Sunday, May 29, 2011

People: our best hope

Let me share this comment in case it gets deleted:

Joplin is full of relgious groups, you know, all those people with false hope whom you say aren't looking, do everything they can to help.

I have seen no atheist organizations making a concerted effort to help.

Where are those atheist activists like who went down to Joplin last year organizing meetups?

Where are the American Atheists and FFRF?

On their blogs.

Taking swipes as Christians.

Atheist spells Eatshit as far as I am concerned anymore.

Where is Doctors Without Borders? Where is the American Civil Liberties Union? Where is the Heritage Foundation? Where is the United Nations? Midwest relief from natural disasters does not fall within the purview of any of these organizations. Likewise, American Atheists nor Freedom From Religion Foundation., in partnership with many non-belief organizations, has set up a donation link for Joplin relief, just as they did for Haiti relief:

And of course Westboro Baptist Church is also doing their part.

There are a lot of good people doing good work in Joplin. Some of them might even tell you they are doing so because Jesus wants them to. But even if you could convince these people there is no divinity, they would not abandon their efforts. So too there are many non-religious christians and non-christians that are helping their neighbors. Tightly knit pre-organized church communities are going to make the most of their bonds. The rest of us sift into where we are needed. If anyone bothers to claim they are helping in order to glorify atheism, hopefully those tempted to claim they are glorifying their religious icons will recognize how silly that is.

"...all those people with false hope whom you say aren't looking, do everything they can to help."

While I was speaking more generally, this complaint exemplifies my point. They are doing. There will be those who do nothing more than pray. That's a great way to feel like you're doing something without really doing anything at all. And their prayers will be answered not by angels but by humans. For in other humans, there is real hope. The potential for help, progress and salvation are tangible in social groups, civilization or more specifically: people.

When the buildings once again stand, the foliage fills and the biggest concern is who will make the playoffs too many people will give a perceived deity all of the credit and none of the blame. Maybe we could run an experiment and see how much gets done without any human intervention. Is there any real hope that a supernatural being will replace or repair all those buildings and all that infrastructure? Or maybe we could bet on a sure thing: people. Real hope.

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