Digest of terms

charity

open generosity towards others, widely commended across religious traditions as intrinsic expressions of the faith: monetary donations to the poor and disadvantaged are praised as virtuous almsgiving, which indeed in Islam is one of the key moral obligations. Charity is also motivated from within secular worldviews, where there is no hint of divine incentive or post-mortem rewards (altruism). Critics have argued that an emphasis on charity in this sense is an ideological distraction from the more ethically weighty pursuit of justice, which would render charity unnecessary. Charity in the broader sense may be thought to embrace both personal relations, and aspects of social and indeed international policies, as reflected in the work of national and international charity organisations.

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