1/25/10

Audio Bibles for Haiti and Atheist Hypocrisy

Am I understanding this correctly?

For the past few years atheists worldwide have literally wasted enormous amounts of money during times of recession, war and poverty not in helping anyone in any material need but in order to purchase bus ads and billboards attempting to demonstrated just how clever they consider themselves to be; and now they want to become the charity police—please!

Futher dissection of this particular atheist hypocrisy here.


This essay is copyrighted by Mariano of the “Atheism is Dead” blog at http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com.
It may be republished in part or in its entirety on websites, blogs, or any print media for whatever purpose—in agreement or in order to criticize it—only as long as the following conditions are met:
1) Give credit to “Mariano of the ‘Atheism is Dead’ blog at http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com”
2) Inform me as to which essay is being reproduced and where it is being reproduced via the comments section
at this link

35 comments:

  1. So when Christians use their money to advertise rather than help anyone in need it's okay. Got it. Thanks.

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  2. Yep. That's how Mariano thinks all right...

    For the past few years atheists worldwide have literally wasted enormous amounts of money during times of recession, war and poverty not in helping anyone in any material need but in order to purchase bus ads and billboards attempting to demonstrated just how clever they consider themselves to be; and now they want to become the charity police—please!

    God, what a hypocrite.

    Let's see: Besides ignoring the fact that xians do the exact same thing with billboards, huge churces, etc. Mariano also continually ignores the fact that atheists/secularists do have charities.

    We just don't try to convert people like the xian charities do.

    I know that this has been pointed out to you more than once, Mariano.

    Yet you still persist in pretending that "atheist charity" only extends to billboards and whatnot that, according to you, to paraphrase: "never help anyone in need but just go to show how clever they are".

    Christ, how many bloody times have you been beating that dead (refuted) horse?

    I guess somehow, Mariano will also find a way to dismiss or ignore the fact that the Randi foundation, Richard Dawkins foundation, and The Atheist Experience has a list too.

    PZ Myers has a list as well have all set up ways to donate to Haiti, and afterwards.

    You know something, if religious people were truly charitable, wouldn't churches pay taxes?

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  3. You people are unbelievable (Both sides). Just fucking GIVE and leave all your shit flinging tribal bullshit out of something like this.

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  4. Christian and Christian organizations are well known for their giving and their humanitarian aid (and yes, some evangelism goes along with that), as opposed to the case of atheists and atheist organizations whose affinity for giving is...let's just say...less impressive. Yet these same atheist organizations, who claim to not be about "converting" anyone, spend money on billboards that (if we are being honest with ourselves) are designed to to do just that. So when atheists and atheist organizations finally prove themselves to be the same tour de force in humanitarian aid as Christians and the (various) Christian-based organizations, and without all the "let's show those g-d lovers whose boss" histrionics, they can feel free to spend all the money they want to do all the godless evangelism on all the billboards they want, without criticism from the faithful. Of course, according to their brain trust, atheist billboard ads aren't trying to evangelize or convert anyone, so uh....never mind. Why did I even write this? Gee Mariano, you've been wrong this whole time.

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  5. @Dei-O

    Most atheist billboards I've seen are more aimed at bringing atheists out of the closet. It's just like how most church signs I've seen are aimed at bringing lukewarm Christians back to church. Conversion is a little ambitious for a billboard.

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  6. Dei-O
    So when atheists and atheist organizations finally prove themselves to be the same tour de force in humanitarian aid as Christians and the (various) Christian-based organizations
     
    Well, gee...how many atheists are there compared to how many Christians there are in the Western world?

    , and without all the "let's show those g-d lovers whose boss" histrionics,
     
    As opposed to all the "christians are the only people who are truly charitable" histrionics?

    We're only replying in kind...though it seems that acting like you people is not allowed.

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  7. IRT Anonymous

    I may be overstating the intent of the billboards, but I think you are understating them. Make no mistake, these billboards are not about telling the godless that they are not alone -- they are about pushing agenda.

    IRT Reynold

    Certainly you are allowed to act like the "you people" you refer to (funny since I never stated I was a Christian), however the question is whether or not atheists have earned the right to do so without criticism.

