to their desires. Adultery, like usury, is forbidden by all religions, but unfortunately society has become against religions, even if there is something harmful to them.

What we see today in our society is the disintegration of families, the spread of corruption, the death of souls, the darkening of faces, and the spread of venereal diseases, such as: syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes, and AIDS. These are deadly diseases that destroy offspring except as a result of adultery.

This scourge kills a person’s humanity and makes him a follower of his lust and a slave to the material world until he loses the last shreds of his morals. Today we see in our societies those who demand abortion as one of their rights and turning their face off a truth that they are killing a soul as a result of an illegal and immoral relationship.

Facilitating adultery and making it available made us flounder in the problems of pornography and the demolition of family values that are the foundation of society. The result is what we see today in our societies, especially Western societies.

Alcohol:

Alcohol is not less dangerous than the two first poisons, it has many negative effects on society, including the spread of crimes within society, due to the inability of the drinker to control his actions, and the loss of self-control, as the drinker does not distinguish between correct and wrong behaviour. Secondly, divorces, family disintegration, and child labour are widespread, because the alcoholic cannot manage himself and his family. In addition, the spread of poverty in the family and society, this is because the alcoholic needs financial resources in order to buy it, so that it becomes more important than basic needs. Furthermore, the spread of traffic accidents: This is a result of the drinker losing control over his actions, and this may cost his life and the life of passers-by in the street. In addition, increasing cases of rape and sexual harassment in the streets and other places, because drinking alcohol encourages the person to engage in vice and increases moral depravity. The country’s increasing need for health care, due to diseases caused by alcohol, and the need for shelter centres to treat addicts. Increasing cases of suicide within society.

The economic burden on the state, because a society in which addiction is widespread is vulnerable to unemployment and widespread poverty. The spread of violence in all its forms, especially domestic violence, and violence against woman.

Gambling:

Gambling addiction, or gambler syndrome, is a mental illness that can be caused by addiction to alcohol or drugs. As in other addictions, it means that the reward system in the emerging disorder. To arrive at this diagnosis, one tried to decide whether or not to play, but to no avail. Abstaining from playing due to hunger causes boredom and distress. Other symptoms of gambling addiction may appear, including playing with larger and larger amounts, seeking revenge when losing, and constantly thinking about playing or how to get money in order to play. Flashes of gamblers to play in order to relieve stress, Such as anxiety (psychological isolation) or depression, for example. Gambling addiction affects the patient and the people around him to a great extent. In order to hide his addiction, a gambler usually lies, even his family and friends. Gradually, relatives are usually forced to solve the economic crisis caused by the gambler. This is what harms many relationships. When gaming becomes the only important thing, it is easy to commit crimes in order to get money. The gambler’s lifestyle makes him neglect his work or studies. Many gamblers also face other psychological problems, Such as anxiety (psychological isolation), depression, or abuse of alcoholic beverages. This can easily lead to negative spirals that increase gambling addiction. Ultimately, it’s not about making money; But by experiencing the ecstasy of the reward.

In conclusion, addressing issues like usury, adultery, alcohol, and gambling is crucial for societal well-being. These problems have moral, religious, and socio-economic implications, contributing to wealth concentration, family breakdown, and health challenges. Recognizing and rectifying root causes, like breakdowns in social relationships, is vital for building a healthier society.

It’s a collective responsibility to foster positive change, strengthen moral values, and prioritize the well-being of community members over detrimental behaviours.

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Abdelmoumen

Business consultant. Engineering Master's. Exploring politics, history, and tech through analytical storytelling. Sharing insights and opinions on Medium