The best thing you can have in science is some explanation or theory that can be shown false, falsification.  It is good practice.  It shows maximal caution.  And it may even be very likely true if it survives attempts to show it wrong.  It stands to reason that such an approach serves us well in everything not just in science.  A theory that can be shown wrong and passes attempts to overthrow it is simply good.  It is good for you for you need truth and the best theories, the ones that are very likely to be right.  Truth is not about what you like to think.  Learn to like lining up to it for that increases your safety level.  So striving for truth is important in itself and important for you and important to those who need you. 

Falsification even if it is not everything, eg the law of gravity cannot be falsified but is nevertheless clearly true, is still every important.  Try to falsify all that you think and are told.  It is important as a guideline.  It is not really needed for gravity for gravity is obvious anyway.  Some other realities are the same.  But it is needed for what is not so plain.

Human nature routinely takes advantage of the fact that you cannot falsify many things a person says.  "I feel that God is making me good so trust not me but what God is doing for me.  Trust the person he is turning me into."  There is no way for you to detect if is not true or probably not true.  The speaker knows it.  The speaker knows it is not fair that you cannot test.

Believers will answer, "But you will trust nobody with that approach.  What if the person is simply is saying they had a bad record and are now trying to change and would like the chance to show you?  It doesn't make any difference if God is mentioned by the person or not.  The point is you are on the way to thinking nobody can be trusted."

So are we to ignore everybody who does not offer us a way to test them?  Are we to ignore everybody who gives us no way of showing them to be mistaken or lying? Yes.  But what if somebody is telling you the building is about to explode?  Then leave the building to be on the safe side.  It is not about agreeing with them or not.  Plus you know there are cases where people warned about bombs and were right.

There is a difference between giving a person a chance for they say they are trying to change and their saying a God is involved.  Most people will keep God out so you can trust anybody who says they are trying to change and not trust those who pepper their efforts with God-talk.

Why do they bring God into it?  Why is it not enough for them to just say they are doing work on themselves?  It is because they want to be extra-special and an advert for their view that God exists.  It is because they want to add extra influence the other person in this instead of just being an example of mere goodness.  No mere goodness is not good enough for you.  You want to pepper it with piety.  This plays on those who fear denigrating God's help or who are not sure if there is such a thing but want to be on the safe side.  It is undue influence.

If devotion to God even partly masks self-devotion then it is inherently selfish.

This is a different claim from saying devotion to God is just self-regard pretending to be sacrificing and humble.

It is not as strong.  But is important and we need to remember that pretences grow legs and get worse over time.

What happens when you say, “People are so about themselves that they will not help you at all unless they can think of something in it for themselves, even if it is just a good feeling or to look good in their own eyes or their god’s”? That is endorsing the theory of psychological egoism. It is very haughty to expect a God to agree with you that you are good as if that is all you care about and not what he really thinks.  Anyway you will get very weak replies from those who say that this is not true of us inherently. They say we often are selfless. The person who answers will not seem very convinced.  They use very rare and far fetched examples.

The classic reply is that a soldier with a wonderful future in front of him might cast himself on an enemy grenade to save others. This disproof of egoism is too rare to be a disproof. It could be an exception or an unusual case. It is too untypical.  And many when confronted with how horrible life can be may react as in wanting to escape from it.  So there is no sacrifice after all.

Why are we saying the person was giving himself to an altruistic principle and was not carried away by the moment? Why are we not saying that the part of the brain that makes you think and feel that you are safer than you are or that you will be okay in time is behind it? We want to think it is altruistic. We are making what they did about us.  Altruism is anything but blessed when it depends on people being selfish in order for us to even hear that it may be happening!  If you believe in divine grace, perhaps God gave the person the energy to do the impossible, die for others.  A God believer then cannot really regard the soldier as evidence of human unselfishness at all. 

Many who say a seeming sacrifice is altruistic will say it probably is not completely altruistic.  Is it 51% altruistic?  If the person cannot do any better then he is not altruistic.  Altruistic is supposedly about the free giving of yourself.  You give yourself or you do not.  You do not cut a coin in half and keep half and give the other half to the beggar and call it selfless love.

The persons who try to answer those who think that altruism examples are suspect are harrassed as being judgemental. Surprisingly, the harassing parties are saying that people are so bad that you need some outrageous example to get arguing that altruistic service happens.  So who is being judgemental?  Maybe you cannot win!  How good is altruism when it depends on people scaring critics into silence, "You are too cynical"?

The pressures to validate altruism and alleged altruists are strong.  Jesus said he does not give out impossible commands.  He pointed out that you love yourself.  He did not command this love.  But he did command that I love my neighbour as if they were me.  This is endorsing altruism and ordering people to think it must be very common.  These things show that we suffer from moral bullies who want us to affirm all kinds of behaviour as altruism.

Even if psychological egoism is untrue regarding our relations with each other, God is a totally different kind of relationship dynamic.  So it is possible that devotion to God is always a form of psychological egoism.  This would include making huge sacrifices to help others which are motivated just to please and do the will of God.  Nobody can throw himself on a grenade to save a God or to glorify God so the examples of sacrifice do not apply here.  So even if the person can die for others and that shows altruism, there is nothing comparable for devotion to God.  Altruism is wholly just an idea, it is not even a theory for theories should be about what evidence points to.

I end this by saying that nobody regards a person as an altruist who does good after making sure somebody knows about it.  God belief is about trying to simulate that.  You act for you feel a God is watching you approvingly.  Even he just admires you for trying that is still you getting something back. If humans don't have to be egoists, they do if they believe in gods, angels, higher powers etc.


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