    As hypocritical as it sounds, the truth is that in our society someone who has proven themselves by their previous deeds and actions can get away with being a bit of a hypocrite. Those who have not will be read the riot act for taking similar actions. This is why the top salesman at a company gets away with more than the guy barely making his numbers. He has earned the right.

    I know, it sucks....but Christians give more, they do more, they found medical foundations, faith-based hospitals and more. They spend enough money and to enough good work to earn the right to evangelize. Atheists and atheist organizations just aren't there yet, and let's be honest, probably will never be.

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  8. God DAMN but you are a self-righteous tool!

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  9. So you're not a christian, but you're not an atheist, since you referred to us in the third person.

    What religion are you?

    As for your saying that:

    I know, it sucks....but Christians give more, they do more, they found medical foundations, faith-based hospitals and more. They spend enough money and to enough good work to earn the right to evangelize. Atheists and atheist organizations just aren't there yet, and let's be honest, probably will never be.

    There's more of them, that's why. I believe I mentioned that before.

    We just don't make a show of it like the theists do.

    It's bullshit what you say about "earning the right" to "evangelize". There's a little something called free speech. We're not within a corporation, after all.

    Christians and others were "evangelizing" right from the get-go, with force a lot of the time. What about whether they had "earned" that right then?

    Where does their good works give Mariano the right to lie about atheists and imply that those billboards are what we do for "charity"?

    Besides, even if we had to earn the right to talk about atheism, we have. Look at the charities and whatnot I listed earlier.

    They're all secular as opposed to preaching "atheism" as opposed to the christian charities which try to convert peope as they give.

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  10. We just don't make a show of it like the theists do.

    Which is precisely why you're wandering around the Internet informing folks that you and your fellow non-believers Really Do Give. That's not making a show of it, no sir!

    It's bullshit what you say about "earning the right" to "evangelize". There's a little something called free speech.

    Curious for someone who criticizes Christians for being dishonest, you left out part of what Dei-O said--
    the question is whether or not atheists have earned the right to do so without criticism.

    Emphasis, of course, added by me. You mean nobody's allowed to criticize you? So much for "free speech."

    If Mariano was implying that atheists in general have never given or don't give to any genuinely charitable causes, I certainly don't agree (although I didn't get that vibe off of this essay or his previous posts anyways), more power to whoever's helping out Haiti, be they religious or not. However, if you folks regard spending money on Bibles to be wasteful, I don't see why your billboards and bus ads should be exempt from criticism either. After all, if, as you say, atheists really are a small (but growing! Always growing! Our victory is assured, no doubt about that!) sliver of the population, so horribly ~*oppressed*~ and ~*victimized*~ by Big Bad Christians like Mariano (I'm sure refuting his essays online will strike a crippling blow to the theocracy and lead the world into a new age of atheism), one would expect you people to be even more scrupulous about where your money goes. After all, if there are so few of you, surely your limited resources oughtn't be wasted on "There's probably no God" bus ads and billboards. There are billions and billions of Christians, they've got tons of money to waste. But you poor, oppressed, disfranchised martyrs, you have so little! Surely it's better to spend the pittance you can on actually improving the lives of your fellow man rather than *just* spreading the Good Word of Godlessness, as the billboards and bus ads do. After all, those Christians might start to think your position isn't really as weak as you say it is if you can spare your money on other things besides purely altruistic charity!

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  11. derpaderp said...quoting me

    We just don't make a show of it like the theists do.


    Which is precisely why you're wandering around the Internet informing folks that you and your fellow non-believers Really Do Give. That's not making a show of it, no sir!
     
    We are only now starting to be public about it. We generally didn't before.

    Think...how else could Mariano and people like him get away with what they say about atheists and charities?

    We're just sick of that and are trying to stop that slander now.

    As I said earlier:

    We're only replying in kind...though it seems that acting like you people is not allowed.


    derpaderp
    Curious for someone who criticizes Christians for being dishonest, you left out part of what Dei-O said--
    the question is whether or not atheists have earned the right to do so without criticism.

     
    Why should anyone have to "earn the right" to go without criticism? I don't believe that anyone can "earn" that right. There is no such right. Anyone's actions are open to criticism anytime, as well as the right to refute such criticism.

    Are you people implying that atheists have to hit some level of charity work before we're allowed to criticize christianity, while at the same time, christians can sneer at the atheists supposed "lack" of charitable giving?

