Dark Mode

The Reality of Altruism

On a recent podcast the author – a philosopher and pastor by trade – spoke to the three “Masters of Suspicion.” They were Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. These three shared a deeply help suspicion that altruistic love neither did not nor could not form the ultimate reality of human life.

For Karl Marx, the ultimate reality was money. For Sigmund Freud, sex. For Friedrich Nietzsche, power.

We need not travel far to see those three forces at work. Simply watch any mass marketing campaign and at least one if not all three of those ‘sources’ will likely appear. And we need not travel far either to see the suspicion of life and suspicion of others that arises when we hold others in that light – a jaundiced light that claims all human action is driven by a desire to secure money, or sex, or power.

A Christian New Church perspective accepts none of those three as the primary drivers of humanity.

In one sense, the ultimate reality for us is grounded on altruistic love, agape love as so often stated in the New Testament. Such love becomes known simply by its willingness to give selflessly.

Settle into the impact of this approach. What happens to suspicion – suspicion of life and suspicion of others? Maybe the suspicion just goes. Maybe suspicion holds no place in such a paradigm. All there is the other. Service. And ultimately love.

This is the world Jesus invites us into. A world where we are showing love to our neighbor as Jesus would and essentially sharing God’s love for one another. It is a good world! This good world is not without money, or sex, or power. It is a world where those three are placed in their proper context, no longer ends in themselves.