Atheist Volunteers coming soon, will you help break the stereotype?

Sapient
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Atheist Volunteers coming soon, will you help break the stereotype?

I'm proud to announce (early) that the Rational Response Squad will be heading up a project to help break an incorrect stereotype that atheists aren't charitable or giving. We constantly hear the ridiculous claim that not only are atheists less charitable but they're less moral, even though we have scientific stats on our side to prove quite the contrary. Since theists don't want to embrace the science, maybe they'll get the message clearer if they can actually see us at work, doing good as atheists, not just as people (which has been our preferred method of charity in the past). Our own "Tomcat" will work as Manager of the entire project. This'll be his baby, and he'll be the main man to address concerns, and our face in the media when the time comes. A big kudos and thanks to Tomcat for his strong interest and dedication to this project.

As a result of our success (thanks so much to all the donors) we have secured:
www.atheistvolunteers.org for 10 years and www.atheistvolunteers.com for 5 years

This is a longterm project for us, look forward to us to break the mold, and engage in a variety of charitable causes. And we'll want your involvement! The various chapters of the Rational Response Squad that have been popping up (more details on how to start one soon) will be getting involved in these projects. If you're a fan of this idea or have ideas to help show the world how giving and caring we really are, please strike up conversation in this thread.

Here are some things we're thinking about:

  • We have shirts for our activities in public like "Atheist Volunteer" and "I do good things, and I don't believe in a God" AV STORE IS UP: http://www.cafepress.com/respondrational/2535158
  • Donation drives to assist in helping victims of natural disasters (a theist must believe these atrocities are committed by a God).
  • Engaging in environmental cleanups
  • Hands on assistance for natural disasters.
  • Clothing drives and toy drives for the needy
  • Assistance at homeless shelters
  • As we grow in size and find the right people, we want to go to impoverished nations to assist (hands on).
  • All of our charity work will be tracked, records kept, pictures taken and available permanently for viewing.

Good ideas that have come from this thread:

What ideas do you have?

- Brian Sapient


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Brian37
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Sapient wrote: I'm proud to

Sapient wrote:
I'm proud to announce (early) that the Rational Response Squad will be heading up a project to help break an incorrect stereotype that atheists aren't charitable or giving. We constantly hear the ridiculous claim that not only are atheists less charitable but they're less moral, even though we have scientific stats on our side to prove quite the contrary. Since theists don't want to embrace the science, maybe they'll get the message clearer if they can actually see us at work, doing good as atheists, not just as people (which has been our preferred method of charity in the past). Our own "Tomcat" will work as Manager of the entire project. This'll be his baby, and he'll be the main man to address concerns, and our face in the media when the time comes. A big kudos and thanks to Tomcat for his strong interest and dedication to this project. As a result of our success (thanks so much to all the donors) we have secured: www.atheistvolunteers.org for 10 years and www.atheistvolunteers.com for 5 years This is a longterm project for us, look forward to us to break the mold, and engage in a variety of charitable causes. And we'll want your involvement! The various chapters of the Rational Response Squad that have been popping up (more details on how to start one soon) will be getting involved in these projects. If you're a fan of this idea or have ideas to help show the world how giving and caring we really are, please strike up conversation in this thread. Here are some things we're thinking about:
  • We'll have shirts for our activities in public like "Atheist Volunteer" and "I do good things, and I don't believe in a God"
  • Donation drives to assist in helping victims of natural disasters (a theist must believe these atrocities are committed by a God).
  • Engaging in environmental cleanups
  • Hands on assistance for natural disasters.
  • Clothing drives and toy drives for the needy
  • Assistance at homeless shelters
  • As we grow in size and find the right people, we want to go to impoverished nations to assist (hands on).
  • Helping orgs like Habitat for Humanity
  • All of our charity work will be tracked, records kept, pictures taken and available permanently for viewing.

What ideas do you have?

It would also be good to spread this idea as a unifying concept to all the established big websites as well.

Pooling money as a charity from all these groups such as Infidel Guy, American Atheists, Atheists United, FSGP, Inernet Infidels, Freedom from Religion Foundation, MAAF, and whomever else wants to pool a charitble effort under these sites you have created.

 I think making a pool collection from all these sites could go to pay for collection efforts or pay to send atheists to places that need physicall help and relief, like Katrina resque.

But untill it is well funded we may have to consider sending people on behalf of atheists to established charities.

If people also in their private lives donate, do so wearing an atheist hat or shirt. I donate to Meals on Wheels. If people donate blood at the Red Cross, they could do so there too.

I think this is a great idea and way past time to show our charitable side. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If it's one thing that

If it's one thing that atheists have an abundance of, it's books we've already read, I know I do... So I'd say one of the first things we should do is a book drive, collecting used books and donating them to small libraries.  Especially high school and public libraries, the ones that are always grossly underfunded and in need of books and supplies.

Our main focus should be poverty and education.  These are the two main contributing factors to religious unreason.  If you look at the numbers, really deep religious faith is most prevalent in communities with poverty and education problems. 

Maybe a project here and there for military benefit, donating frequent flyer miles to send soldiers home to visit family on leave. (that's a big problem, alot of us don't have the money to buy plane tickets and when we finally do get leave, we can't do anything with it but sit on base.)  I mention this because of the high number of outspoken atheists that are against the war, we need to make it clear it's the war we don't support, not the troops. 

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Brian37 wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Pooling money as a charity from all these groups such as Infidel Guy, American Atheists, Atheists United, FSGP, Inernet Infidels, Freedom from Religion Foundation, MAAF, and whomever else wants to pool a charitble effort under these sites you have created.

This is the main reason we created a new web address for the program which will have a new site as well. We want those orgs to be able to participate even if they don't agree with other stances that the Rational Response Squad takes. I don't expect a high level of involvement from any of those orgs on this, but we welcome it and would love to have them work alongside of us on it.

