A saint...?

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The place to debate matters of faith and religion in a more rigorous manner. Differing perspectives from both Christians and non-Christians are actively welcomed, but contributors should come prepared to justify their opinions and beliefs, while showing due respect to the views of others.

Re: A saint...?

Postby GregB » September 4th, 2016, 7:16 am

Almost all civilized countries have given her some form of reward so she must have done something right, at least she got off her arse and tried, albeit in the only way she knew, through her religion

Through her religion? Well, as Val's fellow-atheist, Christopher Hitchens, points out in the short video clip below, through her religion she denied countless numbers of poverty-stricken Indian women access to birth control methods (not to mention abortion) which would have limited the huge numbers of children born into abject poverty as well as the knock-on effect of limiting the spread of disease and hunger. Hitchens also mentions her cosying up to dictators like the Duvalier family in Haiti and accepting money from them, money stolen from the Haitian people who were kept in dire poverty as a result (but, then, poverty was sweet music to this woman's ears - "a gift from God" as she put it.)

She got up off her arse and did something? Well, NGO's like Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam, etc. etc. do infinitely better work to combat poverty and disease and with much more modern, effective methods, unsullied by religious claptrap and humbug. Mother Teresa's centres were shambolic antechambers to death and that's about all.

Incidentally, did she really have to go around wearing a tea towel on her head...?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZiKAeJ9mAU
(He starts on MT at around 52 seconds.)

Here is a 24-minute documentary Hitchens made about her:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65JxnUW7Wk4

Wikipedia article with more extensive details of the criticism levelled against her:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism ... her_Teresa
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Re: A saint...?

Postby Val » September 4th, 2016, 11:33 am

She was a woman of her time staunch in Catholicism and the strict church ruling on abortion and contraceptives, she knew no better, we have plenty more here in the auld sod with similar ideals, but in fairness Hinduism treats abortion and contraception as a breach of their duty to produce offspring especially sons so as to continue the family and produce new members of society, many sects within Hinduism treat abortion as equal to murdering a parent and contraception is only used if the mothers life is in danger.
But it doesn’t stop Hindus from killing newborn female babies because they are worthless in some societies where males rule without question.

IMMHO it should never be left up to religious zealots to run charitable organisations or bring aid to the destitute and dying, first you need proper education to bring these people out of the dark ages of cultural inequalities that depend on your place of birth or skin colour, rid the psyche of religious superstition it has hampered the evolution of humanity for far too long, religion should be a choice made by informed adults.
Taxes should be better used to provide for those that require such help,

On Christopher Hitchens the anti theist, well I must say that I could never stand his smug and self righteous attitude; we would have little in common, Blame those sad scenes of the bedridden shaved headed dying- poor on the culture and the Indian government, not on a brainwashed old woman
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Re: A saint...?

Postby GregB » September 4th, 2016, 12:22 pm

She was a woman of her time staunch in Catholicism and the strict church ruling on abortion and contraceptives, she knew no better,

What you say in the balance of things does not excuse her from the repulsive fallout from her ignorance, as I described before. All you are doing apart from that to defend this ignorant woman is to say that if someone helps the poor (even if they do it adversely out of their archaic religious conditioning) then somehow they must be a good person. Simplistic fallacy!
in fairness Hinduism treats abortion and contraception as a breach of their duty to produce offspring especially sons so as to continue the family and produce new members of society, many sects within Hinduism treat abortion as equal to murdering a parent and contraception is only used if the mothers life is in danger.

Obviously she wasn't bowing to primitive Hindu ideas (if she'd worked in Muslim countries, would she have accepted female genital mutilation, product of another disgustingly retrograde pseudo-religion?) As you say, she was obeying the archaic dictates of her own religion, much to the detriment of the victims of her cult.
On Christopher Hitchens the anti theist, well I must say that I could never stand his smug and self righteous attitude; we would have little in common,

On the contrary, he was a true intellectual who used reason and rationality to defend his arguments, and not a smattering of cloying sentimentality. And he was an atheist - not an 'anti-theist' in your evasive description, however you seek to define your own obvious atheism.
Edit: Moreover, he presents a very cogent argument against MT, though I doubt whether you've watched the documentary, ironic given that it's stuff which would in normal circumstances (rightly) fuel your antagonism for the Catholic church.
Last edited by GregB on September 4th, 2016, 8:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A saint...?

