Creation versus evolution

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:25 pm

Yes, non-religious charities also have administrative expenses, but those expenses aren't for large buildings that serve little purpose except to give people a place to pray.

The problem with atheist giving is that we don't normally give through atheist organizations. A couple of years ago several prominent atheists started Non-Believers Giving Aid specifically to try to show that atheists can give significant amounts of money.

Of course, the largest charity in the world right now was started by an agnostic/atheist (Bill Gates--it's not clear which he truly is) and the second-largest contributor is also agnostic (Warren Buffett).

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Re: Creation versus evolution

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Phinehas » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:38 pm

Yes, non-religious charities also have administrative expenses, but those expenses aren't for large buildings that serve little purpose except to give people a place to pray.


Seems like I have had this debate before. The non-religious charities don't need "large" buildings because they don't have all the other functions that a church does besides the administration of the charity itself. For the most part, church buildings are used as the facilitation and disbursement mechanism of the help and supplies they provide to the community. The non-religious charities don't need to have space for the children of their workers, while at work either. Etc, etc.


The problem with atheist giving is that we don't normally give through atheist organizations. A couple of years ago several prominent atheists started Non-Believers Giving Aid specifically to try to show that atheists can give significant amounts of money.


Yeah, I checked out the link but let's be honest here, the help they give is still secondary to the message they want to convey. Here is one example of an atheist group that is doing stuff because they don't like the fact that religious groups that have been helping people in massive efforts also "preach" while doing it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JTiSxuO ... re=related
1:42 min into the video....no "preaching" but some light reading material.

Also they are doing it because they don't like the perception that atheists don't help alot...which is a perception well founded and backed up. http://www.hoover.org/publications/poli ... ticle/6577


Of course, the largest charity in the world right now was started by an agnostic/atheist (Bill Gates--it's not clear which he truly is) and the second-largest contributor is also agnostic (Warren Buffett).


Is this in real dollars or Bill Clinton projected surplus dollars? Yes, they have stated they are going to donate X amount of dollars but it's not all going out at one time. That being said, they have a long way to go and I would say they could never reach the amount of giving religious organizations have given and will give through the people that utilize that venue for charity. But it's a good thing that a couple of big sugar daddies can make up for the rest. Then again, how many theists have contributed to Gates generosity by giving him the means of his generosity. So, in the end, it still comes back around to the fact that the vast majority of charity will always come off the backs of the theists. That's just a numerical reality.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:44 am

Phinehas wrote:So, in the end, it still comes back around to the fact that the vast majority of charity will always come off the backs of the theists. That's just a numerical reality.


Only as long as the atheists are outnumbered. ;) Your point about religious people giving Gates the means to help is true, but it also works in reverse. I know many atheists who give to the Salvation Army and other religious charities or who patronize overtly religious businesses--like when I take my daughter to Chick-Fil-A. A business that offends either religious or non-religious people does so at its peril.

I do think part of the problem--and I know it is part of my problem--is that in heavily religious areas, like my current hometown of Chattanooga, atheists don't feel like they are part of the community. As a result we are less interested in contributing to the well-being of people who we, rightly or wrongly, feel wouldn't offer us the same help. My charitable giving tends to be to national and international institutions instead, while my "volunteering" is off-the-grid: helping the guy with the broken-down car, letting out of work friends stay in my spare bedroom and/or eat my food, and giving the disabled guy across the street a ride to and from the grocery store whenever our schedules match.

I know the atheist giving events are also "preachy," and I think part of this is in response to religious charities who give help with a Bible or prayer pamphlet. I look at this as taking a proven marketing technique and adapting it. I can't say I'm entirely comfortable with it, but identifying myself as an atheist is way down on the list of ways I choose to identify myself (political independent, gamer, USC alum and Zari's dad all come way ahead of atheist if someone asks me who I am), so I'm not all wrapped up with the marketing.

Thanks for the link to the Hoover report--I'm a data nerd and an amateur statistician, so I may ping my old Stanford buddy to see if he can get me some numbers to crunch. :D

--------------

Back to the atheist vs. religious morality argument...

I'd like to see a study comparable to the Hoover charity study on atheist vs. religious political and social activities. Which group recycles more, which places higher priorities on which fiscal and social issues, which group better prepares for their children's educations and their own retirements (so as to not be a burden on society), etc.? Rather than focusing on the source of their morality, I'd like to see the results. I know there are hedonistic atheists who don't care about anything but themselves and I know there are religious zealots who believe worrying about the Earth is pointless since Armageddon is coming soon, but both groups are fanatics who don't represent the core of either group.

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Phinehas » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:29 am

Let me think on your post a little more before I respond in full. I will state that I am impressed with your lack of disdain for my point of view, which appears genuine, since I am well familiar with all the normal attempts of condescension verbally expressed by most atheists on the net I have come across. You may be the first atheist that I would be able to have a decent discussion with that doesn't have to start and end that way.
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:52 am

We can yell at each other and hear nothing, or we can have a civilized discussion, each bringing the other to a more enlightened view. In some cases, I'm perfectly willing to do the former, when it's obvious no amount of rational discussion will work, but despite differences in religious views, I usually find that I have far more in common with most people than I have disagreements.

Looking forward to your reply.

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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Phinehas » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:37 pm

Topher

instead, while my "volunteering" is off-the-grid:


I think that is probably the case for most people. I know it is for me, at least in the direct time that I am purposeful with.



I'd like to see a study comparable to the Hoover charity study on atheist vs. religious political and social activities. Which group recycles more, which places higher priorities on which fiscal and social issues, which group better prepares for their children's educations and their own retirements (so as to not be a burden on society), etc.? Rather than focusing on the source of their morality, I'd like to see the results. I know there are hedonistic atheists who don't care about anything but themselves and I know there are religious zealots who believe worrying about the Earth is pointless since Armageddon is coming soon, but both groups are fanatics who don't represent the core of either group.


Perhaps we can take this discussion to a new thread. With that being said, what do you think would be gained from this knowledge in either group being on the more positive side of the scale?
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Re: Creation versus evolution

Unread postby Topher » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:47 am

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