    Bullshit.

    Emphasis, of course, added by me. You mean nobody's allowed to criticize you? So much for "free speech."
     
    I never said that I'm against free speech. But, we DO have the right to refute lies that are told about us, and we do NOT have to "earn the right" to criticize others.


    However, if you folks regard spending money on Bibles to be wasteful, I don't see why your billboards and bus ads should be exempt from criticism either. After all, if, as you say, atheists really are a small (but growing! Always growing! Our victory is assured, no doubt about that!) sliver of the population, so horribly ~*oppressed*~ and ~*victimized*~ by Big Bad Christians like Mariano (I'm sure refuting his essays online will strike a crippling blow to the theocracy and lead the world into a new age of atheism), one would expect you people to be even more scrupulous about where your money goes.
     
    Are we sending billboards and whatnot to Haiti as some xian groups are sending bibles to Haiti? No.

    That would be useless. Here, we're just letting others know that they're not alone in their atheism. That's it, and all your childish sarcasm is off the mark.

    Atheists do the same thing as Christians do over here, we both give to charities, and we both put up billboards, us just recently. Only you don't seem to believe in free speech.

    You use the excuse that atheists don't have much money so we'd better use it wisely. Many atheists figure that letting others of us know that there are other groups out there for us is useful.

    Christians don't have to do that...there's churches and shit everywhere. On tv, on radio, etc. They don't really need posters, do they?

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  12. IRT to Reynold

    First off, I've never read anything of Mariano's that even came close to slandering atheists or atheist organizations. In this case, his claims basically boil down to 1. Atheists give less per capita (TRUE - and there is data to back it up) and 2. If Atheists care so much about others, why spend your limited funds on propaganda? This is a question and by it's very wording is not at all slanderous.

    This reminds me of the person who makes enough money to get by, yet complains that they never have any money. Turns out this is because they spend it poorly by eating out every night or buying expensive frivolities. They get angry when their more financially well-off friends criticize them for this, because these same friends spend money on unnecessary comforts as well.

    On paper, it would seem hypocritical for these friends to criticize this person, but the key difference is that the friends make more money, so they can spend a little more on creature comforts and still put something away for a rainy day.

    That is an imperfect analogy, but much of it rings true. One should always spend wisely, but when you have less to spend you should be spending even more wisely.

    In the case of Christians and Christian groups, sending bibles as well as food and medical care is not considered frivolous to them, because they are not only trying to save lives, they are trying to save spiritually as well....and Christians have the money to do it.

    By comparison, I'm pretty sure atheists aren't trying to save anyone's soul with those billboards, because well, the soul doesn't exist...we shouldn't be thankful for anything, and we should all just count ourselves lucky we didn't get killed by a giant meteor hurtling towards the earth.

    So to sum up...if atheists have so little money to spend, shouldn't they be making the most of their cash and spending it on a good cause, rather than these patently insulting billboards?

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  13. Dei-O...

    "So to sum up...if atheists have so little money to spend, shouldn't they be making the most of their cash and spending it on a good cause, rather than these patently insulting billboards?"

    Now that is a great point!

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  14. Dei-O

    First off, I've never read anything of Mariano's that even came close to slandering atheists or atheist organizations.
     
    Sure...calling people cowards with cartoons portraying them as such is not insulting, sure...When Mariano pretends that those billboards and bus ads are all that atheists do when it comes to charity while ignoring actual secular charities out there, that's not insulting?

    You've just lost all credibility.


    In this case, his claims basically boil down to 1. Atheists give less per capita (TRUE - and there is data to back it up) and 2. If Atheists care so much about others, why spend your limited funds on propaganda?
     
    Why can't we do both? Christians do it all the time. Besides, how are the billboards "propaganda"?

    This is a question and by it's very wording is not at all slanderous.
     
    Where are your sources that "show" that atheists give less per capita? Maybe they, like some I know, give to religious charities and it doesn't get included?

    The rest of your argument is just a justification for the double-standard that you want for christians; you want them to be able to have billboard ads and whatnot while criticizing atheists who do so as well.

    Christianity didn't always have the numbers that they do now, so they couldn't always do the amount of charity work that they're capable of now.

