When man evolved from his mammalian ancestry might was in a way right. The stronger very often defeated the weak, and became the master. Fights were very common to possess a beautiful mate, to become the leader of a group or to protect one’s territory. The leader’s position was constantly under threat and if he did not nip in the bud a looming danger, his position would be usurped. He mated with whomever he could attract and subdue whenever it pleased him. Like in the lower species, the females tended to the young and provided food for them. The male looked after himself and tried to appropriate other female unless a physically stronger one posed a threat.
It was long after man started to live in societies that he reflected upon a better way to live peacefully. He thought about the basic codes of social conduct essential for his peaceful co-existence. After quite a long period of reflective stage emerged some kind of morality, usually in the form of customary standards of right and wrong conduct. Virtually every human society has some form of myth to explain the origin of codes. There is a Babylonian myth showing the sun god, Shamash presenting the code of laws to Hammurabi (died 1750 BC). The Bible account of God’s giving the ten commandments to Moses (14th–13th century BC) on Mount Sinai might be considered another example. Later, the moral teachers modified them to suite the local conditions and gave them to the people with the authority of gods. It was easy that way to convince the masses the necessity of adhering to them. They were invested with all the mystery and power of divine authority as nothing else could provide such strong reasons for enforcing the moral law.
This momentous step secured the chief’s position irrespective of his physical might. The stronger could no longer kill the weak and appropriate his possessions. Gods had forbidden it and there was a central authority to punish the law breaker. The chieftains slowly evolved as the custodians and protectors of gods and their codes. Guards were appointed to enforce their edicts and to safeguard the leaders from any threat form any quarter. But there were aberrations. From the very beginning of organized living, courageous deeds were recognized and honored. Defeating one’s enemy –it could be even a stranger who encroached upon the tribe’s domains—and bringing home his chopped head was an achievement of great valor. The one who mastered the art of slaying his fellow beings became in effect their ruler and defender. But once he was enthroned he enforced the codes of social conduct ruthlessly. Might was still very much right in some for or another far and wide.