Friday, March 01, 2013

Reply to Hitchens on Mother Teresa

Here.

104 comments:

Kathen said...

This is a ‘defence’ of Mother Teresa that simply fails to address the most serious criticisms. If anyone wants to know what those are I suggest they read ‘Mother Teresa, the final verdict' by Aroup Chatterjee and ‘Mother Teresa’ by Sally Warner. Those two are just for a start, there is plenty more out there.

Briefly, Mother Teresa lied about the work she did for the poor of Calcutta in order to raise money, she sent virtually all of the money raised to the Vatican, she deliberately kept patients in her hospice without any proper medical care, she denied them painkillers, the conditions in her hospice were simply appalling, crowded, humiliating, unhygienic, and the children in her orphanages were neglected and treated with cruelty. Those are the criticisms that need to be addressed. Who cares about her religious attitude to poverty?

Kathen said...

I will try again with the first link. Aroup Chatterjee

WMF said...

"Who cares about her religious attitude to poverty?"

Hitchens?

Karl Grant said...

she sent virtually all of the money raised to the Vatican

You seem to be unfamiliar with the workings of a bureaucracy. Let me explain something, with all major charitable or humanitarian programs money is not sent directly from the collection point to the field; it is first central processing station to be tallied. This is true of countries with socialized healthcare, your taxes for the upkeep of the hospitals is not sent directly to the hospitals themselves but goes first through the treasury department. Money you donate to the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity is not sent directly to work programs but to their central or regional headquarters for financial processing. Criticizing Mother Teresa for sending money received to the Vatican, were the Catholic Church's equivalent of the treasury department exists, betrays an ignorance of basic finance systems and of how any large, major organization works.

Now, you do realize the conditions of the country she was operating in? I doubt it, because if you knew anything about Calcutta when Mother Teresa worked there and the amount of money she had to operate on, you would realize why the conditions in her hospice were simply appalling, crowded, humiliating and unhygienic. The entire city is crowded and unhygienic. Do you have any idea how much money it would take to build and operate a modern hospital in Calcutta? In America the costs of just building a three-story hospital can run over fifty million, you can do it cheaper in Calcutta but not that much cheaper. Now the utilities bill alone for such a building is gonna run close to a million per year. Now why don't you go and see how much money it costs to purchase say five hundred tons of bandages and ship them to India, which your gonna through in no time flat with the kind of patient volume Calcutta's slums bring.

Or maybe you could just ask yourself why the Indian government has failed to provide these services to its own citizens and people had to turn to Mother Teresa for help in the first place? Start asking questions like that and you might get to understand why conditions were like those in the Charity houses.

Kathen said...

Oh dear, does everything have to be spelled out? Perhaps I should have said 'she sent virtually all of the money raised to the Vatican and whatever the Vatican did with it they did not spend it on the patients of the Missionaries of Charity that the donors wanted to help.' Will that do?

There are plenty of public hospitals in India. Even if that were not so Mother Teresa was getting about fifty million American dollars every year. Certainly she had enough money to fund a decent hospital.

Perhaps that would not have been the best use of her money though. I don't know, maybe a network of small clinics would have been better. But one thing is certain, she had enough money to provide proper care for the patients in her home for the dying in Kalighat. It is a tiny place,only one hundred patients even when fully occupied. She could have extended it (she was offered free space), she could have brought in some proper beds, she could have employed doctors instead of relying on volunteers, she could have insisted on proper medical care and good hygiene and she could have provided pain relief.

I know from experience how useless it is to argue with religious people about Mother Teresa. But please read Aroup Chatterjee's book and the interview with Sally Warner that I linked to and all the other reports about the conditions in Mother Teresa's homes.

BenYachov said...

@Kathen

You live in the same universe as all the other conspiracy
nuts and flakes. The one inhabited by those who "know" the Jews control all the money and the Freemasons control the UN with the Communists putting florid in the water to give us impure body fluids to distract us so the Illuminati can fake the Moon landing.

Oh and also believes a simple Albanian Nun personally makes medical decisions to withhold pain killers from patents and manages a multi-million dollar Vatican scam operation so Catholics can finance political movements to keep women from buying their own birth control devices.

Yeh....CHICK COMICS has done all this before.

Do yourself a favor babe. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.

BenYachov said...

>"MOTHER TERESA, the Final Verdict"?

So a book which can only be purchased from an obscure company in India(written by an equally obscure Indian Atheist) the publisher BTW has about three other titles(all on poetry) which OTOH runs for about $1500 used on Amazon is the "Authority" here?

I find it interesting when I read the Positive reviews on Amazon for a book that obviously couldn't find a mainstream publisher they all say the same thing.

Yet the one of two negative reviews came from a kid & the other from a French engineering student who lived in Calcutta and said what he read did not resemble his first hand experience with the Missionaries of Charity.

Naturally the usual suspects from among the Gnus savage the man & argue who are you going to believe? Your own eyes or us? It could have happened.

Lastly I love what that French guy wrote "Why doesn't Chatterjee spend his time helping the poor and dying?"

All these people(who are all suspiciously Atheist Pro-abortion fanatics) making up pornography about a woman who was prolife and helped those in the slums but no one of them goes to the sums themselves to "do it right".

Alberto Reviera has nothing on this clown.

Karl Grant said...

Perhaps I should have said 'she sent virtually all of the money raised to the Vatican and whatever the Vatican did with it they did not spend it on the patients of the Missionaries of Charity that the donors wanted to help.' Will that do?

No, because it is still not a valid criticism since it is a trait inherent in all bureaucratic institutions. You may want the money you donate to Red Cross to pay for vaccines in Africa but the Red Cross is gonna use that money as it sees fit which includes things like paying office clerks in Los Angeles.

There are plenty of public hospitals in India.

Yes, but obviously not enough to handle all the patients otherwise Mother Teresa services wouldn't have been needed there. And how exactly is the conditions in those hospitals? They wouldn't be overcrowded, would they?

Even if that were not so Mother Teresa was getting about fifty million American dollars every year. Certainly she had enough money to fund a decent hospital.

And you know this because you have experience in hospital finance?

she had enough money to provide proper care for the patients in her home for the dying in Kalighat. It is a tiny place,only one hundred patients even when fully occupied.

You are aware that Mother Teresa's organization operates across the world, not just India? In fact, I think that they serve over 100 countries. Their donations are used to provide a wide range of assistance for the poor, including education, soup kitchens, orphanages and leper colonies.

I know from experience how useless it is to argue with religious people about Mother Teresa.

That little comment just ensured that I am not gonna hold you in a very positive light.

But please read Aroup Chatterjee's book and the interview with Sally Warner that I linked to and all the other reports about the conditions in Mother Teresa's homes.

I did read the interview with Sally Warner you linked to. I have read Hitchens work on the subject. I am not gonna spend money on Chatterjee's book, because from little snippets I have seen its more of the same. And why is it everybody on the net thinks that their opponents are just gonna automatically agree with them once they read a certain article or book?

Just a couple of observations:

1) None of the critics I have read or the Sally Warner you have linked to have assessed the wealth of the Missionaries of Charity by comparing their income with their daily operational budget.

2) The criticisms acknowledge that people under the care of the Missionaries of Charity received over the counter painkillers, but not adequate pain medicine. I take this to mean that they did not receive prescription pain medicine; which is both significantly higher-priced than the OTC stuff and often on the restricted sales lists. Just how much more would it have cost the MOCs to supply this pain medication?

3) For decades Mother Theresa has been consistently praised by world governments and charity organizations for the kind of care she provided. None of the MOC facilities have been closed down by government health organizations for sanitary reasons that I know of. This kind of goes against the criticism provided in a big way.

Samwell Barnes said...

I know from experience how useless it is to argue with Gnu atheists/Hitchens' worshippers about Mother Teresa.


Fix'd it for you.

Papalinton said...

"Mother Teresa’s views on poverty find an analog in St. Francis of Assisi’s philosophy of poverty. For St. Francis, poverty was to be embraced insofar as it brings one closer to God. How does it do that? Presumably, the less possessions one owns, the less likelihood exists for one to be distracted by them, or, worse, to become obsessed with them. In that sense, poverty was a virtue, because it allowed those participants the chance to ignore material items, which thereby allow total focus on things eternal. "

As if they had a choice. When one is abjectly destitute bordering on existential annihilation, poverty "allowed those participants the chance to ignore material items".

Callous and self-serving? Or what? A fine example of christian morality and ethical thought, no?

im-skeptical said...

The Catholic church has a long history of accumulating tremendous wealth, much of it by exploiting the poor all around the world.

http://www.dailypaul.com/107469/is-the-catholic-church-the-dominant-financial-force-in-the-world

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/financial-scandals-the-hidden-wealth-of-the-catholic-church-a-700513.html

Papalinton said...

I S
"The Catholic church has a long history of accumulating tremendous wealth, much of it by exploiting the poor all around the world."

Joseph Lewis, author of the book, 'The Bible Unmasked', noted:

"Religion is all profit. They have no merchandise to buy, no commissions to to pay, and no refunds to make for unsatisfactory service and results ... their commodity is fear", to which Jack Huberman, author of the best-selling, "The Bush-Hater's Handbook, added, "Their inventories are lies ... Their deferred tax assets are guilt and self-abasement."

In terms of lots of money, Harvey Fierstein, American actor/playwright, winner of numerous Tony awards for Best Actor and Best Play, noted:

'The Catholic Church is the only organization on record to dispense money from a slush fund set up solely for the paying off of abused children's families. So always remember you cannot judge a man by his collar."

WMF said...

The Catholic church has a long history of accumulating tremendous wealth, much of it by exploiting the poor all around the world.

Papalinton may use this as an opportunity to tell us some of his favorite "Religion sucks"-quotes, so as the first sane person to respond to you, I am obligated that you are commiting the fallacy of "guilt by association".

Papalinton said...

WMF
I'm sorry your sense of humour is wan. And I guess it is difficult to imagine the Catholic organisation as selling a service not unlike selling beachfront allotments in Colorado. The church used to sell and grant indulgences until the Reformation tossed out the whole sordid affair. Notwithstanding, the catholic church continues to peddle indulgences. Read THIS.

How ludicrous a circumstance in which you can by dint of donating money [of all things] to the church, you will spend less time in purgatory. And there is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.

It seems the Joseph Lewis quote I offered was right all along, in the Catholic Church selling a service for which there is no warranty or guarantee except on the priest's say-so. Lots of filthy lucre and you can buy your way straight to heaven. Is it any wonder a fool and his money is easily parted, when you throw in spiritual eternity?

