The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?  (Read 9019 times)

Madidus_Scientia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
I think this is deplorable:

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/earthquake-survivors-get-solar-powered-bibles/story-e6frfku0-1225821184929

Imagine you're in Haiti, you're starving, have no water, in need of wound dressings, anti-biotics etc. And someone comes along and gives you a bible, what use is that going to be? And not a normal bible, at least you could use that to start a fire or something, but a dirty great solar powered audio bible capable of preaching to 300 people, so it must have a reasonably hefty speaker, and therefore an expensive solar panel. It disgusts me that some people think religion is more important than immediate welfare needs.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2010 12:00:39 by Madidus_Scientia »

geo driver

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • if you have a smile, share it
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #1 on: 19/01/2010 13:11:00 »
hear hear body and health first soul after plenty of time to repent after the body is healed

Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6487
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #2 on: 19/01/2010 13:22:33 »
What a waste of time, effort and money.

These people need water, medicines, food and shelter.

Stick your bible where the sun doesn't shine and do something USEFUL!

BenV

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1524
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #3 on: 19/01/2010 13:34:52 »
I suspect the more enterprising amongst them will quickly be tearing the e-bibles apart and wiring the solar panels up to other devises.  I doubt that's what the church had in mind.

geo driver

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • if you have a smile, share it
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #4 on: 19/01/2010 13:52:58 »
its a bit like giving a glass of water to a drowning man

Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7711
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #5 on: 19/01/2010 20:48:58 »
Is it just me or is it (at best) the height of poor taste to say "Come and worship the ever loving God! i.e. the entity that just wiped out about quarter of a million of your friends and neighbours"?


Lets face it, if there's a God then He just showed that he holds people in utter contempt.
God could have saved them, but He failed. It's the turn of us other humans to try to help . We might lack God's miracles; but at least we exist.

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #6 on: 19/01/2010 23:03:49 »
I'll be happy to drop some of these "good people" off in the middle of the Sahara desert with nothing but one of their bibles. It should work quite well there, so I'm sure they'd do just fine. Maybe Pat Robertson would like to go along with them?

Madidus_Scientia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #7 on: 20/01/2010 06:28:44 »
It reminds me of the episode of South Park where christians raise enough money to build an interstellar spaceship to spread the world of god to Marklar

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #8 on: 20/01/2010 07:52:29 »
Sadly, there are many churches of all denominations who really are trying to help the people of Haiti with their real and urgent needs. These imbeciles with their "Electrobible" should be universally condemned by all churches. I'm not a religious person, but I do know many who are, and I will bring this to their attention.

Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7711
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #9 on: 20/01/2010 19:27:51 »
While you are at it, could you ask them why they think it's aporopriate to worship an entity that capriciously decides to wipe out all those people and condemn many others to untold misery?
No doubt they will have a stock answer- it's hardly a new question.

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #10 on: 20/01/2010 19:33:08 »
Well I could, but I think it's better to fight one battle at a time.

Make it Lady

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #11 on: 22/01/2010 17:56:49 »
I have mixed feelings about this. When the victims of this earthquake were pulled out of the rubble of their homes and places of work, what did most of them do? They sang hymns. They are quite a religious nation. The trapped people drew the strength to survive from their faith. I think that some of them may need the crutch that religion offers at this time.
I can't see that this particular object (solar bible) would be useful to them as I'm sure people can still come together and practise their religion without it. I doubt it would be allowed into the aerport as a priority.
What I do object to is the religious groups that get people to donate cash or shoeboxes of items to help the victims and then add bibles and evangelical materials. These boxes are then sent to all people of all religions, in order to recruit new Christians. This really shows a lack of respect for those peoples beliefs. I know that operation Christmas child (Samaritans purse) do this at Christmas time. They also force recipients to attend bible rallies. They never mention this in their literature. Charity with hidden ends....terrible.

glovesforfoxes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Matthew 6:21
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #12 on: 22/01/2010 19:16:14 »
I can't believe that people are reacting so harshly towards this.. Aid is aid. I think it's a case of "this would be useless to me in this situation, so it's useless in this situation!" here.

