The fear of consequences is what stops most of us from following through with actions that could be considered wrong or inappropriate. This is true weather you live in a tribe or a city. No one wants to be shunned or looked upon badly by their people or society. The ones that do go ahead with the wrong action are of three types: 1. They are already shunned and looked upon badly by their people and society and therefore don't care. 2. Their people, the group they feel they belong to, are forcing them to do this action. Such as a soldier is told to kill. 3. They are doing it to survive. To survive may be in varying degrees. An addict may steal to obtain drugs which he literally feels he needs to survive.
Unfortunately I believe the fear of consequences also stops us from right action and greatness. We are afraid to move. Frozen like a fly in the great tangled web we have made. Young children can solve all the problems of the world with their lack of fear. Ask them how to stop global warming and they will tell you bluntly to stop driving all the dirty cars, stop cutting down the trees, and close all the dirty factories. It is that simple - to them. What we say to them is -" It's not that simple honey."
I believe most people are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. I am not a scientist, a psychologist, or professor of anything, just a 50 year old woman in the U.S. who has observed human nature. I think all of humanity is concerned with the same basic principals of life here on Earth. To know and feel you belong. To know your worthiness. To feel love and be loved. To know and feel the connected nature of all life. To feel peace and wellness. To lack any of these is indeed the sin of humankind. Until they are mastered and each of us is self governed by our own authority I cannot see any great leap of human evolution.