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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Their ideology certainly has a lot in common with religion, certainly in many of it's acts, it is quite different due to leaving a lot more leeway. Other books than just a short red one is promoted.

But my post was more of a China vs. Religion speculation. China cracks down on religion quite hard (it is one of the large criticisms against it), but are we criticising China from a position of having found a better way to deal with religion or not..?

The consequence of freedom of religion has been strong enduring presence of religion. And the combined consequences of religion I think we agree on are tilted towards the negative. I guess it comes down to: What's worse, clamping down on religion or let it continue to corrupt society.

It depends at what price you are willing to accept this. At the price of losing as many liberties as china has lost? Having a completely narcissistic opinion of world history? Regularly violating human rights? Unfortunately, the clamping seems for worse a situation, and I'd rather fight the slow fight of re-education

I tend to agree. Though instead of choosing one of the extremes, I wouldn't mind tightening up on religion,. It's just so frustratingly slow to watch in many places.

Though copying and deleting electronic versions of holy books does provide some relief. ;)

Interesting! Thanks for posting Arcus. I would of expected the USA the be much lighter, closer to grey.

It helps to have a high level of education. 

Schools are to Atheism what Holy Buildings are to Religion. Questioning vs. not questioning everything. :)

I never liked school >./p>

My books, computer, google, wikipedia & wolframalpha are to me what holy stuff is to the religious :P


Religions are all oppressive and immoral/anti-humanistic.  I wouldn't favor one over another.  There are fanatical Christians, as well as fanatical Moslems.  Not all Moslems are "evil."  That's bias at play.  Shame on Dawkins!


I would say it's a bit more complicated than that - there are many tolerant, humanist religious people and organisations who can do a real and palpable good in the world, religious or not. Religious texts are certainly all of the above, but it's amazing the mental gymnastics people will do to make their religion fit into their own personal (and often admirable) moralities. I think that moslems have a particularly undeserved reputation as extremists, especially when there are fanatical christians killing doctors who practice abortion.

I think Dawkins is attempting to make the compromise between idealism and pragmatism, but the incredible oversight towards moderate moslems baffles me.


"Not all Moslems are "evil." That's bias at play. Shame on Dawkins!"


Show me where Dawkins said "all muslims are evil"?


Did you even read the article?


If you had, you would see that Dawkins is not saying we should support Christianity. In fact he says we shouldn't. He is simply throwing out a thought dilemma of the lesser of two evils, in order to get a debate started, that's all.

"Given that Islam is such an unmitigated evil" - I see your point. There is a great difference between religious doctrine and how people practice it. What interested me was this comment - "Christianity on the otherhand, already has many more tolerant and modern branches" by jon_the_d (on the link) - it makes the mistake that thinking how mostly rural, uneducated, and relatively poor people in Africa believe in the same manner as better educated, more cosmopolitan and tolerant christians in the west. At this level of society I think it's less a question of religious doctrine and more a question of how rural communities believe in anything, from ancestors to allah to yahweh. Regardless of faith the same cruelties and injustices will be invented, and I can't say there really is a lesser evil

You needn't be hostile-nasty.  Did you UNDERSTAND the article or what I said?  For one thing, I didn't use the word "support."  I won't engage with people like you, who get personal when they don't approve of someone's comments.  That's disrespectful.



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