And those that subscribe to this nonsense are the sane ones?

WMF, well you have my attention. You have it now, undivided. Tell me about "the fallacy of "guilt by association" in response to, "The Catholic church has a long history of accumulating tremendous wealth, much of it by exploiting the poor all around the world."

im-skeptical said...

WMF

I was responding to Karl Grant:
"You seem to be unfamiliar with the workings of a bureaucracy. Let me explain something, with all major charitable or humanitarian programs money is not sent directly from the collection point to the field; it is first central processing station to be tallied. This is true of countries with socialized healthcare, your taxes for the upkeep of the hospitals is not sent directly to the hospitals themselves but goes first through the treasury department. Money you donate to the Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity is not sent directly to work programs but to their central or regional headquarters for financial processing. Criticizing Mother Teresa for sending money received to the Vatican, were the Catholic Church's equivalent of the treasury department exists, betrays an ignorance of basic finance systems and of how any large, major organization works."

Let ME explain something. There are charities who spend most of their funds on charitable works, and there are charities who use most of the funds to enrich themselves.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Yeah, I read those articles you linked to. Couldn't help noticing this line at the bottom of the first article:

Note: I'm NOT judging or condemning, but if true I find this to be astounding and new information, at least for me.

If true? In other words the author of said article doesn't know if this information is accurate. He has just posted it without bothering to fact check it. Nor are the two things linked to in the article much convincing, the first one is dead and the second one takes information from The Vatican Billions by Avro Manhattan and published by Jack Chick (there's a name you can trust!) and is typically referenced by conspiracy theorists. Also note that said article doesn't include any references either. Also, how is the Vatican Bank investing in companies ripping off the poor? That's what banks do, they invest the money in their coffers. And it owns the land it's churches are built on? I am shocked, simply shocked, I tell you.

And a word to the wise, when you see the name Rothschilds be on the look out for conspiracy theory crap, as Michael Shermer points out here.

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

Till further notice you are hereby labeled a fundamentalist.
You are now officially no better then Paps and will be treated accordingly.

You have cited as an authority material produced by people(Chick Comics) who claim the Jesuits assassinated President Lincoln and that there is a giant complex of file cabinets under the Vatican with the names and files of every Protestant on Earth.

What will you do for an encore? Cite publications that claim the moon landing and or the holocaust are hoaxes?

Repent my friend & return to the bark of rational atheism or be forever a fundie Gnu.

Your choice!

Repent in the name of Reason, Science & Philosophy!

Repent I say! Repent!

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Yes, I should repent. I thought those things might get a rise out of you. (Although, I seem to recall people here making links to similar sources in the past.)

Nevertheless, the point is a serious one. The Catholic church is very wealthy, and it spends a relative pittance on charity. Here's a more reputable article that discusses the church's spending in America.

http://www.economist.com/node/21560536

Note that in 2010, the 2.7 percent of the church's total spending went to charity, and 62 percent of that came from the US taxpayers.

Of course, the global financial resources of the church are shrouded in secrecy. But there is enough information available to make a case that most those dollars they get from the collection plates don't end up aiding the poor in India.

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

Now like Paps you are being disingenuous when your source is exposed as a fraud you then move the goal posts?

This is not repenting & it is still gnu behavior.

>The Catholic church is very wealthy, and it spends a relative pittance on charity.
>Note that in 2010, the 2.7 percent of the church's total spending went to charity, and 62 percent of that came from the US taxpayers.

QUOTE"The Economist estimates that annual spending by the church and entities owned by the church was around $170 billion in 2010 (the church does not release such figures). We think 57% of this goes on health-care networks, followed by 28% on colleges, with parish and diocesan day-to-day operations accounting for just 6% and national charitable activities just 2.7% (see chart)."END QUOTE

So they don't know anymore then Chick Comics?

Still the 2.7 is misleading since the Church does some much more for the social good that is charitable in nature but not legally called "Charity" by the government and you are equivocating between it all?

I'm gonna let Karl Grant answer the rest.

BenYachov said...

BTW now that I think about it?

If the churches in the US are mismanaged how does it follow the ones in India are as well?

Isn't this guilt by association?
Madden Murry O'Hair stole & embezzled from her Atheist organization does it logically follow Richard Dawkins' is plundering his?

Each diocese is financially independent so treating them in financial matter as a unified whole is a mistake and the fallacy of equivocation.

Karl Grant said...

I-m Skeptical,

First off, this is an estimated budget, so we have no way of knowing whither or not it is accurate. But let's go with it for theoretical purpose and look at the graph the Economist article provided. Of the estimated $170 billion it is true only $4.7 billion was sent to charity. However, that is ignoring $98.6 billion spent on healthcare and the $48.8 billion spent on education. Those are the two biggest things in the budget and account for over two-thirds of the estimated spending. But I guess healing the sick and teaching kids how to read are not worthwhile endeavors from the way you are talking. Oh by the way, would healthcare and education programs be considered aiding the poor? No, as the great free thinker said 'of course not.'

And the article makes it clear that while the Catholic Church has a lot of money going in it also has a lot of money going out. Take for example it's priests. They're human they got to eat too and there are around 410,000 of them. Let's assume that the Catholic Church spends merely minimum wage on them ($7.25 an hour). That's $2,972,500 going out every hour and that doesn't include other employees like the Deacons, Nuns, Swiss Guards, etc... nor does it include things like health care expenses for said employees. As for it having money put aside for legal cases, that's just common sense. A lot of organizations, including the Red Cross and the Peace Corps, have money put aside in case of legal troubles or emergencies, so do a lot of private individuals. I bet even the company you work for has money set aside for legal fees and either lawyers on the pay-roll or on retainer, so how is a standard legal precaution used by just about every bureaucracy on the planet supposed to indite the Catholic Church?

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Yes, these numbers are estimates. They are about the best estimates available, given that the church's finances are shrouded in secrecy. The article cites how they came up with those numbers.

Karl,

"Healing the sick" is not a charitable activity for the church. Its hospitals are businesses that take in about much money as they spend (perhaps more - the numbers are not available), and again, a significant chunk of that money comes from the US taxpayers. Catholic colleges are the biggest category of spending on education, but both they and the Catholic parish schools charge tuition in exchange for providing education infused with religious indoctrination. I would not categorize that as a charitable activity.

The article does discuss money spent on legal protection and other things like payoffs for criminal activity among the clergy, but I wasn't trying to make a point about that.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Its hospitals are businesses that take in about much money as they spend (perhaps more - the numbers are not available)

Really? How do you know this if the numbers are not available? Maybe they put out more than they take in?

...Oh, I get it. You're Psychic! The Great Skeppy Knows All, Sees All!

a significant chunk of that money comes from the US taxpayers.

Your point? If people wish to donate money to their organization that's their business.

Catholic colleges are the biggest category of spending on education, but both they and the Catholic parish schools charge tuition in exchange for providing education infused with religious indoctrination.

And does the tuitions pay for the entire operating costs of the universities? Doubtful, considering secular schools like Harvard and Yale need money from donors in addition to tuition funds to keep operating. And religious indoctrination aside, those schools are required to teach certain things and meet certain guidelines by law. Not to mention some atheists parents send their kids to those schools because they think they provide a better education than secular public schools but I digress.

I would not categorize that as a charitable activity.

At the same time it's not mooching off the tax payers and enriching themselves.

im-skeptical said...

"Really? How do you know this if the numbers are not available? Maybe they put out more than they take in?"

And yet you feel justified in calling them charities. My justification is that they are not listed as charities. They are businesses. The amount that they spend on charitable healthcare services is included in the charity category.

No, tuition doesn't cover the full cost of education, particularly for parish schools. Much of the difference is borne by the local parishes and donors. It sure isn't being supported by the higher-level church organization.

"At the same time it's not mooching off the tax payers and enriching themselves."

I'd be happy to have them return the amount that they are are "not mooching" from me and my fellow taxpayers.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

And yet you feel justified in calling them charities. My justification is that they are not listed as charities. They are businesses. The amount that they spend on charitable healthcare services is included in the charity category.

Yet, you can't prove this and have admitted so. Therefore this is just your own biases talking, a guess grown out of your own dislikes, and it is profoundly moot.

It sure isn't being supported by the higher-level church organization.

Again, how do you know this?


I'd be happy to have them return the amount that they are are "not mooching" from me and my fellow taxpayers.

Unless you donated money to them yourself you are not entitled for a 'return.' Speaking of which, do you even donate any money to charity? Most atheists tend to be skinflints in that regard.

BenYachov said...

im-skeptical

Are you just going to hair split & major in the minors?

im-skeptical said...

"Most atheists tend to be skinflints in that regard."

Actually, if you discount giving to religious institutions, and other types of donations that tend to be self-serving, it is the religious who are skinflints. The biggest group of donors is Mormons. Why? Because their church requires it. If you give to your church so they can provide childcare services or other things that you benefit from, that's self-serving. If you claim tax deductions for your "gift", not only is it self-serving, but you are forcing other taxpayers to make up for the revenue that you didn't pay for government services.

http://now.msn.com/atheists-more-compassionate-than-believers-study-finds

I do give to charities, but not to churches. (And, by the way, I don't claim deductions on my taxes, either.)

The churches take money from me in the form of subsidies and financial support and services from the government, which I pay for and have no choice about. I'd like all that money back, please. But I'd be happy if the church would simply stop mooching off the taxpayers.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Actually, if you discount giving to religious institutions, and other types of donations that tend to be self-serving, it is the religious who are skinflints.

Oh, in other words, if we cherry-pick the data to match your bias. Donated to Adopt-A-Highway, sorry your donation does not count. You don't care about keeping our streets clean, you just want safer driving conditions for yourself. Gee, I wonder how much of atheist charitable givings we could knock off under similar criteria?

If you claim tax deductions for your "gift", not only is it self-serving, but you are forcing other taxpayers to make up for the revenue that you didn't pay for government services.

Oh don't give me that crap. There are atheists that claim tax deductions for their donations to charity too. Pot, Kettle, Black and all that.

I do give to charities, but not to churches. (And, by the way, I don't claim deductions on my taxes, either.)

And how do we know that without access to your financial information? Now I doubt you are gonna make your financial information public (and you would be an idiot if you did); so maybe we should just guess on whither this statement is true or not. In fact, maybe we should give you the same level of 'charity' you gave the Catholic Church when it comes to hidden fiances. Let's do that: you're lying to make yourself look good.

