When we think about the Apocalypse, common scenarios are pandemic disease, climate change, nuclear war. Some even suggest the possibility of AI getting rid of mankind.
However, these scenarios are all external. But what if the Apocalypse happened within humankind?
That is what I’d like to suggest as another scenario of the apocalypse ; collapse of morality.
Have you ever noticed how fragile our morality is?
Killing a person is certainly morally wrong, everyone knows it. But still, murders continue to happen and many people enjoy “virtual killing” in video games. Lying is also morally wrong, but everyone does it (sometimes the benefit of others). Stealing is morally wrong, but haven’t you ever taken a piece of paper from your workplace?
There are many things we do, even though we know they are morally wrong. Our morality actually cannot rule all the actions we take no matter how “good” we’d like to be, because our actions are determined not only by our morality but also our emotions, social situations, experiences, and such.
The scariest part is, when people become fully aware of the fragility of our moral and that it does not possess any kind of actual enforcement power over us. Unlike some desires which are crucial in order to survive (e.g. hunger), morality does not physically threaten us even if we disobey it.
The collapse of morality is, in fact, people behaving the way they want, maximizing their own happiness without caring for others. Doing something that goes against our morality might not feel very good, but it does not harm us in terms of survival. People become self-centered.
All of us have some egoistic sides, but we are most of the time concerning about how others would see us, which makes us follow our morality. What if everyone starts to act completely selfishly? No more morality.
This is another scenario of the apocalypse that randomly came up on my mind today. It does sound unrealistic, and I hope it continues to do so…