 

Quote:
I think making a pool collection from all these sites could go to pay for collection efforts or pay to send atheists to places that need physicall help and relief, like Katrina resque.

We're those organizations to want to do efforts in their own name, we'd be happy to log the results on our site to be displayed in a centralized location.

Quote:
But untill it is well funded we may have to consider sending people on behalf of atheists to established charities.

Agreed. For example clothing drives in the early going may require the giver to pass through a Christian based org for giving, however people can still log what was donated and maybe take some pictures, to be stored at our site as a testament to what ATHEISTS have given. Giving to a Christian charity shows us as even more charitable, as it shows just how important we think it is to give, even if we disagree with the core beliefs of those handling our donations.

Quote:
If people also in their private lives donate, do so wearing an atheist hat or shirt. I donate to Meals on Wheels. If people donate blood at the Red Cross, they could do so there too.

When we get the shirts made, I'd love to see people giving blood with an atheist shirt on, displayed on the site. Smiling

- Brian Sapient


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You've gotten all my idea's.

You've gotten all my idea's.


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KoRnYAtheist wrote: You've

KoRnYAtheist wrote:
You've gotten all my idea's.

Why did you post that picture? Exactly what are you trying to say by posting that?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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i don't know what to do

i don't know what to do about this....

 


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I have spent quite a lot of

I have spent quite a lot of time in hospitals due to a chronic illness.  One of the things hospitals are known for is excessive waste of supplies.  For example - a nurse brings too much of item xyz in a patients room and those unused items are then disposed of rather than re-stocked. 

 I've heard of few groups that gather these supplies and send them to developing countries.  They are known as 'recover' programs that salvage this waste.  Personally, I've collected quite a few items during my hospital stays and didn't throw most of them away thinking I could do something like this.

 Just incase you're wondering, I'm talking about supplies like IV lines, packets of iodine, gauze, gloves, splints, urinals... (all unopened of course) and slightly used medical equipment (like canes).

Another way people get excess supplies, for example, is from home health.  Right now I take IV antibiotics.  When my course of treatment ends I will have several IV lines, alcohol swaps, etc. still in sealed packages that my insurance company has paid for but can not be returned. 

This is a larger project than just one person can do (contacting hospitals asking for unused waste items, asking discharged patients for products they do not intend to use, fundraising for shipping) but it is something I have personally been interested in and an idea I wanted to toss out there.

- shel 


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Sapient wrote:  For

Sapient wrote:

 For example clothing drives in the early going may require the giver to pass through a Christian based org for giving, however people can still log what was donated and maybe take some pictures, to be stored at our site as a testament to what ATHEISTS have given.

i think this is a really bad idea. folly.

Quote:
Giving to a Christian charity shows us as even more charitable, as it shows just how important we think it is to give, even if we disagree with the core beliefs of those handling our donations.

shows to whom?  i'm highly skeptical that the few people that recieve the message will a) care, and b) outweigh the damage done by financially strengthening christian organizations.  they will be taking the credit, after all... 

i feel really strongly that we should leave the charity to the individual.  i still want to listen to the show and help the RRS, but i don't want any of my money going to charity, no matter how little.

maybe you could just compile a list of non-faith-based charitable organizations and advocate donating to them.

whatever you decide to do,  i want to be on record as saying that any contributing financially to any faith-based organization by the RRS is highly counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous, and in general just a really bad idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear is the mindkiller.


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Quote: whatever you


Quote:
whatever you decide to do, i want to be on record as saying that any contributing financially to any faith-based organization by the RRS is highly counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous, and in general just a really bad idea.

i agree.  the christian based organization my home health nurse suggested i donate my supples too required the recipients "accept jesus christ as their lord and savior."   so, if you're in a third world country you can get free medical treatment as long as you convert?  great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sapient
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  Brian37

 

Brian37 wrote:

KoRnYAtheist wrote:
You've gotten all my idea's.

Why did you post that picture? Exactly what are you trying to say by posting that?

It's in his signature.  It's cool bri. 

- Brian Sapient


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shelleymtjoy wrote:

shelleymtjoy wrote:

Quote:
whatever you decide to do, i want to be on record as saying that any contributing financially to any faith-based organization by the RRS is highly counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous, and in general just a really bad idea.

i agree. the christian based organization my home health nurse suggested i donate my supples too required the recipients "accept jesus christ as their lord and savior." so, if you're in a third world country you can get free medical treatment as long as you convert? great.

Thats all well and good, but I'm not seeing a better option from either of you. So tell me, what do I do witht he bags of clothes, shoes, jackes, toys...etc? Throw them away?

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
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To be honest I haven't done

To be honest I haven't done a lot in the way of volunteering, but that’s mainly from the fact the only times I saw anything about such things it was around the holidays and has too much of a religious feel. I really don't like to idea of doing something with an org that wants to promote religious values. Plus it isn't like I have to money stacked up or people close by in need.

I remember in the boy scouts we picked up trash at the school. The whole time doing it I was thinking why did we need to get together to clean a place we all go to anyway? And why are we doing something here, where are the people who need help? It wasn't like we went to a crapy school or anything, it was a very nice school. The only real reason was for some piece of shit badge...

Maybe if those people stopped making such a big deal out of things like that or get people who don't remind me of scary old church ladies I wouldn't be so turned off at all these "good works."

I know serval people who suggested I do things not to help people out but to put on shit for colleges. WTF are these people telling me all the shit people are doing is just to look good?!? fuck that...

A good listing of things that might help the people who need it would probably make me want to do something more then the empty giving for a badge or resume I have seen in the past.


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Angelic_Atheist

Angelic_Atheist wrote:

Thats all well and good, but I'm not seeing a better option from either of you. So tell me, what do I do witht he bags of clothes, shoes, jackes, toys...etc? Throw them away?

What I'm saying is if you want to do something that goes through a religious organization take the time to look into that organization...  Is this an organization that requires receivers of their services to be of a particular religion?  Do they use some of their money to help the homeless and the rest to convert people?