The churches take money from me in the form of subsidies and financial support and services from the government, which I pay for and have no choice about. I'd like all that money back, please.

So, you want the government to stop supporting an organization that runs hospitals, schools and charities (remember the 4.7 billion from your little Economist article)? In essence, if you had your way you would revoke funding from hospitals, potentially compromising their ability to take care of their patients while claiming to be compassionate? That you want the government to withdraw money from charitable organizations and put in your wallet because you feel that the organization that runs said charities doesn't put forward enough dough itself? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Papalinton said...

If one wants to get to the very core of the nature of religious business activities, one need not go further than, "The Purple Economy: Supernatural Charities, Tax and the State", author Max Wallace.

It is truly a masterful, competent and timely exposé of the how the various religious organizations parasitise the community. While it has an Australian focus, it nonetheless draws on evidence right across the globe, including the US. This is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the manner and extent to which communities have been financially hollowed out by religious enterprises not only through tax exemptions, tax breaks and federal grants from the public purse at all levels of government, but also by unethical and immoral business operations through, in one example, the ownership of countless social clubs:

"In the June 2001 Sydney Morning Herald the then Archbishop Pell expressed his concerns about gambling, but as the Herald pointed out, ...he is in a somewhat delicate position, since he acts as landlord of several Catholic Clubs with large numbers of poker machines. [p.110 The Purple Economy]

"Also, on 28 May 2002 the Herald-Sun reported that the Doxa Youth Foundation established by Catholic priest Joe Giacobbe owns and operates two inner city poker machine parlours pulling in $3.3million a year. [p.111 The Purple Economy] This is all tax-free revenue. And when asked about gambling issues:

'While recognising problem gamblers exist he [Father Giacobbe] said: Our venues are located in the CBD. It's not as if they're situated in places that have been identified as poorer areas."

How insidious is this relationship?

"The Churches, as supernatural charities, are locked into the taxation system. Taxation policy sustains both the supernatural charities and the State as if there were no difference between them. The modes of realizing the outcomes of taxation policy are different, but the outcome is similar: neither the government, nor in most respects, the supernatural charities, are taxpayers in themselves ... [p.140]

Wallace's book is HERE.

There are lessons in this book that we as a society must come to grips with.

im-skeptical said...

"So, you want the government to stop supporting an organization that runs hospitals, schools and charities (remember the 4.7 billion from your little Economist article)? In essence, if you had your way you would revoke funding from hospitals, potentially compromising their ability to take care of their patients while claiming to be compassionate? That you want the government to withdraw money from charitable organizations and put in your wallet because you feel that the organization that runs said charities doesn't put forward enough dough itself? Yeah, that makes perfect sense."

Yes. We'd all be better off if they got out of the way. I'd much rather see government-sponsored universal healthcare, and I'm quite willing to pay my share for it.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Yes. We'd all be better off if they got out of the way. I'd much rather see government-sponsored universal healthcare, and I'm quite willing to pay my share for it.

1. You don't know for a fact we would be better off, especially since countries with universal healthcare still end up needing the services of charity health organizations.

2. I would rather see government-sponsored universal healthcare and would pay my share also. But that ain't gonna happen until somebody reigns in the lobbying power of the insurance and drug companies.

3. So instead of focusing your efforts on that you instead attack the Catholic Church, which is not gonna get you universal healthcare but it will potentially jeopardize some of the charity health and welfare programs.

4. The Catholic Church may not be perfect when it comes to managing its charity programs but at least it does do something. Yet, you who claim to be more compassionate and better at charity than Christians, wish to attack the funding of those charity programs for purely ideological reasons instead of doing something more constructive such as convincing American Atheists to open up some soup kitchens or organizing lobby efforts to influence Congress to work towards universal healthcare.

im-skeptical said...

"... attack the funding of those charity programs for purely ideological reasons ..."

Did you ever consider that perhaps it is the church itself that drives people away? I was raised as a Catholic. I've seen how they take money from people who can't afford to give it ... and how they refuse to help people who need it. No, we'd be better off with a system that operates in a more equitable manner - a system that works for everybody.

BenYachov said...

I might be an Atheist if it wasn't for the anti-philosophy and anti-intellectual positivism of Dawkins or the naked hate and hypocrisy of PZ Myers.

Also the brute fact there is no Atheist equivalent to Mother Teresa. Gnus drive people from Atheism just as much if not more then hypocrites in the Church do too believers.

Their evil & hate of the Gnus I can forgive but the willful stupidity.....not anytime soon. I am only flesh and blood.

BenYachov said...

BTW I've never seen the Church take money from people who need it or refuse help to those who need it.

I can't even conceive (taking into account the liberal incompetents who run the AmChurch bureaucracy) of a scenario where that might happen.

Like I said I can forgive the Gnus for their evil and hate but not their stupidity.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Did you ever consider that perhaps it is the church itself that drives people away?

Yes, I did and I don't doubt that there are few people ticked off by its practices. I don't agree with things like the concept of Papal Infallibility. Nor do I doubt that some members of the Catholic Church are corrupt (but than again, some of the people in charge of government sponsored healthcare programs are corrupt and misappropriate funds). However, that still doesn't change the fact that the Catholic Church does charity work and that you are attacking the funding for those charity works merely because of your personal biases.

I was raised as a Catholic.

That's nice, I am Protestant. I still think you are being unfair and petty on this particular issue.

I've seen how they take money from people who can't afford to give it ... and how they refuse to help people who need it.

That's nice, but how do we know it's true? And how exactly do they take money from people who can't afford to give it? Put a gun to their head and shove a collection plate in their lap? But let's assume it's true for the sake of argument. Does the fact that they have refused to help some people change the fact that the Catholic Church provides charitable assistance to people in need? No. Does it mean the Church doesn't have any soup kitchens, orphanages, leper colonies, etc...? No, it just means that for whatever reason here they didn't provide assistance in this case?

And instead of attacking the funding for religious charities out of an ideological bias you are basing your attacks out of a personal grudge? Some improvement there.

No, we'd be better off with a system that operates in a more equitable manner - a system that works for everybody.

Yes, and I specifically asked you how ending government assistance for the Catholic Church's programs is gonna to accomplish this. Especially since such a move is guaranteed to piss off the seventy or so million Catholics in the United States who are probably not gonna look too fondly any of your other proposals as a result.

Papalinton said...

Here is a most interesting article on Mother Teresa, as at today, a new research study:

See HERE.

Of most interest is the summary of that research report HERE.

Papalinton said...

"Yes. We'd all be better off if they got out of the way. I'd much rather see government-sponsored universal healthcare, and I'm quite willing to pay my share for it."

Ten years ago I broke my left elbow and arm so badly there was a possibility of amputation. But Australia has universal health care, called Medicare. Every working person contributes some 1 and a half % of their salary/wages through a medicare levy. Everyone is also free to take out additional private health insurance if they so choose and receive a medicare refund to help allay costs, the upshot of which is that members have the option of choosing their doctor/surgeon. I do not have additional private health insurance. Following a five day stay in hospital, I went home with a 6" titanium plate permanently embedded into my arm, a replacement titanium elbow joint and a functional arm, although I lost about 20% of movement, unable to straighten my arm fully.

It cost me not a penny and more importantly I still have my arm. All this on a properly managed and universal medicare system operating around the country. I wouldn't have it any other way. It is the civilized and most socially constructive and beneficial model of healthcare fitting a modern progressive democracy.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"Also the brute fact there is no Atheist equivalent to Mother Teresa"

Check out who the world's biggest charitable donors are - all atheists. Do you think Mother Theresa has done more for humanity than Bill gates? Think again.

You can go around saying things like "gnus are hateful", "gnus are skinflints", "gnus are bad people", whatever you like. But that's your own prejudice and hatred showing through.


Karl,

"I don't doubt that there are few people ticked off by its practices."

Appalled and disgusted is more like it. And more than just a few of us.

"And how exactly do they take money from people who can't afford to give it? Put a gun to their head and shove a collection plate in their lap?"

Not exactly. They threaten with eternal damnation and shove the collection plate at them.

"And instead of attacking the funding for religious charities out of an ideological bias you are basing your attacks out of a personal grudge?"

"and I specifically asked you how ending government assistance for the Catholic Church's programs is gonna to accomplish this."

Our government does far more to help people in need than any church does, and right-wingers and religion industry advocates do everything they can to shut that down and hand the money over instead to institutions like the church, who put their own goals and agenda first. If they want to run charities, fine. But don't do it by taking from the government, because government does it better.

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

I know Bill Gates gives huge amounts of money for Abortion. If that is your idea of "Charity" you are deluded.

Sorry but as per your usual mojo you go out of your way to miss the point. Mother Teresa doesn't give money to charity. She gave herself. Rolling up her sleeves to actually put her hands on the sick and the dying. To live among the poorest of the poor.

Bill Gates OTOH even with the charity he gives that might be morally worthy (like AIDS research) just sign's a piece of paper to send the surplus of his wealth to people who need it. That is good but going himself to help is more laudable.

Which is why I renew my claim that there is no Atheist Mother Teresa.

Try harder & give me an actual social crusader who lives in the trenches rather then a rich guy who writes a check.

BenYachov said...

Also I have been Catholic all my life I was never in that time ever threatened with Hell for not putting money in the collection plate. So I have no idea what Im-skeptical is yapping about.

I don't know where this fictional Catholic church exists but it doesn't exist here in America.

It sounds more like the plot of several movies with an anti-religious theme but not real life.

BenYachov said...

Saying it is prejudice to call Gnus "hateful" "bad people" "don't have a Mother Teresa figure" etc is like calling someone prejudice for calling Klansmen "hateful" and "bad people" etc.

Are you serious?

Gnus are what you get when you take the Westboro Baptist Church and empty it of all god-belief & leave the rest.

Why would anyone defend such people as that?

BenYachov said...

Also considering how Right Wing Catholics like myself are an anomaly not the norm.

And that the Bishops though "social conservatives" are nothing but the Democratic Party with Crook and Miter I find I'm-skeptical's rant the government can do it better then religious groups all the more laughable.

I also find is amusing there are Ayn Rand type Atheists out there who hate both the government and Charity.

His idea Atheism = left leaning democrat politics is comically wrong. Same with the Christianity = right leaning conservative politics.

