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← The toll on stupidity paid again…as usual, by innocent children

The toll on stupidity paid again…as usual, by innocent children - Comments

mucca's Avatar Comment 1 by mucca

What is even worse is that they will not learn from this and probably come up with some hocus pokus bullshit story about how god wanted it. "Oh he works in mysterious ways". Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to bring up how outrageous religion is. Some people are born to be just plain old skool stupid.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:40:10 UTC | #523970

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 2 by chawinwords

mucca, you should have said: "Father, forgive the stupid for they know not what they do; that while being supposedly pro-life, they murder their own children through a belief in a deadly religious fantasy.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:45:58 UTC | #523974

EvN's Avatar Comment 3 by EvN

These cults mix christianity with traditional belief systems and usually retain the worst of each. It is not unusual for a person to be in church on Sunday and run away from the Tokeloshe on Monday. Pray to Jebus on Tuesday and see the witchdoctor to receive messages from the ancestors on Wednesday.

Damned missionaries!

@ mucca comment 1

No, Mucca. Not stupid. These people usually do not even have grade 3 schooling. They are ignorant - not stupid.

Damn those missionaries again!

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:56:16 UTC | #523980

Hammert1me's Avatar Comment 4 by Hammert1me

You forget that atheists travel to other countries and destroy peoples chance of eternal salvation, which to the religious mind is far more important.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:59:14 UTC | #523982

Roedy's Avatar Comment 5 by Roedy

The bright side is such sects are self-eliminating, much like the Shakers who insisted on celibacy.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 22:12:10 UTC | #523986

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 6 by SomersetJohn

Comment 4 by Hammert1me :

You forget that atheists travel to other countries and destroy peoples chance of eternal salvation, which to the religious mind is far more important.

You can't destroy the non-existent.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 22:27:10 UTC | #523998

RDfan's Avatar Comment 7 by RDfan

Comment by Hammert1me

You forget that atheists travel to other countries and destroy peoples chance of eternal salvation, which to the religious mind is far more important.

This is quite true. I've spoken to missionaries who genuinely aren't concerned with mortal flesh and are really worried about saving the immortal soul. These people are beneath contempt.

In Uganda, for instance, it seems as though the government has abandoned its duty to serve the people (in education and health) and put in its place all manner of NGOs and charities a shocking and disturbing number of which, from what I see, are religious/missionary in nature. Like the Cold War, the battle between reason and faith is being fought vicariously in the "3rd World", and reason in losing out.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 22:45:31 UTC | #524005

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 8 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 4 by Hammert1me :

You forget that atheists travel to other countries and destroy peoples chance of eternal salvation, which to the religious mind is far more important.

We're so evil.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 22:59:21 UTC | #524010

lackofgravitas's Avatar Comment 9 by lackofgravitas

So, to put this into perspective, parishioners have been told that vaccinations are wrong. From what precedent? Who could have started this ridiculous rumour?

Children are dying, still, in the US and Europe, and now the meme has spread to Africa, via religion?

I'm absolutely astounded that parents will sacrifice their children for a fairy tale they never grew out of.

It's time we grew up as a species and left 'these childish things behind'. Paraphrased from a better man than I.

*This programme has been brought to you by the letter G for Genocide. Whenever you look at Africa, remember the UN is powerless. Again. since the last genocide.

LoG

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 23:23:52 UTC | #524021

Bernard Hurley's Avatar Comment 10 by Bernard Hurley

Comment 7 by RDfan

This is quite true. I've spoken to missionaries who genuinely aren't concerned with mortal flesh and are really worried about saving the immortal soul. These people are beneath contempt.

Whether such people are beneath contempt or not, they would certainly appear to be morally defective in that they lack empathy for others. To my mind, those who are certainly beneath contempt are local African politicians who encourage missionaries in the hope that they may find them useful political allies if the need arises. Seneca is reputes to have said in the 1st Century BCE “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Not much has changed since then.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 23:41:19 UTC | #524029

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 11 by Saganic Rites

Comment 4 by Hammert1me : You forget that atheists travel to other countries and destroy peoples chance of eternal salvation, which to the religious mind is far more important

So standing back and allowing your children to die from an easily prevented disease gives you a shot of eternal salvation? The religious mind really is seriously screwed up.

Even if you are foolish enough to believe in the 'eternal hereafter' carrot, surely you can't be so foolish as not to think that the saving of a life would be more likely to get you in His good books. If not, then you must believe that your God is no more than a psychopath, which puts his followers in the same league as the 'disciples' of Charles Manson.