 I would just be cautious when giving to a charity alligned with a religion because it could be counterproductive.  You can find secular organizations out there if you look for them. 


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Angelic_Atheist

Angelic_Atheist wrote:

Thats all well and good, but I'm not seeing a better option from either of you.

i posted an alternative. read closer.

Quote:
 

So tell me, what do I do witht he bags of clothes, shoes, jackes, toys...etc? Throw them away?

 burn 'em.

Fear is the mindkiller.


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DrFear wrote: Sapient

DrFear wrote:
Sapient wrote:

For example clothing drives in the early going may require the giver to pass through a Christian based org for giving, however people can still log what was donated and maybe take some pictures, to be stored at our site as a testament to what ATHEISTS have given.

i think this is a really bad idea. folly.

I'm referring to organizations like Salvation Army and Purple Heart. I'm under the impression they have Christian leadership and furthermore there are tons of atheists who donate bags of clothes to these two orgs every year. I'm not asking new people to start donating clothes to Christian orgs, although I suppose that may happen, I'm looking for atheists to catalog the goods they give to these orgs, so someone somewhere can know that these donations were made by atheists. Both orgs (I believe) offer tax deductions, and neither prosylitizes or doles the clothing out specifically to the faithful. As Christian orgs go, giving clothes to Salvation Army or Purple Heart is more harmless than many other orgs that can be the receipient of our good will.

 

Quote:
Quote:
Giving to a Christian charity shows us as even more charitable, as it shows just how important we think it is to give, even if we disagree with the core beliefs of those handling our donations.

shows to whom? i'm highly skeptical that the few people that recieve the message will a) care, and b) outweigh the damage done by financially strengthening christian organizations. they will be taking the credit, after all...

I'm not a proponent of financially renumerating any Christian org, especially any org that discriminates based on religious belief or those that have an agenda to push their belief. We are not looking to send money to Christian orgs, spare clothes is something else altogether, and as angelic atheist points out, she's already making those donations. What's the harm in her taking pictures of her donations and a scan of her receipt from the org for display on our site in a catalog of donors. Later when a theist engages an atheist in the ridiculous argument that atheists aren't moral or generous, one need only link to our site for an extensive archive of our goodwill.

 

Quote:
i feel really strongly that we should leave the charity to the individual. i still want to listen to the show and help the RRS, but i don't want any of my money going to charity, no matter how little.

You don't want any money going to charity or any going to religious charity? As I said we don't have intentions of giving money to religious based groups... I mean c'mon... this is me you're talking to. Now as for charity, it's awfully hard to seperate any charity work that comes as a result of my efforts from the squad personally. For all intents and purposes, I am the Squad, and I'm also going to help head a project up that will show that atheists are just as giving as theists. When we get the volunteer site set up we'll have fundraising efforts specifically for those projects however you can be sure that if a project needs more money for completion and it's one that I support, I will stake my personal money on the venture (which obviously some RRS money is mixed in). If I lose subscribers or listeners because I would like to rid the world of an irrational prejudicial stereotype, I don't care.

 

Quote:
maybe you could just compile a list of non-faith-based charitable organizations and advocate donating to them.

How bout you find me the list. I can't find a single one. Not one that I have assurances that leadership isn't theistic, at least. There are orgs that don't discuss religion (I would've put Purple Heart in that category, and I previously labeled them as "Christian based&quotEye-wink, however I have no assurance that they aren't run by Christians. Where do you draw your line to donate?

Here is the complete list that I have of atheistic volunteer non-faith based charitable organizations as I see it today:

www.atheistvolunteers.org

 

Quote:
whatever you decide to do, i want to be on record as saying that any contributing financially to any faith-based organization by the RRS is highly counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous, and in general just a really bad idea.

Ok, you're on the record. Keep in mind I was defining "Christian based" org that could be the receipient of our help, as an org that appears to be non-faith based however has Christian leadership. Obviously projects like missionaries holding Jesus over the head of the needy is not only something I would never support, but it's something I'm hoping to end.

- Brian Sapient


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shelleymtjoy wrote: What

shelleymtjoy wrote:

What I'm saying is if you want to do something that goes through a religious organization take the time to look into that organization... Is this an organization that requires receivers of their services to be of a particular religion? Do they use some of their money to help the homeless and the rest to convert people?

I would just be cautious when giving to a charity alligned with a religion because it could be counterproductive. You can find secular organizations out there if you look for them.

 

Either we're not doing a good enough job converying our message or you're not listening to our show and reading enough of our views.  How you and Fear could ever think that we'd allow our money to go to a prosylitizing org is completely beyond me.  

- Brian Sapient


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DrFear wrote: Quote: So

DrFear wrote:

Quote:

So tell me, what do I do witht he bags of clothes, shoes, jackes, toys...etc? Throw them away?

burn 'em.

 ugh

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Sapient wrote:

Sapient wrote:
DrFear wrote:

burn 'em.

ugh

Thanks Sapient.

To help spread the word that atheists are charitable, I usually slip in a card indicating that the donation was from an atheist.

 

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


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I am receiving word now

I am receiving word now that the Salvation Army does in fact have people "sit through their services and accept their message in order to get charity."  I've asked for a link because I'm too busy to look myself, but if this is in fact true, you can put them on my shitlist.  As I said before this project is in early planning, organizations that are the beneficiary of our efforts will be researched as thoroughly as possible.  Maybe people like Dr. Fear will help with that.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient wrote: Either

Sapient wrote:

Either we're not doing a good enough job converying our message or you're not listening to our show and reading enough of our views. How you and Fear could ever think that we'd allow our money to go to a prosylitizing org is completely beyond me.

Woah. Sapient that's not what I'm saying at all... the aspect of donating through religious organizations was brought up and I was simply pointing out that one should take the time to find out where their donations go before they pick a charity... I mean come on - the same goes for a charity that might spend 90 cents of every dollar on fancy dinners for admin instead of helping people.  

