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Non-Believers Giving Aid: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:14 PM
Original message
Non-Believers Giving Aid: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

Spurred by the horrific suffering in Haiti, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) has set up a dedicated bank account and PayPal facility to collect donations to non-religious relief organizations. This new account is in the new name of Non-Believers Giving Aid, with all of the money donated being distributed to disaster relief.

Clearly the immediate need is for the suffering people of Haiti, and all the money raised by this current appeal will go to that cause, but the new account will remain available for future emergencies too. There are, of course, many ways for you to donate to relief organizations already, but doing it through Non-Believers Giving Aid offers some advantages:

1. 100% of your donation will be go to these charities: not even the PayPal fees will be deducted from your donation, since Richard will personally donate a sum to cover the cost of these (capped at $10,000). This means that more of your money will reach the people in need.

2. When donating via Non-Believers Giving Aid, you are helping to counter the scandalous myth that only the religious care about their fellow-humans.

(SNIP)

Preachers and televangelists, mullahs and imams, often seem almost to gloat over natural disasters presenting them as payback for human transgressions, or for making a pact with the devil. Earthquakes and tsunamis are caused not by sin but by tectonic plate movements, and tectonic plates, like everything else in the physical world, are supremely indifferent to human affairs and sadly indifferent to human suffering. Those of us who understand this reality are sometimes accused of being indifferent to that suffering ourselves. Of course the very opposite is the truth: we 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 myth that it is only the religious who truly care is sustained largely by the fact that they tend to donate not as individuals, but through their churches. Non-believers, by contrast, give as individuals: we have no church through which to give collectively, no church to rack up statistics of competitive generosity. Non-Believers Giving Aid is not a church (thats 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.

You can donate at link: http://givingaid.richarddawkins.net /
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R! Thaks for the link. I will give a little more through it.
More proof that you don't have to believe in an afterlife to go good in this one.
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perro azul Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Which is more honorable, to help someone for a "heavenly reward", or just because
it's the right thing to do? This is an example of how the "golden rule" is superior to any religion that ties good deeds to potential future rewards...it's not a quid pro quo, it's just a quid.
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GMA Donating Member (467 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Do you think they're mutually exclusive?
Service given out of unconditional love and concern for others, service that springs from the heart, lifts everyone involved, and requires no recognition. If one believes that the desires of one's heart are to be accounted for after this life, and aspiring to have a good, honest heart, full of integrity, seems to me to be worth aspiring for. If one serves just for the accolades, well, as the saying goes, "he has his reward
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perro azul Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think that altruism is very very rare and most certainly is NOT involved in any actions
that are taken with a thought of post-life rewards. But then, I'm an atheist so that part, for me, goes without saying, normally. I'm not even sure altruism exists at all since doing good deeds for their own sake gives the donor some self-satisfaction which is an intrinsic reward.
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GMA Donating Member (467 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. And round and round and round it goes! lol!
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 03:04 PM by GMA
It could be that goodness just inherently breeds more goodness. But what makes something inherently good, if there is no afterlife and/or no accountability?

I disagree about true altruism. I see it day in and day out. Maybe you're hanging with the wrong crowd. Smile.

I'll stick with my deep optimism about the reasons for life, and why it will continue after this mortal existence.
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perro azul Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Well, I would love to have your kind of optimism but I'm an old phart who never saw
any evidence of intrinsic and unrequited goodness...or of any supernatural entities and so I'm stuck with whatever remains. I will promise to not come back and haunt you, though.
:D
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GMA Donating Member (467 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. deal!
lol.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
30. Altruism is it's own answer...
My wife and I engage in altruistic acts, for both humans and animals, because it makes us feel good to do so. If feeling good is considered a reward, then our altruism is selfish. It just depends on whether that good feeling we get is a reward. Sometimes our acts of altruism are based on our own perception of good: We consider supporting Sea Shepherd an act of altruism, regardless of whether others perceiving it as supporting vandalism, piracy, or even terrorism.

There's another, genetic "fitness" explanation for altruism: For most of human history, those closest to us have been relatives or clan members, and an unquestioned act of "altruism" is in the interest of the group, and therefore the interest of the individual (evolutionary biologists often engage in a similar debate at this point, regarding group versus individual selection, which is as argument about the mathematical degree of relatedness). In a closely related clan, almost every act of altruism has some genetic benefit to the actor. Industrialization and urbanization have changed the degree of relatedness of those people an individual is typically surrounded by, but the genetically-derived behavior still has us acting on the assumption that altruism has a genetic benefit. Genes haven't tracked environment.