    That's the position that atheists are currently in. If more atheists reveal themselves and they make a note of it when they give to charities as Myers, Dawkins et al are doing, those statistics that you never actually cited will shift.

    One other point; when atheists give, they know that there's no "heavenly reward" for them that do so. Religious people have those holy books that promise rewards for good deeds done in the name of your god.

    Anyway, that's one of the reasons for the billboards which say that it's ok to not believe in god.

    What is "insulting" about that anyway? Compare what they say to what Mariano says on this blog.

    By comparison, I'm pretty sure atheists aren't trying to save anyone's soul with those billboards, because well, the soul doesn't exist...we shouldn't be thankful for anything, and we should all just count ourselves lucky we didn't get killed by a giant meteor hurtling towards the earth
     
    Yep, nothing insulting there at all, nope. Have you read or even tried to understand any of the billboards?

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  15. IRT to Reynold,

    Firstly, just because you claim someone has lost all credibility doesn't mean that they actually have. Watch...I can do it too.

    Charles Dickens just lost all credibility. See what I mean?

    or

    Carrot Top just lost all credibility. Okay, that last one may be true, assuming he had any in the first place.

    All joking aside, I thought when you accused Mariano of slander you were being overdramatic. It turns out that you may just not be aware of what truly is considered defamatory.

    Technically, Mariano's writings wouldn't be considered slanderous but libelous because it is a print medium. However, Mariano is not engaging in libel, he is engaging in opinion and parody, which is protected under his right to free speech.

    Much like Larry Flynt did with Jerry Falwell all those years ago, and just like political cartoonists have done for centuries, Mariano is placing the neo-atheist "brain trust" in ridiculous situations to invoke humor and to make a statement. His writings and cartoons (at least the ones I've seen and read) never reach the point of libel. Inferring someone is a coward (or outright calling them one) is tough to prove or disprove, especially when Mariano uses logic to back up those claims.

    Why won't Dawkins debate someone like William Lane Craig? It's a question worth speculating about as DickieD seems to be making excuses to avoid debates with hard debaters. He says he won't debate "creationists", a group in which he often seems to include theistic evolutionists, yet he debates the soft spoken and all-around-nice-bloke Alister McGrath, who is a theistic evolutionist, but who is also not an aggressive debater by any stretch. The impression from this apparent contradiction is that Dawkins may be afraid to debate intelligent, aggressive theist debaters, and Mariano is welcome to speculate and write his own conclusions about this topic...but what Mariano is writing IS NOT libelous. Mariano is not stating something false as proven fact and setting out to harm Dawkins reputation by doing so.

    In fact, I would say that what Christopher Hitchens wrote about Mother Teresa is much closer to libel than anything I've ever read from Mariano...yet I don't see you calling out Hitchens....and I bet you wouldn't have been publicly defending Fallwell back in the 80's either.

    However, if you would like to take Hitchens to task about his take on Teresa, Mariano posted something about the Mother Teresa stamp yesterday, so that comment thread would be the perfect place to do it...knock yourself out.

    Sam Harris' absurd tirade on the appointment of Francis Collins as director of the NIH was also a hell of a lot closer to libel than anything Mariano has ever written, but ultimately it wasn't libel, it was an opinion piece...as obscene and off base as it may have been. I bet you weren't calling Harris out for his off the reservation opinion, nor the NYT for the fact that they ran one of the most irresponsible Op-Eds of any paper in the last decade.

    Part 1 of 2

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  16. IRT to Reynold

    Part 2 of 2

    Finally...

    As far as atheists giving less and my lack of citation, I don't mine links for others, so if you Google "Atheists Give Less", or something similar, you will find yourself down a Candy Land trail that will give you all the sugary nuggets of info you need, as well as some blustering excuse making from atheist types. I bet you could even search here on this site, as Mariano has covered the lack of atheistic altruism and typically provides a cornucopia of relevant links within his articles.

    Finally, I find the billboards insulting because they are. Any billboard that tries to urge you to raise your children a certain way under the guise of community concern, yet actually is doing nothing but pushing a religious or anti-religious agenda is insulting to the intelligence of all who see it. At least Christians are honest about their intent. I'm not the only one who finds these billboards insulting either, as over the last couple of years a few British newspapers have run some pretty funny political cartoons poking fun at atheist propaganda....HEY, maybe we should accuse them of libel too!

