Hey Nicholas, Thanks for reading and for your thought-provoking comment.
That's a great point. And I think it lends some balance and tempers the idea put forward in my article.
However, I don't think the comparison is completely effective. As a former Christian pastor, I've seen people make religious sacrifices (if you will), for many different reasons--very few of which are only about eternal reward.
Although that might be what people say, they're really getting short-term benefits from the actions: a feeling of moral superiority, a sense of closeness to their higher power, acceptance from their community (or avoiding being shunned by their community).
And even with reference to eternity, I think many people who are conservative and traditionally religious (especially in christian traditions) and who are primarily focused on eternal consequences are often living out of fear--which is not just directed toward the distant future, but toward punishment today or tomorrow.
Again, great thought. It's given me a lot to think about.