The diminution of the belief in God is probably the most important one. If people believe they have lives endowed by a Creator, then they are likely to have a sense that their Creator is due some gratitude. The concept of a benevolent Creator, one benevolent enough to create individual life and be concerned with the positive details of that very life, establishes a specific focus for gratitude and thus a sense of gratitude is cultivated continually throughout the course of life, through it's trials and successes.
Secondly, and perhaps most immediately pertinent, is the cultural aspect of individual expectations. We are born into a life so free of dire travail and consequences (compared to previous generations) that everyone seems to expect health, wealth, and gratification - which is not the same as happiness - as a matter of birthright. When these ideals are not forthcoming, as they obviously will not be without great effort, people feel as though they are "burned", or betrayed by life; and a selfish petulance or ingratitude takes root. This is a childish and dishonest response, of course, but our societal wealth is now producing more and more spoiled and self-entitled souls (actually they are pathetically lacking in soul). Barack Obama is a terrific living example of this very thing.
An equally important part of this cultural base of ingratitude comes from the political left, or Grievance Left, as I call them. They are always about the business of creating crisis and complaint. They continuously promote the notions of unfairness and oppression brought down upon individuals by the "established order". They seek constantly to broaden the base of the "aggrieved" and "discriminated against". They seek to promote the idea of the powerlessness of the individual, and the hopelessness of life's struggles - without government's assistance, of course.
From the leftist point of view, everything is stacked against the individual, and we are prevented from happiness by the unseen, uncontrollable powers that inveigh against us. But all of these problems, naturally, could be solved by an all powerful force of governance led by elitists of impeccable wisdom and unimpeachable authority.
Who can dare be grateful when there is so very much wrong with the world as they see and describe it?; according the the leftist theme promoted everywhere throughout the culture. Even churches now are in this game.
In short, society, and therefore life - according to them - is an exercise in failure, unfairness, and misery, which equates life as nothing more than a broken promise. And how can any fool be grateful for that?
Again, this leftist grievance view is not only false, but it is really a form of blasphemy against the miracle of creation, of which all living things are a part.
Pathetic, miserable, and ungrateful fools. Some perhaps, are worthy of forgiveness, but those who promote these sad and selfish sensibilities most certainly are not.
The traditionalist/conservative elements of society are far more humble than the ruling elites or the underclass takers, whose whole lives are often based upon the charity and goodwill of the doers and the enterprising majority.
- D. R. W.