Comically wrong plus naive.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Check out who the world's biggest charitable donors are - all atheists.

Let's see. According to Philanthropy 50 the top ten biggest donors to charity last year included:

Warren Buffet - Agnostic (a group that is typically despised by atheists as being wishy-washy)
Mortimer Zuckerman - Jewish
Carl Icahn - Jewish
Sheldon Adelson - Jewish
Sergey Brin - Jewish

Oh, and if we go past the top ten the eleventh biggest donor in the US last year was David Koch, Catholic (uh-oh).

your own prejudice and hatred showing through.

And your own prejudice and hatred is showing in statements like the one immediately below this.

Appalled and disgusted is more like it. And more than just a few of us.

Whatever, it just proves my point you are advocating this out petty emotions and personal bias.

Not exactly. They threaten with eternal damnation and shove the collection plate at them.

So in other words they are not physically forcing, or forcing people period people, to give them money, which means that your statement on how they take money from people who can't afford to give it is invalid.

Our government does far more to help people in need than any church does,

No shit, but that still doesn't mean the churches don't help.

and right-wingers and religion industry advocates do everything they can to shut that down and hand the money over instead to institutions like the church, who put their own goals and agenda first.

And what are you doing right now? Demanding that the government revoke funding from hospitals, schools, soup kitchens, etc... because of your own personal bias, in other words putting your own goals and agenda first. Now I asked you how revoking government assistance to church programs will lead to socialized health-care in this county, you never answered because one does not follow from the other. And while there are people like you described (in addition to atheists of the Ayn Rand vein who want to skewer goverment programs) there are also religious people (such as Barack Obama) and groups that want to see universal health care in this country.

Papalinton said...

Mother Teresa appears to be a media hyped sham
Catholic beatification of MT is both a sham and a shame.
Religious belief is now seen to be crumbling at its very foundations sustained as it is in iron-age storytelling.
Truth at last will out.

Blogger Kathen above recounts the real and substantive biographies of MT.

Another shameful 'lie for Jesus' perpetrated by the Catholic Church on an unsuspecting and credulous community.

Papalinton said...

Yes. David Koch. The same David Koch along with his brother, oil billionnaires, that gave $100million to try to get rid of Obama, so that the US will remain a personal fiefdom for the rich to plunder as they see fit, and to ensure their oil-begotten gains [oops! A pun], their little oil rich, global pollution and climate change nest egg is not ruffled. Exploitatively and shamelessly taking with one hand while tossing back a few trinkets with the other.

"Republican supporters led by secretive oil billionaires the Koch brothers have pledged to oust Barack Obama from power - by stumping up a $100million (£63million) war-chest.
David and Charles Koch, worth a combined $50billion, have been joined by 300 of America's wealthiest businessmen in promising the cash to stop Obama from being re-elected."


The same Koch brothers:
"The pair have trodden a notoriously secretive path in amassing their wealth. But they started to gain more prominence when they helped launch the Tea Party movement.
They are ranked at numbers 18 and 19 on the Forbes 100 Rich List, and have given more than $100million to right-wing causes.
A total of $55million of that has gone in trying to discredit the science behind man-made climate change."
HERE

Mother Teresa, Koch brothers, Mother Teresa, Koch brothers. Yes, perfectly wonderful Catholic role models for people to swallow. You sure know how to pick'em Ben. You must truly feel the deep 'inner witness of the holy spirit' about the bona fides of the Koch brothers.





im-skeptical said...

Karl,

I have to hand it to you. If you go down the list to number eleven you get to someone who identifies as a Christian - that shining example of humanitarian greatness, David Koch, who has done so much for the advancement of the republican party, as Papalinton points out.

By the way, with regard to the others you mention, maybe you should look a little deeper. There are plenty of Jewish atheists, and they are well represented in that list.

BenYachov said...

@im-skpetical

Stop being coy, it is indigenous.

Tell us which of the Jewish donors listed here are "Atheists"?

Because I looked up at least 7 & can't find any public references to their being Atheists.

Or are you equating being nominally religious or not a frequent church/Temple goer with being an "Atheist"?

Because that is an old Gnu trick to inflate the numbers.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

If you go down the list to number eleven you get to someone who identifies as a Christian - that shining example of humanitarian greatness, David Koch, who has done so much for the advancement of the republican party, as Papalinton points out.

And I have to hand it to you on splitting hairs and red herrings. David Koch's political views are a moot point for the purpose for this discussion. What matters is that A) he's religious and B) he is one of the biggest donors in this country, that is all that is needed for him to serve as an example to invalid your previous statement about all the biggest donors being atheist. His political views are irrelevant. By the way, you know how many atheists on that list donated to Republican causes? Go on, take a guess.

By the way, with regard to the others you mention, maybe you should look a little deeper. There are plenty of Jewish atheists, and they are well represented in that list.

Oh, I am aware of the existence of Jewish atheists. That's why I didn't list Mark Zuckerberg's name there. As far as I can tell, the ones I listed are practicing in their Judaism. Tell me something, do you actually stop and think before you type replies?

But hey, if you want more proof of how wrong you were, let's check out Forbes list of the 19 biggest charity donors in the world. We have among the list:

Azim Premji - Muslim
Jon Huntsman, Sr. - Mormon
Carlos Slim Helú -Maronite Christian
Ted Turner - Lutheran

And those are just the ones I can identify within a few minutes of research.

BenYachov said...

Ted was born a Lutheran but became an Agnostic but later in life claimed to believe Nature was God so he is technically a pantheist.

BenYachov said...

Ted's religious views from an Atheist Blog.

http://santitafarella.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/somewhat-religious-ted-turners-curious-brand-of-faitheism/

im-skeptical said...

Tell us which of the Jewish donors listed here are "Atheists"?

Carl Icahn and Sergey Brin.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Carl Icahn and Sergey Brin.

And what is your source?

...You know, on second thought don't even bother. Even if they are atheist the point is still made that the world's biggest charitable donors are not all atheists and that you were just blowing smoke.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

"the ones I listed are practicing in their Judaism"
"And what is your source?"

I'll show you mine if you show me yours. (I actually have sources. I suspect you don't.)

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

I'll show you mine if you show me yours. (I actually have sources. I suspect you don't.)

Yawn....

Look Ma, he trying to be cute. Now let's see, let's see, you ignored my statement about don't even bother because you can't resist the lure to try to get in one last cheap shot. I already pointed out that Icahn and Brin might be atheists is an inconsequential fact. Unless you are prepared to provide evidence that Premji isn't Muslim or that Huntsman isn't Mormon or Koch isn't Catholic, etc, etc the point still stands that not all big donors are atheists, therefore you made a blatantly false statement. Now in Koch's case you already conceded he is religious and one of the biggest donors in this country and then tried to dismiss these two facts with a red herring about his political views. So, why should I continue to argue with you on this subject and provide additional information at this point?

None-the-less, I will throw you a little bone. Here is an article written by Mort Zuckerman himself in which he makes both his belief in God and that America is a divinely blessed nation evident. Note the atheists in the comment box mocking him for it. Alright, I showed you one of mine. How about you show me one of yours? Say, your evidence that Carl Icahn is an atheist?

im-skeptical said...

"Alright, I showed you one of mine"

No you didn't. You made a claim that people (including Icahn and Brin) are "practicing in their Judaism" without evidence, and when I disputed it, you demanded that I prove it. So much for burden of proof.

I never disputed that Mort Zuckerman is religious. Nor did I dispute that if you keep going down the list far enough, you start getting more religious people (and even a few Christians).

This all started with your ridiculous and utterly unfounded assertion that "Most atheists tend to be skinflints in that regard." The indisputable fact is that the biggest humanitarian donors are atheists. Many atheists call themselves "humanist". Do you have any idea what that means? You have shown that Christians like you have a grossly distorted view of the motivations of atheists, and a grossly exaggerated view of their own beneficence. They talk a good game, but they don't put their money where their mouth is.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

No you didn't. You made a claim that people (including Icahn and Brin) are "practicing in their Judaism" without evidence, and when I disputed it, you demanded that I prove it. So much for burden of proof.

Yeah, you're bluffing about having sources for those two being atheists because if you really had rock-solid proof they were atheists you would have posted it by now. Because when somebody starts talking about burden of proof, it's usually a red flag they have nothing. Regardless, I have already said twice that I am willing to concede them being atheists for the sake of argument.

This all started with your ridiculous and utterly unfounded assertion that "Most atheists tend to be skinflints in that regard."

Yes, and if you were smart you would realize you haven't done anything to really dispute this statement. What, you really think that saying such and such atheist billionaire donated this much to some cause damages the statement most atheists are skinflints? It is not like I said all atheists are skinflints. At least, I can point to things like this study from Stanford University which states that Believers give more to secular charities than non-believers do. Or this article in USA Today to support my case that believers are more charitable than atheists.

The indisputable fact is that the biggest humanitarian donors are atheists.

Only if you ignore a good chunk of the lists of the world's biggest donors and concentrate on a handful of names like Gates and Zuckerberg. In other words, cherry-picking.

Many atheists call themselves "humanist". Do you have any idea what that means?

Yes, I know what humanist means. But to quote John Gray on the matter:

"Evangelical atheists never doubt that human life can be transformed if everyone accepts their view of things, and they are certain that one way of living - their own, suitably embellished - is right for everybody. To be sure, atheism need not be a missionary creed of this kind. It is entirely reasonable to have no religious beliefs, and yet be friendly to religion. It is a funny sort of humanism that condemns an impulse that is peculiarly human. Yet that is what evangelical atheists do when they demonise religion."

They talk a good game, but they don't put their money where their mouth is.

Look whose talking.

im-skeptical said...

"Because when somebody starts talking about burden of proof, it's usually a red flag they have nothing. Regardless, I have already said twice that I am willing to concede them being atheists for the sake of argument."

So it looks like you found some of the same information that I did. Congratulations.

"Only if you ignore a good chunk of the lists of the world's biggest donors and concentrate on a handful of names like Gates and Zuckerberg. In other words, cherry-picking."

In other words, just looking at the names at the top of the list. That's what you call cherry-picking?

"It is entirely reasonable to have no religious beliefs, and yet be friendly to religion. It is a funny sort of humanism that condemns an impulse that is peculiarly human. Yet that is what evangelical atheists do when they demonise religion."

Look who's talking, indeed.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

So it looks like you found some of the same information that I did. Congratulations.

