@Klax, You have a problem. You say that self is the heart of “altruism.” The dictionary says that altruism is “selfless,” without self.
- 1.the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others:"
some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism *
In this case we must go with the dictionary, which is the reason why altruism is not a synonym for love, but a manufactured word which does not refer to anything in reality. It has all the appearances of being a fake word for Christian morality which scientists use to prove that Christian morality is false because altruism is as phony as a $4.00 bill.
Yes, love and Christian morality is based on self, in the sense that it is the self that is moral and loves. For Christians it is Not either self centered or selfless. It is either self-centered or God-centered Love YHWH your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength! Love others as yourself!
Love is not sacrificial, it is sharing what we have with others not because we have to or because we will get something back, although we have faith that we will, but because we care for others as God cares for us.
J-O-Y, J-O-Y, that must surely mean,
Jesus First, Yourself last, Others in between.
This humble Sunday School song states a profound truth. The way to Christian joy and love is putting Jesus first in our hearts and minds. The only change I would make is to make others and self equal, since we are to love others as ourselves, Self and Others are tied for second.
People are born selfish, putting themselves first. It is only when they mature that they are expected to respect the needs of others, and many do not learn the is lesson. However Christianity expects followers to go beyond maturity by putting God first in our lives, which means turning ourselves inside out, which we cannot do in our human strength.
Jesus demonstrated that survival is not the ultimate goal in life. We are much more than survival machines. Jesus choose to maintain His spiritual and intellectual integrity in the face of the agony of the Cross, and disapproval by almost all social, religious, social, and political leaders. His friends were not much better.
If Jesus had come down from the Cross He would have had to lead a devastating war between the Jews and the Romans which would have meant the end of history.
The Crucifixion and the Resurrection created history and tradition, and history and tradition influence people. If you do not want to be part of the Christian tradition, then you can adopt another, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, for examples.