The share of U.S. adults who donated to charity dropped significantly between 2000 and 2016, according to an analysis released this month from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Vanguard Charitable.
By 2016, just over half — 53% — of Americans gave money to charity, down from 66% in 2000. That figure held mostly steady until the Great Recession. Then it started to drop off and took a dive after 2010, said report co-author Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly School.
Giving to charity is, of course, a core belief for many of the world’s major religions. And very religious people of any faith are more likely to give to charity, one study by Baylor University researchers found.
But there are fewer very religious people than ever in the U.S.
Leslie Albrecht, “Fewer Americans are donating to charity — and it may have nothing to do with money” at MarketWatch
If you believe in God, you believe that everything is connected and that He knows what you do for others. An that He will tell you what He thinks at some point.
If you believe that we evolved randomly and that the world has always been governed by Darwinian survival after that, you would only give if you felt like it. The “giving gene”? The “evolutionary psychology of giving?” Sure. That’ll work.
One outcome, unfortunately, is that government takes up the slack, which has two bad effects:
- It reduces the number of genuine innovations in help (because entrepreneurs are, on the whole, more creative than civil servants could be) and
- It reduces the ability of communities to help themselves, requiring more top-down intervention, leading to a sense of grievance and entitlement rather than a sense of community accomplishment and pride in achievement…
Prediction: Atheists will end up paying much higher taxes for much poorer results and everyone will blame everyone else. No one has responsibility and everyone is a potential scapegoat.
See also: Sceptic asks, why do people who abandon religion embrace superstition? Belief in God is declining and belief in ghosts and witches is rising
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