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May 11, 2012

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Does anyone have a list of atheist charities, and how much they receive each year?

Helping the poor, disaster relief, non-abortion pregnancy crisis centers,

Is there a No-salvation Army?

Ever notice when you give something to a poor person, how often the response is something like "God bless you"? It seems that the connection between religion and charity is pretty obvious to many of the poor.

From the sciencedaily.com article: "Overall, we find that for less religious people, the strength of their emotional connection to another person is critical to whether they will help that person or not," said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a co-author of the study. "The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns."

What a valid point Melinda has raised here. The substance of the article mainly shows that *when* non-religious people give it is more due to emotion than principle, compared to religious people (who are more often motivated by "moral obligation" than the non-religious, per the article).

Yet the spin that this *science* periodical puts on it (particularly in the headline) slants toward a portrayal of non-religious people as simply more compassionate (and, by implication, more generous -- though the article doesn't actually address that) than religious people.

It's probably fair to observe that non-religious people are also inclined not only to provide charity, but also to assign human rights, in accordance with their own emotions.

To the person whom one can see and relate to (or feel a "connection" with)the secularist extends legal protection, i.e. acknowledgment of rights. To the harder-to-see and harder-to-relate-to unborn child: no such luck.

Chuck Manson did things accrording to his emotions. So what?

If I gave a half eaten donut to one starving person and it filled me with great emotional satisfaction, how am I a better person than the christian who donated money to World Vision to fund a pharmacy that helped 1000 people they will never know?


In one case you are doing something for the glory of God and because you see that others carry the Imago Dei and have intrinsic value. In the other, one just wants to feel good about what a wonderful person they are, perhaps to make up for some perceived failing elsewhere in life (ie. I may have neglected my children, but I marched in a pro-gay marriage rally so I am a better person than that fundy bigot that spent the day teaching their kid to ride a bike.)

It has always been decreed that our only way forward is in the utilization of everyday experience & research, ie, PURE EVIDENTIAL COMMUNAL COMMON SENSE.

The need to consult Biblical, Koranic, or any other ancient crap-laden fairy tales in order to pursue a DECENT & CONSIDERATE EXISTENCE, beggars belief!

It is truly amazing that some individuals still refuse to acknowledge the misguided roots & routes of their primitive ancestors & continue to credit a SILENT & INVISIBLE PRESENCE with guidance in human conduct. As with everything, ethics evolve quite naturally!

The PRESENCE referred to above will never be appreciated. Evolution will eventually see off the silliness of religious MAN-MADE HUMBUG.

If not, Humanity will go extinct still praying for answers!

Anyone who tries to argue that either side is more "loving"..."giving"...."compassionate" is wasting your time. Its the BASIS for why either side does what it does that matters. Atheists CAN be outwardly much more loving etc in any particular instance and vice versa.


Its what we all KNOW we OUGHT to do that condemns the atheist...but not the Christian. If we did NOT know what we ougbht to do...we'd all be atheists, no harm no foul.

Bill, it seems that your understanding of the world beggars belief.

You make an assumption, and then decide that your assumption can never be questioned by anyone who doesn't have some sort of intellectual retardation probably due to inbreeding.

Anti-intellectual fundamentalist atheistic evolutionism seems to mistake loud means correct.

What a study like this shows is that the nonreligious are more emotionally unstable and subject to wide emotional swings. What was it that the bible called it...they are carried about with every wind of doctrine. Of course they latch on to everything with wide swings of emotion. What religion brings to the table is greater emotional stability it would seem. At least it does if that religion corresponds to reality as it is in itself. I think the Charles Manson example that ArthurK points to supports this view. Since folks who hold to a religious view have, in a sense a mission, their emotional direction is fixed on the goal and their internal giros and compass keeps that course fixed. When compared to those who are tossed from one direction to the next by their emotions, of course the religious may seem unaffected by emotions. But that is because, as Melinda points out, their course is set in helping those who need it and it is the internal guidance systems that help them get there much more effectively and efficiently than being tossed in this direction and the other in hopes of stumbling to the goal of charitable result. I recently read "Showing up for Life" by Bill Gates Sr. that illustrates how badly charity can take wrong turns, in the example of the Melinda and Bill gates charitable foundation. There was much money squandered in that foundation because it was not guided by an internal guidance system that was tuned to the frequency of the real world. I don't blame the Gates' because they don't know any better, but it does serve to illustrate what twists and turns such an enterprise takes when it is an unguided charitable missile. It becomes a random hit and miss proposition.

Just one more comment as a food for thought.

Can compassion be misguided?

Jim

""The more religious, on the other hand, may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, Ior reputational concerns.""

I tend to think they would do it is a morally responsible thing to do.

