Here’s a study you can quote during talks and debates with theistic friends.
From the Chicago Sun-Times (emphasis mine):
Atheist and agnostic doctors are as likely to provide care for the poor as religious physicians, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and Yale New Haven Hospital.
The study is based on a survey of 2,000 doctors with a 63 percent response rate. Thirty-five percent of non-religious doctors, compared with 31 percent of religious doctors, said they were likely to care for people with little or no health insurance.
Usually, studies show that religious people (in general) are more likely to care for the poor, but this is the first time the question was asked specifically to doctors.
I get a line in the article as well:
“People who are not religious generally believe that you have to help other people because this is the only life you have,” said Hemant Mehta of Orland Park, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay: Seeing Faith Through an Atheist’s Eyes.
I hope the intended meaning comes across in the brief quotation, but I was referring to Humanist principles of doing good because there’s no reincarnation or Heaven to look forward to. We have to help each other live the best life possible here and now.
One of the study’s authors seemed disappointed in his own results:
“We can say a lot of doctors are doing a lot of good, whether religious or not,” said Dr. Farr Curlin, one of the authors of the study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Curlin, who attends a nondenominational church, said the findings disappointed him.
“Caring for the poor is an expression of faithfulness and commitment,” he said. “But many religious physicians don’t make the connection.”
[tags]atheist, atheism, Chicago Sun-Times, agnostic, religious doctors, physicians, Hemant Mehta, Orland Park, I Sold My Soul on eBay: Seeing Faith Through an Atheist’s Eyes, Farr Curlin, Annals of Family Medicine, Humanism, Humanist[/tags]