Why basic morality or ethical principles are vital for group survival

In order for an individual or group of individuals to peacefully survive and interact in society, basic morality or ethical principles are critical.

This is especially true in groups which can include whole nations. Not following basic morality inevitably leads to the destruction or disintegration of the group.

Call this a basic law of nature if you want, but it is primarily applicable to interactions of humans who are, after all, a part of nature.

Trust is the voluntary strong bond or glue which makes peaceful human interaction possible.

Lying and stealing destroys trust and leads to the disintegration of families, organizations, businesses, and nations.

Individuals who lie and steal lose their integrity and become social pariahs.

Our government is currently undergoing a trust crisis with politicians, the media, the FBI, the CIA, the CDC, the FDA, the military, et al. all being caught in unethical practices which threaten national security and the survival of democracy.

Few will deny that lying and stealing is increasing in the U.S.A. Fortunately, lying and stealing governments, such as Russia and China, are also not doing well lately and are gradually heading towards breakdowns economically and politically.

A law of nature among pack or group animals like wolves, who are predators, is that you share the cooperative kill with all members of the group after the dominant predators have satiated their hunger. No one is supposed to steal food from other wolves after the kill but food is judiciously shared among the pack which has a pecking order or hierarchy.

In human society there are predators, too, with some being individual predators or lone criminals and others being group predators or criminals, often called gang members. Clever and ruthless individuals may hide that they lie and steal from society but once their cloak of secrecy over their true lack of morality or ethical principles is unveiled, their reputation suffers, they are caught and imprisoned, or they are ostracized from the group activity which they have participated in.

Gang members who lie and try to steal from each other are quickly either killed or kicked out of the gang as unworthy of participation in gang activity. So, even criminal gangs have strict basic moral or ethical principles which are don’t lie to one another and don’t steal from one another. Yes, the dominant gang members may get the bulk of the stolen money and goods but they are nevertheless “justly” shared with gang members according to their own devised laws.

In human society, there are also predatory, or more accurately, competing groups which vie with one other for dominance. Here, too, lying and stealing among organization members is forbidden and many organizations have moral or ethical principles which they must adhere to when interacting with the public or customers at large. Brand loyalty is what businesses need and desire. Legit businesses tend to shy away from unethical practices which may decrease brand loyalty.

Monopoly businesses have been known to cheat their customers through shoddy goods, poor services, or unethical price reductions to bankrupt their competitors. In the long run, these corrupted companies sometimes tend to self-destruct largely due to bad leadership,  inefficient worker behavior, a loss of brand loyalty by customers, and innovative small new company competition. Yes, when small companies grow large enough they are often bought up by bigger ones so antitrust laws need greater enforcement in our nation. Unfortunately, antitrust laws are not currently applied to international banks and corporations which are growing more powerful with each passing year worldwide.

One can of course argue that big money or over-concentration of wealth eventually corrupts individuals, companies, organizations, and the government. Further, that there is basically nothing which can be done about this basic law of nature. This is the pessimistic viewpoint. I am an optimist and hope for the day when trust-but-verify will return to the world and also our nation. All we really need is transparency via investigative reporting so that the unethical players in society and the world at large can be uncloaked and ostracized or imprisoned before they do irreparable damage to the nation and the world.

A return to basic moral or ethical principles will be the salvation of the nation and world, if that is still possible. A return to the transparent pursuit of truth without lying and stealing is the eternal struggle of humankind, a pursuit which all moral or ethical humans should be engaged in.

Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License

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