Look Ma, he's still trying to be cute! Thinks he can get under my skin; A for effort Skeppy, A for effort! But, I spent over fifteen minutes searching Sergei Brin's name + atheist once you made the comment that he was an atheist, I didn't find one reputable source that said he was an atheist. And I tend to think, that giving your past willingness to post info from less than-reputable sources like Jack Chick, if you had something even remotely concrete you would have posted it by now.

In other words, just looking at the names at the top of the list. That's what you call cherry-picking?

Let's see, out of a list of the fifty largest donors in the US you want to concentrate on the top five and out of a list of the nineteen largest donors in the world you wish to concentrate on the top three. A sample of 5 out of 50 and 3 out of 19. Yeah, that's what I call cherry-picking. But hey, I'll remember you said this it because sooner or later an opportunity will present itself to use just looking at the names at the top of the list to dismiss some evidence you bring up.

im-skeptical said...

"I didn't find one reputable source that said he was an atheist."

Plenty of information - just none reputable enough for you. Nor did you find any reputable source that becks up your own claim that he's a practicing Jew.

"giving your past willingness to post info from less than-reputable sources like Jack Chick"

You still don't get it, do you?

"sooner or later an opportunity will present itself to use just looking at the names at the top of the list to dismiss some evidence you bring up."

When have you ever given serious consideration to evidence that I have presented? Top of the list or not, reputable source or not. objective truth or not - none of it matters to you anyway.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Oh, I get it. You're saying that since I don't automatically agree with you I must either be stupid or dishonest. Is that about right? And you seem to be confusing serious consideration, i.e. I examine and think over your evidence, with automatically agree with.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

You don't have to agree with me. You should consider available evidence rather than rely on your religious prejudice before making ad hominem attacks. To say that atheists are skinflints is just such a case. It isn't supported by evidence, and when I try to show that you are wrong, instead of reconsidering your rash statement, you try to pick apart what I'm saying. That would be fine if I wasn't telling the truth, but all you have to do is look for yourself to see what the truth is.

I don't want to carry on a dispute, especially over such a trivial matter. I would be perfectly happy to have a reasoned discourse. I don't agree with many of the things people here say, and I don't expect them to agree with me. That's fine. We can still discuss it. But when your disagreement carries over to personal attacks, or hypocritical judgements about the foibles of your opponents, don't be surprised if I speak out in defense of the slighted.

Karl Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

You don't have to agree with me.

That's a news flash, considering every debate I have seen you in or undertaken with you, you get pissed and start belittling your opponents the minute they don't agree with you.

You should consider available evidence rather than rely on your religious prejudice before making ad hominem attacks.

Now did it ever occur to you that I am relying on personal experience, not religious prejudice, here? That most atheists I have run into, both in real life and on the net, tend to be hypocritical, uncharitable assholes? You know, kind of like your statements above with why you dislike the Catholic Church.

It isn't supported by evidence, and when I try to show that you are wrong, instead of reconsidering your rash statement, you try to pick apart what I'm saying.

Really? I supplied links to two studies showing that atheists are less charitable than religious believers, which you promptly ignored. And of course I am gonna try an pick apart what you are saying, you're doing the exact same thing. That's what people do in a debate.

That would be fine if I wasn't telling the truth, but all you have to do is look for yourself to see what the truth is.

I did look for myself and I didn't agree that you were telling the truth and I found your evidence lacking. Now you say I don't have to agree with you and then you turn around and say something like this? So much for consistency.

But when your disagreement carries over to personal attacks, or hypocritical judgements about the foibles of your opponents, don't be surprised if I speak out in defense of the slighted.

Hypocritical judgments and personal attacks? You know that's what you been doing and I have been trying to point that out. Like when you were positing your own personal prejudices over the Catholic Church's finical policies despite not having access to their finance records but then turn around and say something like I do give to charities, but not to churches. (And, by the way, I don't claim deductions on my taxes, either.) And we are just supposed to take it at face value?

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

As I said before, there's plenty of information out there. Regarding the OP, here's an interesting article:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-02/uk/37389641_1_mother-teresa-vatican-study



Regarding who's a skinflint, here's some additional information for you to ignore:

http://www.livescience.com/20005-atheists-motivated-compassion.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/atheists-generous-religious-helping-study-article-1.1072386

http://now.msn.com/atheists-more-compassionate-than-believers-study-finds

http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/pellissier20111125

http://secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=generous_atheists

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

And here I thought you said you didn't want to talk anymore?

One, your article on Mother Teresa is the same one that Papalinton referenced earlier and the study's authors cite Christopher Hitchens' (Some of their references included medical journals and British journalist Christopher Hitchens, who called Mother Teresa a "fraud") work as one of their main sources. So, in essence, you are trying to use Hitchens' claims to prove Hitchens' claims while at the same time saying there is plenty of information out there while citing a study that has been referenced in this discussion three times already.

Now as to your first link on the second subject, atheists are motivated by compassion. That's nice, the problem is the discussion is about who gives more to charity, not what they are motivated by to give to charity. Category Error and in other words, irrelevant. The second link to the Daily News references the same Berkeley study as the first, so you have given me the same information twice, and it is still irrelevant. We are talking about who gives more to charity, not what they are motivated by.

Third link to MSN, why it's the same study from the University of California, Berkeley. Still irrelevant, since we are talking about who gives more to charity, not whither they motivated by compassion and emotion or doctrine, a communal identity or reputational concerns. You know, when someone says there is there's plenty of information I expect to see more than one study and studies that are actually relevant to the discussion.

Now the fourth article we finally get some different studies. But what is the conclusion of this article, let's go down and take a look at the final paragraph:

Do the nonreligious give less to charity than the religious? Well, the data are a bit muddy, but on the balance of probabilities they should, I think, be found guilty as charged. But does this mean that the religious are more generous than atheists? Here the data are clear. The resounding answer is no!

So they agree, reluctantly, with the statement that the nonreligious give less to charity than the religious before to trying to brush said statement off. You know, when you cite an article whose conclusion is the same as mine, that atheists donate less money to charity then the religious, I have to wonder about your critical thinking and reading comprehension skills.

BenYachov said...

So Atheists are "more compassionate" then believers even though they give less money to charity?

Right!!!!!

Let me know when Elvis gets here.

I stated at the beginning of this farce there was no Atheist version of Mother Teresa. Im-skeptical cited as a counter rich Atheists who gave to charity.

Well it's laudable to give to charity but somehow sending your accountant to cut a check while you vacation with the Obamas it's really not the same as getting down in the dirt with the poor and dying.

im-skeptical said...

Oops, I missed the one Papalinton linked. Sorry.

But maybe we should discuss your comprehension.

1: "And here I thought you said you didn't want to talk anymore?"

Where exactly did I say or imply this?

2: "Now as to your first link on the second subject, atheists are motivated by compassion. That's nice, the problem is the discussion is about who gives more to charity, not what they are motivated by to give to charity."

A snippet from that article: "They found that compassionate attitudes were linked with how many generous behaviors a person was likely to report."

A snippet from the second article: "That report found that those who were less religious were motivated more to help others, such as giving food or money to the homeless."

From the third: "Chances are atheists will find the study's conclusions easy to believe, while believers will doubt them." Obviously.

3: "We are talking about who gives more to charity, not what they are motivated by. "

I refer you to what was said earlier here: "healing the sick and teaching kids how to read are not worthwhile endeavors from the way you are talking" and "you go out of your way to miss the point. Mother Teresa doesn't give money to charity. She gave herself."

4: "So they agree, reluctantly, with the statement that the nonreligious give less to charity than the religious before to trying to brush said statement off." That was in reference to Tom Rees, who says this: "The data I have seen show that the religious give more to charity. Partly this is because they give to the Church (and that’s partly motivated by self interest). Partly it’s because free-riders are not a concern to them, nor are they motivated by the desire to actually make the world a better place (at least, no more than anyone else). What differentiates them is the desire to tick the box to earn points with their god.

If you look at countries in which wealth is shared with the poor most effectively, they tend to be the least religious. That’s because charity is a very ineffective way to transfer wealth - it’s all done for show and to make people feel better, rather than to actually make a difference"

Everybody agrees that religious people give more to the church. In my book, that's not the same as giving to charity - it's self serving, and it does less to help the needy than secular charities, which exist to help people.

Another quote from that article:
"In actuality, there are complex difficulties in funding religious organizations; I discovered this five years ago when I donated money to a impoverished tribal village in the Philippines that was being educated, and medically treated, by a Catholic layperson. The tribe had a sickly population of 66 individuals; within two years it had ballooned up to 100, even sicker at this point, with tuberculosis and malnutrition. When I strongly suggested to the Catholic layperson that my next contribution should be a bag of 10,000 condoms, to halt the population explosion, she replied, “Oh no, we are Catholics, we only practice natural birth control.”

After that exchange, I moved my atheistic generosity to Kiva."

5: "you cite an article whose conclusion is the same as mine ..."

Not if you understand what they are saying.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"So Atheists are "more compassionate" then believers even though they give less money to charity?

Right!!!!!"

I encourage you to read some of this material - both about Mother Teresa and about the generosity of atheists. There's real food for thought there. What I said about self-serving giving is true. I think if you discount giving that is self-serving, the difference between believers and non-believers is stark.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Where exactly did I say or imply this?

Your exact words: I don't want to carry on a dispute, especially over such a trivial matter.

March 08, 2013 8:54 AM

A snippet from that article: "They found that compassionate attitudes were linked with how many generous behaviors a person was likely to report."

And I suppose things like communal identity or reputational concerns, which the study says that motivates religious people more, are not linked with how many generous behaviors a person was likely to report? Or that a desire to report compassionate behavior is not linked to reputational concerns?

A snippet from the second article: "That report found that those who were less religious were motivated more to help others, such as giving food or money to the homeless."

That's nice, but we are talking about who donates more money to charities. Not who hands out money on an individual basis. You want to go down this path you can't use Bill Gates and company as examples.

From the third: "Chances are atheists will find the study's conclusions easy to believe, while believers will doubt them." Obviously

This statement contributes nothing to your argument nor does it damage my argument. The only thing it does serve as an attempt at a cheap shot.

I refer you to what was said earlier here: "healing the sick and teaching kids how to read are not worthwhile endeavors from the way you are talking"

I said that in response to your claims the Catholic Church is misappropriating funds. It has nothing to do with the current subject of discussion: that religious believers give more to charity than the nonreligious.

"you go out of your way to miss the point. Mother Teresa doesn't give money to charity. She gave herself."

