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Atheists Set Up 'Religion-Free' Fund for Haiti Relief
The Christian Post ^ | Jan. 18 2010 | Nathan Black

Posted on 01/19/2010 9:05:33 AM PST by Between the Lines

Famed New Atheist Richard Dawkins has opened up a "religion-free" way of helping the victims of the deadly earthquake in Haiti.

Dawkins has joined 13 other groups to create the Non-Believers Giving Aid. Donors are told that when they give they are "helping to counter the scandalous myth that only the religious care about their fellow-humans."

"[W]e do not hide behind the notion that earthly suffering will be rewarded in a heavenly paradise, nor do we expect a heavenly reward for our generosity: the understanding that this is the only life any of us have makes the need to alleviate suffering even more urgent," the atheist and freethought groups say.

The Non-Believers Giving Aid was set up in response to the devastation from Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake that left more than three million people in need of aid. Current estimates place the death toll between 50,000 to 100,000 people.

The atheists' appeal comes amid an increasing number of ad campaigns, books and debates touting morality or goodness without God.

The New Atheists, who are more outspoken than previous humanists and non-theists and endeavor to make belief in God socially unacceptable, have widely put out writings and oral arguments making the case that one can live a good moral life and know right from wrong without God.

Creating a fund for Haiti victims is just one several ways they are demonstrating their point.

"Non-Believers Giving Aid is not a church (that’s putting it mildly) but it does provide an easy conduit for the non-religious to help those in desperate need, whilst simultaneously giving the lie to the canard that you need God to be good," the groups behind the fund maintain.

Though adamant in their argument, New Atheists have provided no objective foundation for their belief, says Chad Meister, director of philosophy at Bethel College and contributor to God is Great, God is Good: Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible.

"No one is arguing that atheists cannot utter ethical statements or live good, moral lives. Of course they can," Meister writes in God is Great. "Believing that something is right or wrong and justifying one's belief that something is right or wrong are two very different matters."

He argues that the New Atheists confuse an epistemic (knowledge) issue with an ontological (foundational existence) one, or in other words, they believe in morality without justifying morality.

Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, has argued that moral action is rooted in biological evolution.

"On Dawkins's schema, one is kind to his neighbor because he's been preprogrammed by his genes to do so (at least some individuals have been so preprogrammed; others perhaps not), and he's been so programmed because acting this way confers evolutionary advantage," Meister summarizes. "It's not that it is a universally binding moral value to be kind. We simply call it 'morally good' because our genes have, through eons of evolutionary struggle, gotten us to believe that it is so."

Meister goes on to note that he has several friends who adopted children and he doesn't suspect they would agree with Dawkins's explanation for why they did so.

"In order to have a consistent and reasonable objective moral stand – a moral view in which you can substantiate a claim that this is right and that is wrong, this is good and that is evil – you need to have an objective moral basis," Meister argues. "I don't see how one can have an objective lawgiver with anything other than a transcendent God. Surely from the physical perturbations of the big bang, moral values didn't spew forth.

"And indeed nothing in biological evolution ... is capable of providing the foundation necessary to ground unconditionally binding moral values" such as compassion, dignity and respect.

The Non-Believers Giving Aid participants include Atheist Alliance International, Atheists Helping the Homeless, Atheists United, The British Humanist Association, and The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, among others. Dawkins has vowed to cover up to $10,000 in PayPal fees so that 100 percent of donations could reach Haitians in need. The groups have chosen to direct donations to two aid organizations "that do not have religious affiliations" – Doctors Without Borders and International Red Cross.


TOPICS: Current Events; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: antitheism; atheistsupremacists; haiti; thenewatheists
6:1-4

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

1 posted on 01/19/2010 9:05:33 AM PST by Between the Lines
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To: All

That should read: Matthew 6:1-4


2 posted on 01/19/2010 9:06:39 AM PST by Between the Lines (For their sins of 50 million abortions God gave them over to be an ObamaNation {Romans 1:24-32})
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This proves that some atheists are the biggest fools alive. WHY, WHY, WHY do you care? Richard Dawkins, you just saw 200K of your competitors die? You should be celebrating! There is no reason, NONE, for an atheist to do ANYTHING to help. They have no plausible motive that is consistent with their belief system. As Chesterton said, paraphrasing, the atheist has materialism and nothing else.


3 posted on 01/19/2010 9:14:30 AM PST by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: Between the Lines

Won’t work. It’s been proven that the non-religious are much less charitable with their time and money than are the religious.


4 posted on 01/19/2010 9:15:22 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (The whole world are RINOs save for me and thee, and I'm not so sure about thee.)
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To: Between the Lines
Good luck with that...

I can not think of an NGO's that is not is some way "Faith Based". Some have tried to remove the appearance of a faith based organizations, but deep down if the Christians don't support it the funds and workers will dry up.

5 posted on 01/19/2010 9:24:03 AM PST by DYngbld (I have read the back of the Book and we WIN!!!!)
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To: Between the Lines

When bundling supplies, please remember to not form crosses with the binding or the pallets.


