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Atheist - contribution or lack of it

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prasad1

Well-known member
This is a direct quote from psychology today magazine. I do not know many Atheist so I can not make a personal judgement. This study is from US, so may not be representative of TB or TB-haters.

"The Pew study found atheists are much less likely than theists to believe that there are "absolute standards of right and wrong." 58% of atheists believe in such standards, as compared to 63% of Jews, 72% of Moslems, 78% of Catholics, and 81% of Protestants. These findings are consistent with a new paper by Princeton social psychologists Geoffrey Goodwin and John Darley. The authors found that grounding one's ethical beliefs in the notion of a divine being predicts greater moral objectivism, and it was the only variable to do so. It must be noted that the majority of atheists are not relativists, but these studies do suggest that atheists are more prone to relativism than those who attribute morality to God."

"Theists do seem to make more personal contributions to charity, and this pattern should not be ignored. It is not as if atheists are against such contributions; they just do it less often. This suggests that there is something about religion that promotes giving, and it would be useful to figure out what that is."

"While reading an article in a weekly Canadian magazine, Maclean's, I came across an article that reveals that religious people are by far more charitable than non-church goers and especially much more charitable than atheists.
The article offers a summary of a Statistics Canada release in which various groups are compared in relation to their charitable habits. While less than one in five Canadians attends church regularly, those who do attend regularly "are far more liable to give to charities, and are substantially more liberal in the size of their gifts to both religious and non-religious organizations."How much more liberal? "The average annual donation from churchgoer is $1,038. For the rest of the population, $295."What about volunteer work? "With respect to volunteer effort, two thirds of church goers give their time to non-profit causes while only 43 per cent of non-attendees do likewise. And churchgoers put in twice as many hours volunteering."

Maclean's, May 10, 2010, P. 4.

I am interested in this study because such learned scholars like Sangom, and Yamaka profess to be atheist, at the same time seems to be genuinely concerned about mankind. Yamaka rails against any form of religion, faith, and belief. Please prove these assertions wrong.

Do Atheists Pose a Threat to Morality? | Psychology Today
 
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C RAVI

Well-known member
Shri Prasad,

I accidently got to know this thread only now and found your post much interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing this with all of us here. But, I am wonder stuck seeing no response to it. No arguments / debates on this, till date.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
Arguments for and against are the ongoing topics in many threads
and this can be shifted to those.

not really.

here the focus is on community good. who services the community more - godrich or godless?

they dont have to fight as to who has better arguements. just who does more? maybe why?
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
not really.

here the focus is on community good. who services the community more - godrich or godless?

they dont have to fight as to who has better arguements. just who does more? maybe why?

But who and how gonna start with this debate??
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Kumjuppu post#4,

I have a theory, it is only a theory.
The religious people are also social people. The non-religious person has less chance of moving in social circles.
For instance Carnatic music is mostly based on religion, so is Bharatnatyam, and most of religious festivals. So the social pressures to help others is mostly on the religious person. The religious person is generally humble as they know there is something much bigger than them. With the humility comes charity. Also if you friends do the charity like money or service, they will drag you along.

All religions extols the virtue of charity, so there is a feeling of guilt for religious person. A non religious person may not have the urge or they may not find a person worthy of their service.

When it comes to responding to disasters generally local people are the fisrt to respond. Take BAPPS or Ramaksina Math they provide immediate service as they are organised for these eventuality.
 
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kunjuppu

Well-known member
But who and how gonna start with this debate??

please see prasad's post # 6 :)

'The religious person is generally humble as they know there is something much bigger than them. With the humility comes charity. '

should get some heads banging, i say!
 

amala

Well-known member
I haven't read the article but having seen the title I would hazard a guess that athiests are no more moral or immoral than agnostics and theists. Morality is all relative isn't it?
I also think atheists who do good do it because its the right thing to do rather than doing good for the sake of God, punishments, fear etc. While theists doing good work is great, their actions are good but the intent? I dunno. I think intent(ion) matters and if its for God, fear, punishment, "the rewards" then the good work ain't so impressive after all IMO.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Amala you are right. Intentions do matter. But here the talk is about quantity. To a victim it does not matter who gave the money, whether it is atheist money or theist money, they buy equally. Please read the article it is important to get the gist of the argument.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Amala you are right. Intentions do matter. But here the talk is about quantity. To a victim it does not matter who gave the money, whether it is atheist money or theist money, they buy equally. Please read the article it is important to get the gist of the argument.

Coming to intentions..we have to realize that the Mind is so fickle that at one moment we can sing "Karmanyevaadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadacana" and the next moment when we see the smile on the face of someone we just helped, a feeling of satisfaction comes to us and thats just the feeling of making ourselves happy.
Sounds harsh but the fact is most of our actions are for self satisfaction indirectly.We are happy even when we do a charitable act mainly for ourselves not necessarily that we want the fruit of our actions but for the mere mortal I am the doer ship(Ahamkara) prevails.
I somehow dont kind of like the english translation of Ahamkara as EGO cos when we say EGO most of us link it to arrogance/glory/self praise etc but in reality its just the feeling that "I preformed an act"

Most people have many reasons to do charity.

