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Atheist Community of Austin
Hyoer-generous Christian

I went to a Christian friend's birthday party this last weekend and was "accosted" by a guy there who was, well, he was boasting about how he acts as a Christian. He regaled me with tales of his giving money to strangers, buying things for random people, expressing his Christianity through repeated acts of kindness while giving full credit to Jesus. I wasn't there to argue/discuss religion with anyone, obviously, but this guy was making me wish I had the guts to ask him a couple of questions. But...I didn't. I mean first he was doing some really incredible stuff. Some really Jesusy things. And I couldn't find fault with his actions. If I had the money he has I would hope that I would be as generous with it to help people in need. The thing is it galled me that he was boasting, without boasting, mind you--if you understand what I mean--about what he did to help people. I don't think I would ever help people like that and tell anyone about it as that would sort of taint the whole thing for me. But I didn't know how to handle his exuberance and enthusiasm about his religion and what his god was 'making" him do.

Have you ever had an experience with someone like this? I know that religion isn't all bad and that some of the altruistic aspects are quite commendable but I just found myself wanting to ask him why he was talking about this. Who was he trying to impress?

"And I couldn't find fault with his actions."

Well he's doing to right thing, for the wrong reasons. You don't need to be threatened with Hell or bribed with Heaven to do good things. You can help people because it's the right thing to do.

"Well he's doing the right thing, for the wrong reasons. You don't need to be threatened with Hell or bribed with Heaven to do good things. You can help people because it's the right thing to do."

It's funny how "bribed with Heaven" sounds as some sort of corruption as you put it. Don't atheists get any moral satisfaction from "doing the right thing"? "Pleasing God" and "pleasing my consciousness" are just two ways to say the same thing, as I see it.

NT teaches that it's wrong to get any sort of pride from "doing the right thing" or expect appreciation from other people, favors in return, etc. Telling anyone "how good I am" is, certainly, a sign of pride which one may not even be aware of. It reveals that the hidden motive was expecting approval, and not the "love for my neighbor". And it does raise thoughts like one in Mark's post, even in fellow Christians. That's what I see as the "wrong reason" in this situation, not "bribery with Heaven".

I don't get any rewards for "pleasing my consciosness," but Christians believe they're getting Heaven and avoiding Hell by pleasing God. Doing good works for others approval (including God's) is also wrong.

MP: "I don't get any rewards for "pleasing my consciousness," but Christians believe they're getting Heaven and avoiding Hell by pleasing God. Doing good works for others approval (including God's) is also wrong."

Why do you assume that all Christians do good works only because they expect a reward (heaven) or fear punishment (hell)? May be, some do, but that's not what the New Testament teaches. Such selfish love is famously condemned in NT. E.g. in Matthew 5:46-48 regarding "love your enemy": "If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." That should refer to love to God as well, as I see it.

Trading with omnipotent God sounds like a strange idea to me. I think, the Bible is more about submission to God's will. To me, that simply means accepting the necessary. I think, many Christians do good works for the same reason as atheists - because it's the right thing to do. Unless they boast about it. When a person anonymously donates a million dollars to charity and does not tell anybody, not even IRS, it's hard to tell whether he did that to get a reward in heaven or any other reason. We can only speculate. But what difference does it make?

Speaking of reward/punishment. I read about psychology of cognitive dissonance today. It's about how people deal with information contradicting their beliefs. The theory also concerns with how people internally justify performing unattractive duties or not getting what they want.

Two studies are relevant to this thread. One classic study showed that when people have to do or say something against their will or beliefs, an insignificant reward is more likely to change their attitude towards the activity than a large one, and they are more likely to do this activity again in the future. [http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Festinger/index.htm]

Conversely, a threat of a mild punishment corrects attitudes towards activity much better than a threat of severe punishment, and people are likely to engage in the activity in the future, when threat of severe punishment is removed, which is not the case with mild punishment. [http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/h0039901]

The reason is that with mild reward or mild punishment, there is a substantial cognitive dissonance which is resolved by adjusting the internal attitude. The process is similar to The Fox and the Grape in the Aesop's fable. Whereas, with large reward or severe punishment, there is no cognitive dissonance, because activity or restraint from activity are completely justified externally by the large reward or severe punishment and there is no internal justification left when reward/punishment are removed.