Postby Sprocket » September 4th, 2016, 12:49 pm

Her religious prejudices don't account for the appalling lack of hygiene in her establishments, with needles being used for injections many times without being cleaned, and other horrors.
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Re: A saint...?

Postby GregB » September 4th, 2016, 12:57 pm

True, but I think that's been well established. The hygiene was repugnant, but for her that was the least consideration.

So, let me refer back to my response to Val's last post.
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Re: A saint...?

Postby Lyn » September 5th, 2016, 9:24 am

M Teresa's canonisation and her life's work is being discussed on R&E. Rather than copy what I said on there, to here, I am posting a link to the thread and my last post was #28. If anyone cares of course :D , I'm not posting it for egotistical reasons but because what I (& many people) said may be of interest.

http://www.religionethics.co.uk/index.p ... c=12500.25

PS: By the way Christopher Hitchens was an anti-theist. He was completely opposed to religion and believed it to be dangerous. I would have thought that was obvious by his attitude. I found this on wiki but there is plenty of other information about him and his beliefs.

Extract from Wikipaedia on Antitheism
Opposition to theism[edit]
The Oxford English Dictionary defines antitheist as "One opposed to belief in the existence of a god". The earliest citation given for this meaning dates from 1833.[1] An antitheist may oppose belief in the existence of any god or gods, and not merely one god in particular.

Antitheism has been adopted as a label by those who regard theism as dangerous, destructive, or encouraging of harmful behavior. Christopher Hitchens offers an example of this approach in Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001), in which he writes: "I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful."[2]
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Re: A saint...?

Postby GregB » September 5th, 2016, 9:54 am

Hello Brownie - what's a nice cake like you doing in a bakery like that? :)

I've had a look and, as one might expect, it has the usual mixed bag of views and opinions controversial figures like MT provoke, plus some silly comments about writers and their motives.

On what you said: "India honoured her, why did they do that if her mission was a complete failure?" I'd respond that I don't think her mission was regarded as a complete failure, not even by her critics. She was doing some kind of charitable work in India so the Indian government recognised that. It may even have been out of a guilty conscience over what little they do themselves. She was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but so were some highly dubious characters (eg Kissinger, Arafat, etc.), so I don't think we should set too much store by these glittering prizes.

By the way, there are links to that Hitchens TV documentary, plus a short clip of him talking about her, in my post at the top of the page. I think he did that, as well as write critically about her, out of genuine conviction and, probably, anger. After all, he must have realised that he and his views would be reviled by the huge number of MT's unconditional supporters, but he was never one to court popularity.

On the latter part of your post, I think there is really little essential difference between the two terms. An anti-theist is simply a more active, 'hands on' atheist, surely. In the end, it's basically a person who denies the existence of God. I would just add that there are people who are anti-organised religion but still believe in a personal creator God, or at least a deity. Hitchens didn't believe in God or a deity but he was basically anti-religion, as you said in your post, and he felt that it was religion per se and its manipulative versions of the deity which did the harm, not a simple personal belief in a deity. (Let's recall the title of his most famous book: 'God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything' - italics mine.)
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Re: A saint...?

Postby SwordOfTheSpirit » September 9th, 2016, 1:37 pm

Lyn wrote:http://www.religionethics.co.uk/index.php?topic=12500.25

It's 2016 and on that forum you still have the same old same old posters from the BBC days coming up with the same old arguments against religious belief. Sad to see, in a way. :(

Reminds me of James 3 v 7:

always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth
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Re: A saint...?

Postby Lyn » September 9th, 2016, 7:40 pm

Well, I don't actually have the same old posters, SotS, the forum does :D .

Naturally there will be the same old arguments, just like on here. There is nothing new under the sun after all. I like it there, just as I used to like the Beeb forum. Nice to see you on there SotS, I welcomed you in 'Introductions'. I didn't post the link to talk about that forum though, same as I wouldn't talk about St Thads on there, 'cept to say I post here; I just thought the discussion about M Teresa was relevant but maybe there wasn't as much as I thought. Hey ho, we move on.
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