Sunday, January 17, 2010


I've been finding the news coming in from Haiti rather harrowing - I struggled with watching the news last night. An entire nation, already very poor, has been utterly decimated. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don't remember anything worse in my life than this in terms of natural disasters.

If you want to donate towards the aid effort, and you're a committed secularist, you can donate through Non-Believers Giving Aid, which has been set up by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The money goes to Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross. Vote with your credit card and help demonstrate that morality does not consist of following dogmatically asserted rules - it consists of showing simple empathy for other human people because, heck, civilisation would not exist if we were incapable of that.

I was planning to give $20. I got two lotto tickets for my birthday, and I checked them today. Guess what? Haiti won $67 more out of them.

And, if you think I'm a jerk for saying that I donated and how much I donated, perhaps you're right. But if I make one friend of mine give money they were going to spend on themselves, it's worth it. There is no rule saying that charity should be a private affair, and there shouldn't be one. If I'm a jerk for this post, then I'll wear that badge with pride.

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