Also, children who were motivated to do an activity by reward promise or surveillance, later showed no interest in this activity compared to children with no reward promise or surveillance. [http://www.jwalkonline.org/docs/Grad%20Classes/Fall%2007/Org%20Psy/Cases/motivation%20articles/PERUSED/effects%20of%20surveillance.pdf]

So, you, guys, have a point here. No reward promise or punishment threat have better chances to change internal attitude than large reward/severe punishment. This implies that reward in heaven or threat of hell are not necessary to motivate people to do good or restrain them from doing evil and seem to be counterproductive.

It's interesting to note, however, that cognitive dissonance creates an internal desire to resolve it and is often used as motivator in education. So, all the stuff that does not make sense in the Bible may, as well serve this purpose. (I'm getting good at apologetics, hehe.)

Now I have to resolve my cognitive dissonance here. According to the theory, my choices are a) downplay its significance; b) adjust my beliefs; c) create additional beliefs. I'll think which route to take :).

Does reward after death really count as a reward? It seems to me, reward after death is very synonymous to no reward at all. But, I'm sure, there are people who seriously look forward to it. I may be downplaying the significance of reward in heaven.

Matthew 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."

Some Christians boast about their righteousness. I guess, the motive is to show how good their religion is, because it inspires such commendable behavior. They think they promote their religion in such way, but, in fact, achieve the opposite. The unintended consequence is showing how bad everyone else is which leads to alienation. And it, sure, looks like trying to "look good in the eyes of men". That's the tricky thing about Christianity. One can be proud of his humility or even sin by being righteous. Usually, what matters is not the act, but the motive.

There are many questions that one may want to ask such person. The main one, of course, "why are you telling me this?" But none of them are worth asking.

"The unintended consequence is showing how bad everyone else is which leads to alienation."

You're assuming the Christian telling me of their good works is a moral person, and that I'm an immoral person.

Sorry, I did not say it right. My sentence did imply that "everyone else is bad". I did not mean it. I should have said, "the unintended consequence is making others feel bad." (believers and non-believers alike).

Comparing ourselves to others has only two possible consequences: envy or pride, depending on the result of such comparison. Both results are utterly vain. Therefore, it's utterly vain to compare ourselves to others. Boasting typically causes people to compare themselves to the one who boasts. Therefore, boasting is also always a bad idea.

To think that it's meaningful in any way to promote the idiotic idea that there is a supernatural reward for charitable deeds - and who does anyway?

" The most pernicious of absurdities is that weak, blind, stupid faith is better than the constant practice of every human virtue." Walter Savage Landor.

So, why do religious organizations and Churches advertise there charitable work on television and anywhere they can? It's to get more donations; it's also good Public Relations (PR) for the Church business and individuals who want to impress people or achieved a certain social status. We all know the answer, and we also know why they are not waiting on God to give them their "secret" reward.

Atheist (non-believers) wouldn't be doing good to avoid punishment or to get a "secret" reward for doing good.

Charity - Webs (www.freewebs.com/thebgma/a33charity.html)

Stephen Girard Freethinker Stephen Girard (1750-1831), a French immigrant to Philadelphia who started a shipping business while in his teens, adopted Philadelphia as his home, and was an ardent supporter of the new country of the United States. When yellow fever struck Philadelphia in 1793, many affluent citizens fled the city, including George Washington. Girard did not, and more than just give of his personal fortune, he commandeered the hospital and arranged for supply deliveries. For the afflicted, Girard also personally assisted in their care, nursing the sick, going into houses to find the weak, and even helping to wash those suffering from yellow fever despite the risk to his own health.

Although George Soros is well-known for his liberal political activities, his charitable work is impressive as well. Atheist Soros (born in 1930) started his large-scale philanthropy work in the late 1970s, when he gave funds to help black South African students to enroll at the University of Cape Town, as a protest against the country's apartheid stance at the time. He began funding democracy initiatives in Eastern Europe - Soros is a Hungarian immigrant - in the 1980s, and in 1993 founded the Open Society Institute. OSI is a group dedicated to democratic reform and human rights, and supports efforts in the areas of healthcare, legal reform, reduction of government corruption, and education.

Agnostic Warren Buffett (also born in 1930) will reportedly give most of his fortune - currently second only to that of Bill Gates, mentioned next - to his Buffett Foundation, a charitable trust, upon his death. The foundation supports boys and girls clubs, hospitals, minority-student scholarships, population control efforts, Planned Parenthood groups, and Omaha-area community charities.

Agnostic and billionaire Bill Gates (born in 1955) has, through the Gates Foundation founded by him and his wife, given billions of dollars to charity. The foundation has an endowment of over $20 billion, and donates large sums to vaccination research and vaccination programs, educational scholarships for disadvantaged and minority students, library initiatives throughout the world, and efforts to improve the lives of people in the Pacific Northwest, including the homeless.

