Skip to main content

Doing good without god

I recently found a forum called the Happy Atheist Forum.  From what I've seen so far, it seems to be a fairly pleasant group of people discussing all sorts of topics, including religion, atheism, philosophy, politics, etc.  One of the threads mentioned charitable organizations founded and run by atheists.  This piqued my interest, since I am a very compassionate person and enjoy helping people who are in need.  So, I'd like to share some information about these types of organizations and to do some advertising for them.

Atheists Helping the Homeless is an organization in Austin, Texas.  They have been running for about two years now.  They have events they call "giveaways" (no, it's not a sweepstakes).  They give food, clothing, toiletries, and other essential items to homeless people.  It's a relatively new organization, but they've helped over 1,500 people so far and more chapters are forming outside of Austin.  This is an organization that I could feel comfortable contributing to.  If I lived in Austin, I would certainly donate my time in any way that it was needed.  Since I do not, I will definitely consider donating money instead.  I don't know if I'll try to start my own chapter all the way up here, but if I find a similar organization here in Knoxville, I'll be happy to help out.

Foundation Beyond Belief is a secular humanist organization that collects money from its members and then forwarding that on to other charitable organizations.  They have a team of people who research different organizations and try to pick the best ones based on efficiency and other factors.  Each quarter they pick one charity from each of 10 categories: (health, poverty, environment, education, human rights, peace, animal protection, child welfare, other worldviews, and the Foundation itself) and donate money to those charities based on the preferences indicated by each individual member (when you donate money, you pick how you want it distributed among those ten categories).

The Fred Hollows Foundation works to end avoidable blindness and to improve health.  Many developing countries have high rates of blindness due to malnutrition and other factors.  Helping prevent this blindness is one step in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Freethoughtpedia has a list of charities and non-profit organizations established to effect social reform.

Kiva is a non-profit organization that lends money to people in developing countries in the effort to help those countries develop faster.  People lend money to Kiva and then Kiva distributes it out to its beneficiaries.  The money is repaid, and so this is not technically a charity, since lenders can expect to get their money back in time.  However, it is a way to help other people who otherwise might not ever have the opportunity to break out of their poverty.  There is a team on Kiva specifically for atheists who wish to lend.  So far, each of the 18,000 members has made an average of 10 loans and the the team has lent a total of $5.7 million.  This actually places it as the highest-ranking team on all of Kiva, the second being Kiva Christians at $3.2 million.    I'm not the most financially-blessed person ever, so this might be a good option for me since I can get back the money that I loan.

At any rate, there are plenty of organizations that are out there for skeptics, such as myself, to make the point that we do have morals, we do care about other people, and we want to contribute to making this world a better place for all of us.  We can do good without having a god that we worship.  We can be ethical.  We can be moral.  And we can be charitable.

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…


Like many of my posts, this one has been floating around in my mind for a couple months.  I know many people avoid the gym because it is intimidating, so I'd like to share my thoughts about this phenomenon.  First of all, obviously going to the gym isn't the only intimidating thing in life, and many of these thoughts are things that easily translate to any other of these intimidating things.

So I'd like to share some of my personal experiences with gyms.  The first time I recall ever going into a weight room to use it was my first year of college.  I had PE classes all through K-12, but I don't remember ever using the weight room--just group sports, etc.  I recall being intimidated by all the machines.  Some of them I could figure out on my own, but many of them I just stared at and couldn't possibly conceive how it was meant to be used.  Fortunately, I occasionally went with friends and one friend was very familiar with all the equipment so he could help.  So, kn…