What follows is a REASON to give to charity. As Atheist, there are items we struggle with that the religious find easy - being charitable and instilling hope in the down trodden are a couple of them. These items shouldn't disappear but should be included in ourselves, somewhere.

I've always known I wanted to be a good person, and not bad person. But If "we are what we do", then I'm definitely not charitable, though I'd like to be, or I see value in it. I made up excuses and put it at the back of my mind. That is until I saw Moral Philosopher Peter Singer of Princeton University give us this moral puzzle.

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I'm paraphrasing here: Say you are walking along a body of water, and you then spot a child struggling in the water. There's no time and no one around to help but you. If you help the child, you notice you will RUIN your new $300 shoes you are wearing. Do you jump in and save the child, or not?

The sane answer of course is -YES, I would jump in and save that child.

Then Professor Singer asks: How then can you justify your $300 pair of shoes (or extra shoes, or un-played video games, or supersized fries) sitting in your closet, when a $20 donation from you to the right charity COULD most likely save a child. They are reducibly the same argument.
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**The point that matters here is that even though we can barricade ourselves in our houses and ignore the media... We are still connected, and in some way responsible, to people we don't even know.

About a week or two later I gave a speech about it to my speech club, and donated my first $20 to a reputable charity. I have just recently picked up a more non-theistic charity to donate to.

Before, I had a list of reasons I didn't want to give to charities.
1. I wanted to make sure my money had the maximum effect, and not just squandered.
2. If I helped someone, wouldn't 2 more just pop up behind them?
3. Most charities are religious -I couldn't stomach making them stronger.
4. I would want my money to go to a specific purpose, and not into the coffers.

It's definitely more convenient to NOT think about it, BUT we must be prepared to fill the void as we supplant the churches.

"you must be the change you wish to see in the world" -Mahatma Gandhi

Tags: charity, hope, moral, responsibility

Views: 39

Replies to This Discussion

A dilemma confronts me in regard to charitable contributions toward superstorm Sandy's destruction. Instead of giving to charity to ameliorate damage already incurred, I gave to distribute liberal voters guides. If Romney gets elected he'll multiply this damage tenfold by pushing fossil fuels and gutting FEMA.

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