This is a very interesting dichotomy proposed by our friend Professor Dawkins and brings to mind the whole, lesser of two evils argument. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


This post is from the discussion section of the Richard Dawkins Foundations for Reason and Science's discussion section. The link to the site is here.

Support Christian missions in Africa? No, but . . .

Given that Islam is such an unmitigated evil, and looking at the map supplied by this Christian site, should we be supporting Christian missions in Africa? My answer is still no, but I thought it was worth raising the question. Given that atheism hasn't any chance in Africa for the foreseeable future, could our enemy's enemy be our friend?


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There is a saying about bedfellows ahh well never mind. No I don't think we should be supporting christianity or islam anywhere though I see his point. At the present time, islam is more radicalized and subsequently more dangerous yet even if christianity were to become more prominent is the area with the help of meager conscript atheists, would we be willing to accept part of the blame for the inevitable bloodshed? No doubt, atheists would take the brunt of the accusatory whirlwind via fox news who would suggest that as we were involved the morality of faith was tarnished and so on. This will assuredly lead to numerous and grotesque forms of butchery with or without out involvement and as disappointing as it is, we may one day add this to the exceptionally long list of religious atrocities at the hands of the moral exemplars.
So let the animals kill the animals and hopefully we are all that remains?
Well, that is an unemotionally terse simplification but accurate. I feel our involvement will by no means be of benefit should we opt to "choose sides". There are those among the faithful who we can certainly at least curtail and others whom we might be able to win over, so to speak, these scenarios have a tendency (as I am sure you are aware) of bringing out the worst of man. Should we really ally ourselves with such a dogmatic and violent wing of either branch of faith? I for one think not. If there is a positive to be claimed form the ensuing events, it will provide some more ammunition for the skeptics position though I don't think we are anywhere near a breakthrough.
Reminds me of that movie The Sum of All's a pretty good tactic, let them fight it out. Prisons and gang units use the same technique with violent, repeat offenders. Haha seems morbid, but what can you do?
I'm sorry, but I am completely swamped by the dickishness of these comments.  "let the animals kill the animals" - really? Animals? People. Will. Die. For. Stupid. Shit. Which most of them don't care about. Religion must die, but people shouldn't, and calling them animals (and implying you... aren't?) is callous. @Jason - I agree, I don't believe allying ourselves as atheists to any group will help.
I wasn't saying let the animals kill the animals in a literal sense. I was saying it in response to the last posting.  I apologize for not clarifying.  But I take issue with your "dickeshenss" remark. Sorry if we are not up to your par of commenting but I think it's been a good discussion.
It was certainly not a matter of being up to par. If it were I certainly wouldn't have aimed for so loft an adjective as "dickishness" :) but the point stands - these people, even extremists - are people. Much like people involved in gang violence. They are no better or worse than us, and not animals when we are loftier beings. The point, to myself, in being labelled as atheists is because we recognise this - we are NOT a religion and do NOT engage with people in religious terms - branding. But as I said, I do agree with both your and Jason's basic point (although I apologise for not including you in that credit) - atheists should not engage themselves here under the "atheist" moniker
I realize where you are coming from, Robert, and understand the context of your comment.  I think OOB's comment got inserted in the wrong place, but there IS a lot of 'dickishness' flowing through this thread.  The discussion is supposed to be about what would be best for Africa as a collection of developing nations and where Atheists fit into that, but a lot of rhetoric has been tossed out about the radical element of Islam and the impotence/etherealness of moderate Muslims.  It is usually around this point where I hear phrases like, "at least I'm not afraid of calling a spade a spade," with no explanation as to how such a statement puts any potatoes in the pot.
@OOB and @Heather, thank you both for clarifying.  Didn't mean to cause a fuss.  @OOB, I am in complete agreement that what sets us as atheists and humanists apart is that we value all human life regardless of religion, race, gender, etc...being an African myself, I am sad for the continent, thus my interest in the map and the topic.
I'm South African, and am african once-removed. I think the reason it may have struck me is it reminds me of many a racist remark I've had to endure. Sorry about my failure at positioning the reply :)
An excellent analysis.  Is there any way we can insert covert Atheist missionaries?  Maybe fund 'Teachers Without Borders'?  Elevating literacy levels can't hurt, can it?


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