AHA News |  

Dawkins: Don’t need God to be good … or generous

By

Freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, secular humanists – whatever name non-believers go under, are not America’s most popular minority. They are also, not a small minority. According to Gallup, in 2011, and Pew in 2012, they comfortably outnumber Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists all put together. One reason for our unpopularity is the widespread belief that you need God in order to be good. Going along with that misconception is further belief that atheists are less generous than religious people, less philanthropic, less likely to donate to charity. Even if that were the case it would, of course, have no bearing on the truth of religious beliefs.

I would hypothesize that the difference in giving between the religion and nonreligious is negligible if you only count donations to pure charity and discount donations to atheist advocacy organizations, or to churches (including tithes) and “charities” that unscrupulously use their resources to proselytize rather than bestow real charitable benefits.

Incidentally, because churches are automatically classified as charities for taxation purposes is a disgrace. Nobody denies that some churches do charitable work. But that doesn’t mean that any organization should automatically qualify for tax-free status simply by calling itself a church. Each church organization separately should make the case that it does charitable work, just as anybody else has to when seeking tax exemption. 

Examples of charitable relief efforts set up by non-believers in recent years include the Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort, organized by the Center for Inquiry, and the Humanist Charities operated by the American Humanist Association.

To read the rest of this Washington Post article, click here.

 

American Humanist Association

Lots of great early feedback for Fighting Back the Right, the forthcoming new bo...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday! Weekends Rock! http://www.jesusandmo.net/2014/10/15/iron2/

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

How do you explain death to a child, or anyone, without religious influence?

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Birthday to Mae Jemison! In 1992, Jemison became the first African America...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Yesterday was Bring Your Bible to School Day. Tell us how you feel about this.

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! Can you name this past AHA Humanist of the Year?

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

During our 2014 annual conference, Clay Farris Naff had the pleasure of sitting...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde!

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Is the Catholic Church becoming more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex mar...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

When kids opt out of the Pledge, the AHA backs them up!

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

In this week's Humanist Hour Podcast, we are joined by Muhammad Syed and Sarah H...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another AHA legal victory, and a win for the separation of church and state! A G...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Does it bother you when someone tells you to have a "blessed" day? Take the poll...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt appeared on Newsmax TV today via Skype to...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

How important is religion in everyday life around the world? Here is an interest...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

As humans we all feel, or have felt, the need to belong. But where do humans rea...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

A school board in Colorado is trying to censor American history and their studen...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Nicolas Cage's remake of Left Behind, a film originally starring the always fun...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Have you ever had to fake your belief in order to fit in or get along with frien...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA’s boycott of the Pledge of Allegiance revealed an unsurprising pattern d...

7 days ago