 Your saying people should take pictures and/or catalog their donations.  Great.  I'm saying yeah... but just like the other guy said this could be counterproductive so "hey, not just sapient but all you people out there look into these organizations before you drop off your stuff because some christian organizations have 'spreading the faith' as their goal in addition to charity."


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There are charitable

There are charitable organizations that are not religious based. I have been involved with animal rescue organizations, domestic violence centers for women, crisis intervention hotlines, and I have donated time as an advisor and mentor for the child abuse center. I have taken my children to nursing homes many times just to visit the people who never have visitors. . I have gotten names from The Salvation Army of needy families and delivered my donations to them in person. I have been an atheist for many years and have always had a problem dealing with the churches when I had a need to “do the right thing”


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Sapient wrote: A big

Sapient wrote:
A big kudos and thanks to Tomcat for his strong interest and dedication to this project.

 

Thanks Brian.  You were the one that inspired me to make such a dedication of my time and efforts.  I truly believe that one of the strongest obstacles in our way is the grotesque misconception that being an atheist is equivalent to being without morals.  I myself used to subscribe to this delusion at a point in my life, and I believe if I had even merely been presented with evidence to the contrary, I would have become an atheist a LOT sooner.

 

If you live in central Virginia, please send me a PM if you are interested in this idea!

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


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and while we are helping we

and while we are helping we should point out that it "religion" that causes the mess that we have to clean.

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Awesome!

I can't wait to help out with this.  Please keep us posted on how its coming along.  I hope that there are a lot of opportunities in the greater Philadelphia area!


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Sapient wrote: Donation

Sapient wrote:
Donation drives to assist in helping victims of natural disasters (a theist must believe these atrocities are committed by a God).

I read that and a slogan hit me. "Cleaning up gods mess, since he won't....or can't"

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Sapient wrote: I'm

Sapient wrote:

I'm referring to organizations like Salvation Army and Purple Heart. I'm under the impression they have Christian leadership and furthermore there are tons of atheists who donate bags of clothes to these two orgs every year.

Purple Heart, ok, that's by soldiers for soldiers, i wasn't aware of them. Salvation Army, though? what kind of salvation do you think they're referring to? just go to www.salvationarmy.org and read their "About Us" page.

 

Quote:
We are not looking to send money to Christian orgs, spare clothes is something else altogether, and as angelic atheist points out, she's already making those donations.

fair enough.

 

Quote:
You don't want any money going to charity or any going to religious charity?

no charity whatsoever. i was going to go into a long seminar about why it's a waste of time and resources, but you all seem pretty wrapped up in this whole help-your-fellow-man thing (which is one of the main reasons i personally hate theists).

so, i guess that's that. it's been fun here, and i've learned an astronomical amount about science and religion (and rekindled my hatred of philosophers). let me know if you ever want to get into hurting your fellow man.

later.

 

 

Fear is the mindkiller.


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DrFear wrote:

DrFear wrote:

Quote:
You don't want any money going to charity or any going to religious charity?

no charity whatsoever. i was going to go into a long seminar about why it's a waste of time and resources, but you all seem pretty wrapped up in this whole help-your-fellow-man thing (which is one of the main reasons i personally hate theists).

so, i guess that's that. it's been fun here, and i've learned an astronomical amount about science and religion (and rekindled my hatred of philosophers). let me know if you ever want to get into hurting your fellow man.

later.

 

Let's get one thing straight: just because you're an atheist, doesn't mean you are rational. And DrFear, you seem to have an irrational stance on altruism. This does show that yes, there are atheists out there who do not aspire to higher moral standards. Levayan Satanists, for instance, are atheists, but they are against any sort of altruism.

At first I felt angry when I read this DrFear, but it quickly turned into sorrow. I truly feel sorry for you, as it seems you unable to have empathy for your fellow man. There are those out there who do not find comfort in aiding others, or in others in general. Fear can have a lot to do with it actually.

I'll end with this: I acknowledge the fact that there are people out there that do not have the capacity for empathy, but they are by far not what humanity is about, and neither are the organizers of this site. We are of a different breed.  I wish you the best DrFear. We will continue on without you, though, to bring atheism out of hiding. I wish you could do it with us.

 

Quote:
let me know if you ever want to get into hurting your fellow man.

 This statement makes me most sad of all.  No, I'm not angry, just sad.  One of the most fascinating things I learned in my psychology classes was about people in the world who lack empathy for other humans.  Many criminals, some of the worst in fact, were studied, and this is a common observation.  Of course, the nurture side of it too has a lot to do with criminal behavior.  A violent or unloving childhood can be a strong factor in criminality.

 I sincerely hope you don't hurt anybody, DrFear.  And I hope you would consider seeing a psychiatrist.

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


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Well, I think Sapient

Well, I think Sapient already knows about this, but I'll mention it here for people who need ideas.

 I have two volunteer positions that I hold currently - one is as a peer counselor for domestic violence services (this requires training, and the amount of training depends on which state you're in - in most states, I consider the training requirements to be below what they should be, they are generally fairly easy to meet). I volunteer from 24-48 hours a month for the domestic violence crisis line (a national organization, but handling local calls most of the time). The amount of effort such work entails varies from shift to shift and depending on the state you are in and what part of the state. I'm not sure how you can varify such work with Sapient, though.

In the work with DVS, there is a chance that you will run into some religious themes, in fact, that is almost unavoidable. DVS considers something called "spiritual abuse" to be a form of abuse that people deal with where people either are forced to adhere to religious practises that they don't want to, or where a person's religion is used to facilitate or justify abuse in their home. Obviously, such things are seen very differently from my perspective than the perspectives of the other volunteers in the program I participate in. However, I have found an easy way in approaching this by eliminating the spiritual aspect of my peer counseling and treating such situations as emotional/mental abuse situations (which is more realistic in what is happening in these situations). If the person asks me a question about how to approach something regarding their religion, I generally take it from the stance of them having the right to whatever religious practises they would like as long as others are not harmed in the process or forced into things they don't want. That is usually a good way to address whatever comes up.

