Do you have atheists who are saints?

Since you atheists don’t believe in God and don’t love God, at least you love men and women and children and widows and the poor, sick, the unjustly persecuted folks, the victims of war and natural disasters.

Do you have saints among fellow atheists, of this kind who lead a heroic life for the kinds of peoples and others of similar lots described above?

Yes, you will mention Bill Gates who is giving away some of his money to bring computer knowledge to mankind.

And also who else?

Posted: April 18th 2009

Dave Hitt www

I can’t resist adding a comment on Norman Borlaug. Based on his accomplishments he is one of the greatest human beings to walk the planet. I can’t find any reference to his religion, or if he has one. It doesn’t matter. There are a billion more healthy people alive today because of his work. This one man has accomplished more for humanity that the prayers of tens of billions of believers throughout history. He has done far, far more real, measurable good than any religious leader in history, including Moses, Jesus and Mohamed (combined). And he did it all with science, not a smidgen of religion.

Atheists don’t have saints, but like everyone else we have heroes. Norman should be at the top of everyone’s list, regardless of their belief system.

Posted: April 20th 2009

See all questions answered by Dave Hitt

SmartLX www

I wonder what you’d call an atheist saint? An ain’t, perhaps?

The atheist equivalent of a saint is any role model who’s worked for the good of humanity, regardless of which religion they belonged to if any. An atheist can admire the actions of certain Christian saints, for example, without believing in the supposed miracles attributed to them.

If you’re specifically looking for non-religious people famous for their good deeds, Norman Borlaug is a good start. He’s credited with saving up to a billion lives through his work in agriculture. A great many secular philanthropists have also put their resources to good use.

That’s just the famous ones, though. Secular humanitarian organisations like the Red Cross are full of people of all persuasions, and their contributors are similarly diverse.

I suppose the big difference between Christian saints and secular humanitarian heroes is that when the actions of the latter are publicised, they get full credit. There isn’t some shadowy figure automatically taking a cut of the praise.

Posted: April 19th 2009

See all questions answered by SmartLX

brian thomson www

A better word for someone who helps other people is Humanist since, strictly speaking, my being an atheist doesn’t tell you anything about my attitude towards other people. Humanism is not incompatible with religion. However, the concept of “saint” is a strictly religious one, and it’s the wrong word here, since the Catholic Church has “saints” who did nothing more than get themselves killed, without any material benefit to anyone else. “Martyrdom” – another religious concept – does not cure disease or put food on the table. I know this sounds harsh, but your question is cynical and betrays a serious misunderstanding of the “benefits” of religion.

Conversely, there have been non-religious people, such as the aforementioned Bill Gates (whose projects stretch far beyond computers in to e.g. disease prevention, just in case you’re trying to accuse him of ulterior motives); Warren Buffett; and the granddaddy of them all, Andrew Carnegie, whose money founded more than half the public libraries in the USA.

The correct word for someone who gives generously to benefit mankind is philanthropist. What does a philanthropist care for honours, religious or otherwise?

Posted: April 19th 2009

See all questions answered by brian thomson

George Ricker www

We atheists don’t have saints. Why would we?

If your question is “Are there good people among atheists who help other people with no thought of personal gain?”, the answer is “Yes, there are.”

Of course, you already know that.

Then again, we atheists are much more concerned with achieving results than who gets the credit. We really don’t need the approval of a third party, whether real or imagined, to make our efforts worthwhile.

Posted: April 19th 2009

See all questions answered by George Ricker


OK, on to this switch and bait question. Many European countries are secular which means that saints are not required. European countries have a very high standard of living, much better than a overtly religious country like America. There are many European, secular, NGO agencies that do assist the needy all over the world.

You have no evidence for your religious beliefs, and all you can do is show indignation (when you are not switching and baiting).

Posted: April 19th 2009

See all questions answered by logicel


Is your atheism a problem in your religious family or school?
Talk about it at the atheist nexus forum