Sign in to follow this  
Rev. Calli

What does your belief system require of you in these times?

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Dan56 said:

Yes, I meant no insult.. I meant normal in the sense of majority, if most people believe the same thing, then its considered the norm.  Whereas, a minority who believes differently, would not be like normal people.. Poor wording on my part..

And I understand that Agnostics can have compassion, but its not part of a fundamental belief, so I don't think the motivation is as strong in the absence of an official charitable creed that teaches and promotes compassion. Not many Agnostic charities around. 

No.  Not many charities using the Agnostic label.  Agnostics tend to favor secular things.  Groups like, for instance, the American Cancer Society.  Not everything is about the label.

I can accept that you did not mean to be insulting about "normal."  Then you crack wise about Agnostic charities.  It negates the apology and twists the blade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 so I don't think the motivation is as strong in the absence of an official charitable creed that teaches and promotes compassion.

Love and hate are our strongest motivators, and it's a bit of a toss up as far as which is stronger. Guilt, shame, pride, and lust are also big ones. Everyone who isn't a sociopath has very strong motives to be compassionate. Unfortunately, all of them can also be strong motives not to be compassionate.

So I can relate with trying to give people a new motive to do good, and also the desire to take away their motivation to do bad.

But I think that unless you can successfully unravel all the motives a specific individual already has, you have no real idea how changing one or two of their beliefs will effect their future actions. Teaching a mean person to believe in God may just mean getting them to believe in a mean God, you know? And for every Creed, there are hundreds of excuses why it doesn't apply in all cases.

Also, I can't think of any agnostic businesses, but I know of a lot of Christian ones. Does that mean agnostics aren't as profit-motivated as Christians?

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

No.  Not many charities using the Agnostic label.  Agnostics tend to favor secular things.  Groups like, for instance, the American Cancer Society.  Not everything is about the label.

I can accept that you did not mean to be insulting about "normal."  Then you crack wise about Agnostic charities.  It negates the apology and twists the blade.

Sorry if that offends you, but its a fact;

"Atheist giving often centers on propaganda towards their anti-religion agenda or for “activist” causes, McFarland noted. He cited the American Atheists’ well-funded billboard campaign targeting Christmas that has been running the past few years. Many atheists give money toward this cause.

McFarland also stressed that “religious givers are still by far the largest givers to benevolent causes. At the root of this is belief in God – which influences how we view our fellow humans, and how we think in terms of our own stewardship and accountability.”  http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-up-charity-giving-good-without-god-65929/

" The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults." http://thaumaturgical.com/a-big-list-of-atheist-charities/

 

12 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Love and hate are our strongest motivators, and it's a bit of a toss up as far as which is stronger. In my experience, agnostics are no less likely to love or hate than is anyone else, so they seem to share the same fundamental drives as everyone else.

As for the charities, I can't think of any agnostic businesses, but I know of a lot of Christian ones. Does that mean agnostics aren't as profit-motivated as Christians?

Depends on the percentages? There are a lot more Christians, so there would logically be more faith based businesses. Making money is not traditionally inspired for theological reasons, however 'hard work' is an inspired motivation, and laziness is frowned upon. Perhaps this incentivizes people of faith to be more ambitious?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dan56 said:

Depends on the percentages? There are a lot more Christians, so there would logically be more faith based businesses. 

That doesn't follow. By that logic, there should be more brown eye based businesses than blue eye based businesses. I know of neither.

Truthfully, there are a couple of things involved.

On the cynical level, traditionally speaking, people have been able to get customers by saying their business is a Christian business. It's a form of signaling designed to cash in on a group identity, not really any different than saying "black owned" or "veteran owned". This, of course, would not work for agnostics. There are simply not enough of us out of the closet to move a profit margin.

On a less cynical level, many Christians believe that telling everyone they are a Christian is part of their obligation to spread the Gospel. Agnostics, obviously enough, do not share that motive.

I honestly cannot think of a single apolitical reason an agnostic would want to call their business an agnostic business. I can think of lots of reasons they would not.

This is all also true for charities.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a little old lady I talked to about a decade ago who gave me a bit of a surprise when she told me she was a fellow life-long nonbeliever. She was a nun, you see. I did not accuse her of hypocrisy, but I did ask the obvious questions. Her answers made perfect sense to me.

When she was young, she knew she wanted to spend her life helping people, and The Church was the only one giving her that kind of career option. It gave her access to resources that allowed her to help more people than she ever could have on her own. Not just money and other material resources, but also training and contacts. She admitted the obvious inherent dishonesty (although I think she denied ever directly lying about it), but she asked a pointed question: How dishonest would you be willing to be, if it meant you could save a life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dan56 said:

Sorry if that offends you, but its a fact;

"Atheist giving often centers on propaganda towards their anti-religion agenda or for “activist” causes, McFarland noted. He cited the American Atheists’ well-funded billboard campaign targeting Christmas that has been running the past few years. Many atheists give money toward this cause.

