Missions done better?
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08-04-2014, 07:24 AM
Missions done better?
While I don't like missionaries due to their preaching overriding what should be a positive charitable effort I now wonder if they don't actually hurt. I joined an organization called Engineers Without Borders which goes to these areas and builds things like water filtration systems, Eco-lavatories, things of that nature. This is one of two or three secular programs here that do mission work like this, another being run by the med students to provide medical services. Admittedly some of our work involves testing prototype systems but it is vital work that does good.

The problem is these groups have to compete for funding with religious mission groups, of which there are TONS.
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08-04-2014, 07:48 AM
RE: Missions done better?
(08-04-2014 07:24 AM)natachan Wrote:  While I don't like missionaries due to their preaching overriding what should be a positive charitable effort I now wonder if they don't actually hurt.

Of course they hurt. What's up for debate is how much they hurt, not if they hurt.

They're going into poor, uneducated countries and providing assistance (good!) and also are (likely) lying to them (bad!). They could simply do that first thing without doing the second thing.

Now, I'm sure most believers consider this a sort of "two birds with one stone" thing. They're doing charitable work and also spreading the Good News. They're saving souls! I'm sure it's no coincidence that the souls they're saving belong to people who are desperate and uneducated; two very fertile grounds to plant seeds of faith.
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08-04-2014, 08:00 AM
RE: Missions done better?
I think Uganda is a prime example of the negative (even dangeorus) effects that the spreading of evangelical Christianity has on poor, uneducated populations. Look at every violently anti-gay measure that has been introduced in that country, then realize the driving force behind it.

I never considered before the effect it might have on other, secular groups that might be trying to do positive things as well.

"Because I have a right to be heard... I have a voice!"
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08-04-2014, 08:01 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2014 10:31 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Missions done better?
Here's a fresh water well, and by the way you are all horrible sinners cursed to burn in horrific agony for eternity.
But wait there's more!, buy into our cult today and you can have free salvation at the low low cost of your rational faculties paid in Sunday instalments for the rest of your mortal life.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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08-04-2014, 08:36 AM
RE: Missions done better?
(08-04-2014 07:24 AM)natachan Wrote:  While I don't like missionaries due to their preaching overriding what should be a positive charitable effort I now wonder if they don't actually hurt. I joined an organization called Engineers Without Borders which goes to these areas and builds things like water filtration systems, Eco-lavatories, things of that nature. This is one of two or three secular programs here that do mission work like this, another being run by the med students to provide medical services. Admittedly some of our work involves testing prototype systems but it is vital work that does good.

The problem is these groups have to compete for funding with religious mission groups, of which there are TONS.

Good for you. I have been thinking about joining that group myself.
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08-04-2014, 09:12 AM
RE: Missions done better?
(08-04-2014 07:24 AM)natachan Wrote:  While I don't like missionaries due to their preaching overriding what should be a positive charitable effort I now wonder if they don't actually hurt. I joined an organization called Engineers Without Borders which goes to these areas and builds things like water filtration systems, Eco-lavatories, things of that nature. This is one of two or three secular programs here that do mission work like this, another being run by the med students to provide medical services. Admittedly some of our work involves testing prototype systems but it is vital work that does good.

The problem is these groups have to compete for funding with religious mission groups, of which there are TONS.

One of the problems is that people give to religious institutions without thinking. It's a "Here comes the plate, I'll put in a twenty" robotic action.

But when it comes to any other charity, they run to the InterWeb to find what percent of the donations are used for the CEO's limo or for political lobbying, etc. They judge on that basis whether to donate or not. And they're already down a twenty from giving at church.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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