“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Martin Luther King
I think nature makes us evil. Evolution is merciless. It optimizes for one thing: survival, of you and yours. If willingness to kill helps you survive, that trait is passed on. If cowardice, reluctance to challenge the group or, worse, gradual adoption of whatever those around you believe helps you survive, evolution will pass it on. (Too simple. not all traits heritable. maybe goodness is selected for at the group level? No. wishful thinking. Group level selection selects for groups that survive and expand. Group effects also too weak to overcome individual level effects). All we are is a bundle of systems and somehow, as if by magic, a self aware conscious mind on top. Yet our mind’s aren’t free from the constant corrupting influence of nature. They are a product of it. Every evil instinct we have, every urge to tribalism, to hate, to love and agree with the strong and impose our will on/demand submission from the weak are a reflection of our base origins. Even our conceptions of good and evil, and the many evil things we wrongly see as good, are due to it. I think the foundational question of the struggle to be good is how to overcome the slow rot. I’m not sure, but I think it requires simultaneously walking two paths which lead in very different directions. In the longer run, individual action cannot suffice. We have to find some way to stop evolution.