A lot has been said about the topics of right and wrong, good and bad; most often without defining what right, wrong, good, and bad means in the first place. So, I would like to offer my perspective about it.
Right and wrong, good and bad are relative to a goal to be attained. A very obvious goal of a living organism is to live, and so we could say that things that would assist it’s living would be more good and other things which would hinder it would be less good. However, life isn’t as simple as a living organism. It includes many and various living organisms as well as things that are not living organisms and one can get pretty perplexed as to what the right thing to do is. Add to that, that a spiritual being that possesses a living organism is not a living organism itself, and it can get even more perplexing.
Often what is right for a spiritual being is not right for it’s body, and visa versa. A spiritual being might want to experience an adventure that could be harmful or even lethal to it’s body; so what to do? And how can one be free and still be ethical?
Maximum ethics is attained by fulfilling the maximum of purposes for the maximum of elements contained. Simplified it could be called ‘the greatest good’. If all sorts of living organisms, humans, animals, plants were allowed or even assisted to live we would have the maximum good for those things. And we could have city life too without harming those things; we could balance it so city life wouldn’t lead to an extinction of those things. And we could allow carnivores to feed on other animals, -as that’s what carnivores do- and still be ethical by allowing or assisting the perpetuation of life of non carnivore animals.
As far as the planet and the living organisms on this planet are concerned, that’s what ethics is about. However, like I said before, there is another important element to take into account: A spiritual being’s purposes that are set only by itself might not be aligned with the purposes of this planet. Moreover, a spiritual being’s and another spiritual being’s purposes might not be aligned with each other, either. So, that can lead to endless complexity, and to conditions wherein a spiritual being inhibits another spiritual being’s free will, in order to attain it’s own ends.
Still there can be a workaround for that too. There are a couple of things to take into consideration: A spiritual being, unlike a living organism, is not depended upon other spiritual beings, nor upon any living organisms, nor upon any planets, nor upon anything whatsoever. It is completely free; and it’s relation to the rest of life is similar to the relation of a gamer and a computer game. It is not really part of material life, it only impinges it’s will upon it, and it’s will can even be to pretend to be part of that life, much like a gamer could consider to himself to be that too. So what does that mean? It means nothing can happen to it. Another thing to take into consideration is that all spiritual beings have something in common. And if what they have in common is stressed, they can agree with each other, they can like each other, they can co-operate. That might not be true for other living organisms, but it can be true for spiritual beings –understanding, honesty, consistency, responsibility works. The laws of nature, the survival of the fittest does not apply to spiritual beings, as one cannot be ruled by another. One can however understand another, allow each other’s self-determination and co-operate (or not) on that basis. They can co-operate without reducing their own, without attempting to reduce each other’s free will.
The notion that spiritual beings do not exist, kicks that potential out of the way and then chaos ensues. As we consider that our own nature is something like ‘survival of the fittest’ chaos ensues, and things can get ugly. And later on, in order to contain, suppress that chaos, in order to put order a thing called authority is born. Authority is proportional to unethical behavior and resulting chaos, thus you might often find people who wish to impose their own authority create chaos first –like in the case of war. One taunts others to behave unethically -like in the case of inciting a fight- and he can then claim the right to control them, in the name of ethics. That is how ethics gets a bad name. Otherwise it can be a beautiful thing for all.