Hank Pellissier- Ethical Technology - Posted: Nov 25, 2011

Atheists have no faith, no expectation of benefit from a deity. So, Atheists are the most generous - even without heavenly reward! atheists are probably selfish, right? Pitiless, parsimonious. Totally stingy misers, not passing a penny off to the poor…correct?

WRONG! Atheists, non-believers, secular humanists, skeptics - the whole gamut of the godless have emerged in recent years as inarguably the most generous benefactors on the globe. That's right. Hordes of heretics are the world's biggest damned philanthropists. Both individually and in groups, heathen infidels are topping the fundraising charts.

A century ago, one of the USA's leading philanthropists was Andrew Carnegie, atheist.

Regarding "group efforts"- Kiva.org, the micro-financing organization that has distributed $261 million to people in 61 nations, has "lending teams" that post their generous efforts online. The leading team on November 22, 2011, is "Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists, and the Non-Religious." These 18,127 benevolent blasphemers have lent $5,623,750 in 187,920 loans. Their simple motto is: "We loan because we care about the suffering of human beings."

I'm sure everyone posting this stuff knows atheists do good things a lot. I'm sure that they would never imply that it takes religion to do good.

Denial is the failure to know something when there is no lack of data.

I do not see where the disagreement is and why there is so much anxiety about what I posted.

I was saying: 1. It is wrong to expect any reward for good deeds, natural or supernatural (therefore, the guy boasting of his good deeds was wrong, because he was seeking his listener's approval). 2. Many atheists and believers alike do good deeds simply because they believe it's the right thing to do.

Morality does not come from the Bible, neither it comes from evolution theory. Both can be used to justify atrocities with equal success. Morality comes "from our heart", so to speak. I'm happy that atheists donate more than others. Based on what I said, Christians are supposed to despise boasting with their generosity. So, the total number of Christians donating to charities and the total amounts donated may be under-reported. However, it does not really matter. For we are not racing for a prize, really. If glory and recognition is what you seek, you got it. I can proclaim that atheists are the most generous people in the universe as duly supported by evidence, statistics, and income tax reports.

Do you need to disagree with a believer regardless of what he is saying? Am I insulting anyone? If so, I apologize. It's not my intent.

AG said, "I do not see where the disagreement is and why there is so much anxiety about what I posted."

I doubt that there is much anxiety over what you're writing, most people probably think of it as just some more random weird shit.

AG said, "I was saying: 1. It is wrong to expect any reward for good deeds, natural or supernatural (therefore, the guy boasting of his good deeds was wrong, because he was seeking his listener's approval)."

AG also said, "Matthew 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.... etc."

The fact remains that now you expect a reward for not bragging about your good deeds. As long as there is a "reward" their could never be a claim that the "good deed" was done out of the goodness of one's heart.

AG said, "2. Many atheists and believers alike do good deeds simply because they believe it's the right thing to do."

Maybe, but only the believer expects a heavenly reward for doing the right thing.

AG said, "Morality does not come from the Bible, neither it comes from evolution theory. Both can be used to justify atrocities with equal success. Morality comes "from our heart", so to speak."

The fact that you posted this inaccurate remark again shows about how much you understand 'The Theory of Evolution' or the answer, if you even read it. I'm referring to what you posted under "Atheist Community of Austin" (topic) "Age of Earth" AG said, "Nazis and KKK used evolution theory to justify racism and extermination of Jews (along with religion). Moral principles depend on the values of particular society."

LINDA'S ANSWER: I guess moral principles was behind the Ku Klux Klan rally in Dayton, TN, to urge the conviction of John Scopes on the charge of teaching evolution, and when Scopes's prosecutor William Jennings Bryan died shortly after the trial, the Klan burned crosses in his memory, calling him "the greatest Klansman of our time.

Creationist's have been trying to link the theory of evolution with racism (the Eugenics movement) and Hitler for a very long time. This kind of smear campaign is a tactic to discredit modern evolutionary biology while propping up creationism. The accusation has never had any basis in fact. The Eugenics Movement (had nothing to do with Darwin's theory of Evolution) eugenics is ordinarily associated with Nazi Germany, but in fact, it started in America. Not only that, but it continued here long after Hitler's Germany was in ruins. It was a government policy meant to rid America of all disease, lower the crime rate and increase the wealth of our nation by preventing the reproduction of malfunctioning people. Many people in America were sterilized because eugenicists believed that certain traits should be eliminated from the human gene pool. The eugenicists thought programs to help these people were a waste of money and they sought a way to eliminate them.

