Lemme explain some terms before I start:
- Something irrational is something that can’t be explained, for which there can’t be discovered a reducible reason WHY something is the case/is happening, by using logic. (Something is reducible if it can be broken down into parts—a bike can be reduced to a collection of gears, bolts, chains, wires, metal frames etc; abstract reasoning is broken down the same way, just with premises, reasoning mechanisms, etc)
- Regeneration is the phenomenon that occurs when God initially “changes a person’s heart,” as only He can do, that alters their instinctive desires and motivations. I’m not more than a lay theologian of 3-4 years going, but in my understanding it would be inappropriate to refer to regeneration as a continual process after a person’s saved—that would be sanctification. But regeneration’s effects are felt continually, and become more pronounced the longer a person is sanctified. But there’s an initial period that the affected person can point to as the moment when things changed. That’s when God ‘regenerated’ their soul, awakening them to receive the gift of salvation by faith in Christ.
To the point: when I began my investigation into Biblical Christianity (having had a nominal belief, at least, for as much of my life as I can remember up to that point) in early 2010, I came upon a philosophical challenge: is my motivation pure? Specifically, the motivation to do good. Consider the materialistic-reductionist view: everything you do to help others, which appears to be altruistic, is ultimately done for a selfish reason on some level. And if you can’t figure out what that reason is, it’s still reducible to a conditioning of your brain from previous behavior. You help others because you want to feel good from helping them—and therefore, your actions are not unconditional, they are self-serving. Your act of helping someone else is merely the way through which you satisfy your own selfish desires to feel good about yourself by riding the boost you get when you do something nice for someone else. You never help someone just to help them. You’re merely using them to get to your real goal.
‘Probably something the atheist economist-philosopher Ayn Rand would be all on-board with, since she held that people were utterly selfish, no exception—although she considered that a good thing. Selfishness (or as likeminded libertarians would put it, self-interest) is held up as the highest good in various areas of modern thought. Can you think of anything more anti-Gospel at the core? Selfishness is good, and nobody is truly altruistic; doing good for others is fundamentally selfish in itself?