Jim and louis are both wrong. Morality for the Christian means a lot more than soft cuddly sentimentalism. Chrisian morality is BASED upon the knowledge of who God is and what he has done for us. Chrisian morality comes from the depths of our being because we have just an inkling of how grateful we ought to be for that knowledge....because many there are who seek it (what they THINK is salvation) but it is obvious that few do find it...

I still see it as Atheists do it because they want to, not because they are forced, and therefore are more moral people.

The reason why we do what we do is often a large part of the moral equation, i.e. Motives. Can your gift to a person in need be considered immoral - or maybe better said - can it be misguided, if your motives are not virtuous? I think the answer is clearly, yes.

Tom - At the age of 91 years, those words of mine are the result of careful consideration of FACTS. It has got to be that ALL god-belief has come from times of ignorance & fear of the unknown. Ignorance was far more profound than it is of now.

Evolution is of the essence. We should long ago have realised that this Man-made ESSENCE is purely self-generated.

There is no HEAVEN or HELL awaiting us, only OBLIVION - the place from whence consciousness came - think about it - Human minds are capable of delivering ANY fantasy if they're allowed to.

My 3 Web pages lists an abundance of facts.

Bill

"At the age of 91 years, those words of mine are the result of careful consideration of FACTS. It has got to be that ALL god-belief has come from times of ignorance & fear of the unknown"

I am amazed that in 91 years you have not managed to avoid this genetic fallacy and tried to answer the question "Is God a reality or not?" As it so happens, many people are afraid of the unknown even today, but that does not mean that they can't get any facts right in-spite of that. So, could you give one specific FACT that you have carefully considered that leads you to believe there is no god?

"There is no HEAVEN or HELL awaiting us, only OBLIVION"
This sounds like the wishful thinking of a man afraid to meet his Maker. If we're going to psychologize and use logical fallacies.

Bill
"{Any thinking person realizes that the Universe is truly an awesome Quantum / Astronomical creation. As part of that creation, our attempts at it's full understanding seem futile."

From your site, the above statement, seems to elect a choice of words that implies a creator. If there is no creator, the universe is not a creation...it just is. Isn't it odd how even your point cannot be communicated effectively without an indirect allusion to a creator, which I am sure you didn't actually intend...since you do not believe in one.

Brian..Of COURSE atheists do "it' bercause they want to. We ALL do it beccause we want to. That beghs the qquestion. The question is still...WHY? No one is EVER neutral. No one ever has "no reason" for what he affirms.

I take it that the study concerned Western society.

Here is a thought related to Eastern Society. On two accounts I have come across a stat that Churches run roughly 75-80% of all the orphanages in India.

Now, this is staggering when you consider that the population of Christians in India hovers around ~2.5 %.

Going by what I have seen with my own eyes with regards to indigenous churches in South India, I am inclined to believe the stat. I have also had the opp to work with orphans in an Indian church.

Speaking of indigenous denominations in India - over there there is a very strong emphasis on doing things with your two hands during the week instead of only with your mouth on Sunday mornings.

In Christ,
~ Raj Rao

Daron - Deal with facts as we know them. Do not delve into the Transcendental. Before consciousness there was nothing. Our minds gradually develope to allow us to use common sense. When the power that drives our consciousness expires we're back where we started. Be REAL.

DEATH does not bother ME. What bothers most of us is the nature of departure. If one still has a reasonable degree of mental activity but reaches a state of physical dysfunction where you are kept alive solely by the efforts of others, that‘s not for me.

In that condition, I'd far sooner be having a word with that fictitious Guy in the Sky & frolicking around with the angels.

There should be some ruling that allows one the dignity to depart in a sensible manner, which would also allow the NHS funds for more profitable use. The powers that be are very reluctant to tackle this ongoing & very important problem. Held back in part by silly religious ‘beliefs’.

**************************.

Louis Kuhel - Don't play around with words sir. This Wonderful World is here. Some process must have created it. From our position on this little blue dot in the vastness of it all, that does not imply a God that has to be worshipped & reminded of HIS greatness every Friday or Sunday, depending on what part of the globe you were born.

It's patently obvious to any sane person that God belief is no more than a function of the mind. There HE dwells & should have been dislodged long ago!

Bill

"Louis Kuhel - Don't play around with words sir. This Wonderful World is here."

I must admit that your point here is pretty hard to argue against and I agree. But that is because of my careful consideration of the FACTS that support that conclusion.


"Some process must have created it."

