There’s a lot of time left before the sun turns into a red giant and wipes us all out, a lot of time to survive through. Much could happen, and we cannot foresee what.
We have evolved over much time too, and what we are and how we behave are largely products of the evolutionary processes that have allowed us to make it through time up to this point. To personify, Nature knows nothing of good and evil, right and wrong. Nature just is - what works at a time, survives and propagates while what doesn’t, doesn’t. Nature doesn’t give a shit for comfort and wellness except insofar as they might give an organism the ability to reproduce - if discomfort and pain assist in survival, they will be favoured.
So here we find ourselves - a species only 200,000 years old or so, but descended from far older organisms, inheriting much of what has allowed them to survive. And what have we got? We have got a species that sometimes shows altruism, cares for the sick and the aged, fights discomfort and suffering, yet sometimes causes pain, kills others, beats women, stomps gays, conducts deadly political purges, engages in genocide. What we are today, is a result of all of this. That is just a descriptive fact.
Then we have Sam. Sam presupposes and brooks no argument that “good” is the “well-being of conscious creatures” and the “flourishing” of homo sapiens. In itself, this is fraught with difficulties. There is a temporal aspect to “well-being” - many times in life hardship and pain at one time can lead to the ability to cope with future events without collapsing into a physical or psychological heap. There are issues of individual versus group - we are all familiar with the type of dilemmas put forward in “test-your-morality” type questionnaires.
So “well-being” becomes difficult to define. And “flourishing” has its own issues. Does that mean the explosion of the planet’s human population? Or the comfort and ease of those lucky enough to be able to afford suchlike? To what extent must we “flourish” at the expense of other “conscious creatures”?
Is this “well-being” what we need to survive ( remember, there is much time ahead of us )? Or is a bit of hardship and pain more likely to help? Is survival a greater good than short-term ( in cosmic terms ) well-being? Is Sam not just your typical sentimental American? It’s a tough world out there.
PS. Hurt my kitteh and I’ll kill your offspring.