1)Self satisfaction
2)To gain Punya/merit
3)Some actually think they can wash off sins!!!
4)To evade income taxes
5)To show off(believe me enough people show off when they do charity and call the press to take pics and hang the pics at their offices)
6)Launching pad for political career
7)Charity for only their own caste or religion..with intention to uplift their own kind.
8)Out of compassion.

Very very rare is the person who does anything for someone else with no trace of self interest..Vairagya is not easy.

So a Theist or Atheist can have any reason to do charity.Only God truly knows someone true intention.

P.S. Even the Great Hero Karna was aware of the fickle mind when it came to charity that he gave Lord Krishna an item with his left hand cos he didnt want to wait and wash his right hand(to hand over the item) in case he changes his mind in that time gap.
So where do we Atheist or Theist stand?
 
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C RAVI

Well-known member
All the posts above have very good sense and purly nothing but related to ultimate human intentions.


As Renuka has stated in her post #10, GOD knows the true intentions of each of the humans, doing charity and he is the ultimate gudge.

As Shri Prasad has stated in his post #6-
"A non religious person may not have the urge or they may not find a person worthy of their service.", I would agree with this in a way that, they would for sure would not participate in any religiously/spiritually motivated programs that would include some charity as concluding event. They would contribute during Natural disasters and when been contacted personally for contributions OR may be on their own at times, for some needy group/organisations etc.

A
ny charity done in the name of God by Theist/Agnostics, with any intentions BUT with some belief makes some good sense for the poor and destitutes "quite often". Many poor people surrounding us in our society are happy with some sort of charity offered to them (especially Food), in their day-to-day life, through religious events, based on belief in GOD. For them the intentions of the Theist, Agnostics and Atheists doesn't matter and need not matter too. Theists in general are contrubiting more for the underpriviledged poor folks, due to their strong belief in God and Spirituality. Whether it's something in charity or valuntary social service, Theists and Agnostics would contribute more in the name of GOD.

Religiously/spiritually inclined people do participate in many spiritual events and contribute for charity, as possible, quite often.

If we leave aside the intentions of mere humans for doing any sort of charity and zero-in on the no. of contributors and the frequency of contributing events, we can close our eyes (even without reading the article) and say that, religiously inclined people are the majority lot, constributing towards charity (of any volume). This is common among all such religious people of any Religion on this Earth.







 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
.

P.S. Even the Great Hero Karna was aware of the fickle mind when it came to charity that he gave Lord Krishna an item with his left hand cos he didnt want to wait and wash his right hand(to hand over the item) in case he changes his mind in that time gap.
So where do we Atheist or Theist stand?

renus,

romba heavy duty thinking yaar :) did not realize that giving was this complicated.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
P.S. Even the Great Hero Karna was aware of the fickle mind when it came to charity that he gave Lord Krishna an item with his left hand cos he didnt want to wait and wash his right hand(to hand over the item) in case he changes his mind in that time gap.

I agree with Kunjuppu, this is heavy.

Generally my reason for giving is that I can not see suffering and not try to alleviate the problem to an extent. Of course their is personal satisfaction in that. The motivation is not as important as giving in my opinion. I am not going to speak for others.
This Canadian study seems to suggest that theist are more compassionate than atheist. But it also could be that atheist are not that sociable as most of the society is theist of some shade. Giving is a social phenomena, if your friends participate, they tend to drag you along.
 

sangom

Well-known member
Religions - of all hues - try to cultivate certain clear-cut rules about what is good, moral, pleasing to the god/s that are, and hence assuring a bright and happy existence for those who comply with all those rules. The other side of the picture is that all transgressions, non-compliances, errors and omissions are termed as sins and the Church or priesthood of the concerned religion tries to make money for the religion and/or priesthood under such a guise. Hence theists are generally under a psychological conditioning as regards "giving" to charities, approved by the religion (mind you). Kindly read this also.

Agnostics, Agno-atheists, Atheists, etc., do not come under any such external forces of compulsion; what they give as charity is mostly their personal and private decisions. Usually such AAAs also do not hanker after publicity for whatever charity they may give, unlike the god-believing devout group who mostly believe that the more the publicity for their charity, the more effective it will be in erazing their sins and ensuring heaven.

As this is a forum for tabras, I would humbly request as many of you as may be able to do this, please read some of our "puranas" to find out how much they extol "daanam" to "braahmanas". Since many volumes can be written on this one topic by just copying from the main puranas themselves, it will not be feasible to make a post here. Karna's character, Sibi's character, and finally Mahabali's character have all been built into our scriptures to ensure that the source of income to Brahmanas is sufficiently assured.

If, any of you find that a daana to a Sudra, Chandala, or Mleccha has been extolled, kindly post here; it will be a new knowledge for me.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Welcome back Sangom sir.#15
The original thread was not about caste system, it was not even about India.
So giving by or for caste is not the point. It is the cause of giving, charity, and community service in this world is relevant to the post.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
I agree with Kunjuppu, this is heavy.

