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

Did you know about the new social media site, Ello? Neither did we. But hey, we...

16 minutes ago

American Humanist Association

Prisoners dodging the rules because of religious exception?

2 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Secular Americans are showing their political side!

21 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Celebrant Dan Moran had the honor of performing the first humanist bab...

23 hours ago

American Humanist Association

DC Metro area humanists! Join us this Wednesday for happy hour at Mai Thai in NW...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's David Niose in AlterNet today, explaining why rational public policy will...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

This full-page advertisement ran in the Denver Post newspaper this week in respo...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who caught the latest episode of The Good Wife? The most recent episode of the n...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Do you ever get so overwhelmed with the saturation of religion in everyday life...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week, an apology to a student in southern California will be delivered afte...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

School is a place where students should feel safe regardless of race, religion,...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

There are several volunteer regional grassroots coordinator positions available...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why don't we start the week off with a laugh? What's a post game interview like...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason, the new b...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Perhaps this kid will go just one step further? #skeptic #humanist

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone!

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The number of "churchless" Americans is rising! It is now estimated that 38% of...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this day in 1946, the first images of Earth from outer space were captured!

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA staffer Matthew Bulger talks about Gamergate. "It’s extremely important th...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday's Name that Humanist! Can you name the humanist on the Nove...

7 days ago