I think that a process was involved, just like there is a process in building a car, but to claim that there is no intelligent agent behind building a car and that the process itself is a sufficient cause for the car to come together is a mistake. It is like saying that an assembly line with multiple welding and riveting and other assembly processes are the cause of that car coming together in a way that makes it possible for me to drive it down the road. Without an intelligent agent behind it, those processes would not even exist to start with. So, I think your grounding our existence and that of the universe in a process is not adequate. Just as it is inadequate to ground the existence of a functional car in the assembly process. Both examples denies intelligence behind something that has the earmarks of intelligent design and if it does not make any sense to deny it in one, it does not make any sense to deny it in the other.

"From our position on this little blue dot in the vastness of it all, that does not imply a God that has to be worshipped & reminded of HIS greatness every Friday or Sunday, depending on what part of the globe you were born."

Let's see what you base your conclusion above on. (1)This world is here. (2)Some process must have created it. The first does nothing to prove that the second is the cause for something being here rather than nothing being here. The second has some problems with being only a claim that some directionless process is responsible for creating sufficient order in the universe of the kind that makes intelligent agents like ourselves, who are capable of understanding (to some degree) the universe we inhabit through the agency of an intelligence that seems to fit perfectly its role in understanding that universe. It is like a combination of a key and a lock. It is clear that this kind of fit suggests intelligent design behind it where the two have been made for the specific purpose of accomplishing some sort of task. So it is with our minds and the secrets of our universe that our minds are fit to unlock. It makes perfect sense to think of them as a set like a lock and key that were designed to fit together and they do.

"It's patently obvious to any sane person"

Now there is an emotionally loaded statement if ever I heard one. I understand the impulse for making such a statement when you fervently believe your side is right, but to assume that simply because someone disagrees with your point and has a reasonable counter argument they must in some way be less than sane is going just a bit over the top. We don't see eye to eye on this topic, but I certainly have no reason to resort to this kind of tactic. Far be it for me to call anyone insane. I am not a qualified professional in the field to make such a claim. I think it would be far more productive to just say that we happen not to agree and we both think that the other is mistaken, not insane.

"that God belief is no more than a function of the mind."

Ok..the mind is certainly involved in belief. But we can talk all day long about people's beliefs without ever addressing the issue if God actually exists or not. Those two things are two separate issues. It is like if I believe that Atlantis exists or not. What does my view on Atlantis have to do with if it exists or not?

"There HE dwells & should have been dislodged long ago!"

Well probing the mind of people certainly does not prove that god either does or does not exist and so far this is what you offer in evidence. Offering a function of the mind does nothing to prove or disprove God's existence. All it does is prove that some people believe in God. Of course it may also prove that some people do not. I am sorry, Bill, but so far you have yet to tackle the issue of God's existence, which you seem to think you have by examining people's beliefs about him. I think that kind of thinking is just fooling yourself.

Perhaps non believers feel more emotionally compelled to compasion due a lack of religion leaving a vast vacuum that they unconsciously fill with emotional atruism to feel better about themselves. Just a theory.

Louis – I regard your reply as pure waffle. I can’t see ANY sign of a REASONABLE counter- argument. How in Hell’s name can one ‘prove’ the non-existence of a fictional character. If you can show some evidence as to the existence of the REAL GOD, I’m ready to take it in.

Ethics & morality are not the teachings of some silent & invisible entity. They are the result of a naturally evolving process. We all learn as we live; mistakes are inherent on the way. The religiose fraternity are just floundering, trying to justify an ‘early impregnated belief’ in the existence of some Superbeing that we all must know is purely Man-made, ie, of the mind only. Neither Religious or Scientific minds will ever grasp the ultimate complexity of this creation we inhabit. I would suggest speculation should give way to Rationality, State what is known & acknowledge what is not. Why does one need to postulate things that will never be substantiated; patently unknowable?

This business is & always will be an enigma. Time taken contemplating this humbug is a thorough waste. Why do we need to plough through the undergrowth of this religious jungle? Gods are superfluous. We get along quite easily without them. One can state, without fear of contradiction, that we’ll never ever identify an imaginary Essence. IT is purely a product of the fertile Human mind which is capable of ANY fantasy.

The following quote puts into words the thoughts I have held for all of life, long before reading it in a famous publication – “The Universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom – no design – no purpose – no evil – no good – NOTHING BUT BLIND PITILESS INDIFFERENCE”

After life? - When the power that drives consciousness packs in, life’s memories are gone. One lives only in the minds of descendents who use the knowledge passed down to improve Man’s functionality in the future & obviously this evolutionary process applies to all other life-forms as well, even those with minimal mental capability.

No great intellect is required to understand the route that charged early members of our species with what should by now be recognised as but a phase in the lifetime of Humanity. Early imaginings, born largely of fear of the unknown & used by ‘intellectuals’ to prey on those with less mental agility. Given time, evolution will eventually eradicate this silliness from our thinking.

