But when if you COULD measure morality. And what's more, what if you did and you found that the earth - and humans - were getting better every year. There was a famous philosopher (I've been googling for 10 minutes and can't recall which one) who said that man inexorably moves towards morality. And that eventually, all people will be rational.
It seems impossible to believe this with even a cursory glance at the world. Increasing inequality gap in the U.S. ISIS' latest horrific thing. Unaffordable tuition. Billionaires controlling our elections. Plastic in the oceans. Anti-Muslim sentiment exacerbating already terrible refugee crisis.
All bad things. But one thing that isn't bad is that, generally, people agree that they are bad.
To measure something, you need to have a baseline. So let's look back at baseline morality through most of history:
- Slavery = common
- Women = few rights, not represented in government, seen as property (see above for that too)
- Children = Seen and not heard, beatings common. Work in the coal mine, kiddo.
- Colonialism = common. Kill, kidnap or educate the "savages"
- Legal protection = Just for white men and / or rich people. I don't mean that rich people had BETTER legal protections (which they still do), but that they had pretty much ALL of them.
- Gays = Not tolerated.
- Knowledge = Owned by the few