6 posted on 01/19/2010 9:24:29 AM PST by cajuncow
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To: Between the Lines

It’s nice that they’re doing something, but it’s a shame that they’re doing it out of political motives rather than because they actually give a damn about the people of Haiti. No matter, their contribution will be dwarfed and forgotten in the wake of the religious charities.


7 posted on 01/19/2010 9:27:38 AM PST by Trod Upon (Obama: Making the Carter malaise look good. Misery Index in 3...2...1)
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To: Between the Lines
How would an atheist relief worker respond if an injured Haitian asked the atheist to please pray to God for help? “there is no God, there is only life and death and pain, sorry”...?
8 posted on 01/19/2010 9:42:31 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: Between the Lines
Richard Dawkins LIED

Dawkins has joined 13 other groups to create the Non-Believers Giving Aid. Donors are told that when they give they are "helping to counter the scandalous myth that only the religious care about their fellow-humans."

"[W]e do not hide behind the notion that earthly suffering will be rewarded in a heavenly paradise, nor do we expect a heavenly reward for our generosity

They DO expect a "karmic" reward (in positive publicity for their atheist movement) for their good deed.

This is a marketing gimmick. Give the money and shut up if you are doing it STRICTLY to be nice. You are doing it to show that "atheists give without expecting ANYTHING in return" when you acknowlege it is to "challenge a myth".

9 posted on 01/19/2010 9:54:31 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Al Gore was more concerned with the evil influence of heavy metal than that of radical Imam.)
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To: Between the Lines
Are they going to set up watchkeepers to make sure that none of the money donated goes to voodoo priests who may perform ritual ceremonies on the dead to "prevent" them from becoming zombies?

Head Voodoo Priest Protests Haiti’s Mass Burials, Fear of Zombies (Monday, January 18, 2010)

The head Voodoo priest of Haiti is sickened by the desecration of dead bodies, as they are unceremoniously collected off of the city streets and hurled into mass graves. In a nation where many people practice Voodoo, the supernatural prospect of Zombies rising from the mass graves to prey on the living, is a real fear.

10 posted on 01/19/2010 10:01:52 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Al Gore was more concerned with the evil influence of heavy metal than that of radical Imam.)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Psshaw, liberals are VERY generous with YOUR money.


11 posted on 01/19/2010 10:05:56 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Al Gore was more concerned with the evil influence of heavy metal than that of radical Imam.)
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To: Between the Lines
He argues that the New Atheists confuse an epistemic (knowledge) issue with an ontological (foundational existence) one, or in other words, they believe in morality without justifying morality.

The ontological argument for God is the most ridiculous of all theist arguments.

"I perceive God to exist, therefore he does."

Sure; good luck with that.

12 posted on 01/19/2010 1:43:18 PM PST by GunRunner
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To: dps.inspect
How would an atheist relief worker respond if an injured Haitian asked the atheist to please pray to God for help?

I'm sure the atheist would wave down the nearest Christian while he tended to the physical injury.

What would a Christian relief worker do if an injured Haitian asked the Christian to perform a voodoo incantation to help him.

13 posted on 01/19/2010 1:47:20 PM PST by GunRunner
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To: Between the Lines
What a stupid thing for them to do.
14 posted on 01/19/2010 1:49:36 PM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: GunRunner

That’s really stupid, atheists believe that belief in God is man’s biggest problem, you know, all wars are fought in the name of God and what not; so an atheist would likely let the injured be and move onto another. I guarantee that if a voodoo practicing Haitian were injured and a Christian were helping him, he’d be very glad, and he would know that a Christin would not accede to the wish of invoking demons... while the atheist, in his ignorance, would accede and allow for demonic intervention. If the atheist wishes to know whether or not demons exist, stay and live among those who practice voodoo or other paganistc practices, and challenge them to a, shall we say, contest.


15 posted on 01/19/2010 7:07:17 PM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect
I guarantee that if a voodoo practicing Haitian were injured and a Christian were helping him, he’d be very glad, and he would know that a Christin would not accede to the wish of invoking demons... while the atheist, in his ignorance, would accede and allow for demonic intervention.

What?

You're saying that the atheist would perform a voodoo ritual on an injured person?

Sorry, the stupidity lies with you.

Like it or not, voodoo is not Satan worship or "demonic intervention", but an amalgamation of various West African religions and Roman Catholicism, caused by the forced conversion of slaves during the height of the salve trade. They integrated a lot of the Catholic saints into the calendar and ceremonies. Google Loa.

I'm sure the atheist wouldn't care one way or another if a third party said a prayer to God or conjured up a loa ritual.

What difference would it make if you're an atheist?

16 posted on 01/19/2010 7:28:20 PM PST by GunRunner
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To: GunRunner
No, no... you misunderstood my point, but that's ok. However, the bigger question lies in something you said, “why should the atheist care”. From that I ask, what is it that motivates the atheist to help in this situation? A serious question and not meant to sound snooty.
17 posted on 01/20/2010 6:08:06 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect
The question "why should the atheist care?" was directed at the situation where someone else would be assisting an injured Haitian with either a voodoo ritual or a Christian prayer while an atheist aid worker nursed his injuries.