Sometimes 'tis better to stay quiet and let people suspect you to be an idiot, than to speak out and confirm their suspicions.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 23:41:24 UTC | #524030

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 12 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Sadly, this is what a lot of them think. There was a show on 20/20 in '07 about transgender children (it's on YouTube) and I was debating with this religious moron on YouTube, either about that show or perhaps some other related newscast; I can't remember. I was saying that many transgenders are at extremely high risk for suicide. I cited one example in which a mother of a teenager said that she realized she had two choices: she could either have a dead daughter or an alive son. In response, the person I was debating with twisted around what I was saying, asking something like, "Oh, so if your child threatened suicide, you'd just cave in?" As if it were that petty! S/he also said that s/he would prefer the dead daughter to the alive son, because at least the child's soul would be saved. Funny, though... I thought that suicide could also send you to hell?

Julie

Comment 11 by Godless But Not Clueless :

Comment 4 by Hammert1me : You forget that atheists travel to other countries and destroy peoples chance of eternal salvation, which to the religious mind is far more important So standing back and allowing your children to die from an easily prevented disease gives you a shot of eternal salvation? The religious mind really is seriously screwed up.

Even if you are foolish enough to believe in the 'eternal hereafter' carrot, surely you can't be so foolish as not to think that the saving of a life would be more likely to get you in His good books. If not, then you must believe that your God is no more than a psychopath, which puts his followers in the same league as the 'disciples' of Charles Manson.

Sometimes 'tis better to stay quiet and let people suspect you to be an idiot, than to speak out and confirm their suspicions.

Thu, 23 Sep 2010 23:55:57 UTC | #524037

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 13 by Saganic Rites

@InYourFaceNewYorker:

You can't be suggesting that they also make up the rules as they go along?

(see my recent post http://richarddawkins.net/articles/523964-antievolutionism-in-a-marine-science-textbook/comments?page=1#comment_524035 )

EDIT: Please could somebody tell me how to create a proper link, I don't have an eight year-old to talk me through it at home!

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:14:46 UTC | #524041

RDfan's Avatar Comment 14 by RDfan

Comment 10 by Bernard Hurley

To my mind, those who are certainly beneath contempt are local African politicians who encourage missionaries in the hope that they may find them useful political allies if the need arises.

I couldn't agree more, as it were,...except to say that those missionaries and the officials who aid and abet them get equal contempt from me. Both missionaries and government have a vested interest in each other, it seems.

As I was saying above re: education: I visited my old primary schools recently, two of them, in Uganda and whereas 20 years ago they had scientific themes painted on the walls and corridors (the human skeleton, the heart, the digestive system etc ) now they have quotes from the Bible and warnings regarding abstinence and AIDS and not a single scientific drawing or quote from a notable thinker remains; what a (mind-narrowing) shame. I have a feeling, and it is only a feeling, that there is an under reported closing of the mind going on here.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:29:59 UTC | #524049

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Comment 15 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 13 by Godless But Not Clueless

EDIT: Please could somebody tell me how to create a proper link, I don't have an eight year-old to talk me through it at home!

It's very easy:

1) Copy the url you want to link to

2) Highlight the portion of your text where you want the link to go.

3) then click the "globe" symbol in the "new comment" menu. You then get a hyperlink pop-up, into which you paste the url address.

And voilá! ;)

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:36:11 UTC | #524054

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 16 by InYourFaceNewYorker

@Godless But Not Clueless

What else would you expect?

Julie

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:37:31 UTC | #524055

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 17 by Saganic Rites

Thank you Tiende, very much appreciated.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:39:44 UTC | #524056

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 18 by Saganic Rites

Comment 16 by InYourFaceNewYorker @Godless But Not Clueless What else would you expect? Julie

I don't know Julie, a miracle maybe :-) Sometimes it makes me laugh 'till I cry; other times I could just cry. I suppose that the only thing that could be said in their defense is that people who are truly deluded aren't aware of the delusion; to them we appear to be the mad, bad ones.

It's the ones who actively encourage the delusion, leading to the tragedies such as this one that have my utmost contempt, especially the ones (usually those toward the top of the heirarchy of their organisations) that know they are spreading falsehoods. These are the ones who are in it solely for personal gain of some type (financial, egotistical, etc.) and consider the suffering they so freely cause to be a price that they are only too happy to pay, the callous bastards!

Bryan.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 01:02:36 UTC | #524059

some asshole's Avatar Comment 19 by some asshole

Well surely this is what the Good Lord intended. Those children were meant to die to be next to Sweet Baby Jesus' side.

How'd I do?

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 01:22:43 UTC | #524063

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 20 by Steven Mading

Comment 10 by Bernard Hurley :

Comment 7 by RDfan

This is quite true. I've spoken to missionaries who genuinely aren't concerned with mortal flesh and are really worried about saving the immortal soul. These people are beneath contempt.

