Depends what you mean by “if ethics were forgotten”!
If ethics are completely forgotten, then we will most likely destroy ourselves.
Contrarily – if various levels of “ethics committees” are reigned in, and competent individuals and teams are given the freedom and the resources they need; then we could solve most of the problems we have in the next 10 years (global warming, indefinite life extension, all the essentials of a reasonably high standard of living available to all people on the planet, ecological sustainability, etc) just simple stuff like that.
And we are a social species, and ethics and individual responsibilities are a fundamental part of what allows societies to function; but not the sort of ethics which we tend to get from ethics committees which often tend to be essentially the dominance of the competent by the incompetent; but rather ethics that acknowledge that we are all part of a cooperative society, and we all have a responsibility to support social and ecological cohesion (which is a very different sort of thing).
Ethics are essential, and the best sort of ethics is that of free individuals who acknowledge that their freedom is optimised when every member of society is reasonably cared for; so a sort of “enlightened long term self interest”.