Adrian
KingHell
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 726
Jason said (in comment here­):

...I was rather expecting a different talk, one that focused more on the role of religion in the development aid "business" and it's contribution to perpetuating poverty. Instead the focus of the talk was more on the need for development aid per se and that in order to achieve development aims we, as Humanists, will have to cooperate to some extent with religiously motivated aid agencies which range from those where the religion is almost peripheral, like Action Aid, to those that are heavily Evangelical. Some questioners like Kieron tried to bring the conversation back around in the Q&A but too late at that point. Surprisingly for humanists, some rejected the idea of development aid altogether. Less surprisingly, it seemed accepted that criticising religion was unproductive. So to sum up, a good and interesting talk but not quite the one you might expect from the title.
This failure to grasp the imperative of criticising, or acting to eradicate the faith virus in any way save for unhelpful, mega-wanky, vaguely religious, platitudes like "living a good life", is representative of a failure to recognise the real problems. Moderates always empower and enable extremists and as such are responsible for the actions of extremists. After all it wasn't the moderates who ended slavery, it was the abolitionists (no doubt called 'militant' by commentators at the time). The moderates will have probably extended slavery by decades if not generations. Accommodationists (by which I mean some 'moderate' atheists and humanists) are ruining people's lives and need to be exposed for what they are (using vice as a virtue). They have been getting away with this for years because it's seen as a very poor show to criticise them, under the various banners of 'political correctness', respect for religion and is a massive case of "who are we to say-itis". Charity/aid is not a panacea, not necessarily a virtuous thing, and mostly is done for the result of self-satisfaction, which is the wrong motivation in the first place.

Cooperating with religiously motivated agencies is not pragmatism, it's like not phoning the police when you see a serious crime being committed. People need education to help solve a lot of problems in the 3rd world, not short-termist, do-gooding, self-ingratiating solutions that ultimately perpetuate more people needing aid and becoming victims. Holocaust much?
Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 751
Furthermore the Humanists will always be seen as the 'junior partners', so the church gets the credit for their work.

Adrian
KingHell
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 727
Kieron posted this on the event page so I've copied it here to keep the keep the comments alive and searchable:

Excellent summary Jason. One of the 'humanist' (he asked the second question) who was against giving aid actually wants the empire back.! And yes, shame my question/statement wasn't taken sooner, (she seemed to take questions from the front first, then from the rear, and those towards the middle a later, so luck of the draw I guess) but at least she agreed with what I said, and will amend some of her presentation. But for me the best/worst statement to stimulate debate (after mine of course:) was the second to last question/statement, which went along the lines that if religion gives them comfort, then that's OK. The speaker agreed, which I found annoying. Religion plays a huge part as to why so many countries remain poor and uneducated. 98% of Africans either believe in a god or witchcraft, so because this gives them comfort, it was implied we should say nothing,,, which is wrong.

(posted by Kieron)
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 1,854
One of the 'humanist' (he asked the second question) who was against giving aid actually wants the empire back.!
What kind of nut jobs were at this meetup, lol! Sounds very entertaining!

which went along the lines that if religion gives them comfort, then that's OK. The speaker agreed, which I found annoying. Religion plays a huge part as to why so many countries remain poor and uneducated. 98% of Africans either believe in a god or witchcraft, so because this gives them comfort, it was implied we should say nothing,,, which is wrong.
Ab-so-bleedin'-lutely­. Think they need some Peter Boghossian wake ups.
Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 752
Humanists are appeasers to the church.
Humanists either haven't learnt from history, or they misunderstand the evil that religion truly is.
Jason
SweynTUV
London, GB
Post #: 216
What kind of nut jobs were at this meetup, lol! Sounds very entertaining!
Ah Georghi. Had you been there you would probably have swallowed your tongue. The McWhirter twins both got questions in. Something about how aid was wasted on these African types. Why can't these Africans get their act together? And this from supposed humanists. Patricia rightly pointed out that much of Africa currently has rates of growth that we would kill for. Those guys ask something similar every time I am there. I think there must be a UKIP meeting nearby and they keep getting the venues mixed up.

And as for the lady who thought they should be left with Religion because it was their only comfort, well what about changing things so it isn't there only comfort, for crying out loud? Where would we be in this country if social and political reformers thought "D'you know what? I would fight to stop children going down mines, people working a six and a half day week, women not having the vote etc. but they've got their religion' they're happy, so what's the point?". Christian refeormers were the exception. For the most part they were just encouraging us to, sing along to "All Things Bright and Beautiful":

The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate
God made them high and lowly and ordered their estate

Seems they still are.
Adrian
KingHell
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 730
Ultimately religion is not a comfort it is of course the opium of the masses. Like any drug abused over the long term it's a delusion not a solution.
Jason
SweynTUV
London, GB
Post #: 217
Ultimately religion is not a comfort it is of course the opium of the masses. Like any drug abused over the long term it's a delusion not a solution.
Agreed. There is a one subset of "the people" for which I will concede that "the opium" is probably for the best, I.e. lifelong believers who are facing the end of their life sooner rather than later. Even Peter B. said in the podcast I posted that he could not bring himself to challenge his mother at that point. Of course the point is not just to be right and hang the consequences. The point is that, looking at humanity as a whole, faith causes much more suffering than happiness. Knowing the truth of the matter has to be for the best but someone approaching the end of their days that is infected with the faith virus has no time to come to terms with a new point of view. To try to "cure" someone in those circumstances would be to use them as a means to an end and that obviously can't be right. For everyone else though it is entirely reasonable and right to point out where the water is, lead them to it if they ask and hope they take a drink, for their sake and ours.

Final point. The idea that another section of humanity, whether based on race, culture, place in the pecking order etc., is somehow better off without as accurate an understanding of reality as anyone else, is part of a very patrician/colonialist mindset. I hear this view from atheists that seem to think of their atheism as some kind of burden or superpower that only they are strong enough or moral enough to handle. Ironically this kind of talk comes from the very same people that claim to be culturally sensitive and paint others as arrogant for "imposing" their views.

Adrian, am I allowed to say that I find this position actually rather offensive or will some kind of alarm go off?

Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 753
I hope not. I think the same as you. Smacks of humanism to me.
Powered by mvnForum

Optional Contribution

GBP10.00 Avail in multiples of £10

This covers: OPTIONAL FUNDRAISING: for LAAG's upcoming Activism Conference + other campaigns

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Please email us and we'll send details. Or see us at any LAAG own meetup (i.e. not EXTERNAL events etc.) Again if in doubt email us.

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy