Humans are far from perfect, but generally aspire to perfection. This brings about much progress, but also much grief. Before aspiring to perfection, we must first imagine it, and then weigh its perceived benefits vs costs. And then there's often the question of who's the "we" that will reap the benefits or pay the costs.
Generally, the wider our notion of "we", the less of a zero-sum game we play, while the narrower "we" tends to work selfishly, with less regard for loss to others. It's often an Us vs Them game, vs an Us plus Them game.
So how did we (or most of us) come this far, to modern times? It's complicated! And long. But one unifier among us has been religion. Sure, it's had its costs, and those costs are now increasing compared to its benefits, because unification by choice is more of a workable option now than unification by force. Religion, secular communism, socialism, and capitalism each have their own advantages. In any case, long-lived perfection has eluded all of us, much less eternal utopia.
So historically, there's always been this intimate link between political/religious power structures, and the goals chosen at large for society and civilization. The religious or religiously affiliated power structures have, for the most part, taken us pretty far, and increasingly rapidly, especially since (say) around 0 A.D.
But now, science and liberal democracy threaten all previous dogmas and traditions. And it has complicated our decision making processes, because wide distributions of expertise are more critical to success than narrow foci of authority. Our penchants for perfection of morality and determining how to achieve it, along with how to choose our goals at large and achieve them must give way to better habits of cognitive reasoning, letting go of mythical and imaginary concepts of perfection.
Spreadsheets and probability calculations don't come naturally to emotionally-anchored forms of human consciousness. Past genetic evolution has optimized us more for short term, sensory/emotionally based behavior, especially in the most intimate group/social contexts. We're not naturally programmed to be intellectual or empirically detailed and motivated. We must now progress beyond imagined authorities and absolute rules for perfect life, but without abdicating a responsibility to keep discussing our bigger pictures and purposes that are more inclusive than exclusive of each other's needs and desires. Imagining perfection and unity in divine authority has taken us far, but cannot sustain humanity in a planet-Earth bound context.