The majority of the older generation believed that having their children be happy is more important than having them be successful. The younger generation believed the opposite.
"... older generation .... "??? HEY!!! I know when I've been insulted! (even though it's true.)
Increasingly, what used to be considered right/wrong, moral/immoral choices are now made with a "that depends upon what's in it for me" qualifier ....... We can all figure out where the end of this slippery slope COULD lead because we've all seen it on a very small scale in such acts as people murdering innocent people in cold blood because they felt they were somehow not showing enough respect, and for them, getting respect was more important than the lives they took.
Individual and wholesale murder occurs in societies that supposedly have "fixed-point" moral standards, so relativism is the rule of the day even though participants may deny it. Maybe the slippery slope ends when enough people in a given population desire a more peaceful society (necessary to rear enough children to maintain the population), enough to override the desire for individual choice. Is the choice always either fascism or anarchy? Perhaps all societies swing between the two extremes trying to find a stable balance, by turns calling on "God" or some other moral absolute to impose order.
Are there morals and ethics which exists which are immutable, while maybe others are not? If so, why have any morals and ethics at all, since they are relative to a person's selfish interests?
No system of ethics is immutable, IMO. But that doesn't mean humans don't need ethics. Very few humans live completely alone. We are a social species. Our instinct (if that's the right word) is to herd together, not live in isolation from one another. That instinct would prevent total moral relativism because the "herd" would eventually suffer. If we all lived in complete isolation, then there would truly be no need for morals and ethics. No need to cheat on a test if no society exists to create the need for the test.
If the person who cheated on that college test got admitted, but at the cost of another student who honestly took the test and was qualified to be admitted, but who was bumped by the test cheater because of a limit on the number of student enrollments, is that acceptable morally and ethically?
If cheating becomes widespread because it was considered an ethical norm, societies (large and small) would suffer widespread harm from incompetent architects, doctors, teachers, even dub windowwashers ("You left a streak there, brother."). Again, I think humans' need for a stable society would create enough pressure to change the norm, because it would be good for the many instead of the few. Maybe I'm too optimistic about human nature. I hope not.