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Author Topic: Mother Theresa  (Read 2783 times)

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Offline Lilias

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2016, 05:23:06 PM »
Perhaps a better question to ask is whether or not the people who she cared for benefited from the service she provided. You could argue that the medical attention was sub par, but was it better than nothing at all? My understanding is that the people she treated were generally those who people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. ( that's about 3 meters for our friends in the UK )

The vast majority of the people who ended their days in her hospices were either entirely homeless or slum dwellers. People may recoil in horror at stories of not having painkillers, but that's first-world thought; to them, having a real bed and being clean, dry and warm in their last days was untold luxury. (Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a fascinating read if you are interested in Indian slum life; opposite side of the country from Mother Teresa, same issues.)

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2016, 11:17:13 AM »
The vast majority of the people who ended their days in her hospices were either entirely homeless or slum dwellers. People may recoil in horror at stories of not having painkillers, but that's first-world thought; to them, having a real bed and being clean, dry and warm in their last days was untold luxury. (Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a fascinating read if you are interested in Indian slum life; opposite side of the country from Mother Teresa, same issues.)

So what you're saying is, that because they had it marginally better than before, Mother Theresa's work was good? She refused to give people pain relief. Not because there was none, but because she wanted, no needed them, to suffer.

To take a bit of a tangent on an analogy. Imagine I find an abandoned puppy in the woods. The little creature is malnourished and sick from living out in the wet forest. I take the creature home, and lock it in a doghouse with a bowl of water and a tiny bit of kibble, but don't attend to its medical problem, not because I can't afford to, but simply because I feel dogs should feel pain and suffering.

Am I then a saint, or simply an animal abuser?

Mother Theresa had the means to help ease these people's suffering. But instead she decided to only elongate this suffering by giving them just enough care that they would die less quickly.
Yet when she got sick herself, there was no talk of pain and suffering being what god wanted. She was flown to a private medical facility in the States. Given the best care, and all the care to ease her suffering. Paid for, might I add, by money that was supposed to be used for the sick people of India.

She was like that one kid that is only really happy when torturing animals.

Mother Theresa is given sainthood for being a sadist and a hypocrite, and people wonder why so many are leaving the Catholic church.

Personally, I do not believe in the whole pervert old man on a cloud thing, but if I did, I'd know that even he would make this woman suffer for her actions.

Perhaps a better question to ask is whether or not the people who she cared for benefited from the service she provided. You could argue that the medical attention was sub par, but was it better than nothing at all? My understanding is that the people she treated were generally those who people wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. ( that's about 3 meters for our friends in the UK )

Feet are a relatively common unit of measurement in the UK.

As for your actual question. Was her medical attention better than none at all? Many people came to her sick and in pain, and often with no real chance of getting better without medication. On the street they might have survived weeks or months, and died in agony. Mother Theresa's care meant clean beds, warm food, but no actual treatment of the ailment. And her insistence that suffering was part of God's plan, meant that these people, as I said above, were denied pain relief medication, despite it actually being available to her to distribute. Whether that care was better than dying on the street is a good question indeed.

The mentality that Mother Theresa had though, fits right in with other high ranking people in the Catholic church. Remember pope Ratzinger, who in 2009 claimed that contraception, like condoms Led to the spread of Aids, or Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham who said that child abuse victims were culpable, and even called them acomplices while under oath. (Yes, he later backtracked, but never took back his words or apologised for saying them. He only apologised for his words causing harm. Quite a distinction)

Now I don't mean to imply that every Catholic, or even every clergyman is evil. But the fact that this kind of behaviour is not only allowed to take place, but is practised by ranking members of the organisation, in some cases even leading to canonisation. (Where cannonisation is so much more appropriate) is a huge cause for concern.

And if you think the new pope is so wonderful, think of how he Held a tirade on unbridled capitalism While being the head of a multibillion dollar organisation that made most of its money by practises that by their own admission included swindle, blackmail and extortion.

Sorry for going off on a tangent, but in conclusion. The canonisation of Mother Theresa is a disgrace, but it is par for the course for the Catholic church.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2016, 12:41:08 PM »
Unless and until you walk a mile in the shoes of the missionary and research all there is available instead of articles written with a bias against a subject you really have no way to justify an opinion of your own.

You are, of course, entitled to any opinion you wish to hold, however, opinions based on fact rather than the opinions of others get respect.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2016, 12:52:01 PM »
You are of course correct. However the sources I base myself on are quite clear, and not all written with bias against her. I'll admit some of my commentary is sharp, but when I'm back in the office, and not suffering from paywalls to medical journals, I will provide my sources.