Darwin's theory in general is that life develops from non-life and by a purely naturalistic (without intervention) descent with modification. Complex creatures evolve from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time, as random genetic mutations occur within an organism's genetic code, the beneficial mutations are preserved because they aid survival (a process known as natural selection) and these beneficial mutations are passed on to the next generation. Over time, beneficial mutations accumulate and the result is an entirely different organism (not just a variation of the original, but an entirely different creature) from this perspective defective life forms would naturally be the recessive allele, therefore it is impossible to connect "the theory of evolution" with "eugenics" or any extermination program.

Also, it's interesting that at the height of the eugenics movement the people of Tennessee put a teacher on trial for teaching evolution. The law Scopes broke was against teaching evolution, not against teaching racism. The idea that racism was caused by "the theory of evolution" is ludicrous, as if Southerners got the idea that the white race is superior or that redneck nose pickers shouldn't have children with half-wits because they were reading Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" published in 1859 (or any other science book) should get a horse laugh! Christianity and racism have been around much longer than the theory of evolution, which has only been around since 1859.

It is especially interesting that during the eugenics movement there was no knowledge that DNA carried genes, even Darwin knew nothing about DNA, but Darwin did suspect that complex behavior did not have a single cause.

Eugenicists didn't take into account the impact that the environment plays into a person's phenotype, and they didn't take into account the cultural differences when testing intelligence. Therefore, the eugenicists work wasn't scientific.

The reason God bots try to link things like eugenics and Nazi philosophy to a scientific theory (evolution) about the origin of life is because it discredits the Biblical Creation story. There are no answers in Genesis. Science does prove that nothing was created and furthermore nothing in the bible is an accurate depiction of how the universe or life in the universe originated. There is no evidence to support any of the claims made in the Bible concerning the existence of a god. If the Bible is the inspired word of God then He should know how the Universe and life started? The Bible is a storybook that belongs in the fiction section of the library with all of the other mythology books about gods. The Bible is no different from other ancient writings and the Bible is just as erroneous concerning anything scientific; it's filled with inaccuracies and contradictions. This is the reason it is so important to discredit a scientific theory about the origin of life (evolution) by claiming it's racist. The race card is a ploy to remove evolution and replace it with the religious concept of divine creation.

The Nazi racist ideology came from religious indoctrination Hitler was opposed to Darwinism and denounced evolution. It's humorous because many racist policies originated from creationist arguments and beliefs. The belief that the Almighty created the races different, and He placed them on separate continents. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.

It's amazing that anyone is convinced that the scientific theory of evolution or the Big Bang Theory is attempting to teach mortality; it's an attempt to answer questions about the origin of life and the universe. Everything that we know about the origin of life and the universe has been through scientific discovery. The Theory of Evolution doesn't make any claims concerning teaching morality but the Bible does. Only the Bible has been used to justify atrocities. The Bible advocates every crime known to man and is anti-Semitic.

AG said, "I'm happy that atheists donate more than others. Based on what I said, Christians are supposed to despise boasting with their generosity. So, the total number of Christians donating to charities and the total amounts donated may be under-reported."

Ah yes! Naturally atheists want people to know about their "good deeds" in order to promote non-belief, but I haven't noticed any religious organizations or persons shrinking away from publicity for making large charitable contributions.

Isaac Asimov said, "If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God and whose deed is foul, foul, foul."

AG said, "However, it does not really matter. For we are not racing for a prize, really. If glory and recognition is what you seek, you got it. I can proclaim that atheists are the most generous people in the universe as duly supported by evidence, statistics, and income tax reports."

Yes, I'm sure believers didn't want it reported. But you can't hide the statistics that have been printed in newspapers and magazines that prove atheists are more generous.

AG said, "Do you need to disagree with a believer regardless of what he is saying? Am I insulting anyone? If so, I apologize. It's not my intent."

Steven Weinberg: "With or without religion you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."

Linda: "Steven Weinberg: "With or without religion you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.""

I'd say "fanaticism" instead of "religion" here. One can be fanatical about science too.

AG, Do you mean fanatic scientists like these: Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory The Onion August 17, 2005 | ISSUE 41•33 KANSAS CITY, KS--As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

J.B., You might agree that the people in your example are not scientific fanatics. They are religious fanatics. They are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I agree with you that these ideas do not belong in science and in public schools.