    Finally, regarding your comment about my soul/thankful/meteor paragraph, I was not attempting to be insulting, I was just stating what many hardliner atheists seem to believe...in point of fact, I was mostly recapping a PZ Myers post from this last Thanksgiving, albeit in a bit of a brusque manner. So if you are feeling insulted by anyone, don't feel insulted by me...take it up with PZ. It was a classic post that shows PZ for just the kind of warped individual he is.

    Finally, allow me to state that this will be the last I write on this topic or in this thread as I feel that if this exchange with you was to continue it would evolve into a needlessly contrarian discourse. However, I have enjoyed engaging with you up 'til now and I wish you the best.

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  17. Dei-O said...



    IRT to Reynold,

    Firstly, just because you claim someone has lost all credibility doesn't mean that they actually have. Watch...I can do it too.

     
    You didn't stop to think of the justification for my saying that you've lost all credibility, did you?


    Technically, Mariano's writings wouldn't be considered slanderous but libelous because it is a print medium. However, Mariano is not engaging in libel, he is engaging in opinion and parody, which is protected under his right to free speech.
     
    That's opinion on your part; constant insults and insinuations of cowardice do count as an attack on a person reputation. It may not really matter much or even affect the man, but technically, so far as I know, it is libel. If it isn't then at the very least, it's Mariano being a prick.

    That of course, is "just my opinion".

    Yet you turn around and find the billboards insulting?? WTF?

    Let's see:
    Finally, I find the billboards insulting because they are. Any billboard that tries to urge you to raise your children a certain way under the guise of community concern, yet actually is doing nothing but pushing a religious or anti-religious agenda is insulting to the intelligence of all who see it.
     
    Oh please! That's not near as insulting as what Mariano spews on this blog on an almost daily basis. Those billboards don't have name-calling, insinuations of bad character, or anything like that.

    They just encourage people to think more about if their beliefs are justified or not and to not feel bad if they don't believe in God.

    Your selectively thin skin is the only thing that I find to be insulting to anyone's intelligence here.

    It all amounts to the same thing: Christians can put up billboard threatening people with hellfire and whatnot, (get a load of the Kentucky poster) while they can't tolerate atheists who do the same thing.

    Christians seem to only want freedom of speech for themselves, while finding any reason possible to shut up the competition. That's what I get from reading your posts.

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  18. I forgot something Dei-O. You had said:

    In fact, I would say that what Christopher Hitchens wrote about Mother Teresa is much closer to libel than anything I've ever read from Mariano...yet I don't see you calling out Hitchens....and I bet you wouldn't have been publicly defending Fallwell back in the 80's either.
     
    Why should I? I don't know enough about her to defend or attack her.

    Besides, if you ever accused one person of libel, would it be reasonable for that person to ask you then to go after every single person that you can think of who also libeled someone?


    As to your suggestion that I google "Atheists Give Less", that wasn't the point. The point was that Mariano was implying that those bus ads and billboards were pretty much the only "charity" that atheists did.

    I showed that it was wrong.

    By the way, when I did that google search of yours, I got a few "Conservapedia" articles among some other interesting sites. Yeah, unbiased

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  19. Reynolds, it reads to me like Dei O is drawing a line between what might be considered insulting to someone and what is actually be slander or libel. Insulting does not equal libel. There would be alot of stand up comedians out of work if it did.

    If Mariano is acting like a prick, that's his perogative, Hitchens and Dawkins and Harris sure seem to be okay with acting like pricks. I also think it was obvious that Dei O was trying to be funny with the credibility comments, so learn to take a joke bro.

    I Googled atheists give less and some variations of it and I found a lot more than links to conservapedia articles. I found links to polls and news articles etc. Those posters you linked to are ridiculous but as Dei O said, at least they are transparent about their purpose, unlike that anti child-indoctrination bullshit that was put out by atheists.

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  20. I Googled atheists give less and some variations of it and I found a lot more than links to conservapedia articles. I found links to polls and news articles etc. Those posters you linked to are ridiculous but as Dei O said, at least they are transparent about their purpose, unlike that anti child-indoctrination bullshit that was put out by atheists.
     
