According to a new Gallup poll, 45 percent of Americans rate moral values in this country as "poor" (compared to only 15 percent who find them "excellent" or "good"). This marks the biggest discrepancy between ratings of overall morality in nine years.

We are somewhat baffled as to why Americans believe our collective sense of right and wrong is on such a downswing. We remember 2002 fairly well, and are pretty sure it wasn't any less depraved than 2010.

Perhaps the Internet, which has become a much bigger part of all of our lives over the past decade, is acting to expose us all to the moral shortcomings of our fellow citizens. But that doesn't necessarily mean we are actually becoming less moral in any measurable way.

So, is it the Internet's fault?

We'd like to defend the medium on which we exist by arguing that the Internet has made us more moral. Before you read our reasoning, cast your vote in our poll on whether the moral direction of America is getting better or worse.

Is America's morality on the decline?
Yes -- you learn what's right and wrong on long walks to school497 (43.4%)
No -- we're actually more enlightened 167 (14.6%)
It's about the same -- people are always going to be people481 (42.0%)


Why the Internet Is Making America More Moral:

It keeps you in touch with your family

There is nothing that keeps one's moral grounding intact than family, we're told. And what says "family" more than long-lost relatives using the Internet to track each other down -- for reasons other than asking for money? Also, now that old people have discovered the Internet, you don't have to take a trip down to Florida to appreciate your grandfather's corny sense of humor. In fact, it now comes to you instantaneously, and in spam form.

Internet vigilantism keeps sinners in line

Back in the good ol' days of strong morals, regular folk kept society on the straight and narrow by performing brave acts, such as burning witches and stoning adulterers. Sadly, these practices are now banned. But we are happy to say Internet vigilantism is on the rise. So far, digital avengers have more or less limited their activities to shaming and exposing pedophiles, con men and giant douchebags. However, one can easily see a future where the fine folks at 4chan and other moral-minded Web pages dish their harsh citizen justice out on anyone who steps outside the tight parameters of acceptable behavior.

Free porn for everybody
Many proponents of health-care reform make the argument that providing all of America's citizens with affordable health care is one of society's moral obligations. Well, even if it is, you only need health care on the off chance you are sick. Porn, on the other hand, always comes in handy (heh). And because of the Internet, all of America's citizens, from those with the last name Rockefeller to the homeless guy in the public library, now have full and free access to pornography. If that isn't doing right by people, we don't know what is.