The non-believer would probably let the injured person and their spiritual friend be, whereas you alluded that the Christian would most likely try to step in and prevent what he views as "demonic intervention".

As to why people care for one another, I'm not aware of any celestial permission needed to care for another individual and alleviate suffering. Call it human solidarity or whatever you want. There's no moral action performed by a believer that can't also be performed by a non-believer.

18 posted on 01/20/2010 7:17:36 AM PST by GunRunner
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To: Arkansas Toothpick
This proves that some atheists are the biggest fools alive. WHY, WHY, WHY do you care? Richard Dawkins, you just saw 200K of your competitors die? You should be celebrating! There is no reason, NONE, for an atheist to do ANYTHING to help. They have no plausible motive that is consistent with their belief system. As Chesterton said, paraphrasing, the atheist has materialism and nothing else.

Exactly! Evolutionary culling in action! Fewer competitors for scarce resources!

19 posted on 01/20/2010 7:42:59 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Vayhi be`etzem hayom hazeh; hotzi' HaShem 'et-Beney Yisra'el me'Eretz Mitzrayim `al-tzivo'tam.)
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To: GunRunner
How do you define moral? Morals are defined by society are they not? Your sense of moral behavior, if living in the US, is largely the result of growing up in a society whose mores have been largely influenced by Judeo-Christian values. Where does the sense of wrong or right “doing” come from anyway? Do you lie? Thou shall not lie. Do you steal? Thou shall not steal. Do you commit adultery? Get the picture? You can disregard what has always been referred to as Natural Law, that which God has enacted to govern life, but disregarding it does not make it so. If I am arguing with an atheist, tell me again why you care.
20 posted on 01/20/2010 9:44:53 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: Arkansas Toothpick

Atheism seems to be a religion unto itself.

They are zealous in their disbelief or as I see it-hatred for God.


21 posted on 01/20/2010 10:18:06 AM PST by Califreak (Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.)
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To: Califreak

Todd Freil (of “Wretched” radio and TV programs) described atheists as holding two firm beliefs:

1) There is no God
2) I hate Him!


22 posted on 01/20/2010 10:22:50 AM PST by T Minus Four (Help Haiti and know your money is going to the right people - www.WorldVision.org)
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To: dps.inspect
Where does the sense of wrong or right “doing” come from anyway? Do you lie? Thou shall not lie. Do you steal? Thou shall not steal. Do you commit adultery? Get the picture?

You almost ran out of Commandments. Thou shall not bear false witness is the last one that I really follow.

I honor my father and mother because I love them and they've treated me with nothing but love since I've been born. I have some friends who don't honor their parents and rightfully so, since they had really crappy parents.

I don't keep the Sabbath day holy, whatever that means. I suspect that this has something to do with the fact that when I tried to buy a 12 pack of beer at 11:56am on Sunday on my way to a friend's house for the Cowboy game, I had to wait 4 minutes because of state law. I guess it's immoral to buy beer before noon on Sundays.

I don't make idols because I don't have the inclination, but don't think its immoral if someone wants to erect a statue of Luke Skywalker and worship it; that's their business.

I could go on, but the point is that if the Ten Commandments are the foundation for your morality, then we clearly have different values.

And my values support helping people in need, without any supernatural directive, and I don't care if you covet any of my stuff.

23 posted on 01/20/2010 10:52:37 AM PST by GunRunner
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To: GunRunner
Hey don't get me wrong on this whole discussion, anyone who wishes to help and gives out of his resources is OK by me, even if he is an atheist. And discussing the deep things of life in a forum like this hardly results in more than a tit for tat, and I don't really see this conversation heading for anything more than that. I will end with this however... Atheists insist there is no God and some fight to have God removed from the marketplace of ideas. If the atheist could “care less” then why care at all, live it up and die happy no mater who gets run over. If evolution is the "non-god god", then the fittest among us should survive and do away with the unwanteds.
24 posted on 01/20/2010 11:49:30 AM PST by dps.inspect
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To: dps.inspect
Atheists don't really "insist" that there's no God. Most (maybe not all) say that the worlds holy books are all man made. It's not insistence at all, it's basically saying that the concept of God as defined by the world's religions is rather unlikely, as is the divine nature of holy books.

I don't say this as a defined atheist; I've never called myself that. If you are so insistent on some man made term, the most accurate description I can give of my ideas on the supernatural are "theological noncognitivist".

25 posted on 01/20/2010 11:56:32 AM PST by GunRunner
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To: GunRunner

Oh boy, you’ve been in school too long... but I’ll bet your a great guy though... have a good rest of your week and god bless.


26 posted on 01/20/2010 2:02:01 PM PST by dps.inspect
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To: Between the Lines

Atheists seem to love to call attention to the fact that they are atheists.


27 posted on 01/20/2010 2:05:18 PM PST by Allegra (It doesn't matter what this tagline says...the liberals are going to call it "racist.")
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To: Arkansas Toothpick

It must pain them to have money.

28 posted on 01/20/2010 2:31:46 PM PST by MaxMax (Lets get a sense)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

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