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Grayling’s question

By AC Grayling   October 2008

Are there greater social evils in today’s society than in the past?

A century ago the philanthropist Joseph Rowntree said that the greatest threats to society’s moral fabric were poverty, drunkenness, the opium trade, “impurity” (meaning prostitution and sexual license), gambling, war and slavery. He set up the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to “search out the underlying causes of weakness or evil in the community” as a contribution to addressing those problems.

This year, 100 years on, the JRF has posed the question again, conducting a consultation to identify what the public thinks are today’s greatest social evils. Among the…

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