It seems to me, understanding human morality is similar to comprehending Grand Unified Theory, they both are enigmas that defy explanation and the difference is based on scale. It is interesting how so many phenomenon appear across scientific disciplines. While it makes the universe and God’s laws easier to understand this phenomenon also shows us the interconnectedness of the universe. We have only a limited ability to understand the World around us despite our hubris. When two dissimilar systems so closely mirror one another, it is clear indication we should examine them, with an eye to comparing them, perhaps gleaning some insight into the workings of either or both. Not one among us isn’t aware that our well beings depend on the state of society, a few less understand that the state of our morality is a crucial factor in the state of our society.
Grand Unified Theory is a goal to combine macro physics with micro physics, or in other words, Newtonian physics with Quantum physics. The difference is scale. Things behave impossibly differently depending on the scale. In Quantum physics for example, particles can be entangled such that no matter how far they are separated if one is disturbed the other shows the disturbance, if a particle is measured that particle is fundamentally changed, and in the Quantum universe particles pop into existence and back out constantly. These are things and properties you would never see in the macro world, the world we live in. In our world, things don’t just pop into existence and back out, we can weigh anything we want without materially effecting it and just because two things bump doesn’t entangle them no matter how far apart they move. If any of those things happened in our world people would call it magic. But Grand Unified Theory is ambitious enough to try to fuse these two disparate realities into one theory.
Human morality is similar to micro and macro physics in that our morality largely depends on scale. Mo Ti said he couldn’t understand why a person shown a black dot could identify it as a black dot, but when shown a page filled with black dots, that same person would call them white. One would have to question the viewer’s eyesight… Mo Ti was of course referring to War. The one dot meaning the killing of a person but the page of dots representing the killing of many. The difference is scale. If I shoved a gun in your face and demanded money, that would be a bad thing, and everyone understands that, but if a government does the very same thing, people say it is good. You don’t think government demands are backed up by deadly force? Try not paying your taxes and hold up in your home, threatening no one, there will be armed police surrounding your house before you can blink. How many other examples can you think of, where if you or I did an action it would be wrong and punishable, but when government does that same action, it is called social justice.
To conceptualize a Grand Unified Theory of Human Morality would be every bit as difficult as Grand Unified Theory of Physics. To observe such fundamental change depending on scale boggles the mind. How can physics be so utterly different, at microscopic scales from how things behave at macro scales, the scale we live in? Human morality is no different on this matter, how is it possible that an action that is wrong for the individual, right for a group? Because if you think of it, a group with political power is all that government is. How many times in human history have people done evil things to one another, simply because they were “ordered” to? In their minds and in truth the minds of most people, they lost culpability in their actions when they received orders to… gas the Roma and Jews, take food from the people’s own larders to create a forced famine starving millions to death, drive the Roma to another country, or keep quiet when we see people being abused, along with any of the other atrocities you can think of. Physics is so fundamentally different from human morality that is is startling when we find such a close analogy between them. It would serve the physics community well if they could come up with Grand Unified Theory but it would equally serve the human race if we could come up with a Grand Unified Theory of Human Morality. Perhaps the researchers in physics and moral philosophers should examine each other’s fields to get a deeper understanding of their own.