Ben Yachov said that, not me. Do try to keep correctly attribute your quotes.

That was in reference to Tom Rees...

So we are back to cherry-picking and dismissals based on Red Herrings. Oh, yes they donated money to things that are listed as charities, but, but they don't count because....because they did it for reasons we don't approve of.

it’s all done for show and to make people feel better, rather than to actually make a difference

Now unless you proclaim to be a mind reader, you're merely projecting reasons.

it's self serving, and it does less to help the needy than secular charities, which exist to help people.

Oh and church charities don't help people? Who runs the food pantry for the homeless in your town? A church or the ACLU? Even the little example you provide below puts lie to that statement. You may disagree with some of their practices but there is no denying a Catholic layperson was providing education and medical services to that village.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

"Your exact words: I don't want to carry on a dispute, especially over such a trivial matter." Read the rest of it. This proves you don't comprehend what I said.

"And I suppose things like communal identity or reputational concerns, which the study says that motivates religious people more, are not linked with how many generous behaviors a person was likely to report? Or that a desire to report compassionate behavior is not linked to reputational concerns?"

Once again, you totally missed the point.

"That's nice, but we are talking about who donates more money to charities. Not who hands out money on an individual basis."

Well, make up your mind. When I talked about who actually gives the most, you said I was cherry-picking.

"I said that in response to your claims the Catholic Church is misappropriating funds."

I don't believe I made such a claim. Pay attention. please.

"Ben Yachov said that, not me. Do try to keep correctly attribute your quotes."

I did not attribute that quote to you. I believe he is part of this discussion.

"Now unless you proclaim to be a mind reader, you're merely projecting reasons."

It wasn't me. Those are the findings, and I agree with them, because they match my own observations.

"Oh and church charities don't help people?"

The point is that many of those religious "charities" don't help as much as they could if they were actually motivated to help people.

"there is no denying a Catholic layperson was providing education and medical services to that village."

And also making sure that they remained poor and sick.

BenYachov said...

>I encourage you to read some of this material - both about Mother Teresa and about the generosity of atheists.

It's crap. Hitchens made a career out of making stuff up & repeating it even after he was caught. He never let facts get in the way of a good story.

Indeed I find it odd Atheists making up all this nonsense to attack and slime Mother Teresa instead of going out & showing her how it is done.

Rich guys cutting checks is not the same as going into the gutter to help the poor.

>There's real food for thought there.

It's brain dead trash that offends my intellect.

>What I said about self-serving giving is true.

I'm afraid your standard cuts both ways since you count giving money to big abortion to be "charity".

Also saying it "doesn't count" if a Church feeds a homeless person vs a non-religious charity doing the same is Ad Hoc.

>I think if you discount giving that is self-serving, the difference between believers and non-believers is stark.

No rather you have one standard for Atheist another double standard for believers.

Anyway I am still waiting for an example of an Atheist Mother Teresa. I read an article in CHRISTIANITY TODAY about a Baptist women who helped the poor in the slums she was dubbed the Baptist Mother Teresa.

Even among the anti-Catholic Chick comic types I don't seen asinine articles trying to claim "saved" Protestants give more or less then Catholics. I see Protestants trying to help the poor like good Catholics should.

When the Gnus stop being so self conscious and do the same I will not respect them.

But then again if they did that they wouldn't be Gnus just good people of a secular bent.

BenYachov said...

>. When I strongly suggested to the Catholic layperson that my next contribution should be a bag of 10,000 condoms, to halt the population explosion

Sorry there is no science to back up the claim giving more birth control to the third world reduces poverty.

After all many of the charities supported by liberals and pro-abortion Atheists supply birth control devices to third world nations yet the "tribe had a sickly population of 66 individuals; within two years it had ballooned up to 100, even sicker at this point, with tuberculosis and malnutrition."

Your telling me none of these people have access to birth control? They do it's just that it has nothing to do with poverty.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Read the rest of it. This proves you don't comprehend what I said.

I did read the rest of it. You still implied you wanted to end this discussion in that sentence.

Once again, you totally missed the point.

No, you are implying that compassion makes people give more to charity. I am asking if it really does and whither it serves as a more effective motivator than, say, doctrine. Especially in light of other studies findings, like the one from Stanford University I linked to earlier:

"Some people might object to my conflation here of religious and nonreligious charity. One might argue, for example, that religious charity is more likely to take place for non-altruistic reasons than is nonreligious giving and volunteering: Religious people might give because of social pressure, for personal gain (such as stashing away rewards in Heaven), or to finance the services that they themselves consume, such as sacramental activities. Therefore, disparities in charity might disappear when we only consider explicitly nonreligious giving and volunteering. The SCCBS data do not support this hypothesis, however: Religious people are more generous than secular people with nonreligious causes as well as with religious ones. While 68 percent of the total population gives (and 51 percent volunteers) to nonreligious causes each year, religious people are 10 points more likely to give to these causes than secularists (71 percent to 61 percent) and 21 points more likely to volunteer (60 percent to 39 percent)."

By the way, that study does a little damage to your claims like if you discount giving to religious institutions, and other types of donations that tend to be self-serving, it is the religious who are skinflints.


Well, make up your mind. When I talked about who actually gives the most, you said I was cherry-picking.

You were. This is the same tactic you used: dismissal of charitable giving based on some other criteria in order to make the numbers look better for your side. I tell you what, you can use individual basis if you drop shit like if you discount giving to religious institutions, and other types of donations that tend to be self-serving, it is the religious who are skinflints.

I don't believe I made such a claim. Pay attention. please

Let's see, you said on March 04, 2013 8:44 AM:

There are charities who spend most of their funds on charitable works, and there are charities who use most of the funds to enrich themselves

Yeah, that ain't implying misappropriation of funds in no way, shape or form. I pay attention to what you write, do you?

I did not attribute that quote to you. I believe he is part of this discussion.

Yes, he is part of this discussion but you included it in a reply to me concerning my statements.

It wasn't me. Those are the findings, and I agree with them, because they match my own observations.

The findings said that atheists are more likely to be motivated by emotion and compassion when they to donate charity as opposed to doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns. It didn't say no Christian or religious believer is motivated by compassion or a desire to improve the world. So a statement like it’s all done for show and to make people feel better, rather than to actually make a difference is incorrect since it is not all done for show.

And also making sure that they remained poor and sick.

Do you really think just handing out condoms is gonna stop the population explosion?

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

Did you ever hear of the peace corps?

Doctors Without Borders?

ActionAid?

There are plenty of non-religious people out there "in the trenches" doing things to help people, not just trying to score points for getting into heaven. You may not have any respect for me, but you should respect them.

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

Your naming me organizations not people.

>here are plenty of non-religious people out there "in the trenches" doing things to help people, not just trying to score points for getting into heaven. You may not have any respect for me, but you should respect them.

No doubt there are but can you name any who help the poor in the name of Atheism?*

*According to Dawkins and his ilk Stalin & Co persecutions don't count as Atheist persecutions because they didn't kill people in the "Name of Atheism".

So to be fair in order to have an Atheist Mother Teresa a secular person doing good is not enough. They must do good in the name of Atheism.

Oh im-skeptical when are you going to learn philosophy and stop listening to Gnus?

I stopped listening to fundies years ago. It can only help you.

BenYachov said...

>not just trying to score points for getting into heaven.

That reminds me Mother Teresa when she went threw her Dark Night of the Soul. Christian mysticism teaches as we by grace cultivate our love of God we reach a point where we do good for it's own sack not merely for the reward of Heaven or threat of Hell.

At the height of her Dark Night when Mother had no consolation and didn't fell the presence of God she still helped the poor and learn to love God threw helping them. Such love is it's own reward.

>You may not have any respect for me, but you should respect them.

I don't respect Gnus or their contempt for the intellect and learning.

They are base fundies without god-belief.

If only you could see that.

im-skeptical said...

"Especially in light of other studies findings, like the one from Stanford University I linked to earlier"

So let's talk about reputable sources for a moment. This is from the Hoover Institution (not from Stanford University). I have read some of their works before, and found it to be extremely biased right-wing claptrap. Here's what the Institute for Policy Studies says about them:

"Founded in 1919 by Herbert Hoover, the Stanford University-based Hoover Institution is one of the oldest research institutes in the United States. Funded largely by right-wing foundations and corporate donors, Hoover has been a mainstay of the Republican Party for decades, serving as a virtual revolving door for high-level GOP figures and appartchiks, including many who served in the George W. Bush administration. Case in point was the September 2007 announcement that the institution would hire Donald Rumsfeld as a visiting scholar; the former secretary of defense was widely excoriated for his oversight of the Iraq War and left the administration shortly into Bush's second term.[1] Condoleezza Rice, a Hoover fellow who served as National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration, rejoined the institute following Barack Obama’s inauguration as president."

Do I trust anything they write? Not for a second.

"Yeah, that ain't implying misappropriation of funds in no way, shape or form."

There are plenty of "charities" that are outright scams - that do little or nothing to help people. You can check lots of them at sites like this: http://www.charitywatch.org

"It didn't say no Christian or religious believer is motivated by compassion or a desire to improve the world."

You are quite right, and I made no such claim, either. Nor was it my statement that "it's all done for show". That was a bit of hyperbole.

"Do you really think just handing out condoms is gonna stop the population explosion?"

It couldn't hurt.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"No doubt there are but can you name any who help the poor in the name of Atheism?"

That's kind of the point, isn't it? The church has promoted Mother Teresa for their own purposes. But there are thousands of people in organizations like the ones I mentioned whose names will never be widely known because they are not being sold to the public like Mother Teresa has been.

"They must do good in the name of Atheism."

Are you serious? They do it because they care about people. No other "cause" is needed.

By the way, the next book on my list is Oderberg - Real Essentialism. it's a defense of the A-T philosophy that has you so utterly blinded to everything else.

BenYachov said...

>That's kind of the point, isn't it? The church has promoted Mother Teresa for their own purposes. But there are thousands of people in organizations like the ones I mentioned whose names will never be widely known because they are not being sold to the public like Mother Teresa has been.

Lack of promotion is not an excuse. Everyone has heard of Richard Dawkins at this
point. Why couldn't an Atheist Mother Teresa figure be promoted? Well?

>Are you serious? They do it because they care about people. No other "cause" is needed.

So Atheism can't be blamed for Stalin or Mao because they never murdered people in the name of Atheism(according to Dawkins which I would dispute but for sake of argument....) but they get the credit for Atheists who help people but fail to do it in the name of Atheism?

