Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
While forcing their religion down their throats.
Lots of organizations, ICRC being one, are involved in the third world. It's not like atheists don't care and the friendly Christians have to do all the dirty work.
My aunt and uncle are agnostic, and have done so much volunteer work I'm inspired by their example. I've heard of fine work being done by the Red Crescent in various countries hit with natural disasters and wars. I'm also inspired by Mother Teresa and the charity she set up. We all could go on and on, and that's not a bad thing--with all the bad news we get, especially today, it's great to hear the stories of what people here are doing to volunteer. Volunteerism and caring for one's fellow humans is not confined to one religion/philosophy, obviously. I volunteer in and out of the church--I'm on the 'welcome committee' at church and moderate a Bible study. I'm the first aid director for a re-enactment group, I do work with the visually impaired, and I volunteer at my kids' school. (yes, I do wonder when I sleep sometimes).
Our church supports some medical missionaries in at least 2 different countries where they are expressly forbidden by that country's laws to speak about Christianity. They do their work and they follow those countries' laws, and so they don't prosyletize. Not all missionaries are doing their work in order to 'force religion down their throats.'
Originally Posted by D. Eagle
Of course I'd like for there to be something else after death, preferably good ole reincarnation. But I don't think going around and believing in such a phenomenon does anything good for you, as it means that you risk failing to live this life to its full potential.
The belief frees me from the despair that my life is a cosmic joke (even though it does have its amusing points, believe me) and that anything I would do in that case possibly won't make any real difference in the long run.
Regardless of belief in an afterlife, we all only get one go-around in this particular life. All of us fail to live up to our true potentials from time to time. I happen to believe in a heaven, but I also believe we're here for a purpose, and we need to be work at fulfilling that purpose. We can't do that if we're sitting around telling ourselves 'oh, it'll be OK, I'm going to heaven anyway, so I'll skip the hard stuff here on earth.'
One of my favorite movie lines is in Dead Poets Society when Robin Williams' character says to the boys, 'Suck the marrow out of life.'