Episode 27 - Altruism Without Faith: Can We? Should We? Part 1
May 03, 2010
Part one of a two-part lecture on bioethics by Brahm Segal, associate professor of medicine at the University of Buffalo Medical School and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. On November 21, 2008, Dr. Segal presented a lecture entitled “Altruism without Faith: Can We? Should We?” at the Center for Inquiry / Transnational in Amherst, New York.
Many consider altruism—doing good for others without reward—to be evidence that God has imparted to us a spirit of empathy that leads to kindness. If this is the case, is God the reason why we have both the means and the moral imperative to be altruistic? Dr. Segal explores the alternative explanation that Darwinian natural selection can account for our inclination to be altruistic.