McFarland also stressed that “religious givers are still by far the largest givers to benevolent causes. At the root of this is belief in God – which influences how we view our fellow humans, and how we think in terms of our own stewardship and accountability.”  http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-up-charity-giving-good-without-god-65929/

" The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults." http://thaumaturgical.com/a-big-list-of-atheist-charities/

 

Depends on the percentages? There are a lot more Christians, so there would logically be more faith based businesses. Making money is not traditionally inspired for theological reasons, however 'hard work' is an inspired motivation, and laziness is frowned upon. Perhaps this incentivizes people of faith to be more ambitious?

Are you going out of your way to provoke me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mererdog said:

I honestly cannot think of a single apolitical reason an agnostic would want to call their business an agnostic business. I can think of lots of reasons they would not.

This is all also true for charities.

That's true... When you live in a country where the majority are Christian, it wouldn't be wise to advertise that you are not.

8 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Are you going out of your way to provoke me?

No.... You seemed irritated when I wrote; "Not many Agnostic charities around", by responding with; "Then you crack wise about Agnostic charities".. So I simply expounded upon my point, which was that there aren't many Agnostic charities around.. If you have no data to the contrary, then there's no provocation.. I've personally never seen an agnostic charity, but as mererdog suggest, perhaps they function under the guise of a Christian banner, otherwise no one would contribute?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Dan56 said:

That's true... When you live in a country where the majority are Christian, it wouldn't be wise to advertise that you are not.

 I've personally never seen an agnostic charity, but as mererdog suggest, perhaps they function under the guise of a Christian banner, otherwise no one would contribute?

Not no one. Fewer people. Not only do Christians outnumber agnostics, but Christians are simply more prejudiced than agnostics when it comes to religious labels. Which now has me wondering what effect the prejudice faced by the nonreligious has on our ability to be compassionate.

Also, the Christian banner is only one option more effective than the agnostic one for raising funds. Secular causes and group identifiers are popular with the nonreligious and religious alike. Stuff like the ASPCA, Doctors Without Borders, or the alma mater, you know? Such a charity run by agnostics would likely be indistinguishable from such a charity run by Christians, or even Hindus.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Dan56 said:

That's true... When you live in a country where the majority are Christian, it wouldn't be wise to advertise that you are not.

No.... You seemed irritated when I wrote; "Not many Agnostic charities around", by responding with; "Then you crack wise about Agnostic charities".. So I simply expounded upon my point, which was that there aren't many Agnostic charities around.. If you have no data to the contrary, then there's no provocation.. I've personally never seen an agnostic charity, but as mererdog suggest, perhaps they function under the guise of a Christian banner, otherwise no one would contribute?

As I just got through explaining; Agnostics like secular good works.  The example that I gave was the American Cancer Society.  

Do you only support causes that are explicitly Christian?

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My belief system is based on a logical approach to life.  It has no demands upon me whatsoever.  I place the only demands upon me.  As such, I re-examine regularly what I feel I should be doing, in accord with what I view as logical and practical and with what would fit in with the society in which I live.  This may sound cold and calculating, but there is the emotional side as well.  I also incorporate what I feel as well as what is logical.  This could seem contradictory, but we are feeling beings as well and should incorporate emotional health as well as physical.  

This approach leads me to attempt to interact with others with the utmost courtesy and to assist anyone I feel able to assist when I can feasibly do so.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

My belief system is based on a logical approach to life.  It has no demands upon me whatsoever.  I place the only demands upon me.  As such, I re-examine regularly what I feel I should be doing, in accord with what I view as logical and practical and with what would fit in with the society in which I live.  This may sound cold and calculating, but there is the emotional side as well.  I also incorporate what I feel as well as what is logical.  This could seem contradictory, but we are feeling beings as well and should incorporate emotional health as well as physical.  

This approach leads me to attempt to interact with others with the utmost courtesy and to assist anyone I feel able to assist when I can feasibly do so.  

 

Greetings to you my brother,

An interesting view.  I thank you for sharing!  It does lead me to one question, asked only for clarification.  When you reach out to assist others, do you find yourself more inclined to help individuals on a one on one level, or giving of your time and money to groups that help multiple people, like the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?  

One of the current debates among the clergy, at least in Milwaukee, is how do we best help people who come to us asking for financial assistance.  There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  They  ( my clergy brothers and sisters) believe that the limited financial resources we have are better spent on programs that benefit the most people, like the different meal programs and shelters around our city, and that people who come to us asking for assistance are best served by directing them to places that can provide long-term assistance.

Then there are those who try to help each individual who comes to their door by providing what small financial assistance they have available, feeling that direct aid is the best, most biblical approach.  The thought process behind that being that as Christ also gave freely, so should we.  I realize of course that you do not share a faith in Christ, but as a non-Christian, in your own giving, what do you find to be the best approach?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

An interesting view.  I thank you for sharing!  It does lead me to one question, asked only for clarification.  When you reach out to assist others, do you find yourself more inclined to help individuals on a one on one level, or giving of your time and money to groups that help multiple people, like the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?  