    You want real indoctrination? Try threats of hellfire, like from the xian posters.

    And yes, I know that there were more than Conservapedia articles in the google search, but it's those articles that seemed to provide the view that Dei-O was trying to get across.

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  21. By the way, I did say that...

    "I got a few "Conservapedia" articles among some other interesting sites."

    So you can stop trying to act like I was hiding anything.

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  22. So out of curiosity, what other "interesting sites" did you find?

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  23. Here's an idea; try doing the google search yourself. Don't take my word for it.

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  24. Good advice, given your word doesn't seem to be particularly trustworthy.

    Managed to find a couple of interesting articles, one from the Barna Group saying that "atheists and agnostics were the people least likely to do anything about poverty" (look for "Americans are misinformed about poverty, but widely involved with helping the poor" on barna.org), but since that organization is run by Christians I'm sure you'd say it's invalid. Okay, something more interesting is a book I managed to find by Arthur Brooks, "Who really cares? The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism" in which he found religious folks were significantly more likely than secular ones to donate time and money, even to secular/nonreligious charities. You can check out the book yourself at amazon.com--no need to take my word for it either, after all--but Brooks, so far as I know, isn't part of Conservapedia and is a professor at Syracuse University. Seems at least a bit more credible than conservapedia to me.

    This isn't to say, again, that atheists or whoever don't give *anything* at all, but that Dei-O's arguments seem to have a bit more merit than you're acknowledging. You'd probably go a lot farther with your own arguments if (ironically enough for someone who complained about "childish sarcasm") you sounded more like an adult rather than an angry, maladjusted adolescent, regardless of how horribly you've suffered at the hands of the legions and legions of oppressive Christians, as exemplified by one guy on one blog.

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  25. derpaderp
    Good advice, given your word doesn't seem to be particularly trustworthy.
     
    Demonstrate, please, how my word is "not particularly trustworthy".

    All you've done is show just that us secularists need to get out more. That's what we're in the process of doing.

    Mariano, on the other hand seems to pretend that we do nothing, since whenever he talks about atheist charities, he only refers to the bus and billboard ads.

    As for some of the links that we both looked at:

    a comment within a blog.

    Actually the other comments are interesting too.

    Let's look at another one of the links here.

    Comments #901175, #901188, #901243, and #901227 you may find interesting.


    One thing that Mariano never takes in to account is something that was brought up in one of those links:

    Now, this is not a call for all good atheists to head to church. But it is an observation: there is no atheist equivalent to a church. Most atheist groups I’ve dealt with function as support groups or drinking circles. There is nothing that acts as a clearinghouse of social and charitable activities the way a church does.

    What can atheists create that would have the social benefits of a church without the explicit religious function of a church? Is anyone involved in an institution that you think works that way? Should we take a look at Paul Kurtz and Robert M. Price’s suggestion to start up lyceums again?



    One question: How many atheists, when they give, are expecting some kind of reward in the afterlife? Then there's what's said here.


    One thing that Mariano never shows in all his self-righteous bleating on this blog, besides that fact that he and any christian who brags about how "generous" they are are actually breaking MATT. 6:2-4: How does religious charity, religious giving, constitute evidence that his god exists?

    His blog is called, after all, "Atheism is Dead". Presumably the focus would be on evidence that his god exists.

    What about Jesus commandment to sell all that one has and give it to the poor? How many xians have done that?


    You'd probably go a lot farther with your own arguments if (ironically enough for someone who complained about "childish sarcasm") you sounded more like an adult rather than an angry, maladjusted adolescent, regardless of how horribly you've suffered at the hands of the legions and legions of oppressive Christians, as exemplified by one guy on one blog.
     
    You must have me confused with some other people here. Though that kind of attitude you describe would explain Mariano's obsession with people like Dawkins, Hitchens, et al. Provided of course, that those people attacked Mariano while he was growing up.

    As it is, I'll just put it down to Mariano's need to poison the well, as usual.

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  26. Demonstrate, please, how my word is "not particularly trustworthy".

    You generally act like an angry fanatic determined to see the absolute worst in your opponents while expecting the rest of us, not to mention this blog's proprietor, to accommodate you. You also strike me as the kind of person for whom no rational argumentation would do any good at all. Still, however, at least you gave me a few interesting links in your latest comment, so let's address those.

