How can we realise objective ethical values? Society’s psychology has selfless elements that can combine with reason to enable inclusive and egalitarian ideals. But it also carries a darker side that has dragged us away from them. This is highlighted by recent attacks on basic institutions and values such as the Capitol Riot. William J. Fitzpatrick — a professor of intellectual and moral philosophy — reflects on why moving closer to the ideals of universal morality depend on curating an environment where the better aspects of human nature can thrive.