 Also, DVS isn't always an entirely secular organization in other ways. My supervisors with DVS, as well as the head of our area are both very religious people. As such, my direct supervisor calls myself and the other volunteers under her, "angels" (and she uses it as an acronym, but I can never remember what it means). I tend to accept this due to not wanting to cause conflict when I have bigger things on my plate as a volunteer. Outside of my direct crisis line hours, I have been working on editing a manual that this branch uses in order to accomodate some better views on domestic violence and how to deal with certain issues more practically. I've also been trying to account for information that was left out of the original manuals so that future volunteers have better information to go on. My edited version will take a while to put together, but will be presented to my supervisors several months from now, and I don't want to create unnecesary tension that can ultimately get in the way of me helping more people.

 My other volunteer position is volunteer, and charitable, but I do it more for my own entertainment. It gives me a weekly "break" from my day-to-day activities. I volunteer at a local museum working directly with the collection, cataloging, archiving, and doing the paper work for artifacts. What I do is something I'm allowed to do partly based on my background. I've taken enough archeology/anthropology and history that it was impressive enough to give me the opportunity to do things that the average person on the street wouldn't be able to just walk into a museum and volunteer for without some background, though, some museums offer training programs to do thesse things. The training is likely going to vary based on museum type and location. I find this work to be extremely fun, most of the time, and I get to learn quite a bit each time I go to do more work there. I'm sure it would be easy to document such a thing as long as you do so in a place where you're not affecting artifacts with a flash camera. Keeping track of things in a museum does mean that you encounter religious content - mostly because we can't erase that from history. Therefore, I've handled religious artifacts, and learned about how they affect the local history. Regardless, the museum itself is not run with a religious theme, most of the time (though they had an extremely old nativity up for christmas), and what I do encounter is stuff I just deal with because it is a part of history

 The other thing I do, although it doesn't necesarily directly fit into this realm, is my activism work, which often entails another form of peer counseling that I do through email - and is usually sexually related. I can't be sure how many hours per week I spend doing it, as this varies, but I do my best to answer all email and tend to people's expressed needs. That being said, although I've recently been 'outed' in my town as a sexual information and rights activist (and also been 'outed' for my job), I still would like to keep my home/volunteer positions and my activism at least somewhat separate in order to keep from losing my volunteer positions.

 Also, I'm not big on making all the stuff I do a big deal. It isn't something I like to put out there for all people to see, as I see it as nobody's business, and not something that should matter much to most people. I hate cameras, and am not sure how public I want to make my volunteer work, even online. I do know that the picture thing ... eh ... I'm not big on cameras, lol. Oh, and I can't take pics of me at dvs anyway, as the location is private and that would be a breach of confidentiality since they are centered at the local shelter which has to remain as mysterious as possible Smiling

 Anyways ... I'm rambling now.

 Oh, yeah, and I used to volunteer at a local homeless shelter - they are usually very amenable to clothing and basic supplies being donated, food donations, and time from people. There's usually someone at the shelter that you can talk to in order to see what things you can do. Just volunteering to do yard work, clean rooms, etc. are often very much appreaciated. You can also often volunteer to prepare meals for people, and just interact with individuals anyway.

Ok, enough rambling, it feels kinda odd talking about this stuff.

Laters! 


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Humanist Humanitarians

Just throwing this out there --

 

If anyone is interested in donating TIME and TALENT, and not necissarily cash (cash is good, too), I am a camp director in southern california, and would be happy to take volunteers or donations.  We are running a capital campaign right now, and there are naming opportunities in camp.

 

Nothing would make me happier than slapping a big 'ATHEIST' next to a name on our donor wall.

 

--Louis Repucci 


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Sapient wrote: I am

Sapient wrote:

I am receiving word now that the Salvation Army does in fact have people "sit through their services and accept their message in order to get charity."

In addition, they make sure to brainwash kids in their orphanages. A friend of our family was raised in one and got a good healthy dose of "God hates gays."

They are a very recent addition to my shitlist.

-Triften


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Tomcat wrote: Let's get

Tomcat wrote:

Let's get one thing straight: just because you're an atheist, doesn't mean you are rational.

yes, let's get it straight. you want to have a pissing contest over who's more rational? how about we examine the colossal and masterful strawman/ad hominem attack you're presenting here. hmm, an entire argument based on logical fallacy. yeahhh, that's super rational. have you met any of the theists around this board? seems like you'd get along well...

Quote:
And DrFear, you seem to have an irrational stance on altruism. This does show that yes, there are atheists out there who do not aspire to higher moral standards.

higher moral standards? sooo...you're on the side of good? and i'm on the side of evil? get off the fucking horse. you see it one way, the way you were "brought up" to see it. i was 'brought up' to see it that way too, but when i got older i evaluated it for myself, and came to my own conclusion. charity, in the context it's being used here, is 'morally' bankrupt.

Quote:
Levayan Satanists, for instance, are atheists, but they are against any sort of altruism.

and so they are all bad people who should be locked up and re-educated? i'm sorry to put words in your mouth, but that is what you're getting at, right? that there's something wrong with them?

Quote:
I truly feel sorry for you, as it seems you unable to have empathy for your fellow man.

fine, waste your pity. seems like a hobby of yours. i am not unable. empathy is a voluntary emotional state, it's a part of your imagination. it's why people get addicted to soap operas, or shell out 10 bucks at the theater to see a romantic comedy. it gets you high. like i said, i am not unable. i am unwilling.

Quote:
There are those out there who do not find comfort in aiding others, or in others in general.

oh, everybody has to find comfort in the same things as me. and anybody who doesn't should go see a psychiatrist, cuz there's somethin' wrong with you.