    All you've done is show just that us secularists need to get out more. That's what we're in the process of doing.

    Right, right, good for you. But in reference to 'getting out more,' well, let's look at your next comment.

    Mariano, on the other hand seems to pretend that we do nothing, since whenever he talks about atheist charities, he only refers to the bus and billboard ads.

    One could levy the same argument at you and yours. A great hue and cry has been raised over the immense--immense, I say--waste of resources involved in sending Bibles over to Haiti (i.e proseltyzing), yet you grow indignant that Mariano focuses on criticizing bus ads and billboards while ignoring all the other "atheist charities" out there. Yet aren't you ignoring the actual good work Christians are doing in Haiti? Right in Mariano's article, he points out that the people sending over the bibles are working with Convoy of Hope, which mobilizes thousands of volunteers each year to deliver food and supplies, and to offer hope to people who are poor and suffering.. If you want to say Mariano is so ~*dishonest*~ for criticizing atheists for spending money on "pointless" crap like billboards and bus ads while ignoring the multitudes (arguable, the explicitly atheist charities in your first comments were far outnumbered by organizations which were either merely secular, as in non-denominational, or dedicated to helping the nonreligious in particular rather than people in general) of atheist charities, then I could just as easily say that you people are ~*dishonest*~ for criticizing the folks sending Bibles to Haiti while ignoring the fact that they are doing so in conjunction with an organization that is already doling out "material" aid.

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  27. As for some of the links that we both looked at:

    The atheist ethicist comment and the articles he provides are interesting
    (I'm looking at http://www.alfiekohn.org/miscellaneous/religionhelp.htm ), but on the attached weblink, most of the studies are from several decades ago (the most recent was from 1984) and in any case, are six studies in the midst of considerably more.

    One thing that Mariano never takes in to account is something that was brought up in one of those links:

    Now, this is not a call for all good atheists to head to church. But it is an observation: there is no atheist equivalent to a church. Most atheist groups I’ve dealt with function as support groups or drinking circles. There is nothing that acts as a clearinghouse of social and charitable activities the way a church does.


    Okay then, great, great. Call Mariano, Dei-O, and, for that matter, me, when you folks actually A: get one of those "lyceums" or whatever up, and B: it manages to be as successful as its religious competitors, since, as Mariano implied and Dei-O stated, Christan (and other religious) aid groups have been doing very well in that regard for a very long time. Just saying "Oh, we haven't had a chance yet! We haven't been around for so long! We're oppressed! :'(" is not convincing.

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  28. In terms of more recent papers (last comment, sorry to the proprietor of the blog or any others), aside from Arthur Brooks' book, published in 2007, a few papers I have on my HD:

    "The Influence of Religion on Philanthropy in Canada," by Ida E. Berger, published online on behalf of Johns Hopkins University in 2006, found a substantial positive correlation between religious affiliation and giving (the non-religious were found to be the least philanthropic).

    "Who gives to the Poor? The Influence of Religious Tradition and Political Location on the Personal Generosity of Americans towards the poor" published by Regnerus, Smith, and Sikkink of UNC-Chapel Hill found that there was indeed a positive correlation between religious identification and charitable giving (with Conservative Protestants actually being more charitable than the researchers expected).

    Those are two papers, maybe in a little while I'll get more (I have more than six). Later though, I'm a bit busy at the moment. Maybe tomorrow. I'm reading them as .pdfs and can put them on Megaupload if anyone's really interested, particularly Dei-O if he's still around.

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  29. derpaderp quoting me:

    Demonstrate, please, how my word is "not particularly trustworthy".


    You generally act like an angry fanatic determined to see the absolute worst in your opponents while expecting the rest of us, not to mention this blog's proprietor, to accommodate you.
     
    Please give actual examples of me lying.

    Besides, look at the stuff that Mariano is constantly posting here. It's constant attacks on both individual atheists and atheism in general.

    Gee, tell me. How could I disagree with you people without seeming like an "angry fanatic"?

    I'm not the one who makes blog post after blog post, and indeed, blog after blog going after his ideological opponents.

    I just comment once in a while. Think about that.

    You also strike me as the kind of person for whom no rational argumentation would do any good at all.
     
