Saskatoon Freethinkers: Altruism and Atheism

The next Saskatoon Freethinkers meetup is on the topic of Altruism and Atheism.

When: Sunday, April 18, 2010 11:30 AM

Where:

Venice House

906 Central Avenue

Saskatoon, SK S7N 2G8

306-373-6666

When it comes to helping others, are we atheists more motivated by The Selfish Gene or the Golden Rule? Too often believers have accused atheists of being selfish and uncharitable:

Let’s see, we have scores of Baptist Hospitals, Methodist Hospitals, Jewish Hospitals, Catholic Hospitals, etc., etc.. Each of these have ‘outreach’ programs both here and in the most dismal places on earth, staffed with dedicated medical doctors and nurses. Where oh where are the Atheist’s hospitals, or soup kitchens? [link]

Is this accusation fair? This month we’ll talk about what it means to be godless and support charities/humanitarian causes.

On May 6th, our group will be participating in the National Day of Reason by donating blood. The National Day of Reason began in the US, as a response to Congressionally-mandated National Day of Prayer. Even though this may have originally been a US-sponsored event, here in Saskatoon we have recently witnessed the Mayor’s office affiliating itself with a prayer breakfast.

The National Day of Prayer states that its purpose is “mobilizing the Christian community to intercede” on behalf of the country — but how much is accomplished through prayer? The National Day of Reason recognizes that there are PRODUCTIVE ways to help fellow human beings, so on May 6th, secular humanists and atheists across North America will be donating blood in order to realistically help people, rather than just talking to themselves.

For April’s Meetup, we’re having a speaker from the Canadian Blood Services come talk to us on how much it means to be a recipient of donated blood. We’ll also talk about other ways our group can make a difference in our community.

Some links to check out:

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