Motivations for altruism
Is it okay for me to admit that the reason I have faith and hope in an afterlife is because I am interested in myself? Is that selfish? I don’t think it’s selfish; I think it’s logical and true. Self-interest is behind everything we do, even altruistic things like serving our neighbor. I also believe it’s behind everything God and Jesus Christ do.
It’s probably not fair to suggest that the LDS Freemen represent the typical believer. However, their post opens up some intriguing questions:
- Is it typical for believers to see their own ethical/charitable actions as motivated by self-interest (with one eye on the prize in the afterlife)?
- I hear that atheists give less to charity on average than religious people do — does that mean that “the carrot and the stick” work better than “helping others for others’ sake” when it comes to charity?