Well all know that well-adjusted social beings possess “a good moral compass”, that mechanism within us that keeps us on the “true course”. BS of course, just another “better than thou” justification we use to console ourselves.
For example, we did not need the Ten Commandments to tell us that killing was wrong, we have always known it. Even when Cain slew his brother Abel, he knew instinctively that he had done something wrong because he tried to hide it. Even those of us without this basic directional indicator would have learned from Cain’s example, would we not?
So, we all know killing is just, well, wrong. Then why have there always been wars? Wars are murder between social constructs (i.e. nation-states) pure and simple. So why would a society of people with “good moral compasses” do such things? The math escapes me.
1 good moral compass x 1,000,000 = 1 very big bad-ass moral compass
Some would say that it is a bad leader that causes these people to do such dire actions. And why is that? What happened to the moral compass of the populace?
Want another example? How about the commandment not to steal? Nations are always coveting the property of their neighbors and using their arms to help relieve the neighboring state of the “burden”.
I am sure there is a moral compass telling us that stealing is not right yet it happens all the time. And it always has throughout history.
If we truly had a moral compass, we would have no need for religion, government, or the mental health industry. It is precisely the LACK of such self-guidance that finds the human creature involving ourselves in these things.
I think the problem here is not the lack of a “moral compass” but the changing face of morals over the centuries. The social attitudes of the Romans were considered quite humane by their standards and the Greeks were though to be one of the most ethical societies of the ancient world. Yet, when the slave-owning spilled over into America, it was shown to be very bad on the moral compass.
Only when we can truly standardize what is morally “good” as opposed to what is morally “bad” will such an idea of a compass be of any value.
But then that should make us somehow… well, less “human”, would it not?