I meant to say that when we remove all doubt from any idea and take it as an absolute truth, we end up with a dogma. As we proceed to impose that idea onto other people, we are likely to cause pain and suffering. To make atheism or a particular scientific idea an official state ideology is as wrong as creating an official state religion.

Here is a neutral article on this notion. http://www.investigatingatheism.info/violence.html

I do not support hating intolerant people or forcing other nations to be free. But this is off-topic for this thread.

Your line of thought seems completely foreign to me. What business of mine is how much Buffett or Gates give to charities? I never even wondered about their religious beliefs. Now that someone labeled them as atheists or agnostics, you seem to find some sort of pride that they donate billions. How are these 3 people representative of the rest? Why do we have to people into buckets? Left wing, right wing, Christians, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, blacks, whites. Why does it matter so much? I don't believe there is any correlation between these attributes and any virtues or vices. Even if there is, the very act of collecting such evidence seems like a bad idea to me. Such research cannot be done without malicious intent.

As you may know, Christians believe that a widow giving 2 small coins is making a larger sacrifice than a rich man with an extravagant donation. So, Buffett donating billions is irrelevant and unimpressive. The whole question "who donates more?" is strange.

AG said, "Your line of thought seems completely foreign to me."

That's because my train of thought has a basis in logic and reason. It's common for Christians to brag about how much they give, how much they pray but how many of them follow the instructions of -Mark 10:21- "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven…?" instead they advertise their "good deeds" to promote more donations, they have to be seen and appreciated by the public. All of these things help to grow the business, just like any other enterprise, and I will believe the clergy are doing "good deeds" without seeking a "reward" or recognition when hell freezes over!

AG said, "What business of mine is how much Buffett or Gates give to charities? I never even wondered about their religious beliefs. Now that someone labeled them as atheists or agnostics, you seem to find some sort of pride that they donate billions."

You either don't get the point or you don't want to get the point. Maybe this will help you out.

From the same article: Atheists are the most generous - even without reward! Hank Pellissier Ethical Technology: Nov. 25, 2011 - "I'm gleeful that the irreligious are the most altruistic because I was incessantly told the inverse by credo-worshiping commenters after I published my article "Tax the Churches and Give the Revenue to Hungry Children" Pious posters informed me that my secular proposal would seriously damage charitable causes, because it would hamper the vast, sublime generosity of the devout. Ha! The numbers above suggest that their contention is just the usual sanctimonious drivel. A favorite slogan of atheists is, "We Don't Need God To Be Good" and the philanthropy figures I've presented indicate that is exactly the case, indeed, we seem to be "BETTER without God."

AG said, "How are these 3 people representative of the rest? Why do we have to people into buckets? Left wing, right wing, Christians, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, blacks, whites. Why does it matter so much? I don't believe there is any correlation between these attributes and any virtues or vices. Even if there is, the very act of collecting such evidence seems like a bad idea to me. Such research cannot be done without malicious intent."

Maybe you should try reading the article because it gives information on more than three people. I'm sure that the Christians who put out all kinds of false information about non-believers all the time don't have a malicious bone in their body.

AG said, "As you may know, Christians believe that a widow giving 2 small coins is making a larger sacrifice than a rich man with an extravagant donation. So, Buffett donating billions is irrelevant and unimpressive. The whole question "who donates more?" is strange.

Yes, I know, the Gospels were written to appeal to the poorest and most uneducated people because educated people rejected Christianity. The early Christians came from the lowest social ranks, mostly slaves or freed slaves, one million slaves were owned by the richest five per cent of Roman citizens. In those times most of the Romans were slaves who had terrible lives. They needed to get the poor to give and they played on their ignorance and superstitious nature. They still do. There are far more poor people than super wealthy. I'm sure many people prefer to give to charitable organizations that don't proselytize to the needy.

Linda, you seem to disapprove Christians bragging about generosity of Christians, but quote atheists bragging about generosity of atheists. That seems inconsistent. Do you disapprove bragging about generosity or do you just disapprove Christians whatever they do?

Do you really trust statistics supporting a clear political statement?

And where did you get data on demographics of early Christians? Even if you have the source, do you think, it's unbiased?

Hey Linda, you criticized Christians for boasting in their "good works"

"So, why do religious organizations and Churches advertise there charitable work on television and anywhere they can? It's to get more donations; it's also good Public Relations (PR) for the Church business and individuals who want to impress people or achieved a certain social status. We all know the answer, and we also know why they are not waiting on God to give them their "secret" reward."

