Is Selfless Love Possible?

published 5 years ago by BBC Radio

Why do people do good deeds? Are they being selfless or is there something else going on? Narrated by Aidan Turner.

WNED we feel we do we do because it somehow benefits us. That's what psychological egoists such as Thomas Hobbes maintain. So do many evolutionary biologists including Richard Dawkins. Acts of altruism are just ways of serving their self interest or of maximizing likely benefits were genetic offspring. Your altruism doesn't exist. You give money to the poor that's because it gives you a warm glow of pride. You help out a friend you hope they'll help you back one day. You care for your children. Genetics. Christian acts of love. That's all about getting to heaven. But what about the soldier and battle who dives on a grenade to save others or a doctor who risks and deadly infection while saving children's lives. Soldier will certainly die. And if he doesn't believe in heaven isn't anticipating any ...

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