If Morality Comes from a “Good” Society, We’re in Trouble

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 11/26/2016

I came across this tweet by someone who is worried about the state of our nation:

I’ve always believed there is no such thing as the inherent goodness of people. Morality comes from a good & just society. I’m scared.

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) November 11, 2016

I can sympathize with a person being scared by this. If there is “no such thing as the inherent goodness of people,” but instead morality must come from “a good and just society,” then he has reason to be scared. If the goodness we desire is not inherently in people, and there is no moral standard higher than society, how could “goodness” ever reign in a society? Society is people. And if society determines goodness, and society is people, and people aren’t inherently good, how could there even be any goodness?

He needs the hope of an objective goodness that’s higher than people/society. If there isn’t one, his fear should probably be greater than it is.