How is that consistant? It isn't.

>By the way, the next book on my list is Oderberg - Real Essentialism. it's a defense of the A-T philosophy that has you so utterly blinded to everything else.

Good.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

This is from the Hoover Institution (not from Stanford University). I have read some of their works before, and found it to be extremely biased right-wing claptrap. Here's what the Institute for Policy Studies says about them:

Do you understand the concept of Circumstantial Ad Hominem? A Circumstantial ad Hominem is a fallacy because a person's interests and circumstances have no bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made. While a person's interests will provide them with motives to support certain claims, the claims stand or fall on their own. It is also the case that a person's circumstances (religion, political affiliation, etc.) do not affect the truth or falsity of the claim. This is made quite clear by the following example: "Bill claims that 1+1=2. But he is a Republican, so his claim is false."

And Wikipedia lists the Institute for Policy Studies as left-wing, so pot and kettle again.

There are plenty of "charities" that are outright scams - that do little or nothing to help people. You can check lots of them at sites like this: http://www.charitywatch.org

How nice, but the point remains that you haven't proven the Church's corruption and that you did imply they are misappropriating funds. So your statement of I don't believe I made such a claim. Pay attention. please is blatantly false.

You are quite right, and I made no such claim, either. Nor was it my statement that "it's all done for show". That was a bit of hyperbole.

In other words, you are gonna weasel your way out of making such a claim by saying it was hyperbole when confronted. Standard Operating Procedure with you.

It couldn't hurt.

And it probably ain't gonna do anything, as opposed to say, changing the socio-economic conditions that encourage them to have big families.

im-skeptical said...

Ben,

"So Atheism can't be blamed for Stalin or Mao because they never murdered people in the name of Atheism(according to Dawkins which I would dispute but for sake of argument....) but they get the credit for Atheists who help people but fail to do it in the name of Atheism?"

Oh boy. This is something you just don't understand. I've discussed it before. People don't do things "in the name of Atheism". Mao and Stalin didn't. Humanitarians don't. Atheism is not a cause.

The very fact that you speak in terms of "getting the credit" indicates that you see charity in a very different way from real humanitarians, whose interest is not in getting credit for their works, but in helping people. This is in stark contrast to the Catholic Church, that used Mother Teresa as tool for promotion of their interests.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

The very fact that you speak in terms of "getting the credit" indicates that you see charity in a very different way from real humanitarians, whose interest is not in getting credit for their works, but in helping people.

I'm gonna butt into your discussion with Ben and point out that statement would have had a lot more bite to it if you hadn't just spent the last five days arguing that the Catholic Church is corrupt and sucks at charity, that atheists do more charity than believers and tried to count coup with atheists billionaires and their donations. As it is, it just makes you look like a hypocrite because you do have an obvious interest in who is getting the credit for their works and who shouldn't get credit.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

"Do you understand the concept of Circumstantial Ad Hominem? ... bla, bla ... And Wikipedia lists the Institute for Policy Studies as left-wing, so pot and kettle again."

"second one takes information from The Vatican Billions by Avro Manhattan and published by Jack Chick (there's a name you can trust!)"

"And a word to the wise, when you see the name Rothschilds be on the look out for conspiracy theory crap"

I love the sheer hypocrisy. You don't see it, do you? By the way, I am disappointed that you didn't call me out for referencing the Daily Paul. It was my intention to raise some hackles. (In case you couldn't figure that out. As if anyone would think that I value sites like that.) Anyway I still don't believe anything I read from the Hoover Institution. I didn't say it was false (which would be circumstantial ad hominem), but I have good reason not to believe them.

"the point remains that you haven't proven the Church's corruption"

I still haven't made that claim.

"you are gonna weasel your way out of making such a claim by saying it was hyperbole"

No, I said it wasn't my statement. It was a quote.

"And it probably ain't gonna do anything, as opposed to say, changing the socio-economic conditions that encourage them to have big families."

I believe some family planning could do more than that woman is doing to change conditions.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

I love the sheer hypocrisy. You don't see it, do you?

Did it occur to you the hypocrisy in this case was intentional? In case you have failed to notice by now I have been using several of your favorite debate tactics against you. In fact, I have said so, at least three previous times, in this discussion. You are free to use The Vatican Billions by Avro Manhattan but the findings of the Hoover Institute also stand. But hey, you are a slow learner so I am not surprised you have failed to register the importance of statements I made previously like This is the same tactic you used: dismissal of charitable giving based on some other criteria in order to make the numbers look better for your side.

I am disappointed that you didn't call me out for referencing the Daily Paul. It was my intention to raise some hackles.

You intended to raise some hackles? No shit, could never have figured that out on my own. By the way, what do you think my line Speaking of which, do you even donate any money to charity? Most atheists tend to be skinflints in that regard was intended to do? Give you a pat on the back? I returned the favor and you took the bait hook, line and sinker.

I still haven't made that claim.

Yeah right. That's why you haven't made any statements like There are plenty of "charities" that are outright scams - that do little or nothing to help people. If you haven't outright made it you have definitely insinuated it.

No, I said it wasn't my statement. It was a quote.

In other words, you can't come up with your own cheap shots. Not surprising. Next time make it more clear when you are quoting someone.

I believe some family planning could do more than that woman is doing to change conditions.

Oh yes, family planning is really gonna change the fact that most of the work in those villages is labor intensive and that poor farmers have lots of children for a very specific reason.

im-skeptical said...

Karl,

I haven't made accusations of corruption in the church. I did speak of how much of their revenue they spend on charitable works. I also spoke of charities (in general) that spend little or nothing on charitable works. Please don't put words in my mouth.

"Next time make it more clear when you are quoting someone."

I guess putting quotes around it isn't good enough?

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Still can't realize when somebody is baiting you? Next time you try and raise somebody's hackles, remember two can play that game and novices shouldn't play.

im-skeptical said...

Right!!!

BenYachov said...

Thanks Karl you did my job for me.

My own thoughts.

>Atheism is not a cause. People don't do things "in the name of Atheism"

Then making any claim positive or negative about Atheists and Atheism becomes trivial. Like saying "Redheads give more or less to charity".

>The very fact that you speak in terms of "getting the credit" indicates that you see charity in a very different way from real humanitarians,

No rather I note the inconsistancies & hypocrisies of the Gnus like Dawkins.
Dawkins blames all atrocities committed by religious groups on religion yet applies a clear double standard when one brings up Atheists like Stalin & Mao.
Dawkins has stated Stalin & Mao didn't kill in the name of Atheism like the religious kill in the name of God(of course I would dispute Stalin didn't kill in the name of Atheism but I will indulge Dawkins).
Following his logic to it's rational and fair conclusion forces us to conclude claimng Atheists give more to charity has no meaning unless one shows those who gave to charity did so in the name of Atheism. Mother Teresa clearly did her charity in the name of God and for love of God.

> whose interest is not in getting credit for their works, but in helping people.

Another interesting thing to note here is you are making the same accusation as Jimmy Swaggart. He said Mother Teresa was trying to work her way into heaven. OH the Fundieness of it all.

>This is in stark contrast to the Catholic Church, that used Mother Teresa as tool for promotion of their interests.

Interesting fundamentalist conspiracy theory you have there. So what were the names of the Cardinals & other church officials who had secret meetings where they discussed "How can we market this Albanian Nun for our political & social advantage?". When did the meeting take place? Was it in the same underground vault where they keep teh files on all teh Protestants in the world?

Gee dude you could write tracks for CHICK COMICS.

im-skeptical said...

"How can we market this Albanian Nun for our political & social advantage?"

http://www.motherteresa.org/yearoffaith/ccc.html

http://www.ignatius.com/promotions/mother-teresa-of-calcutta/thebook.html

Papalinton said...

Karl Grant
"But hey, if you want more proof of how wrong you were, let's check out Forbes list of the 19 biggest charity donors in the world. We have among the list:

Azim Premji - Muslim
Jon Huntsman, Sr. - Mormon
Carlos Slim Helú -Maronite Christian
Ted Turner - Lutheran"


I've just had a closer look at that list. It's interesting that Gates [No.1], Buffett [No.2], Soros [No.3] and Gordon Moore [at No.4] on that list are all atheists, and between them have contributed more than 4,5, perhaps 6 times more than the list of four you offered above.
But then who's counting?

From the Forbes list on charity donations:

Azim Premji - $2.1 billion
Jon Huntsman, Sr. - $1.2 billion
Carlos Slim Helú -$4 billion
Ted Turner - $1.2 billion

Total: $8.5 billion.

Bill Gates - $28 billion
Warren Buffett $5 billion
George Soros - $8 billion
Gordon Moore - $8 billion

Total: $49 billion

What is more interesting is how naturally theists, like yourself, are capable and willing to skew and scramble the facts/statistics/information in the ubiquitous apologetical strategy of 'lying for Jesus', with such ethical ease and clear conscience.

BenYachov said...

@im-skeptical

Those are lovely links about Mother Teresa but it doesn't answer my questions when where the secret meeting arranged by the Vatican & who was involved?

Was it the Jesuits? You know the guys Avro Manhattan and Chick comics said assassinated President Lincoln.

Oh and did they have the permission of the Republican party too? You need that for a Catholic conspiracy(if you are on the left. Right wing conspirators would claim they need permission from the Democrates).

BenYachov said...

@Paps

You do realize Bill Gates(#1) is only half of the Gates foundation that gives 28 Billion. The other half is his wife Melinda Gates. BTW the almighty wikipedia classifies Bill as an Agnostic not an Atheist but it classifies his wife......drum roll please......AS A ROMAN CATHOLIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

>What is more interesting is how naturally theists, like yourself, are capable and willing to skew and scramble the facts/statistics/information in the ubiquitous apologetical strategy of 'lying for Jesus', with such ethical ease and clear conscience.

Can you say the words EPIC FAIL Paps?

BenYachov said...

@Paps

BTW Buffet is also classified as an Agnostic(not an Atheist)according to the Wiki & Karl Grant at post March 05, 2013 5:32 PM already identified Buffet as an Agnostic.

So Paps, "lying" comes naturally to us Theists eh?

I take it then you had work really hard on your last post eh to do what comes naturally to us huh?

Can you say DOUBLE FAIL Paps?

Oh Paps would it really kill ya to learn philosophy and critical thinking?

Just a little?

