Altruism: Practice what you preach.
We often hear about religious people acting in kindness. Lets face it, the volunteer to go to other countries and put up housing for the poor. The install electric, and work in hospitals. In short they are kind. It seems very warm and fuzzy on the outside. And really a good deed done is worth the respect.
All that work comes at a price though. When they come in with their aid, they also bring their religion. It is one of the problems I have with religious volunteering. A good deed should be good because it was the right thing to do, not because when you are done you can sell your religion and force people to convert out of guilt. After all they were born into poverty, and you took time out of your privileged life to go and help them. I can respect the means but not the method.
Christians often make trips to South America. They take bibles and translators. They go and do good deeds and then sell their god, and their hopes of a life after this one. Well I may not be sure how many people bought Donald Trump's book, but I do know that all those people are not millionaires now. The same with poor people. They bought your god, but did it end their suffering? It may seem like the right thing to do, giving them hope for a world after this where they will have everything, but you are cheating them out of this life.
What if instead of people believing that the next life would be good, they worked harder for this one to be good, for everyone? What if instead of worrying about getting into an exclusive heaven people worried about making sure their neighbor was fine? What if instead of saying that it is fine to suffer in this life we all said that it must end, and worked towards it?
I would rather be faced with the reality of today, and the hope for the future of this world, then a dream of one the does not exist. I would rather give thanks to the many hands that help me and help them back, then wait for a miracle to. I volunteer and don't try to convert people when I do. I just enjoy them and make them feel welcome and happy. Because my reward is knowing that today I got to be kind to another human being, and might have made them feel special. Just like they do for me when they smile, and see me as a friend.
I realize that people want to be good, but if I was on your door selling you a ticket to heaven and all it costs you is a lifetime of swallowing suffering, I hope that you would choose to be happy. I could only wish that the better part of you would see how luck we are all to be here. After all millions of lives never got to be. Natural selection chose us because we were better able to survive than others and we should share that joy.
Atheists are good people, and I know of many that spend their time in love and care for others. It is a trend we should keep going and start growing. So be proud to be an atheist, and proud to do charity. I look forward to more days of helping and loving my fellow humans. Because no matter what divides us, one thing keeps us close together and that is our simple need for each other and love.