As for walking in other people's shoes. If she believed in her methods, then why did she use her charity's funds to seek help in the US instead of relying on her own methods she believed in so strongly?
I know you cannot answer that as nor can anyone truly, but it does present a rather interesting question. Why were anaelgetics not allowed for the poor people of Calcutta, but when it was her that was in pain, god was suddenly for it?

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2016, 01:27:47 PM »
I won't try to convince you because you have already made up your mind.  I'll simply pray for you as she would have.


Offline RedRose

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2016, 07:13:05 AM »
In France it seems to me that people either see her as "great but not unblemished", or as that person who traded painkillers/meds for conversion.
I spent some time in India (the first days locked up in the hotel and refusing to face the reality of life there - and it wasn't quite my first "non Western" trip). I will agree that just being clean and fed and in a bed is something MANY people do not have. You have swarms of street children begging around. You have the pilgrims who sold everything for their journey and sleep on the street too. There is no politically correct including with the very educated ones who speak perfect English and French and work corporate jobs. I was often at a loss for words and I don't come from a PC country nor from PC circles inside that non-PC country. It is a thing to get fitted for custom clothes and they proudly show you their workers that include kids that sometimes work overnight.  It is a thing for bosses to show you a worker with bloodied hands and brag about how hard he works. In a way the countryside is better, when they have food - but apart from the fact that most of them speak English I'd say not much has changed there in last centuries (?).
So, yeah.

Mostly Mother T isn't really a big topic (anymore?) in France.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2016, 07:28:44 AM »
So what you're saying is, that because they had it marginally better than before, Mother Theresa's work was good? She refused to give people pain relief. Not because there was none, but because she wanted, no needed them, to suffer.

To take a bit of a tangent on an analogy. Imagine I find an abandoned puppy in the woods. The little creature is malnourished and sick from living out in the wet forest. I take the creature home, and lock it in a doghouse with a bowl of water and a tiny bit of kibble, but don't attend to its medical problem, not because I can't afford to, but simply because I feel dogs should feel pain and suffering.

Am I then a saint, or simply an animal abuser?

Mother Theresa had the means to help ease these people's suffering. But instead she decided to only elongate this suffering by giving them just enough care that they would die less quickly.
Yet when she got sick herself, there was no talk of pain and suffering being what god wanted. She was flown to a private medical facility in the States. Given the best care, and all the care to ease her suffering. Paid for, might I add, by money that was supposed to be used for the sick people of India.

She was like that one kid that is only really happy when torturing animals.

Mother Theresa is given sainthood for being a sadist and a hypocrite, and people wonder why so many are leaving the Catholic church.

Personally, I do not believe in the whole pervert old man on a cloud thing, but if I did, I'd know that even he would make this woman suffer for her actions.

I have no dog in this fight; she's not a saint in my tradition. She did according to her lights, like everyone else. Perhaps she made things only a little better for the people she dealt with, while she had the power to make things a lot better, but that's still more than most of us are willing to do. If that's not enough for you, then don't honour her. Simple.

Also, I find it extremely interesting that you take exception to her being a saint - a strictly spiritual accolade that you don't even believe in - but not to her being a Nobel Prize laureate, which brought along some very material perks.

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2016, 08:56:08 AM »
Wow, that is a whole lot of anger over an old woman.  Also your analogy is a bit flawed.  Mother Theresa did not have one puppy to bring for medical treatment.  She had many more to treat and tend to which is down played with that example.  Were someone to find twelve puppies left out and sick, then people would not judge them so harshly for not having the ability or resources to have them completely tended.  Hell that person would be applauded for even bringing them home, providing them a warm bed with food and drinkable water so that they might at least die in some comfort.  Seems to me many people are judging her from a first world perspective when she barely had the ability to provide Third World comforts.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2016, 02:20:09 AM »
Yes pumpkin, except she did have the means. She had the means to give them ease from their suffering. She publicly claimed however that she would not ease this suffering as it was part of god's plan.

Yet when she was the one in pain, she used money, that was meant not for her but for her charges, to get top notch medical care and pain relief in a private US hospital.

Lilias, I do take exception to that, but the discussion was about her canonisation.

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2016, 06:00:56 AM »
What source do you have that she had the means to distribute pain medication in enough quantities to take care of the pain and suffering of all those in her care?

Offline Clown without Clothes

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2017, 01:02:10 AM »
It's easy to bash Mother Theresa given that it is in vogue at the moment. But keep in mind she helped people in a country where if you are born poor you are considered "Untouchable" and that you are being punished for sins committed in a past life. A rather convenient belief system to rid yourself of the burden of helping anyone, especially if you are well off.

