Thursday, July 11, 2013

Did Atheists Ever Build a Hospital?

Question of the Week:  


I was debating an atheist and he said that atheists care more for people, because they don't believe in any god that can help, while religious people leave salvation up to G-d. What would you respond to that?




Have you ever seen an atheist hospital? Like the Agnostic Sisters Medical Centre? Or the Our Lady of Nothing In Particular Nursing Home? Or the Brothers of No Hope Humanist Hospice?


Me neither. But we all know hospitals with names like Beth Israel and Maimonides, Presbyterian and Catholic, Saint this or Holy that. This is not because atheists don't care about the sick and religious people do. Of course there are many philanthropic and generous non-believers who do wonderful charity work. But they are individuals, not a group.


Non-belief is not the basis of a community. A lack of faith cannot bind people together. It takes a village of believers to build a hospital. And faith more than any other force has inspired people to build not just houses for worship, but houses for people in need, like orphanages and hostels, rehab programs and shelters.


Atheists often borrow ideas from religion. That's why they make Atheist Conventions. But the unifying spirit that comes with faith in G-d cannot be imitated. Because without one G-d who created us all, what really connects us?


This is not an argument for belief in G-d. I don't have faith in Him because He is a great community organizer. But to say that faith breeds apathy to the sick and needy is an argument as hopeless as a humanist hospice.


Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss 


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