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Altruism and Christian Ethics

Altruism and Christian Ethics by Colin Grant
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Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterised by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterised by self-giving love (agape), then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities.
Cambridge University Press; November 2000
288 pages; ISBN 9780511031526
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Title: Altruism and Christian Ethics
Author: Colin Grant
 
ISBNs
0511031521
9780511031526
9780521791441