I've been thinking about American Dream lately and this question struck me: are we the ones to corrupt moral ideas, or are the ideas corrupted by themselves? American Dream's an absolutely moral ideology, but in practice the followers of the Dream incline to immoral acts. This can be applied to any moral ideology.
closed as unclear what you're asking by virmaior Nov 10 '15 at 0:13
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Ideas are not actors. Actors in ethics are always persons.
Hence moral ideas cannot corrupt themselves.
But persons can misinterpret or abandon ideas. Or as you axpressed it "we [are] the ones to corrupt moral ideas."
Added after your comments: As I understand from your comments, your question is:
Why is it that "The followers of [american] dream will even commit crimes and sins in order to get money. This contradicts the main principle of the dream."
There are several possible explanations:
Those who commit those crimes are not the same as those who subscribed to the dream.
Those who subsribed to the dream changed their opinion.
Ideas and dreams are not strong enough to suppress actions which offend these dreams. Actions can be induced by more powerful drives and desires.
I think they betray their dream (and themselves) rather than corrupting the dream. As Jo pointed out, the ideal remains what it is, it is the persons that are corrupted (e.g. by greed), not the ideal.
What you are pointing at is an equivocation: that the term "americal dream" happens to be used for the behaviour of persons claiming to follow it, but are corrupted. But "american dream" inherentially remains an ideal, despite what the term is also used for. That's a standard problem of a living language.
=> In expressing that "the american dream corrupts itself" you are using the term in another way than "the american dream" is normally used, namely as an ideal. And ideals are normative per se.