Atheism and charity

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A beggar in Cambodia. In Cambodia, the vast majority of the population adheres to a nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism.

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[1]

Concerning the issue of atheism and charity, charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[2]

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[3][4] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[5][6] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[7][8]

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in Policy Review regarding data collected in the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) (data collected by in 2000 by researchers at universities throughout the United States and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research):

The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.[9]

ABC News reported:

...the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation.

Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money: four times as much. And Arthur Brooks told me that giving goes beyond their own religious organization:

"Actually, the truth is that they're giving to more than their churches," he says. "The religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly non-religious charities."[10]

A graphic from the website Answers for Atheist.[11]

In 2009, Pew Research Forum reported that a comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[12][13] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[14][15] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[16][17]

Given that atheistic evolutionary thinking has engendered social darwinism and given that the proponents of atheism have no rational basis for morality in their ideology, the immoral views that atheists often hold and the low per capita giving of American atheists is not surprising.

Atheism and lower empathy for others

See also: Atheism and love and Atheism and sadism and Atheism and mass murder

In 2007 the Baptist Press reported:

...a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important."

The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.[18]

Atheists with family/social contacts with Christians give more to charity than other atheists

Dr. William Lane Craig points out that the social science research indicates that atheists who have family/social contacts with religious people give more to charity than atheists who do not have such an influence.[19]

Atheism, uncharitableness and suicide

See also: Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide

A number of studies have confirmed that there is an inverse relationship to doing volunteer work and depression.[20] The atheist population has a higher suicide rate than the general population. (see: Atheism and suicide).

Atheism, leftism, social justice/progressive values and hypocrisy

Historically, the secular left has been dominant within the atheist community (see: Atheism and politics).

Progressive values according to leading progressive websites

According to leading progressive/leftists websites, progressive values include: caring and responsibility, carried out with strength; freedom; opportunity; responsibility; cooperation/community; protection/fairness; and honesty and open communication.[21][22]

The atheist population has fallen short of the above mentioned values (See: Atheism and social justice and Atheist hypocrisy).

Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science - Embezzlement allegation

See: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science - Embezzlement allegation

See Also

External links

Notes

  1. Multiple references:
  2. Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007.
  3. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  4. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  5. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  6. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  7. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  8. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  9. Brooks, Arthur C., faith and charitable giving Policy Review, Oct-Dec 2003, p.2.
  10. Stossel, John and Kendall, Kristina Who Gives and Who Doesn't? ABC News, November 28, 2006
  11. [http://answersforatheists.com/ Answers for Atheists
  12. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  13. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  14. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  15. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  16. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  17. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  18. Foust, Michael (October 23, 2007). "Poll: Atheists less likely to 'do good'" Baptist Press. Retrieved on July 20, 2014.
  19. Christians Give more to Charity than Atheists (YouTube video featuring an audio clip of Dr. William Lane Craig)
  20. http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/caring/caring-and-happiness-reviews/
  21. What It Means To Be A Progressive: A Manifesto, Thinkprogress.org
  22. What are Progressive Values, Dailykos.com