That is a very oversimplified explanation of a biological basis for altruism that can take entire chapters or books to describe.

I prefer to believe that altruism, and feeling good about altruism, are part of creating karma--we shape the world we live in. If I find a wallet and return it, I help to create a world in which my lost wallet will be returned to me. If I return a wallet but my own wallet isn't returned, at least I can say that I did my part in creating a better world.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. this crisis is about character. we have to help them and our character
directs us to do right. this isn't about religion or atheism. its about being a human being. you and me both, GMA. I see goodness without the possibility of reward or even acknowledgement every day.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Welcome to DU. I believe small deeds, such as a kind smile, can be altruistic.
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perro azul Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks...I try to give some of those out, and I pet puppies and kitties.
But that makes me feel good too so I can't help thinking there's a little payback there... :-)
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
21. Just realized is says
"go good" instead of "do good" in my post. Seems I am atheistic about a God of Typing as well as all others. ;)

And yes, the fact that many do-gooders do their good b/c they think they are banking bonus points for themselves really undermines the whole idea.

Welcome to DU!
:hi:

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Hey, beac, there's a "preview" button that will show you your intended post so you can
check it out before "is" goes out all screwn up--grammataphorically speaking, of course.



:hide:
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Wind Dancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
Thanks for sharing this info!
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GMA Donating Member (467 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Understand the idea here--but as a "believer" who asserts that people like Pat Robertson
doesn't speak for me--or anyone I know--I don't care to whom money is given, as long as it aids the people of Haiti.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes, non-belief does NOT negate goodness or morality.
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suede1 Donating Member (770 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
14.  K & R.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
15. K & R. nt
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veness Donating Member (251 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
16. Thanks for this. We donated & sent link to friends. n/t
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
17. Pharyngula gives us the scoop:
"The Non-Believers Giving Aid project has been a phenomenal success; it raised over $150,000 in contributions for Haiti within 24 hours, and at the last tally I heard was somewhere over $180,000, with an average donation of roughly $35 per godless donor."

Fuck YEAH!
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
18. Very cool.
Glad they are doing this.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
19. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Joey Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
20. Great Post! nt
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
22. K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R K&R
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
23. KnR
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
25. This is very good news, Tekisui, so thanks for posting. I was donating through Doctors
without Borders, but I'll definitely be contributing to N-BGA.

I have never understood the concept that people only do good when they expect something in return--whether it is eternal life, Jesus' love, or a monetary reward.

My experience has shown me that people do things for others that I categorize as altruistic apparently because they think it's the right thing to do.

If you see someone drop a grocery bag in front of you and you help that person pick up the spilled goods isn't it more about an empathetic response to someone else's need or misfortune?

Very few humans seem to have zero empathy or compassion. Even assholes sometimes do good things for others. :)

Too late to rec, so here's a kick.
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usregimechange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
26. kick
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
27. To late to rec, but I can kick!!!!
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
28. It would have been nice without his own proselytizing--but good on 'em anyway.
:thumbsup:
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nicky187 Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
29. I've been reading a lot of Dawkins' work lately, and ...
... it's nice to see that he's a first rate person, as well as a first rate scientist.
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BennyD Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
31. religious vs. non-religious giving to charitable organizations
"...The myth that it is only the religious who truly care is sustained largely by the fact that they tend to donate not as individuals, but through their churches..."

Wrong. They (the religious) do give as individuals. The data for studies which show higher levels of charitable giving comes from government records called "income tax filings." Yes, many give through their faith-based connection (i.e. Church or synagogue) but this too is filed with their income tax. The data to support the statistics is in the databases at the internal revenue.

It's no secret that those who believe in God do in fact give more of their income to charity than any other groups. Notice I said, "give more," and not "non-religious give nothing." Obviously, many people of no religious affiliation give also.

just my 2-cents.

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. It's no secret that those who believe in God do in fact give more of their income to charity
'It's no secret that those who believe in God do in fact give more of their income to charity than any other groups.'

Do you have a link for that assertion?
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BennyD Donating Member (207 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. Here ya go...
"PR Log (Press Release) Sep 08, 2008 Americans are very generous, and it turns out that religious Americans are even more generous than their non-religious secular counterparts according to a study by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research."

From the Roper Center Website: "The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is one of the world's leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion. The data held by the Roper Center range from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Most of the data are from the United States, but over 50 nations are represented."

Here's the Link

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