Generally my reason for giving is that I can not see suffering and not try to alleviate the problem to an extent. Of course their is personal satisfaction in that. The motivation is not as important as giving in my opinion. I am not going to speak for others.
This Canadian study seems to suggest that theist are more compassionate than atheist. But it also could be that atheist are not that sociable as most of the society is theist of some shade. Giving is a social phenomena, if your friends participate, they tend to drag you along.

i think the canadian study was done by theists :)
 

N.R.Ranganathan

Well-known member
Never mind Canadian study. It has nothing to do with any ism except Humanism.
We are only trying to help the needy people. There are people who help others
even if they have to suffer in the process.

One must not make the receiver ( donee ? ) feel that he is lowly and that the giver
is on some high pedestal. Give with all humilty and let not the other person feel
bad about it. One must not also have satisfaction that he has helped a poor man
because it is a selfish act.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Do Atheists Pose a Threat to Morality? | Psychology Today
"The upshot is that atheism does not undermine morality, but atheists' conception of morality may depart from traditional theistic conceptions. Rather than condemning atheism, we might work to build institutions that promote charity more effectively among those who do not participate in organized religion, and we might try to develop secular foundations for morality to help guide people who do not consider God to be the source of moral rules. Both these efforts would serve atheists and theists alike."

In India in the north particularly among Sikh, jains, BAAps, and various other groups, contribute to charity much more. They do not decide the receiver, they just contribute for the cause. Most of the free Chatrams built before the advent of the hotels was built by people as service to the travelers. I can understand an atheist may not contribute as it may help a theist cause. It might be difficult to find atheist cause to contribute for an atheist.
 

Nara

Well-known member
.... Karna's character, Sibi's character, and finally Mahabali's character have all been built into our scriptures to ensure that the source of income to Brahmanas is sufficiently assured.

If, any of you find that a daana to a Sudra, Chandala, or Mleccha has been extolled, kindly post here; it will be a new knowledge for me.
Sangom sir, the Tamil literary tradition holds the generosity of Kings and Chieftains very highly. There are many poems that indicate that a learned mendicant is received as an honored guest in royal courts. One incidence that is highly celebrated in Tamil is the gift of his chariot for a creeper by Pari.

Also, the premier law book for Tamils, Thirukkural, talks of giving without any mention of Brahmins. So, I would think the Tamil culture valued daana to all the needy, it is the Brahminical puranas and Dharmasashthras that put daana to Brahmin in a higher plane.

BTW, the OP's points about this study and paper give a misleading impression, whether deliberate or not, I don't know.

The study that purports to find theists are more generous is seriously flawed. The cited article from Psychology Today points this out. In this respect, it is relevant to note two points, (i) the two largest philanthropists in human history are non-believers, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and (ii) in earlier times there were not many openly atheists in society, who knows how many of the generous ones were atheists.

The second point suggested in the OP is about moral relativism. First, we must note that moral absolutism can be quite dangerous, especially ones that are rooted in religion and god. Next, the article points out that even among atheists majority do not subscribe to moral relativism, only that the percentage of people expressing relativism is the highest among the atheists.

At a deeper level, what motivates the so called spiritual people is moksham of one kind or another, a purely selfish goal. To achieve this goal they engage in various actrivities, daanam being one of them. The unbelievers on the other hand hold that this one life is it, there is no heaven or hell or kailasham or Vaikuntam, when we die we are gone forever. Their generosity is motivated by nothing selfish, except at the DNA level, and that I think is worthy.

Cheers!
 
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renuka

Well-known member
Let the fun begin.We didnt start the fire.

[video=youtube_share;eFTLKWw542g]http://youtu.be/eFTLKWw542g[/video]
 

renuka

Well-known member
quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by sangom
.... Karna's character, Sibi's character, and finally Mahabali's character have all been built into our scriptures to ensure that the source of income to Brahmanas is sufficiently assured.

Dear Sangom,

Well Sibi wasnt even giving his flesh to a human.He was giving it to an Eagle to save a dove.
There is no Brahmana there in that story.

Karna had donated to who ever who came knocking on his door.Lord Krishna was not a "Brahmana"(I know He is above the Varna system) but in that incarnation He was a "Kshatriya" and Karna gave Lord KrishnaI what he desired.

So I guess only in the Mahabali example a Brahmana comes into the picture.

BTW what about King Deelipa who was willing to give up his life for the sake of a cow(Nandini)?
 
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Haridasa Siva

New member
I want to quote two Tamil proverbs.

நாய் வித்த காசு குரைக்காது - Intentions do not matter.

பாத்திரமறிந்து பிச்சையிடு - Watch whether the beneficiary deserves the alms.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Dear Sangom,

I just remembered..what about Maharishi Dadhici? He being a Brahmana gave up his life and bones for the sake of the benefit of the world(So obviously all Varnas benefited from his act)
He was known as a Mahadaani becos of this act.
 
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