One of the current debates among the clergy, at least in Milwaukee, is how do we best help people who come to us asking for financial assistance.  There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  They  ( my clergy brothers and sisters) believe that the limited financial resources we have are better spent on programs that benefit the most people, like the different meal programs and shelters around our city, and that people who come to us asking for assistance are best served by directing them to places that can provide long-term assistance.

Then there are those who try to help each individual who comes to their door by providing what small financial assistance they have available, feeling that direct aid is the best, most biblical approach.  The thought process behind that being that as Christ also gave freely, so should we.  I realize of course that you do not share a faith in Christ, but as a non-Christian, in your own giving, what do you find to be the best approach?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 a bit off topic, but on the subject of your local debate. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/welfare-reform-direct-cash-poor/407236/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, cuchulain said:

My belief system is based on a logical approach to life.  It has no demands upon me whatsoever.  I place the only demands upon me.  As such, I re-examine regularly what I feel I should be doing, in accord with what I view as logical and practical and with what would fit in with the society in which I live.  This may sound cold and calculating, but there is the emotional side as well.  I also incorporate what I feel as well as what is logical.  This could seem contradictory, but we are feeling beings as well and should incorporate emotional health as well as physical.  

This approach leads me to attempt to interact with others with the utmost courtesy and to assist anyone I feel able to assist when I can feasibly do so.  

This is good.  I agree.

:thumbu:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

An interesting view.  I thank you for sharing!  It does lead me to one question, asked only for clarification.  When you reach out to assist others, do you find yourself more inclined to help individuals on a one on one level, or giving of your time and money to groups that help multiple people, like the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?  

One of the current debates among the clergy, at least in Milwaukee, is how do we best help people who come to us asking for financial assistance.  There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  They  ( my clergy brothers and sisters) believe that the limited financial resources we have are better spent on programs that benefit the most people, like the different meal programs and shelters around our city, and that people who come to us asking for assistance are best served by directing them to places that can provide long-term assistance.

Then there are those who try to help each individual who comes to their door by providing what small financial assistance they have available, feeling that direct aid is the best, most biblical approach.  The thought process behind that being that as Christ also gave freely, so should we.  I realize of course that you do not share a faith in Christ, but as a non-Christian, in your own giving, what do you find to be the best approach?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

You did not ask this of me.  I will respond anyway.

I think it does little good to aid suffering humanity; if we don't help people.  Even the American Cancer Society, in the end, serves individuals.  

If we must be Biblical, there is the example of the Good Samaritan.  The Good Samaritan does not run a hospital.  He rescues one person in dire need.

We can also look to the healing ministry of Jesus.  He did not wave his hands and heal every cripple, deaf person, etc. in a city.  He healed one person at a time.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An addendum:  I waited too long with my edit from the previous piece.

The counter argument is that the Risen Christ healed the whole world, for all time.  Most of us are not able to work on that level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

An interesting view.  I thank you for sharing!  It does lead me to one question, asked only for clarification.  When you reach out to assist others, do you find yourself more inclined to help individuals on a one on one level, or giving of your time and money to groups that help multiple people, like the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?  

One of the current debates among the clergy, at least in Milwaukee, is how do we best help people who come to us asking for financial assistance.  There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  They  ( my clergy brothers and sisters) believe that the limited financial resources we have are better spent on programs that benefit the most people, like the different meal programs and shelters around our city, and that people who come to us asking for assistance are best served by directing them to places that can provide long-term assistance.

Then there are those who try to help each individual who comes to their door by providing what small financial assistance they have available, feeling that direct aid is the best, most biblical approach.  The thought process behind that being that as Christ also gave freely, so should we.  I realize of course that you do not share a faith in Christ, but as a non-Christian, in your own giving, what do you find to be the best approach?

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

although you didn't ask me,i wanted to respond anyway.

what i do depends on the situation.sometimes it's just one person who needs help,not necessarily financial.could be something as simple as helping change a tire,or referring them to the local va office.or something like buying them something to eat rather than giving them the money.and yes,i have been told i am smart,but not as smart as i think ^_^.and while i have given to organizations,i don't find them as trustworthy as i would like.

that isn't to say i haven't given a $1 or 2 to someone.like i said,it depends.jonathon made a good point about the good samaritan.helping just one person is sometimes the best we can do regardless of belief or lack of. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Rev. Calli said:

There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we give anyone direct financial aid.  The thought behind this is that for most of the people who come asking for money, they would only spend it on drugs or alcohol.  

There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we trust a black man.  The thought behind this is that most black men are thieves. Seem reasonable to you?

Personally, if I needed help, it would mean much more to me to be helped by an individual than an organization. You?

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, mererdog said:

There are those who strongly feel that under no circumstances should we trust a black man.  The thought behind this is that most black men are thieves. Seem reasonable to you?

Personally, if I needed help, it would mean much more to me to be helped by an individual than an organization. You?

I take my help where I can get it.  I have been helped by individuals, by organizations, and yes, even the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I take my help where I can get it.

I hear what you are saying. Being helped by an individual can let you know that someone cares about you personally, in a way that being helped by an organization normally can't, though. Like the difference between a meal cooked for you by a friend versus one you bought in a store, you know?

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this