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  1. Another great show, the main problem with altruism is with the underlying naturalistic assumptions. For millennia , religious teachings have proposed , you will have a better life, if you are others focused , rather than self centered. So to the materialist who believes there is nothing more than matter, self sacrifice has no naturalistic , explanation. So man must make up a God or heaven, so he can balance the sacrifice. Question if I’m surprised by the reward, does its presence rewrite history? If I believed when I did a sacrificial act that there wasn’t going to be a reward, does my bad appraisal , dismiss my lack of motivation? If I get a dopamine release when I help others, was the first act altruistic? How could the reward be my draw before I know of its existence? It assumes my assessment of future events be flawless. I have tried to teach my kids actions lead emotions, if I act nice towards people, I will start to care for them. And children usually don’t want to do things until they feel like it. My parents forced me to be nice to people, that I wasn’t predisposed to. Yet more often than not, I was surprised by the feeling I got from their appreciation. Now my motives weren’t pure at all, I knew I was doing it begrudgingly yet I was still rewarded, in spite of my assessment of the situation. Ayn Rand , was a humanist, and altruism was an affront to her belief system, so she attacked the idea. The materialist tries to paint the deist in two dimensional terms to make him a cartoon, Mother Teresa only helped the poor in Hitchen’s eyes for the reward of heaven. Christian theology, even in Rome is unmerited favor, Teresa only goes to heaven because of Jesus’ sacrifice, not her own. So the materialist is forced to twist the believer’s world view to dismiss it as a straw man argument. So if christian theology teaches I go to heaven good works or not, just on a unmerited gift. Dawkin’s religious belief , that there is no metaphysical , he is forced to rewrite what his opponents believe, he knows much better than they. Because if the metaphysical exists Mother Teresa is a much better person than him, and a better scientist since she wouldn’t have denied the existence of something real. this appeal is as religious as Sam Harris’s war against free will. If freewill exists then there is something transcendent, and Dawkins , and Harris’s religious world view falls apart. thanks for another great show Jim.

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