Thursday, May 13, 2010

Atheists Aren't Good People?

Apparently churchgoers volunteer and donate more than non-churchgoers according to Statistics Canada, as reported in Maclean's.  The average annual donation from a churchgoer is $1038 versus $295 for the rest of us, and 2/3 of churchgoers volunteer for non-profit causes versus 43% for the rest of us.  And churchgoers put in twice as many hours volunteering.  Furthermore "this past January saw the launch of a new charity specifically designed to disprove the alleged parsimony of non-believers.  The Foundation Beyond Belief aims to 'encourage and demonstrate the generosity and compassion of atheists and humanists'.  So far, its 447 members have raised $18,760.  Or about as much as 18 churchgoers give in one year."  Well, Batman, what's going on here?  First, Robin, you can't assume all churchgoers are religious (and vice versa, double-negatively speaking).  But the key to understanding these "damning" figures is that "non-profit causes" includes both religious and non-religious organizations - ie. pious paper probably pads the pews and promises the pious Pearly Passage.  Holy statistician-speak!  But what about those volunteer hours, Batman?  Easy.  Religiosos have several ulterior motives in volunteering; (not all, but many) are out for converts, as well as that warm fuzzy feeling, and to keep up appearances.  Back to the bat cave, Robin, I feel the sinister presence of - The Flamer!