Since it’s inception, those persons with a desire for power – & there’s plenty of them – have preyed on the naivety of the unthinking. From Witch-Doctors of old to present-day Archbishops, these impostors have kept & are still keeping a false brief alive. It must be observed that these people have, in modern parlance, a nice little ‘earner’ that provides a comfortable living with no need to soil their hands to get by. Utter a few pious words & Bob’s your uncle! Justifiable cynicism.

Mankind has been profoundly caught – In devious realms of religious thought
One needs understand it’s INSTITUTION - & follow through – It’s EVOLUTION

The only ‘evidence’ required is provided by the use of common sense. I certainly don’t intend to waste time on any theological points relating to Biblical or Koranic stories. Adam & Eve / The Flood / These are writings of the ancients. We should, long ago, have recognized them for their true worth.

If you can be bothered Louis, I would ask you to print out the 3 essays that are on line. Can you refute any of the points therein using Rationality & HONESTY?

Trying to convince anyone who is of a sane & scientific mind that there exists some supernatural being that brought this Wonderful Universe into existence is a definite non-starter. No one will ever know the infinite complexities approaching zero particle size or the truly vast extent of space / time. We will forever remain dumb regarding these qualities. That fact will not stop our endeavours to understand but I'm afraid Humankind will go extinct still searching. Speculation is rife but nothing valid can emerge when BASIC FACTS are so scarce.

Fairy tales are intended for the very young mind To perpetuate them into adulthood, & claim they are real & authentic, is a crime.

Louis - With the best Latin I can muster, I have to declare that religion & all of it's clutter is Abso bul!

Bill

"I regard your reply as pure waffle."

It might be lengthy, but there was nothing vague about it. It was on point in response to your statements and to the point, which means that your dismissal of its offer is not legitimate on the basis you offer.

"How in Hell’s name can one ‘prove’ the non-existence of a fictional character."

The above statement is a pure assumption of your conclusion and a wonderful example of circular reasoning. So far I see you using at least two fallacies to prove your point. But neither the genetic or circular reasoning are good reasons to hold to a particular view. Just the opposite is the case. It gives one a legitimate excuse to dismiss them.

"If you can show some evidence as to the existence of the REAL GOD, I’m ready to take it in."

I am not sure if you will understand my response on the above statement, but here goes.

No you were not ready to take it in. That is why you illegitimately dismissed it through the use of logical and informal fallacies. Why should I believe that you have now suddenly changed your mind and are more open to it and would not call it nothing more than waffle?


"After life? - When the power that drives consciousness packs in, life’s memories are gone. "

I am afraid that NDE combined with remote viewing evidence provided by those who report them, contradicts your claim that there is nothing beyond this life. The kind of evidence that has been provided presents compelling evidence that the individual experienced travel to real places they have never been to and reported on specific objects, in detail, in those locations that they could not have known about and which could be verified through visiting those places and observing the things described. So, there is good reason to believe that your claim does not compare well with reality.

Bill, what it seems to me you have done so far with my responses is dismiss them or nay-saying them without even so much as offering any kind of direct rebuttal to them. Contrarily, I have answered your claims directly, reasonably, and with precision. I will let those who read this blog decide for themselves who has demonstrated the proper application of logic and reason to those things being discussed and who has presented more compelling reasons for their side's legitimacy.

Louis – Surely you can see by now that I treat the subject of RELIGIOSITY with disdain & am truly staggered by the thought that such a Man-made fantasy can get such a hold on so many people. Impostrous religious leaders should be ashamed in their priming of young vulnerable minds with absolute tommy rot.

>>>>> What happens when we die? <<<<<

I can only refer you to my page Reality. As far as we are able to understand the situation in which Humanity dwells, the following HAS to make sense. No amount of involved literal gobbledegook can alter it’s reasoning - Reasoning - Common sense - Science (the persistent use of common sense). This is the only tool that allows us to cope with our existence. Transcendental deviations are just out of our world!

Starkly, when the brain ceases to function, that BEING ceases to BE.
The motivation driving that unique combination of elements is no more.

A SPIRITUAL FUTURE ? ? ? ? ? - - - PURE SELF-INDULGENT FANTASY!

The chemo-electrical activity of the brain – the MIND – is naturally prone to generate any illusive mirage. If that imagery is not backed up by factual substantiation, it remains a fantasy. To give ANY credence to life after death,
one must be round the bend, if not well up the straight!

Inevitably, Man’s consciousness eventually departs to the place from whence it came – Oblivion! An obvious fact that ‘believers’ just will not accept!

Natural cognition (common sense), affirms Life’s future as solely dependent on reproduction!

EVERY form of life has a limited span. OFFSPRING ARE OUR FUTURE!

Heavenly or Hellish environments cannot be comprehended from our place on Earth

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