Sunday, March 28, 2010

Donations, plus and a few words about Jesus and religion

Yesterday I had some my kind minutes and I donated one month last.fm subscriber to a good mate in New Zealand and was happy about doing so. Not that I am not a very friendly and nice person, but I love to make other poeple happy.
Today I was thinking what to write in my next article and I thought "you always wanted to donate some money for a good purpose".
So, why didn't I do it before? Lets shift that question a bit for now.

First time I made thoughts about donating money was about 2 years ago. I was in 12th class at german high school and in religion classes we read a really awesome book called "Was würde Jesus heute sagen"("What would Jesus say today") by a german politican called Heiner Geißler. From this book, a learned many things and thanks whoever I read it.

One is that Jesus was far ahead of his time. He preached tolerance, love, kindness and making friends out of enemies(for the ones who know some german, this might be an interesting article). It these days it was practice that if a roman asks a non-roman to carry his luggage one mile, he was forced by law to do so. But if you now carry it on until the second mile, you might understand each other better than before. You get the idea, I guess.
Do you know the saying "Eye by eye, tooth by tooth"? This does not mean if I' hit you and you would loose a tooth, you can hit me and knock out one of my teeth, but you get a reward in money, which means justice, too(sadly, in some countries like Iran there is the possibility to take the saying like its written).

But back to Jesus and then to donating.
I liked all the ideas of Jesus, because now I understood what the things in the New Testament meant, how politics has been these times, just the historical backgrounds of this stuff. I went to a youth group(similiar to YMCA), but after a year I discovered I could follow similiar aims just without having to believe in Jesus(plus we had religion critics in religion classes then...ask Simund Freud, Marx, Engels, Feuerbach and all the other critics about what they think about religion). Now I tend more to like the FSM because there's a beer volcano in heaven :P

So I thought, okay I am only a scholar, but I've got so many stuff all the poor poeple in the world will never have these things or who just need urgent help, maybe I can help them by doing a donation.
The question is, where to donate to? Unicef, Bread for the world, Amnesty international or some local organization like for homeless poeple? Plus, how much of the money I donate will reach the poeple?
The latter question is the easiest to answer, as there is a donation seal which guarantees some important things(see dzi.de (in German) for more information. From Unicef homeage you can get the information that less than 10 % are administrative costs, so 90 % of your donation will actally reach the projects.
Regarding the other question, this is the reason why I did not donate yet, because I ran into an unsolvable moral issue: Who, of all these poeple who really need the money or the things donation organizations do with it, has the most right to deserve it? The child who in Africa which is hungry or the homeless poeple in my local town who run into same or simliar issues?
For example if I would decide for the child, the homeless person would be disadvantaged and vice-versa. The problem is, even if I would donate only one cent for each dotation purpose I always will disadvantage other poeple who need help and moreover I would need billions of euros for that.

I think everyone who wants to donate has to solve this moral and ethical qustion - I just decided to donate somewhere now, because others will do the donations that I weren't able to do.

If you'd like to donate for a good yourself, here are some links:
Unicef
Bread for the world
Amnesty International

2 comments:

Nik said...

Burny, I'm so sorry to say this, but I don't agree with you on some points.

Surprisingly, most people tend risky interpretations of Jesus, the bible, and life in general. This is a common problem not only of our modern times, but one that existed ever since the world was made by Him (well, this as well is a risky interpretation).

This boils down to one simple statement: Writing down some kind of interpretation in a form that conveys the feeling of being The One Interpretation, it is dangerous (and unnecessary, for that matter).

There are several big religions, including, but not limited to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. One exciting point about them is that they are all based on one simple and most manlike issue: The loneliness of a desperate fighter on his or her way to whatever they consider their highest goal. Be it Buddha on course of enlightenment, Jesus in his endless race for spreading freedom and peace, or any other allegory of the above idea.

Christianity, being the best known religion to us, is built around the need of people for help from an idealistic mind. The life of Jesus is a historic fact, so there is nothing to paraphrase about his life in general. Only does the Bible provide the first foolish interpretations of these historic facts. The difference is that this interpretation serves the purpose of raising history to a higher, more abstract, level, rather than decreasing it to the egocentric greed for power we are experiencing at various points in history.

After Jesus, or any other spiritual leader, became more and more an allegory of themselves, people went on to sticking to their words and actions in order to hold their peace and cope with everyday trouble. The power of believing is the power of striving for the unknown, the capability of criticism is the wisdom of seeing destiny.

With this in mind, one definition of religion becomes obvious: The struggle of holding on to the spirit of all ideals concentrated in one point. This point, however, has to be searched by every single person on his or her own. Christianity merely defines interpersonal relations and standards that help at respecting each others belief and everything connected to it.

Nik said...

So why do we need confessions at all? Confessions remove the aspect of independence (and with it the basis for interpersonal respect for differente religious views) from Christianity and fill the hole they produce up with a rigid picture of what someone considers the ultimate goal of mankind. Some Christians may comply to that picture, others don't. Those who don't are free, free from prejudices against there brothers, whom they were originally taught to lvoe by Jesus Himself.

I am not saying that every Catholic lacks independent thinking, nor do I say that every Protestant lacks missionary spirit. Those who approve of one confession or another might have a reason, and they might find it ultimately compatible with their own ideas and schemes.

So what do we learn from this? Really not much, but as much as to that trust in God is trust in ourselves, because He made man carry His spirit, and trust in our brothers (friends, family, ...), because Jesus wanted us to live together as one big family.

From this arises the idealistic item of donation that you mentioned. Donation can be considered the capitalistic epitome of altruism. I am not going to discuss the matter of welfare organisations, money and political issues, for the simple fact that I am not very skilled in politics.

However, one thing I can tell for sure: I live in the spirit of Jesus and our Lord when it comes to friendship, proving brotherly love to close friends, and showing the ability to rely on them under all circumstances as well (both being fundamental elements of trust). This is more abstract than the donation of money to a friend in need, but does not exclude it.

So in conclusion:

Don't specialize, abstract!

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What this has to do with this particular post? Don't ask, I forgot somewhere at about line 3 ;). But never mind, this is general. Abstract. You know :).