Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


DO WE REALLY GIVE FOR OTHERS? CAN WE REALLY BE OTHER-CENTRED?

Do we love others unconditionally when we are firemen who save people knowing we will die doing so? Jesus said his death for sinners was all about doing the right thing for them and all about them and that he came only to serve. Do altruists like these firemen and like Jesus really exist or are we being fooled?

Take the firemen. They are in a crazy situation and no matter how well you prepare or how much experience you have every situation is different. Preparation may not be a great help at times.

We are the firemen. The feeling of panic takes over so that we can forget about ourselves and what we lose by death so that we can die for them. In other words, we only give our lives for others when something happens to remove our rationality. Am I saying that it is not rational to give your life to save many people? It is rational to do that but our reason has to be silenced and warped by emotion and panic for us to do it. We have to be kind of insane to do it. It is just like a person who wants to live and who forgets this through drink and risks their life. You surely don't consider such to be altruists?

Altruists have no reason for differentiating between a selfish person and an altruistic one when they see their actions. For example, the person who jumps into the ocean to save a child from drowning might want to die. The person might be using the childís plight to cover this up which is selfish. The person might want to save the child. The person is in a dire situation and may think she he wants to save the child. Emotion is strong and makes you think you have a reason when it is not in fact the reason you would have or go for if you had time to think.

A person who takes their own life talks about wanting to die but in fact they want to escape the pain and they don't realise that their conviction that they want to die is wrong. If you are confronted by how dangerous life is and see the child as proof of that you can risk yourself for you hope to escape this life of danger.

Altruists approve of someone saying somebody is good because they did something nice for her or him even though that somebody is not good to you. They are not thinking of the victim then. Those are the people who use the child's plight as an argument for altruism as in, "I know I am so good and unselfish and I need to use the child to prove that people like me exist."

Jesus allegedly gave his life so that his example of self-sacrifice would not only remove sin from us but empower and guide and inspire us to live like him. The idea is that he lives in the Christian and works within them.

There are some implications as Christian teaching shows.

The altruist will agree with the Handbook of Christian Apologetics that happiness is not just a feeling of wellbeing but is the state of being well also Ė in other words, objective happiness the condition of being well and safe forever is what matters not subjective happiness which is just a feeling (page 141). This book says happiness is our choice so depressed and upset people then must be to blame for their unhappiness! What compassion Christians and altruists really have!

The book says happiness is a permanent state which evidently blames everybody for their problems such as bereavement and anger and so on. The altruist will like the idea of feeling nothing but being counted happy. Objective happiness is a sheer nonsense. Nobody is perfectly well. We can lose health and inner peace and our lives any time. It seems then that the only place one can have real objective happiness in is in Heaven. In Heaven there is just joy and love and nobody sins there. It follows then that you canít be really happy until you are there! It follows that our earthly life is a burden and we should all be hoping to die in a plane crash or whatever. The idea that a person is well and happy while not feeling anything or while feeling no happiness is absurd. You are not well if you donít feel happy. Our feelings and inability to feel happy all the time are at the root of our fears about the future. For example, we would not fear the flu so much if it didnít take away our power to feel happy.

We conclude that there is no way to test that self-sacrifice really exists. Its really the fact that we are hardwired to want to believe in myths about heroes is behind the assumption that it does exist. True respect for the person who died and saved others means not treating them as something you can make assumptions about. They are not to be assumed about for they are people. The assuming is really about you acting as if you are so good that you can see altruism when it seems to have occurred. It is, "It takes one to know one." It is signalling your virtue.