But then you went ahead and spent a whole page boasting about how atheist are the "most generous." Here is what you said:

"Atheists have no faith, no expectation of benefit from a deity. So, Atheists are the most generous - even without heavenly reward! atheists are probably selfish, right? Pitiless, parsimonious. Totally stingy misers, not passing a penny off to the poor…correct?

WRONG! Atheists, non-believers, secular humanists, skeptics - the whole gamut of the godless have emerged in recent years as inarguably the most generous benefactors on the globe. That's right. Hordes of heretics are the world's biggest damned philanthropists. Both individually and in groups, heathen infidels are topping the fundraising charts.

Is this not the old "do as say not as I do" philosophy?

Atheists are not telling anyone that they will get a "secret" reward if they don't brag about their good deeds. So, if atheists don't believe that there is any reward (with or without bragging) what's your point?

What you wrote is irrelevant. And you copied what Hank Pellissier wrote (not me) after he received comments from believers because of an article he wrote "Tax the Churches and Give the Revenue to Hungry Children" the devout were telling him how harmful his article would be to charitable causes.

Hank Pellissier wrote what you said I wrote: "Atheists have no faith, no expectation of benefit from a deity. So, Atheists are the most generous - even without heavenly reward! atheists are probably selfish, right? Pitiless, parsimonious. Totally stingy misers, not passing a penny off to the poor…correct? WRONG! Atheists, non-believers, secular humanists, skeptics - the whole gamut of the godless have emerged in recent years as inarguably the most generous benefactors on the globe. That's right. Hordes of heretics are the world's biggest damned philanthropists. Both individually and in groups, heathen infidels are topping the fund raising charts."

Maybe this will help you out:

David Paul Quiroz Posted what Linda said, "So, why do religious organizations and Churches advertise there charitable work on television and anywhere they can? It's to get more donations; it's also good Public Relations (PR) for the Church business and individuals who want to impress people or achieved a certain social status. We all know the answer, and we also know why they are not waiting on God to give them their "secret" reward." Linda did write that but then...

David Paul Quiroz said, "But then you went ahead and spent a whole page boasting about how atheist are the "most generous." Here is what you said:"

No, it wasn't what Linda said; it this was from the article written by Hank Pellissier Ethical Technology: Nov. 25, 2011

"Atheists have no faith, no expectation of benefit from a deity. So, Atheists are the most generous - even without heavenly reward! atheists are probably selfish, right? Pitiless, parsimonious. Totally stingy misers, not passing a penny off to the poor…correct?

WRONG! Atheists, non-believers, secular humanists, skeptics - the whole gamut of the godless have emerged in recent years as inarguably the most generous benefactors on the globe. That's right. Hordes of heretics are the world's biggest damned philanthropists. Both individually and in groups, heathen infidels are topping the fundraising charts."

Linda didn't say anything you quoted there, that was from the article about comments from believers that Hank Pellissier received after an article he wrote "Tax the Churches and Give the Revenue to Hungry Children"

What I posted was what he wrote after he received the comments (here is part of it) Atheists are the most generous - even without reward! Hank Pellissier Ethical Technology: Nov. 25, 2011 - "I'm gleeful that the irreligious are the most altruistic because I was incessantly told the inverse by credo-worshiping commenters after I published my article "Tax the Churches and Give the Revenue to Hungry Children" Pious posters informed me that my secular proposal would seriously damage charitable causes, because it would hamper the vast, sublime generosity of the devout. Ha! The numbers above suggest that their contention is just the usual sanctimonious drivel. A favorite slogan of atheists is, "We Don't Need God To Be Good" and the philanthropy figures I've presented indicate that is exactly the case, indeed, we seem to be "BETTER without God."

David Paul Quiroz said, "Is this not the old "do as say not as I do" philosophy?"

You really are confused! The article makes it clear that the people bragging about giving were the devout not the atheists. He was only reporting on the comments he received and what he actually found out to be the truth.

I find Michael's response very interesting in this discussion - quote:

"Doing good works for others approval (including God's) is also wrong."

I mean, if a person does good deeds in order to get a reward from someone else (in this case a deity, this person believes in), then does this person really value the good deeds, (s)he does, or does (s)he do it for the sole reason of pleasing his or her deity, who after all "sees" everything "what is done in secret"? Matthew 6:1-4 doesn't seem to address this problem.

There are of course many other problems regarding religion and "good deeds". But I don't want to mention them here in order to keep this short and on topic.

He was "humble-bragging."

I missed that one the first time Purvis but it's very funny!

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