If we're good science fearing types, we should believe that not only do we descend from apes, we should believe that we descend, directly from some kind of formless ooze. Sooo... not only did we need to build lots of stuff to get to where we are now, we needed to construct the cultural institutions governing morality and behaviour that make it all possible from scratch. It just isn't true that there was a past Eden that we've fallen from and need to figure out how to get back to (thanks a lot Plato, by the way); we're making it all up as we go along.
The way this evolution used to proceed is that stupid tribes would try stupid rules and then get killed or starve or meet some other grizzly fate. And so institutions developed (at least partly) through this brutal form of trial and error. Societies that survived and prospered had cultural norms better suited to surviving and prospered. Stable societies can do some experimenting with these things on their own.
The point is that even though we're more prosperous than ever some people worry that the rules that allow our prosperity are eroding away soon to be followed by the erosion of our material prosperity. But if we had to build and refine these rules in the first place how do we know that they were so great at any particular point in the past (or present for that matter). The odds that the way things were 50 years ago were optimal are very small. In fact you can't separate these rules from the material world at all and the technological advances that are a part of it. With every Big New Thing, people freak out and it can take years before society digests it and stable, modified rules emerge (usually with the death of the older generation).
The moral of the story is that the rules we grew up with are extremely valuable and shouldn't be tampered with lightly, but just like they emerged slowly from earlier rules, they should be modified and improved as well. And that is what those rules in the post below are for, a framework for the development of new rules.