chapter  8
Altruism and Character
WithBill Puka
Pages 28

Altruism and character bear many relations to each other. Some are instruc-

tively contrasting. For example, altruism is seen as the mark of moral

exemplarism in our culture. Yet, we do not cite good character when praising

this personal ideal. Mother Teresa is not characterized as a person of good

character, for example. (Witness her autobiography, Muggeridge, 1977, and

accompanying testimonials found in the Attenborough documentary of her

life.) Jesus is not praised for his character despite his guiding role in much

character education, neither is Buddha nor any other benevolent exemplar I

can cite.