Lacking a Shared Moral Code

“The sociologist, one of the pioneers of the discipline, was Émile Durkheim. In his work Suicide (1893), Durkheim argued that in any society in a state of anomie – that is, lacking a shared moral code – there would be a rise in suicide. He did not see how a society could survive the loss of what he called la conscience collective, the unifying body of ideas, beliefs and attitudes that give shape and coherence to our shared social world. Not only would society fragment; so too would individuals, and many of them would be unable to cope. That, I believe, is what is happening in our time.”

Morality, Chapter 5, p. 84