The Folly Of Egoistic Altruism And The Triumph Of True Selflessness

Carey Appling comments
| Culture

Recently, I watched a popular video on YouTube entitled "A Selfish Argument for Making the World a Better Place - Egoistic Altruism". I know, it sounds like the title of an old 1600's Puritan novel, but alas, it’s pure paganistic humanism. You know the kind, the kind that assumes everyone is good, everyone is productive. The kind that assumes man is essentially good and that all he lacks is a proper education. Yes, that kind of humanism. Man is prone to look at himself in the highest favorable light. So, videos like this do not surprise me when it automatically assumes that everyone watching this video also believes themselves and everyone around them to be good. The video doesn't ask if that's what you are, it just assumes that. Why? Because according to humanistic doctrine, man is essentially good and all that he lacks is the proper environment and education to realize his maximum potential. Hence, self-realization. The humanist doesn't ask if you believe this, it presupposes that you do. They believe this is a fact of reality. Here is why they believe this about God's creatures. First, most likely their audience was subjected to humanistic doctrine within the public schools, and seeing as almost all American children were raised in these indoctrination centers it assumes you believe the same humanism that they do. Secondly, you are a fallen descendant of Adam; and therefore, are predisposed to believe what is false about you, mainly that you are a good person with minimal flaws.

Moving along, the video then begins to make appeals to its audience that if they are truly selfish, if they are truly egotistical, then it is in their best interest to foment cultures and legislature that increases production in third world countries as well as education in those same third world countries. Mainly, the argument is that if more people are educated, we are talking about college education, then the world and its technologies would increasingly get better and better. More educated people create better techniques and technologies. There are decent economics to back that argument up, and in some ways, I agree with the idea, but it won't fix our world.

I wish to discuss the motivation that this video promotes. Egoistic altruism upon definition seems impossibly idiotic to be quite honest. Egoism is basically the belief that everything man does is for his own self-interest, couple that idea with Altruism and your head will spin. Namely, Altruism is the belief that someone should be charitable towards others, besides himself/herself. So Egoistic Altruism is the belief that you because you are selfish, should care for other people ONLY because it benefits you. From that assertion, they then go on to paint a picture of a future utopia where everyone is happy and pure. I find this astoundingly distasteful and scary. In fact, I see this kind of argument constantly among humanists, which is about 90% of America. Yes, even many—if not most—Christians are humanists. I watched a separate video recently of former President Obama (which is weird to say now), during Christmas, delivering presents to the less fortunate and impoverished. Near the end of the video, Obama said: "Help someone, you will feel better about yourself."

Humanism is just plain scary. Not a little scary either. From a Christian worldview, which is the only true testimony of creation and how it works, we know why it is scary. It is scary because man is not good. The word of God tells us in Romans chapter 3 that man is not good and he is not righteous. He doesn't seek God. Man is evil. Not some men, all of man is evil. Only Christ's redeemed people are those who can be sanctified, set apart and do good by faith in the eyes of God (Hebrews 11:6). So when evil humanists make up their own false reality of creation and pass it off as truth, it has consequences. What does the humanist say to the murderous egoist who thinks mankind is a cancer? No, this egoist doesn't believe mankind can be reformed nor that he is good. The only logical choice for such an egoistic humanist is death to the human race, not it's reform. Many humanists believe this, they are not optimistic nor altruistic. They are pessimistic egoists and for biblical reasons. They know the truth about themselves and instead of living in the fantasy that the optimistic humanist lives in, they choose to embrace what they see in themselves and others. Evil. Mankind is grossly fallen and perverted. In fact, the egoist who is pessimistic has a more logical reason to be so. Mainly, that he wishes to die after he has had his fill of the oyster and wishes to disappear into the obscure abyss of nothingness.

"In a positive sum world it's in your personal, selfish best interest that every human on planet earth is well off." Yep, this is a direct quote from the aforementioned Youtube video I watched. Couple this same appeal with Obama's and you then have based all of mankind's actions on whether something makes someone feel good about themselves. Well, the logical question is what if murder makes a pessimistic egoist feel better? What if, like “Dexter” from the Showtime series, these pessimistic egoists believe that the world is better with one less uneducated cancerous humanoid on Earth? What if he/she thinks killing one isn't enough for their happiness? What if they decide fifty should do the job? What does the humanist say to this pessimistic humanist of like faith? After all, he is merely doing what makes him feel better about himself. What's wrong with that? What new standard must he create in order to convince the pessimist to abandon such killing and instead treat others with kindness and respect? The answer is they don't have a new answer. The Humanist will chalk this killer up to lacking education, needing medication, counseling or a genetic defect. Mind you, none of those answers bear any responsibility on the person or his views, but instead his environment. They then blame creation, not the man.

Some Christians may be tempted to say that they embrace egoism, at least as it describes the unregenerate. After all, aren't all pagans essentially self-centered? In a way, this can be true. But, alas, the humanist does not mean the same thing when he says "self-centered". The Humanist view of self-centeredness takes place in a vacuum, apart from reality. They mean that man is autonomously self-aware and his selfishness is driven by an evolutionary urge to survive. The Christian denies such blatant lies about creation and instead agrees to man's self-centeredness but only within the biblical narrative. The Biblical Narrative describes man as a hater of God; and therefore, he is self-centered. Instead of being God-centered, the pagan humanists is self (man) centered. In fact, even their doctrine of self-centeredness is ironically devoid of any mention of God, which makes it a false claim about the nature of reality and themselves. Any doctrine missing its origin in the word of God is a pure fabrication about the nature of the material realm. Most likely, they espouse this idea because...Bingo! It makes them feel good about themselves. They wouldn't believe such a thing if it didn't make them feel good, by their own admission.

As Christians, we must be very discerning when it comes to what we agree on with others, as well as the origin of their position. Someone may believe in the free market, but do they agree with the Christian on why free market principles are the best? Many humanists are free market capitalists. Many Humanists are also Marxist Communists. What differentiates these two ideologies? Nothing really. One believes it's in their best interest to embrace a free market, while the other believes that Marxism is best for them. Neither is right nor wrong. They themselves will most likely tell you it is subjective, though both will be quick to justify their position with information and rhetoric.

 "These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." — 1 Cor 2:10-13

Here is a call to discernment Christians. Paul also says In Phil 2:3-4 "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others."

We as Christians are called not to love ourselves best by loving others, as is the humanistic doctrine. The opposite is true for the Christian, he is to actively count others as more valuable than himself and nothing he does is to find its origin within his own autonomous self-interest, but instead to count others more significant than himself. The Humanist today says "I don't need God to be a good person! I have myself!" The Christian ought to respond "I don't need myself to be a good person, Christ alone has already begun that work in me and He will complete it unto the day of the Lord Christ Jesus." Any view of man that is devoid of God, even the selfish views, are equally lacking and a strong discerning Christian can bring such strongholds down as he mines the depths of God through the Holy Spirit. Which is to say, that God's Word alone and it's systematic teaching, will bring all thoughts captive unto Christ.


Carey Appling

Carey is 32, married for 12 years to his beautiful wife Sara and has 3 children. He is also an Abolitionist out of Houston, Tx.