I have been thinking about Moira's blog on altruism all day. Is it inherent in humans or is something we have learned as a way of survival? As a Christian, I believe mankind is made in the image of God, who is love. However, the sinful desires of flesh became a part of humanity. Love, no doubt, would have been easier before sin.
Sin creates a desire to obtain that for which it lusts for. These selfish desires can take preference over concern and love for others. Some people pretend it isn't there and are able to hide their selfishness, even from themselves. Others are overtly selfish and don't care if others know it or not. Some actually will use the appearance of selflessness as a means for satisfying other lusts for approval, power or money etc.
Alcoholics Anonymous redirects the alcoholic toward a higher power in order to free them from their desire for alcohol. The steps work on the principle of a life of service towards other alcoholics. Disasters, such as the tsunami, create a common need for benevolence towards the stricken. People involved with social injustices battle selflessly for their cause. Soldiers and law enforcers give their lives to protect others. Religions of various faiths enable people to reach beyond their selfish desires. All of these are beliefs which enable people to forget about their selves and focus on something bigger than themselves.
As a Christian, I believe God gave me a new spirit upon baptism. This new spirit gives me faith and hope that I am growing in the ability to love as I have been loved.
To see Moira's blog go to http://blueabstractions.blogspot.com