Quote:
Fear can have a lot to do with it actually.

ah, one of the classic strawmen. "don't feel bad, hon. he only hates you because he's afraid of what he doesn't understand, those who are different, he's ignorant, blah blah blah...."

oh, do tell. what am i afraid of? homeless people? the poor? the handicapped? hah, they're weak! "feeling sorry"? why feel sorry when i can feel good? that is rational. what have i to fear of these things? what possible detriment can they bring to me?

you are the one who is afraid, apparently of me and people like me, as you will go on to illustrate....

Quote:
I'll end with this: I acknowledge the fact that there are people out there that do not have the capacity for empathy, but they are by far not what humanity is about,

so now humanity has an 'about'? you're borrowing from theism again, God's purpose, etc.

Quote:
...and neither are the organizers of this site. We are of a different breed.

jeez, can you say "Holier than thou?" a different breed? you mean...*gasp* a Master Race? like i said, get off the fucking horse.

Quote:
Quote:
let me know if you ever want to get into hurting your fellow man.

This statement makes me most sad of all. No, I'm not angry, just sad. One of the most fascinating things I learned in my psychology classes was about people in the world who lack empathy for other humans.

blast, they taught you all about me. glad i was fascinating, jackass.

hah! you lied! you said you were ending...now i'm sad too. boo hoo.

Quote:
Many criminals, some of the worst in fact, were studied, and this is a common observation.

what's your point, that i'm predestined to be a criminal? is that supposed to be an insult? those same studies say that people fitting those profiles are commonly attracted to police work. so even if you lock up all the criminals, you've still got the cops. even if you lock up all the cops, you've still got the terrorists. even if you kill all the terrorists, you've still got the mountain lions, and when you kill them, there's the hurricanes, and tsunamis, and radical climate changes. where is this leading? i dunno, where was your stupid little psychological analysis leading? oh, right...bull-shit.

bottom line, i'm a human being that sees things differently than you (correctly). sue me.

Quote:
Of course, the nurture side of it too has a lot to do with criminal behavior. A violent or unloving childhood can be a strong factor in criminality.

nope, not gonna catch me with that dusty old thing, either. had a magical childhood, stable, happy home. sunshine and hi-c. next.

Quote:
I sincerely hope you don't hurt anybody, DrFear. And I hope you would consider seeing a psychiatrist.

make me. i'm perfectly content the way i am and with the truth in my observations. but the cold hard truth really hurts and offends 'heroes' like you, doesn't it? it just boils you up that there are things that you can't fix. the truth is, it's rational to do what's in your own best interests, and everybody else be damned.

and i have hurt somebody: you. you spent your whole post saying how sad, sorry, and sorrowful i made you. glad i could shit in your cornflakes, i'll come back and do it again sometime.

Fear is the mindkiller.


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This is a great idea that

This is a great idea that has been a long time coming!


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I'd like to suggest that we

I'd like to suggest that we kick things off with a blood drive and get as many atheist mom's to be aware of how valuable their baby to be's cord blood and placenta are to medical research. Nothing says you care as much as literally giving a piece of yourself Eye-wink

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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DrFear wrote: Sapient

DrFear wrote:
Sapient wrote:

For example clothing drives in the early going may require the giver to pass through a Christian based org for giving, however people can still log what was donated and maybe take some pictures, to be stored at our site as a testament to what ATHEISTS have given.

i think this is a really bad idea. folly.

Quote:
Giving to a Christian charity shows us as even more charitable, as it shows just how important we think it is to give, even if we disagree with the core beliefs of those handling our donations.

shows to whom? i'm highly skeptical that the few people that recieve the message will a) care, and b) outweigh the damage done by financially strengthening christian organizations. they will be taking the credit, after all...

i feel really strongly that we should leave the charity to the individual. i still want to listen to the show and help the RRS, but i don't want any of my money going to charity, no matter how little.

maybe you could just compile a list of non-faith-based charitable organizations and advocate donating to them.

whatever you decide to do, i want to be on record as saying that any contributing financially to any faith-based organization by the RRS is highly counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous, and in general just a really bad idea.

 Hate to lose your support, but I could honestly give a fuck. 

I donate my time, my money and my body for causes I believe help people all the time anyway. We may as well get a modicum of recognition for it.

 Honestly, as a libertine, I think the ONLY way to help people is via charity. I'd be a damn hypocrite not to support this. I firmly believe that humanity is responsible for its own "salvation", and that we sink or swim as a species, together. While I wish not to abide a government taking from me to support the world in a squanderous inefficient manner, I will give you the shirt off my back if you need it. In that regard, I guess I just have my priciples.

I don't do it because I'm an atheist. I don't do it because of my political beliefs. I do it, because it makes me feel GOOD to do it.

I feel great when I give blood. It may be in part because I'm light headed due to the loss of blood, but I do sincerely believe part of it is because I know what I just did could help somebody else - and that all it took from me was a half hour and having to eat a sugar cookie and drink a GatorAde. I'd hope they would do the same for me, for the same reason. 

 I think you're just a bit paranoid about a good natured project, Dr.Fear. 

However, if you feel strongly enough to withdraw your support, that is your perogative. I wouldn't have it any other way. We ARE moving forward with this project though, either way. We obviously hate to lose your support, but we were certainly never in this for the money. Subscriptions don't cover the bills as is. 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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For those who want to

For those who want to continue the discussion of the "why" of charity, I've started this thread.

-Triften


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DrFear wrote:

DrFear wrote:

maybe you could just compile a list of non-faith-based charitable organizations and advocate donating to them.

whatever you decide to do, i want to be on record as saying that any contributing financially to any faith-based organization by the RRS is highly counterproductive, damaging, and dangerous, and in general just a really bad idea.

Please, Brian, there are so many groups that need money. I just got back from the Board meeting of the Secular Coalition for America. We need to somehow find a huge new source of reliable revenue and donations just to make our budget. Lori is our only full-time atheist lobbyist. Please, throw your support to an existing group!