BenYachov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

Ben,

You're the one talking about conspiracies, not me. I said they promoted her and sold her to the public, and I showed you a couple examples of that. It was good for business, no question about it.

And of course Papalinton is quite correct in stating that Christians skew and scramble the facts. If the truth makes you uncomfortable, you just distort the relevant information until it seems more palatable to you. In the words of Martin Luther, "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

This is consistent with what we observe every day. Don't deny it - you're only fooling yourself. The religion industry is built on lies. They haul in big money, and they are threatened whenever someone tries to lift the veil and reveal the truth.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

I said they promoted her and sold her to the public, and I showed you a couple examples of that. It was good for business, no question about it.

Say we grant that; say that we agree the Catholic Church used Mother Teresa as part of a PR campaign? What of it? It doesn't help your case any since all charities, from the Red Cross to Médecins Sans Frontières conduct PR campaigns.

And of course Papalinton is quite correct in stating that Christians skew and scramble the facts

Look whose talking, you have been skewing and scrambling facts throughout this discussion. You have been setting up arbitrary criteria (such as if you discount giving to religious institutions, and other types of donations that tend to be self-serving) to push the numbers in your favor.

And that despite your pretensions at wanting to have a reasonable, rational discussion (I would be perfectly happy to have a reasoned discourse) you admitted that your very first post was in this discussion was intended to piss people off, which is hardly conductive to reasoned discourse.

This is consistent with what we observe every day. Don't deny it - you're only fooling yourself.

Of course Christians lie, so do atheists. Everybody at one point in their lives tells a lie. But just saying people lie is not an argument. You actually need to show that they have lied in a particular case, which you have not even come close to doing so here.

im-skeptical said...

"Say we grant that; say that we agree the Catholic Church used Mother Teresa as part of a PR campaign? What of it? It doesn't help your case any since all charities, from the Red Cross to Médecins Sans Frontières conduct PR campaigns."

Sure, they conduct PR campaigns. Oftentimes, the ones with the biggest promotional efforts are the ones who are least concerned about doing good for people. Relevant questions you might ask about them are: How much of their revenue do they spent on actual charity, and how open are they about their finances? Institutions that are secretive invite questions about what they may be hiding.

"you have been skewing and scrambling facts throughout this discussion."

What facts?

"You have been setting up arbitrary criteria (such as if you discount giving to religious institutions, and other types of donations that tend to be self-serving) to push the numbers in your favor."

My intention was to make a point that has been lost on you. You see yourself and fellow Christians as the "good guys", and you see people like me as the "bad guys". To support those beliefs, you construct a distorted view of reality. (We're generous and atheists are skinflints.) The basic "fact" in support of it is that Christians give more money. I point out that the biggest donors are atheist, and after a lame attempt at trying to insert non-atheists into the top of the list, you say I'm skewing the facts by not looking far enough down the list. You say Christians still give more overall than atheists. I point out that much of that money is for self-serving purposes, and not humanitarian, so that doesn't help your case. And furthermore, there is evidence that atheists actually give more for humanitarian purposes, which further degrades your case.

Now you're left scrambling to recover. I have to count all giving, even if it is self-serving, because that's the only way you can hope to make your fellow Christians look good in comparison to atheists. Fine, but he facts are still the fact.

"you admitted that your very first post was in this discussion was intended to piss people off, which is hardly conductive to reasoned discourse."

I believe my words were "to get a rise". You, on the other hand, have admitted to doing this all through the discussion - not just to get something started.

"But just saying people lie is not an argument. You actually need to show that they have lied in a particular case, which you have not even come close to doing so here."

I've made my arguments, and you've made yours. Let the reader decide.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Sure, they conduct PR campaigns. Oftentimes, the ones with the biggest promotional efforts are the ones who are least concerned about doing good for people. Relevant questions you might ask about them are...

The above paragraph is nothing but insinuations.

What facts?

Oh don't play coy. You're not that good at it.

My intention was to make a point that has been lost on you. You see yourself and fellow Christians as the "good guys", and you see people like me as the "bad guys".

Actually I judge people on an individual basis. I am judging you based upon your underhand behavior you have exhibited in this thread and other other discussion threads.

The basic "fact" in support of it is that Christians give more money. I point out that the biggest donors are atheist, and after a lame attempt at trying to insert non-atheists into the top of the list, you say I'm skewing the facts by not looking far enough down the list.

You know I tried to point this out subtly before but you don't take hints too good. Pointing out the biggest donors are atheist while trying to counter the basic "fact" in support of it is that Christians give more money is a text-book example of the Biased Sample Fallacy where conclusion about a population based on a sample that is biased, or chosen in order to make it appear the population on average is different than it actually is. In other words, when do you something along the lines of just ignore the hundreds of millions of the rank and file on both sides, these half-dozen or so people I picked out are all that matters.

I point out that much of that money is for self-serving purposes, and not humanitarian, so that doesn't help your case. And furthermore, there is evidence that atheists actually give more for humanitarian purposes, which further degrades your case.

And I am gonna point out that's a textbook example of the overwhelming exception fallacy. I mean literally textbook: Well, if you discount the money given to religious charities and charities that tend to be self-serving, atheists give more to charity than Christians. So that's two logical fallacies back-to-back in your little argument.

I believe my words were "to get a rise". You, on the other hand, have admitted to doing this all through the discussion - not just to get something started.

Correction, I admitted to doing this to you once I saw what you were attempting to pull. My replies to Kathen were much more civil. And your exact words were It was my intention to raise some hackles. Or to put it another way, attempt to induce an emotional response on your very first post which runs counter to concept of reasoned discourse.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

I've made my arguments, and you've made yours. Let the reader decide.

Yes, you have made your arguments. Let's see, we have:

1. Argument from Ignorance in which assumption of a conclusion or fact based primarily on lack of evidence to the contrary. (Relevant questions you might ask about them are: How much of their revenue do they spent on actual charity, and how open are they about their finances? Institutions that are secretive invite questions about what they may be hiding.)

2. Biased Sample by countering a argument about demographics involving hundreds of millions of people with the actions of a half-dozen or so individuals (The basic "fact" in support of it is that Christians give more money. I point out that the biggest donors are atheist).

3. Overwhelming Exception generalization that is technically accurate, but has one or more qualifications which eliminates so many cases that the resulting argument is significantly weaker than the arguer implies. (if you discount the money given to religious charities and charities that tend to be self-serving, atheists give more to charity than Christians.)

So do you have any arguments that aren't logical fallacies?

im-skeptical said...

"Argument from Ignorance in which assumption of a conclusion or fact based primarily on lack of evidence to the contrary. (Relevant questions you might ask about them are: How much of their revenue do they spent on actual charity, and how open are they about their finances? Institutions that are secretive invite questions about what they may be hiding.)"

Well, let's see. We already discussed how much money the church spends on charity, and we know they are secretive about their finances. I pointed out a site (and there are others) that rates charities according to how much of their revenues go to charity. the lack of evidence is not on my part.

"Biased Sample by countering a argument about demographics involving hundreds of millions of people with the actions of a half-dozen or so individuals (The basic "fact" in support of it is that Christians give more money. I point out that the biggest donors are atheist)."

To me "more money" means ... a larger amount of money. And who gives the largest amount of money? As it happens, atheists give more money than anyone else. What's so biased about that? I'm pretty sure that if it weren't atheists at the top of the list, you'd be crowing about that.

"Overwhelming Exception generalization that is technically accurate, but has one or more qualifications which eliminates so many cases that the resulting argument is significantly weaker than the arguer implies. (if you discount the money given to religious charities and charities that tend to be self-serving, atheists give more to charity than Christians.)"

I'll concede this point if you admit that self-serving donations are what make you a better person.

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

Well, let's see. We already discussed how much money the church spends on charity, and we know they are secretive about their finances.

No, you linked an article from Economist which guessed how much money was spent on charity in this country. It isn't the Catholic Church's worldwide budget, it isn't a budget of its operations in India were Mother Teresa was working, it isn't even a real budget. It's only a guess of the budget in one country. A guess concerning a subset of an organization's operations is not hard evidence against the organizations total or global operations, Skeppy. That still makes it an Argument from Ignorance.

To me "more money" means ... a larger amount of money. And who gives the largest amount of money? As it happens, atheists give more money than anyone else.

Not necessarily, let's say we have 6,000,000 middle class Christians (we got around two hundred and eighty million Christians of various social classes in this country, but this is just an example) and each donates $10,000 (a lot donate more than that) to charity a year. That's $60,000,000,000 a year which is more than $49 billion (that Paps so helpfully added up) that your atheists billionaires donated in the last two decades.

What's so biased about that? I'm pretty sure that if it weren't atheists at the top of the list, you'd be crowing about that.

Oh, I would take pride in the fact, no doubt, but it is not an effective argument for a debate on demographics. There are close to three hundred million Christians in this country and around ten million or so atheists. Now to serve as an example of which one of these demographic groups on average is more generous you want to advance the actions of a half-dozen or so atheist individuals to serve as an qualitative example for a group of ten million plus individuals? That is biased sampling and if you can't grasp that you have no idea how statistics work.

I'll concede this point if you admit that self-serving donations are what make you a better person.

Oh, a good old blatant Argument by Emotive Language in which you are substituting facts and evidence with words that stir up emotion, with the attempt to manipulate others into accepting the truth of the argument. Haven't seen one of those in awhile. Guess what, your previous argument remains a logical fallacy regardless of the moral character of self-serving donations.

Also, if you were smart you wouldn't push too hard on self-serving donations since I am willing to be dollars to donuts that Bill Gates lists his donations as tax deductions. And you said If you claim tax deductions for your "gift", not only is it self-serving, but you are forcing other taxpayers to make up for the revenue that you didn't pay for government services on March 04, 2013 4:04 PM. So if I said yes, that self-serving donations make you a better person you would be forced to agree with me if you wanted to keep your atheist billionaires as examples that atheists are more generous. I say no, I still get to rip your examples to shreds, you'll end up eating your own words and in order to keep your atheist billionaires as examples that atheists are more generous you'll be forced back-pedal and bend over backwards rhetorically in a display that will fool no one. Either way, I will win so do you really want to go down this path? Because I'm game if you are.

im-skeptical said...

"Either way, I will win so do you really want to go down this path? Because I'm game if you are."

OK. I say we should call a truce. What do you say?

Karl Grant said...

I'm Skeptical,

OK. I say we should call a truce. What do you say?

Fine by me.