I wouldn't have written what Dale did - at least not the way he did - because I know lots of people of no apparent religious sensibility who comport themselves in a way that is quite consistent with Christian values. But as a caution against what can happen when a society cuts itself loose from transcendent values, he's got a point.
Jay is not merely dismissive, but responds to Dale's argument, writing:
But, I wonder, if someone helps others because it is "in itself a pleasurable activity," what happens when, as is so often the case, it is not? If altruism is rooted in benefiting our own chance of survival (I'll refrain, for now, from considering the circularity of attributing every damn thing to evolution), what do we do when it doesn't do that? If great responsibility comes with that giant frontal lobe and if we are to do as those non-Christian (but not non-religious) Native Americans did, why not exercise it to build a Master Race or, at the very least, rid ourselves of the weak?
I'm not saying that any individual can't find some source of values that he or she regards as non-religious, although I think they will often be rooted in some religious tradition now abandoned. (There is a reason we generally believe in the equal worth of all human lives in the West; this is not a universal human value.)My sense is that the abandonment of some source of transcendent value tends to result in utilitarianism and utilitarianism tends to result in slaughter.