    Right...sure. Evidence to back that up? When I post here, I give links and examples of what I'm talking about, and in several of my older posts, I give examples of, and the names of the various fallacies that Mariano commits.

    Still, however, at least you gave me a few interesting links in your latest comment, so let's address those.
     
    Gee, thanks for the compliment.

    Derpaderp quoting from one of the links I quoted:

    Now, this is not a call for all good atheists to head to church. But it is an observation: there is no atheist equivalent to a church. Most atheist groups I’ve dealt with function as support groups or drinking circles. There is nothing that acts as a clearinghouse of social and charitable activities the way a church does.


    Okay then, great, great. Call Mariano, Dei-O, and, for that matter, me, when you folks actually A: get one of those "lyceums" or whatever up, and B: it manages to be as successful as its religious competitors, since, as Mariano implied and Dei-O stated, Christan (and other religious) aid groups have been doing very well in that regard for a very long time. Just saying "Oh, we haven't had a chance yet! We haven't been around for so long! We're oppressed! :'(" is not convincing.
     
    Did you bother to understand what you just quoted? "Oppression" and "not being around a long time" has nothing to do with what the guy was talking about. It's just that we lack the social structure that churches, mosques, temples, etc provide. Atheists don't congregate as much as theists do, so we're less organized.

    It's nothing to do with morals or caring, but organization.

    I'll say this: You christians sure love to pat yourselves on the back, don't you? Didn't you read MATT. 6:2-4: yet, even after I pointed it out to you?

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  30. derpaderp quoting me:

    Mariano, on the other hand seems to pretend that we do nothing, since whenever he talks about atheist charities, he only refers to the bus and billboard ads.


    One could levy the same argument at you and yours. A great hue and cry has been raised over the immense--immense, I say--waste of resources involved in sending Bibles over to Haiti
     
    Where did I say, or imply that it as "immense" please?

    Or are you exaggerating (ie. lying)?

    (i.e proseltyzing), yet you grow indignant that Mariano focuses on criticizing bus ads and billboards while ignoring all the other "atheist charities" out there.

    Yet aren't you ignoring the actual good work Christians are doing in Haiti?
     
    No, because I just assumed that you all would have read the article and would realize that bible-giving is not the only thing that they're doing.

    I've now officially acknowledged it, if you actually needed proof.

    On the other hand, Mariano, even after being told several times, here and on "Debunking Atheists" keeps on repeating his "mistake". He keeps implying that those bus ads et al are the only atheist "charities" out there.

    Me, I'm just criticizing the useless aspect of their charity; giving away bibles. Bibles don't do a thing to help those people. It also seems to imply that there are strings attached, however loosely, to christian charity.

    At least that's something atheist/secular charities don't have. We don't pass out atheist literature, we just do the job.

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  31. I forgot to mention: it's my previous post where I deal with my "dishonesty" (about "ignoring" the good work that xians do in Haiti).

    I also forgot to ask: Where in all of this mutual xian back-slapping is the actual evidence for your god's existence? Even if you "prove" that christians are more generous then non-christians (we don't know about those of other faiths), that still does not constitute evidence for your god.

    (It may be evidence that you people believe in your god, but that'd be about it).


    Now, as for all the links and articles, I'll just let the readers comb through them all and decide for themselves.

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  32. Statistically believers are found to be healthier, happier and live longer. They also give much more to charity, both of time and money, than non-believers do. At a meeting of atheist scientists two years ago, one speaker conceded that belief in God seems to motivate people to help others.

    He referred to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when churches all over the United States sent people, money and supplies to help meet the need. He reflected that as far as he knew no atheist group had responded at all.

    - From a NZ Herald opinion column.

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  33. All the man had to do was look. For instance:

    here, here, here. (do a search for "Katrina" on that page, and you'll find:

    Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (S.H.A.R.E.) provides general humanitarian aid, food assistance, and medical relief to disaster and accident victims. They have provided aid to Sri Lankan tsunami victims, hurricane Katrina survivors, families displaced by California wildfires and Tennessee tornadoes, and many others.



    Just because we're not as well organized as you people does not mean that we care less.

    By the way, I've asked this kind of question here before: How does the actions of the believers of your gods through charity and other works, verify the existence of the gods themselves?

    At most it shows that some people believe in those gods.

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