Make it Lady

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #13 on: 22/01/2010 19:18:26 »
I can't believe that people are reacting so harshly towards this.. Aid is aid. I think it's a case of "this would be useless to me in this situation, so it's useless in this situation!" here.
I didn't say that!

glovesforfoxes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Matthew 6:21
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #14 on: 22/01/2010 19:27:10 »
Nah, I didn't really mean you Make it Lady.

As for recruiting more people, how exactly can any religion ever be successful if you don't talk to people about it? Religion is a bit like capitalism in this respect; yes, the top companies may do some pretty unethical things if it benefits them, but they will benefit from it greatly, as will the consumer (or so called victim of religion) because often, unethical things are cheaper: look at fairtrade food. I also disagree that sending these bibles is even doing that in the first place; according to wiki around 95% of them are some form of Christian, so..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Haiti

The title is such a ridiculously loaded question. Let's turn the tables here.

Say a scientific organisation is sending science books to Haiti. A Christian forum sees the news; posts a thread with the topic title: "You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a science book help?"

Kinda missing the point of sending the aid, isn't it? Both science books & bibles would be useful to the Haitians & would no doubt be appreciated - people do what they can. If this group are doing what they can, good for them!
« Last Edit: 22/01/2010 19:31:31 by glovesforfoxes »

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #15 on: 23/01/2010 08:05:39 »
By definition, Christians are supposed to "peddle" their faith.  Haiti is a horribly backward country with over 200,000 child slaves and half the country practicing voodoo.  Something is terribly wrong there, and it's not the hurricanes or the earthquakes.  They share their island with the Dominicans who are a world apart from Haitians.  The Haitian society is badly broken. :0 :0

Haiti does have its problems. So what? Are the Haitian people to be punished?

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #16 on: 23/01/2010 08:30:46 »
The title is such a ridiculously loaded question. Let's turn the tables here.

Say a scientific organisation is sending science books to Haiti. A Christian forum sees the news; posts a thread with the topic title: "You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a science book help?"

Kinda missing the point of sending the aid, isn't it? Both science books & bibles would be useful to the Haitians & would no doubt be appreciated - people do what they can. If this group are doing what they can, good for them!

GFF - If you think that is true, I suggest we try an experiment.

Let's suppose we drop you off in the middle of a desert without any water or food. We leave you there for a bit, then, we fly a plane over you and drop off some supplies. If the plane can only drop off one type of supply at a time, how would you prioritize this list of supplies?

Water
Food
Medical Supplies
Heat/Cool
Shelter
Personal hygiene products
Something to sleep on
Clean clothes
Security
Bibles
Science books


glovesforfoxes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Matthew 6:21
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #17 on: 23/01/2010 10:23:12 »
I agree that fresh clean water food shelter is a much more immediate issue than faith. However, a Christian group won't be able to send the equivalent of USS Carl Vinson, will they?

It's a disanalogy Geezer - the aid to Haiti doesn't come one drip at a time. Also, there isn't just one aircraft dropping in that aid.

Look, I'm not saying it's what I would have done. It is better that they have sent these bibles than not - therefore they deserve praise, not ridicule.
« Last Edit: 23/01/2010 10:36:11 by glovesforfoxes »

Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6487
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #18 on: 23/01/2010 11:44:41 »
If there were the capacity to handle these Bibles, then fair enough, send them by all means. It is a fact that many people do find comfort and solice (and even direction) through religion. I would not wish to deny believers their right to 'turn to God'. Equally, I would not use the opportunity to say 'if there is a God, then it is He who has brought this pain and suffering upon you'.

But the fact is there is not the capacity to deal with even the more immediate requirements of these unfortunate people as it is. A shipment of Bibles getting in the way can only serve to hamper the aid mission and prolong the suffering.

Yes, people have been thanking God for their survival and praying to Him. Does this fact not show that the believers do not need Bibles? They have their faith. What they need now are the material necessities for survival.