Whether such people are beneath contempt or not, they would certainly appear to be morally defective in that they lack empathy for others.

Not necessarily. If they aren't lying but instead are genuinely delusional enough to believe what they're saying, then I could see how they could believe that making the person's experiences in the infinite timespan of the afterlife takes precedence over how that person feels during the mortal life here on earth. If you make a ratio of how much one matters in comparison to the other, the fact that one is of finite duration and the other is of infinite duration effectively makes the relevance of the finite mortal life be a big fat zero.

This is how religion makes good people do evil things - by making them believe in false premises that really would legitimately change the whole moral calculation if they were actually true.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 03:32:29 UTC | #524088

elenaripoll's Avatar Comment 21 by elenaripoll

@Hammert1me

The problem with Atheist's is that they are lazy, too lazy to write a bible, too lazy to build church's, too lazy to appoint leaders and too lazy to stamp their kids with "I am an atheist, love me for who I am" and way too friggin lazy to count how many of us bad ass's there are in this world......

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 05:13:04 UTC | #524098

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 22 by Stevehill

Members of some apostolic sects in the country shun vaccinations and all other forms of Western medicine, saying it contradicts their belief in supernatural powers.

No doubt they are now even further reinforced in their beliefs because their gods have called their children to heaven early.

With such people, reasoning is probably pointless.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 06:40:44 UTC | #524105

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 23 by SoHelpMeReason

This is ridiculous. No vaccine--measles. Vaccine--no measles. God says not to vaccinate our children, so that must mean he'd at least try to protect them...nope. No now they're dead and dying. Sounds a whole lot like love to me.

God bless us all.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:39:33 UTC | #524121

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 24 by scottishgeologist

The key word in all of this is "apostolic" Just another manifestation of charismania / pentecostalism

This cancer, for that is what it is, is the "growing" part of the Christian church. The sort of ludicrous stupid behaviour of people like Todd bentley is an example of this type of thing

Trouble is, this sort of thing is flourishing in Africa, whether it is the "raising from the dead" BS of people like Reinhard Bonnke in Nigeria or Heidi Baker in Mozambique

Forget traditional churches, forget the Pope, the real enemy of reason in the years to come is charismania / pentecostalism. It is the absolute worst version, IMO of the God delusion.

SG

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:52:43 UTC | #524123

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 25 by scottishgeologist

The other thing of course, is that pentecostal BS flourishes best in places where there is a tradition of folk-religion, witchcraft, spiritism and so on. People already pre-disposed to that type of BS seem to lap it up

SG

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:54:20 UTC | #524124

thebaldgit's Avatar Comment 26 by thebaldgit

This story as usual proves the insidious threat of religion as a means to control the thought processes of ordinary people who are easily brainwashed into believing the lie of 'god's will'. And yet again it is those who have the least chance to defend themselves namely children that pay with their lives for this garbage.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 08:50:45 UTC | #524145

Simon Templar's Avatar Comment 27 by Simon Templar

The key word in all of this is "apostolic" Just another manifestation of charismania / pentecostalism

Other keywords might be 'State run Zimbabwe Herald' and 'Robert Mugabwe'

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 09:45:22 UTC | #524170

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 28 by Peter Grant

Zimbabwe is so screwed, even more so than most African countries. These religious nuts aren't helping.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 09:58:46 UTC | #524178

GrayMatt's Avatar Comment 29 by GrayMatt

Whilst I agree that withholding medical treatment, based on some fanciful belief in a sky-fairy is appallingly bad, we should remember that missionaries have delivered education and modern medicine to "developing" countries. I don't like the message they're carrying with them (it reminds me of the numerous Christian-oriented drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs), but one must ask whether certain remote villages in developing countries would even have the option to innoculate, were it not for the past efforts of missionaries. Yes, their metaphyics are all wrong, but that doesn't necessarily mean their intent, or the effects of such, are evil.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 10:30:43 UTC | #524190

EvN's Avatar Comment 30 by EvN

Comment 29 by GrayMatt

... missionaries have delivered education and modern medicine to "developing" countries ...

I can only comment about Southern Africa. Here, missionaries have torn apart functioning tribal systems to replace it with a noxious mixture of fanatical christianity and tribal beliefs. The sky fairy has often become just another "ancestor" with rather nasty additional requirements like homophobia and the further subjugation of women. Secular education would have been much more effective.

... but one must ask whether certain remote villages in developing countries would even have the option to innoculate, were it not for the past efforts of missionaries.

But then, without the missionaries, the community would not have had a need for innoculation at all! The harm missionaries’ did to these communities, in my view, outweigh the good by far.

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 10:52:42 UTC | #524201