Ethics and Welfare

There was a time when there were simple answers to the issues of what was right and what was wrong. The Ten Commandments provided clear guidelines for how people should live their lives. Today, the ethical landscape is more complex, and there are many different ideas about when it is right to do what, and what to avoid. Many of the things that were morally wrong during the Reformation era, like living together before marriage, are accepted in Denmark today.

There have also been a lot a changes in terms of welfare. In the Danish welfare state today the state pays for healthcare and care of the elderly, and provides childcare and schools. The goal is to create a social safety net for everyone. Even though the welfare state is largely the result of the issues caused by poverty in the 1800s and 1900s and the subsequent broad political agreement on providing social security, there were also social safety nets in the past. They were just justified and organised in a different way than today. Some people might claim that the roots of welfare state can be found in the Reformation.