Even if I were a believer, I would have the same opinion, in fact, perhaps more so. Perhaps in 6 or 12 months time, when I begin to question why God had sent such punishment upon me and my already impoverished countryfolk, my faith being tested to the extreme, a Bible might help to reinforce my faith.

Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8416
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #19 on: 23/01/2010 20:28:16 »
I think it's simply a question of priorities. I have no objection to the folks in NM sending bibles to Haiti once the basic needs of the people have been taken care of. Also, if the Haitians had been crying out for bibles, then let then have bibles. But I think they were crying out for clean water, medical aid, and food, and they still are.

audiobible

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #20 on: 24/01/2010 06:27:00 »
Thanks for your spirited dialog about the solar powered audio Bibles. Even if you are a person of faith or not, we all agree that food, water, medical supplies, doctors, nurses, etc., are first priority.

First things first, these audio Bibles are NOT displacing ANY essential aid to these people who have suffered so much.  They are not on a pallet on an airdrop nor in a cargo hold on a ship.  They aren't clogging any runways or denying, delaying any aid.

In fact, these devices are still in the states enroute to dozens of relief groups who have called ASKING for them. They are shipping in small waves and won't start arriving until early Feb.

The Haitians have been preyed upon for a long-time by those interested in exploiting their natural resources and impoverishing their people.

Our non-profit believes the people of Haiti are that nation’s most precious resource and we desire to empower them with the Scriptures (in which they believe) in a format they can use. Roughly half the nation is unable to read, so giving them the Bible in their language and in a format they can use–audio, is completely reasonable.

Our organization has been working with the Haitians since 1986.  The people on the ground are our friends, coworkers and fellow believers. 

Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7711
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #21 on: 24/01/2010 10:16:51 »
"First things first, these audio Bibles are NOT displacing ANY essential aid to these people who have suffered so much"
Yes they are. It doesn't matter how they are transported; that transport route could be used for something useful.

Incidentally, this is a science forum so things like this "Our non-profit believes the people of Haiti are that nation’s most precious resource and we desire to empower them with the Scriptures"
will get queried.
I'm happy to accept that people are the most important resource but can you justify the second clause i.e. "we desire to empower them with the Scriptures".
Is there any evidence that giving them scriptures helps to empower them?
Many of them are believers; they already had the scriptures and that didn't get them any power before.
The evidence of past experience indicates that having a bible or access to one doesn't stop you living under a horrid set of conditions.

Might they not do better spending their time looking for water or even just resting, rather than listening to what seems to me to be a 2000 year old fairy tale?

glovesforfoxes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Matthew 6:21
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #22 on: 24/01/2010 10:25:57 »
^ BC, if it provides comfort, it provides comfort. There are things more important than the truth sometimes. You are in a terrible position as an apathetic non-believer to understand the importance of that, I suppose. There is evidence that faith protects against mental illness; surely that's a signal that religion is good for the soul, excuse the pun?
« Last Edit: 24/01/2010 10:37:13 by glovesforfoxes »

Madidus_Scientia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #23 on: 24/01/2010 11:18:02 »
I'd be interested to see that evidence, because i'd wonder if it just seemed that way because many delusional people are written off as just religious, since it's impossible to distinguish between the two.

glovesforfoxes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Matthew 6:21
    • View Profile
You're in Haiti, starving, thirsty. Will a bible help?
« Reply #24 on: 24/01/2010 11:43:47 »
A delusion it may or may not be. I don't really care either way. That is a word that is unhelpful in describing what belief actually is.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023120228.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2568974/

I am disinterested in arguing about this further because I do not think I will change anyone's mind. Less & less am I seeing debate as an effective way of changing people's minds.. if you don't feel like religious belief will is helpful, then you just don't feel it is, I can't argue with a feeling. How you think about that belief will change how you feel about it, but if you're stuck thinking about it purely from a "this isn't true, & I feel like that's all that matters!" perspective, then no amount of debate will change your minds.

 

SMF 2.0 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length