Talk:Atheism and charity

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unlock this article so I can add a template to it-- 50 star flag.png Deborah (contributions) (talk) 12:47, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

Atheist fundraisers

Some of you may be interested to see this ongoing fundraiser; one of the internet's largest atheist groups has so far raised nearly $150,000 for Doctors Without Borders. Could this perhaps be the start of a new trend? --ASmithers 20:32, 4 December 2011 (EST)

I haven't seen any atheist soup kitchens or heard about any atheist hospitals being built. If it is a trend, it is certainly not a strong trend. Conservative 03:01, 19 July 2015 (EDT)


Perhaps it should be noted that some of the most liberal and atheistic countries in the world, eg north-western Europe, are some of the worlds largest aid donors, source and by some measure, are considered the most charitable nations on the international level source. And while some of these nations have a well developed social security system, still spend a signigicant amount of money on charity, in the Netherlands, for example, private citizens spend, in relative terms, about a 1/3 of what US citizens spend on charity source ABunny 21:18, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

I agree. My homecountry, Norway, is mainly populated by atheistic/agnostic social liberals, and gives some of the largest amounts of donations per capita in the world. Efloean 15:51, 3 September 2008 (EDT)

also does this include donations directly to churchs

That's a valid question. If this data includes money given to churches, it invalidates the argument. Who would consider membership dues, even if voluntary, charity? It would be nice if the wiki clarified. It's also curious that the wiki considers only monetary donations as charity. I am currently too poor to give any of my money away, but I did just finish serving a year in the AmeriCorps. However, this wiki, as is, would not consider that charity.

But the money that goes to churches goes to help the needy, while many charities, even non-profits, take most of the donations and use them for their own operating costs. So not only are Christians more giving, but their donations are used more effectively.--FredCorps 10:38, 8 April 2009 (EDT)
Fred, you yourself have just drawn a distinction yourself between "churches" and "charities". Also, churches spend large amounts of their collections to maintain and expand facilities, organize events, publish newsletters, supply classrooms, and so on. The church members themselves certainly benefit from those expenditures, and they cannot therefore be considered charity in the strictest sense. I do not know whether the cited statistics include church giving or not, but would be interested to know.--Webbpa 16:21, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
You'd be surprised how many of those things you list that churches supposedly spend their money on are actually done by members at no charge to the church. Jinx McHue 16:32, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Additionally, expensive projects such as remodeling and additions are typically paid for by church members above and beyond their usual tithing. For example, my church paved their parking a while back and members pledged to pay for it with donations specifically for the project. (And lo and behold, God blessed our faithful giving through the state generously compensating the church for major roadwork being done nearby.) You see, if you actually researched the issue, most churches have specific rules for what can and cannot be done with tithes and some churches (like mine) even allow members to have control over what tithes are used for. Jinx McHue 16:52, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
User:Efloean, I would suggest comparing the giving per capita of Norway atheists vs. Norway Christians. Apples to apples comparison in other words. Conservative 22:38, 1 October 2011 (EDT)


Hey, I was just link-surfing and I came upon this page. I noticed the picture of two un-named (presumably poor) children. In my personal opinion, the photo has very little to do with the article. The article concerns atheists, not poor people. Perhaps a different photo would be better? Luminite2 22:47, 9 April 2009 (EDT)

I don't see your suggestion being taken up since charity is directed towards poor people. Conservative 20:39, 1 October 2011 (EDT)
I picked a better picture. Thanks for your input. Conservative 03:03, 19 July 2015 (EDT)

New Content

I wanted to add some new content to the body of the article and some external links about both sides of the atheism and charity issue, but it seems to be locked. Here are some relevant sources:

Charity Fraud

Examples of fraud by non-religious charities:

Atheism and Charity

Atheist charity organizations/initiatives:

--AaronT 00:06, 4 October 2011 (EDT)

Is Melinda Gates an atheist? I don't believe she is. Isn't she a liberal Catholic? Also, was Bill Gates an atheist or an agnostic? Did Bill Gates convert to liberal Protestantism? Please provide further clarification on this issue such as recent statements about his worldview from Bill Gates plus address the Melinda Gates issue. Conservative 00:12, 4 October 2011 (EDT)
Good point, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation probably shouldn't be considered an atheist charitable organization. I know Bill Gates has in the past expressed views that seem Agnostic at best [1] (of course Agnosticism is not the same thing as Atheism), maybe you know more about his religious views than I do. And Melinda is a Catholic according to many sources on the internet. But don't the other sources listed above have merit? --AaronT 00:33, 4 October 2011 (EDT)
Atheism is on the decline in the world (I am sure their history of mass murder didn't help grow their numbers) plus atheists appears to give less per capita than Christians in a given society. Can you please show me any country in the world where the atheists in that country give more per capita than the Christians? Besides the Question evolution! campaign will exact some major damage on atheism[2] which will be a great thing as it appears as if Christians give more to charity in a given country. What I am saying here is that if some members of a dwindling group with a history of mass murder give significantly less charity per capita compared to Christians in a given country that should be the focus while the information you are providing doesn't appear to be noteworthy. If you could provide more data showing that atheists give less to charity per capita in various countries populations compared to the Christians in those countries that would be greatly appreciated and I am guessing that will be the case for every country you do research on. Conservative 02:27, 4 October 2011 (EDT)
I changed my mind as far as the above post and I have decided to unlock the article. I would ask that the current information stay on top and that you don't claim people to be atheists who are not atheists (I think Warren Buffet is an agnostic for example. Also, Melinda Gates is a liberal Catholic and Bill Gates is either an agnostic or has subsequently turned into a liberal Protestant perhaps. I don't know his current religious belief). Also, please don't push abortion promoting organizations as supposed charity organizations because killing babies is not charitable. See this for example: Conservative 17:33, 4 October 2011 (EDT)
Just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention add it or don't as you see fit, I'm not an expert on the topic so I'm not going to touch the main article. I took the top ten philanthropists from 2012 as listed here and from a really quick Google search there seems to be 4 atheists/agnostics, 4 I couldn't find any info on and 3 Jewish people. Just wanted to supply that info. Fnarrow 14:12, 13 April 2013 (EDT)

Fnarrow, that page is a dead link. Second, if the defunct page cited Bill Gates as an atheist/agnostic philanthropist, he has since renounced those ideologies and is now a theist who says "it makes sense to believe in God."[3] Conservative (talk) 14:25, 1 September 2015 (EDT)