 

Note: The Secular Coalition for America is a new 501(c)4 advocacy organization whose purpose is to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States. http://www.secular.org/

 

The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia is having two fundraisers. We need $10000 (ten thousand) for our Winter Holiday Display (a "Tree of Knowledge," 30-feet tall, to compete with the 50-foot tall menorah and larger-than-life nativity creche on Federal grounds on Independence Mall) right here in Philadelphia, near the National Constitution. Also, FSGP needs to raise $1000 for FSGP Rep Travel Expenses for my trip to the Atheist Alliance International convention in DC from September 28-30.

The FSGP Winter Display info is here: http://tinyurl.com/2ytpmy

The Internet Infidels can barely afford to keep our discussion board operational, and the only group we donate to is the Secular Coalition for America because we're a founding member, and all member groups must commit at least %1 of their annual budgets in order to be on the Board. (MAAF was just voted in, this weekend.)

 

So to Brian37, none of these groups have funds to hand out. SOME other groups such as the Institute for Humanist Studies have grants for particular programs. http://www.humaniststudies.org/fund/index.html

 

BUT I am not trying to deter you from actual activism. I'm just saying that (like the rest of us) you have to do your own fundraising.

 

You can try to use your new website as a organizing point for real-world grassroots charitable work. And if you do some in the Philadelphia area, I can invite readers of the FSGP discussion board to join us. I'll help too, schedule permitting.


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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'd like to suggest that we kick things off with a blood drive and get as many atheist mom's to be aware of how valuable their baby to be's cord blood and placenta are to medical research. Nothing says you care as much as literally giving a piece of yourself Eye-wink

The Blood Drive is VERY easy to organize. You need a location. I'm renting the big room at the Philadelphia Ethical Society building (see http://www.phillyethics.net/ for more, it's in Rittenhouse Square) on Sunday February 11 2007 for a media/lobbying training event for DVAU (Delaware Valley Chapter (PA/NJ/DE), Americans United for Separation of Church and State, see http://www.dvau.org/AUEvents.htm for events). I can find out how much that room is ($150 I think, Sue handled the arrangements). RRS can work with FSGP and possibly Philly Atheists meetup to coordinate the blood drive. Ken Bronstein of NYC Atheists wants each and every atheist group in the country to host a blood drive on the first Thursday each MAY (to counter the National Day of Prayer, we have a National Day of CARE) and each November (especially voting time).

 

I can help you in more ways than you may realize, and all you have to do is let me. Let's work on this together. You know I'm currently researching for a piece for the Secular Web on atheist charities (a resource guide). So this sort of thing is up my alley, and, I have information from atheist groups nationwide about their charitable work.

 

Please stick with me here and keep me posted. And do what you can to organize your own blood drives. Maybe at a WalMart or some highly visible location.


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Just a quick drunken

Just a quick drunken suggestion:

 

When you get to the hands on natural disaster recovery phase, perhaps a T-Shirt that says:

 "I see god doesn't love you, don't worry, together we can beat him"


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I was just listening to a

I was just listening to a story on the radio about the President's support of "faith based initiatives."

I thought wouldn't it be great if a charitable atheist organization applied for such government grants.  If denied, it would open a suit for abolishing such aid as being establishment of religion.

 

to Phoony's suggestion, it's too long for a t-shirt.  How about "god doesn't love you, but we do."

I'm not really serious about that.


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This is something I can get

This is something I can get behind.

 

Another thing we can do is what me and my girlfriend did this past Halloween. We went to the local pharmacy CVS (I don't know if they're a national chain) and told them we planned on bringing candy and toys to the kids at the hospital nearby, i.e. the pediatric ward. CVS gave us little halloween baggies for the candy, a bunch of candy, some toys and some stickers. We dressed up in costumes little kids would like (she was Snow White, I was a Catholic Priest... though I didn't tell them my real costume was a Catholic molester... meh, I have a lame sense of humor) and went to the floor and gave out the packages. Little kids in the hospital on Halloween are bummed out, since they know their friends are out trick or treating. It's a secular festival for little kids, and it's a holiday I get a kick out of as well, so it was fun. The kids faces brightened and the whole vibe of the floor changed. We plan on doing it next year, and I bet the CVS or phramacy near you would be willing to donate should anyone else want to do it.

 

What made it odd at first was that people kept asking me which Christian organization we were with. In other words, people assume only Christian organizations would come into a hospital on Halloween to give out presents. I think it'd be another good place for Atheist charity to work some "magic" so to speak.

 

As for the T-shirts, what about having the some sort of Atheist Charity Group (or some name) logo on the front and Thomas Paine's famous quote on the back:

 "The world is my county,

all mankind are my brethren,

and to do good is my religion." 

 

I've always found that that quote really sums up what I feel it is to be a moral atheist.

 

-=Grim=- 

No Nyarlathotep, Know Peace.
Know Nyarlathotep, No Peace.


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I think it's a great idea

I think it's a great idea to document all of this on one site.  My org has participated in a clean up which is really easy to do.  One of our members helped out with Habitat For Humanity.  It's a Christian group that has essentially no religion in it.  There's apparently a huge waiting list but if you get enough people together there could be an entire Atheist group building a house for HFH.  Not only that it does teach people how to have some construction skills.

I once volunteered at a Catholic run soup kitchen with some co-workers.  The event started with a prayer and considering there were two Atheists and a Jew in the group we didn't appreciate the prayers to Jesus so I haven't gone back.  I don't know if there are any secular places that perform this service in my community.

I did do a book drive for a nearby prison.  However all the reading material has to be reviewed by the prison authorities so there's no indication if any of the freethought literature actually made it to the prisoners.  Typical prison libraries are awash is religious propaganda. 


