Ramblings on Charity and Religion

QUESTION: Don't you think that being raised in Christianity makes it more likely that you will make decent contributions to others like you do with your charity contributions?  I know that one does not have to be Christian to be decent, but it seems, for many of us, to help increase the odds of being decent at least some of the time.   RESPONSE: This is a really interesting question.  And maybe unanswerable!   Why are those of us who are concerned deeply about others and their welfare so … concerned?  Is it because we are religious?  Or, as in my case, because we used to be religious? In one of my public debates with Dinesh D’Souza a few years ago, this came out as a point of disagreement.   Dinesh believes that only Christianity drives people to be concerned about others who are in need.   For him, it is not religion in general, but Christianity in particular, that makes people want to be charitable. In the debate, I found that view to be a bit outrageous.   Really?  [...]