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In other words, why don't humans function as mindless drones serving the "greater good" of their society?

No, that's not what I'm asking at all. What I'm saying is, if ethics were all about avoiding "getting caught", then the very idea that there could be an ethical "right thing to do" as opposed to what society wants one to do would be incoherent.

Similarly, if being helpful to an individual were all about expected reciprocity, there would be no distinction between that which is helpful and that which inspires gratitude. A statement like "I'm going to do this for your own good, even though you will hate me for it" would not only never be said, it would be meaningless gibberish at the "green ideas sleep furiously" level.