Desire for goodness, Mister Reese, leads to earnestness. Earnestness in turn leads to sanctimonious self-righteousness, which breeds intolerance, upon which harsh judgement quickly follows, yielding dire punishment, inflicting general terror and paranoia, eventually culminating in revolt, leading to chaos, then dissolution, and thus, the end of civilisation.
Good living and health, as you say, yielding well being. But well-being is a contextual notion, a relative notion. Perceived benefits are measured by way of contrast. In any case, the result is smugness, and from that an overwhelming desire to deliver conformity among those perceived as less pure, less fortunate–the unenlightened, if you will. But conformity leads to ennui, and then indifference. From indifference, Mister Reese, dissolution follows as a natural course, and with it, once again, the end of civilisation.
The guise of reasonableness, Mister Reese, permits all manner of intolerance and indeed, pernicious attack. Once that illusion is torn away, however, the terror of oppression becomes a random act, perhaps indeed an all-encompassing one.
Do you think Lust thrives only in matters of sex and sordid indulgences? If so, my friends, you are wrong! Lust is born of obsession! Obsession begets zealotry! Zealotry breeds deadly intolerance! Intolerance leads to oppression, and oppression to tyranny. And tyrranny, citizens of Quaint, leads to–“
“The end of civilisation!” a thousand voices roared.
–Steven Erikson, 2004