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I am currently in

I am currently in negotiations a local news channel for a double-edged article. To plug the Multiple Sclerosis Walk I am participating in in April and possibly an on camera interview along the lines of 'Why is an Atheist working for a Charity'. Planning on hitting on topics such as 'Since we, as Atheists, only believe in one life, it makes the most sense to make THIS life as worthwhile as possible. No evidence of an afterlife means it's up to us to make THIS time worthwhile. If I am wrong, then I STILL have helpedpeople and soothed their pain.' and 'While Yes, I am going to die, my relatives, and millions of children are still going to be alive. And if my efforts can spare them some of the pain I have, and am, going through.. it just is the right thing to do. I don't need a 'god' to tell me what's noble or right. This desire comes from me. From myself. It's a natural human desire to help your fellow man. With the discovery of an 'altruism gene', it makes a lot of sense for us to help others out.'

 Off topic: I'm working on this project while on a drug called Provigil. It's a dopamine adjuster. It's to fight MS fatigue.

http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2005/01/israeli_researc.php

'Ebstein suggested. “Dopamine probably plays a key role in pro-social behavior. People with the altruism gene may do good works because they get more of a thrill out of their good works.”'

Fascinating. Amazing what research reveals. Makes me wonder if this drug could actually promote altruism. I have been involved with the MS walk for years.. but I am highly motivated this year. This bears investigation. Cool

Hoping to finish the interview with the tagline 'Helping your fellow man is not a factor of a god. It's a simple rational response to our planet and it's inhabitants.' I've been on TV before, and know how to give soundbite.

 Any suggestions, ideas, etc.. would be appreciated. Thank you.

"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell.... Kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.


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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I don't do it because I'm an atheist. I don't do it because of my political beliefs. I do it, because it makes me feel GOOD to do it.

I feel great when I give blood. It may be in part because I'm light headed due to the loss of blood, but I do sincerely believe part of it is because I know what I just did could help somebody else - and that all it took from me was a half hour and having to eat a sugar cookie and drink a GatorAde. I'd hope they would do the same for me, for the same reason.

 

It could be the altruism gene.

http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2005/01/israeli_researc.php

 I wish there was a way to test for this genetic sequence. Cuz I'm pretty sure I have it. And I love it.

"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen, atheistic to the point of fanaticism, there you have me in a nutshell.... Kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change.


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short-, long-term plans

First, I wanted to suggest a home at AtheistVolunteers.org .  It looks like this is still at the blog stage.  I think the value-added that AV can do is to make a site that allows for tracking of volunteer hours (like the good old http://www.usafreedomcorps.gov/)

I think it will be difficult to have coordination and administration of actual volunteer activities.  But what AV can do is be a one-stop-shop for all nontheist communities to track volunteer hours and activities.  If AV.org can present a tool that has a personal profile where people can input organization-hours-comments about volunteering (and maybe pictures), that will be a perfect way to promote volunteering.

As the number of profiles grow, AV staff could have highlight atheist volunteers once per month.  Sending this AV of the month to all nontheistic organizations press-release style would be a great way to provide the positive press you are looking for.  (Of course we would have to be careful to double-check the profile claims.)

The third step would be to start identifying AV reps from among the active volunteers.  They could represent their area of the country and point new AVs to volunteer opportunities.

Finally, we could start to certify charities - those that accept our AVs and have a good track record.  Those charities would enjoy increased referrals and then AVs could go to them across the country.

That is a more long-term plan that leads up to a activities and a website like maybe voa.org.  But I think it starts with a functional website to log volunteer activities.

 Jason


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Atheist Volunteers products

Atheist Volunteers products are available and at extremely low prices: http://www.cafepress.com/respondrational/2535158

 

 

Jason, it's nice to have you here.  Thanks for weighing in.

- Brian Sapient


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I just discovered this

I just discovered this thread... and what a great idea Brian! Taking the positive pro-human approach and doing charitable deeds not only makes one feel good about their work, but it also takes the rug out from under the theist! Smiling

I wish I could get a statistic on atheists who own hybrid cars. I bet that atheists on average are more likely to own a hybrid than a theist.

Also, if you are looking for nationwide and continentwide stats, I have access to all kinds of statistics that compare charitable contribution rates between different countries and continents. We can cross compare those with atheism estimates for the same regions and come up with some solid numbers...

No gods, no governments.


Sapient
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MustangGT wrote: Also, if

MustangGT wrote:

Also, if you are looking for nationwide and continentwide stats, I have access to all kinds of statistics that compare charitable contribution rates between different countries and continents. We can cross compare those with atheism estimates for the same regions and come up with some solid numbers...

Aaron, if you want to write something up please feel free.  We can post it on the new site and link to your projects. 

- Brian Sapient


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Sounds good. Ill do a bit of

Sounds good. Ill do a bit of research and write something up. Ill probably post it at Goosing the Antithesis but Ill also give you a copy of the essay and let you do whatever you want with it Smiling

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D-cubed
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MustangGT wrote: I wish I

MustangGT wrote:

I wish I could get a statistic on atheists who own hybrid cars. I bet that atheists on average are more likely to own a hybrid than a theist.

Also, if you are looking for nationwide and continentwide stats, I have access to all kinds of statistics that compare charitable contribution rates between different countries and continents. We can cross compare those with atheism estimates for the same regions and come up with some solid numbers...

I own a hybrid.  As for charitable donations the Western European nations that are primarily non-religious give a higher percentage of the GNP than more religious nations. 


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D-cubed wrote: I own a

D-cubed wrote:

I own a hybrid.  As for charitable donations the Western European nations that are primarily non-religious give a higher percentage of the GNP than more religious nations. 

Sweet, D-cubed. You should write a little something about why you own a hybrid and how you justify it considering your atheism.

And regarding the Europe charity thing, yes I am aware of it. I actually have copies of the studies themselves, as well as detailed studies of atheism rates in Europe and America. I just gotta put it all together in essay form for RRS's project...

No gods, no governments.