HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!


Christianity preaches agape - a love for others that gets no payoff biological or otherwise. Agape is the basic principle in the Christian faith - or at least the faith says it is. But if you can help another person, does it mean you must root out any desire for a reward or for feeling good even if that is only 1% of your reasons for acting? Yes! But only by suffering as much as you can for others can make that yes real. There is no other way to know.
The other thing that Christians say that agape is about looking after the weak and even the wicked though there is a risk that this could destroy you. Thus they deny that love is merely about biology about you surviving by looking after friends and family. Evolution causes us to love more than just friends and family. Those who say it shouldn't are forgetting that evolution enables us to survive and live but it is not planned. They seem to think that it intends survival of the most versatile - it does not. It just happens and does not happen perfectly or always as one might expect. A medicine for pain does not necessarily work against all pain. The medicine can help but it does not plan to help. Evolution is not a plan. It just is.
Criticisms of the agape love is that nobody really engages in it and so it is idealised in an unattainable way.
Many good people feel good about doing good and do good to remind themselves of their own dignity. They are thus not as selfless as they act. Actions speak louder than words but not when it comes to determining if somebody who seems selfless really is selfless. It is easier to believe that a person acting selfish is selfish. And it is selfish of do-gooders to appear to be saints - and the more saintly they seem to be the more selfish they are.
Good people don't like to dirty their own hands for they have a high view of their own moral dignity. But they like to hurt vicariously. They like to see others hurt their enemies. They may condemn it but they actually love it.
You cannot know if the man who got drowned trying to save a stranger's child was an altruist. The risk he took does not prove it. Perhaps in the heat of the moment he had no time to realise the risk he was taking. Perhaps dying as a hero was his way of committing suicide. If you put an altruistic interpretation on him, that may be altruistic of you but has nothing to do with showing he was one. And you are broadcasting your own altruism so how real is it then? I'd doubt it is real!
When belief in the altruism of people you know is really just an assumption or guess rather than a belief, you cannot argue, "I believe in the goodness of God despite the horrendous suffering in the world for I see God in those who look after them."
Such belief is arrogance for it is claiming you know that there is evidence when you cannot.

If agape is a good thing in principle then to call it Christian love ruins it.  Love is love and should not be defined by a religion.  Agape is human love not Christian love as if Christians alone were capable of it or as if it belonged to a religion that may be man-made.  If the religion is man-made agape belongs to humankind not to it.  The right of a religion to claim it would depend on its evidence that it belongs to it and not just to human nature.  But there is no evidence and it is defeated by the fact that every religious culture or non religious ones has its heroes and heroines who seem to put others first.  They are not many but no religion  or non-religion has more than another.