In my opinion morality is how well one makes distinguish, between right and wrong, in the human society. It is that collective optimal good for the whole society. Morality is the very fabric of our civilization. There are many examples of how important it is for the progress of a society, the Germans or the Japanese, after the Second World War, are two of the most obvious examples. It is natural to think that a group of people that understands what’s truly good for them (collectively) can also easily progress or withstand great catastrophes.
We are shaped by our society. Who we are is result of the environment in which we’ve grown. Huge inequality in society creates violence and crime for example. What the judicial system does, in that sense, is to falsely create an illusion that we, as a society, are not responsible for the horrible deeds of a specific person. You do see, I hope, how this is like treating the symptoms of a disease, rather than the roots of it. So we can say that the judicial system does the opposite of what’s moral, it fails to recognize what’s good for the society. If that system is really to create a higher moral value, it wouldn’t try to judge individuals for their actions but rather investigate what’s the causes of such and try to fix them so further such deeds wouldn’t occur. So it’s more rational for one that needs to face court, to rather tell his story so a moral could be taken out of it, than to face a punishment for it.
That repeats itself in individual scale as well. We very often hate others, for they show us those bad sides we also share. Instead of admitting we have such, many of us would rather hate others for reminding them, of those bad sides, because those others have them themselves. We create that delusion so we can feel more comfortable with ourselves. For example we would rather think that if someone killed someone else, that’s not the result of our human nature (which occur under specific environment, that we create as a society), but rather because of that person being insane, which is wrong. People are not insane, they are just adaptive to the environment that they inhabit.
The denial we are facing in both large and individual scale, needs to be overcomed. Just like we need to admit we have a problem, in order to fix it, as a society we need to admit we haven’t created a good environment for everyone, in order for us to improve it.
I am going to finish by quoting Carl Sagan
“For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”