Origin of our notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’

Alecq asked:

How is it that a human can believe that something is good or bad? If we were not taught as such, we would be ‘unethical’ and ‘without morales’. Where in the line of human history did someone decide that taking something from someone without asking was ‘bad’. To the ‘thief’, that object and the act of taking it might be necessary, but is still considered ‘bad’.

‘Cheating’ on a spouse or killing isn’t tolerable either, but people have been killing for millennia before it was accused as ‘murder’ and thus framed ‘bad’. If hitting a girl is bad, how has it become so? Bombing a building can be considered extremely good for whoever did it, but bad for the victims.

All I ask is this: How do we, as humans see things as good or bad, while our degenerate species cannot.

Answer by Shaun Williamson

The thief doesn’t want other people to steal his possessions. The murderer doesn’t want to be murdered. The man who beats up his wife doesn’t want to be beaten and bullied. The torturer doesn’t want his children to be tortured by someone else.

Morality is about what makes human life possible to the highest degree. It is not about slavishly following what other people say is good or bad, it is about joining together with other people, as moral equals, to decide what is good and what is bad.

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