A friend posted this article on facebook http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheist-activist-modern-atheist-m.... It's pretty poorly written, and doesn't even provide a link to the original article that it's writing about, which is here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/walker-bristol/the-new-atheist-moveme....

The only thing I found interesting about the first article was the last sentence "According to a 2010 study by sociologists Robert Putnam and David Campbell, a person who never attends church has a six-in-ten chance that he will give money to a secular charity, while the figure for religious people is eight-in-10."

The original (second linked) article has some interesting points concerning atheism and what we're doing, if anything, to improve the world. But it mostly condemns atheism for being upper-class snobby white elitists who would rather print up big billboards than help our fellow man in any useful, organized-as-atheists sort of way. There are several atheists charities out there. I've never donated to them, but I do donate to my favorite charities-the local public radio station, the local no-kill animal shelter, the state natural heritage foundation, the local soup kitchen, among others. Most of my friends who are atheist/non-believers donate in some form or other-most with money, others with time.

So all of this has me curious-do you donate? Do you volunteer? Are you an upper-class snobby white elitist? (I myself am a lower-middle class snobby-about-food-and-movies white inclusivist.) Is it important that we improve the world in other ways than trying to bring reason into the discussion? And if so, how do we go about helping those who need it?

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From a non-francophone who uses Google Translate -- is this accurate?

I give money to waiters and taxi drivers, but not registered charities. I think everyone should give to charity, except for me.


Google Translate will give you a good translation in French provided the original English draft is correct in spelling and grammar. I'm told that the quality of Google translation varies from language to language according to the amount of Internet traffic in the particular language. For example, Google translation from English to Philippino is not very good. 

I'm a sucker for a cause. When Haiti got hit, I was all over that. I was instrumental to my college implementing a system that would allow students to donate "meals" from their meal plans to the local hungry homeless population. I do that sorta thing.

Not to sound like too big a hippy, but the reason why poverty is a big problem in the world is because it's part of the system. Atheists buck the system. They are helping. Except for Ayn Rand. Even posthumously she is doing the opposite of helping.

"I was instrumental to my college implementing a system that would allow students to donate "meals" from their meal plans to the local hungry homeless population."

Wow. You are amazing!

I find it interesting that religious people are complaining that atheists aren't doing enough to alleviate poverty and that we're not as generous in our philanthropy.  This, despite the fact that religious people far outnumber us in population.  For countless years religious people have been in charge of charity and governmental policies that could vastly improve conditions for all peoples, yet our society is still plagued with homelessness, hunger, and poverty.  Why is that?  Perhaps the policies and programs of the religious are flawed, yet keep being repeated.  Atheists have not been given the opportunity, for the most part, to hold public office so that we may have the opportunity to enact common sense governmental economic and humanitarian policies that are based on real-life and scientific data that would strive to lessen the impact of human suffering in the best possible ways.  Theists have long had the opportunity to prove themselves worthy but have continually come up short in the process.  I'm not naive enough to think that government, alone, can solve or lessen this problem, but government surely can do a lot more than it already is......and so can churches.

I am an atheist and I regularly give to charity, but I refuse to give my hard-earned money to religious organizations.  I consider myself part of the lower middle-class, yet I routinely donate to Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, The International Aids Vaccine Initiative, and (locally) The Northern Illinois Food Bank.  I've researched these organizations.  They are all secular and they also rate high on spending the most percentage of donation money on their cause and the least amount on administrative costs.  That is a very important issue with me;  I want my donation to be spent wisely.  I'm a single, gay man with no children, but I also give a automatic monthly donation to Planned Parenthood.  Women's health and abortion options have been under attack, and I feel this issue is extremely important for the well-being of society as a whole and for world population control.  I've also donated through the years to several LGBT charities and organizations here in Chicago where I live.  As bad as I think I have it at times, I positively know that there are countless more people who are in much greater need than myself.  I have a job, a roof over my head, food on the table and many of the 'standard' conveniences of modern living.  Imagine yourself dying just because you don't have clean water or a simple drug to stop life-threatening diarrhea.  I'm lucky enough not to be living in a country or society that is torn apart by war and governmental unrest or suppressed with major human rights abuses.  I'm one of the lucky ones, and out of human decency, I feel obligated to share.        

You bring up a good point about finding charities that spend their money wisely. I don't know about all the charities I give to, but for the ones that aren't local especially, I do try and find some information about what percentage goes to administrative costs.




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