altruism in humans and animals

i have been lately thinking about solidarity and altruism. is an animal able to help unegoistically another animal? or is it just humans asset the ability to help others even if it destroys me? an animal, usually a mother is prone to help its offspring even though the help may cost her life. there are also cases where a group helps another species although they were more likely to eat it for example. I think that under certain circumastances even a lion may help an antilope but i do not think that there can be something more than an instinct in such a behaviour. animals may not think about the economics of helping. they do not calculate so perfectly as we humans do, animals help when they see some animal is in need but do not think about helping an animal when their own kin is hungry or endangered. humans on the other hand are capable of on one hand greater evil, but also greater help. I would say that humans help is diametrically different from that of animals. we can calculate whether it is economically benefitial for us to help others, we lend money only when we know that we get more back. on the other hand, we can also help without thinking about getting anythink back. we can even think even though it may be detrimental to us, which animals do not do. if an animal mother saves its offspring and sacrifices its life, then such an approach is intuitive in order to save the followers of her kin. her life is nothing more than a tool to make another animal. animals do not help othes because they feel that it is good. I think that true altruistic behaviour corresponds with faith. Faith is something that we share with some higher being, for Christians it is God. Faith is something that cannot be anyhow proved and yet people are willing to sacrifice their life for it. this is utterly stupid, or unbelievably wonderful. we may wonder why people sacrifice their lives for something or someone that do not deserve it, but it is pretty much we can do. we never understand why something may be good even thought it costs me my life. why people inteligent or stupid share faith? is it reasonable to believe in something intangible and impalpable? i think that faith does not correspond with intelligence or cleverness. i do not talk here about eternal life or some gnosis or esoterism. I talk here about what I belive that mankind share across all religions and denominations. I believe we share the will to be good even though all facts may try to convince us otherwise. i believe that this is what distinguishes us from the instincts that animals do. i think that the only reasonable thing in the whole business of faith is that we are capable of forgetting all that is reasonable and just do what we may consider in all ways stupid and yet we may see it as the only reasonable thing to do.

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