So for whatever mistakes she might have made, and she did question her own faith at times too. She did some good work for people who were neglected by their own country and system.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2017, 03:58:45 AM »
We may never know her exact means, but she had a significant chunk of a billion dollars. Keating alone donated millions.

It's easy to bash Mother Theresa given that it is in vogue at the moment. But keep in mind she helped people in a country where if you are born poor you are considered "Untouchable" and that you are being punished for sins committed in a past life. A rather convenient belief system to rid yourself of the burden of helping anyone, especially if you are well off.

So for whatever mistakes she might have made, and she did question her own faith at times too. She did some good work for people who were neglected by their own country and system.

What did she do to help those people?

What solid evidence is there that Mother Teresa did anything good for those under her care during her life?




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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2017, 04:38:33 AM »
Not sure the sort of solid evidence you will be looking for here Vekseid.  I don't think they handed out patient satisfaction surveys at her hospice clinics.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2017, 05:59:07 AM »
No, but studies were done into the quality of her Hospices.

This article sums up one pretty comprehensive Study of her methods and her Hospices.

She didn't relieve the pain of her patients, many of her hospices were dirty, unhygienic and relatively poorly funded. For example, a lot of them had no medically trained individuals despite Teresa's funding (According to Robin Fox, anyway), and she would frequently forgo actual medical care for both "Miracles" and letting them suffer (Like, she once told Christopher Hitchens that ďThere is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christís Passion. The world gains much from their suffering" ). She endorsed various dictators and criminals, and despite the HUGE amounts of funding she received, apparently very little of it reached the poor it was supposed to help. She baptised desperate, dying folk against their will - which even if I don't personally think it does anything, it is still a HUGE violation of their rights and their trust - and only used her charity as a front for missionary missions. Like, many of her facilities never actually housed any locals; they were just bases for proselytising.

She most certainly does NOT deserve her Sainthood, or any applause whatsoever. Whether she thought she was in the right or not is irrelevant; in the end, she caused her patients far more harm than good, so far as the evidence suggests.

I'm sorry, Clown, but you're wrong. She helped very, very few people and those who DID get attention at her hospices received little in the way of pain relief or actual medical treatment. She might have thought she was doing good...but she was wrong.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 06:00:45 AM by Vergil Tanner »

Offline Scribbles

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2017, 06:23:42 AM »
She didn't relieve the pain of her patients, many of her hospices were dirty, unhygienic and relatively poorly funded.

I've heard conflicting stories on this. While many articles maintain that her care was amateurish, seeing as the volunteers were hardly taught the basics on medical care with some of the worse cases involving those with communicable illnesses not being isolated or needles not being sterilized properly, I've found that there appears to be a consensus that the hospice was kept very clean; even amongst her detractors.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 06:26:57 AM by Scribbles »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2017, 06:26:52 AM »
Perhaps I should have said "Some." It really depends - obviously - on where the Hospice was located. Different standards for different places, and all that.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2017, 07:03:54 AM »
Perhaps I should have said "Some." It really depends - obviously - on where the Hospice was located. Different standards for different places, and all that.

Fair enough, I'm neither for or against Theresa but, depending on how thin she stretched herself, I can imagine her organisation finding it difficult to maintain perfect standards in all their hospices. Even public hospitals, funded far more than Theresa could ever have dreamed of, with actual medical professionals, struggle to keep a proper environment for medical care. There's a chance she had to ask whether her "help" should focus on quality or quantity.

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2017, 07:47:06 AM »
No, I don't think it's that at all. She only had 500 Hospices (I think) and had access to millions of dollars a year. And this was in the 70's and 80's when a dollar went a lot further. It wasn't that she couldn't afford medication, it's that she actively preached against painkillers and the like. And considering how many Hospices she had, her coverage of the sick should have been much higher than it was. It isn't that expensive to make up a simple broth for the homeless and buy basic medication for the sick, especially not with charity and bulk budgets, and the amount of money she had access to...which she spent on herself, or in donations to the church, I would wager. On my phone so I can't google that right now, unfortunately.

Online Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2017, 09:06:36 AM »
She had 517 hospice clinics in addition to shelters and food distribution center if I remember correctly.  Saying only 500 is a bit of an over simplification I imagine.  I would be willing to bet those 517 saw way more than they were intended to see and probably had quite an overflow population.  As for hygiene and conditions, I believe this was pointed out earlier that this may be a classic case of first world physicians coming to pass judgement on third world conditions.  How long would a multi-million dollar facility have remained open to the impoverished of that country I wonder.  Do you honestly believe a facility with state of the art facilities, highly trained personnel and plentiful access to medications would have been allowed to remain in the hands of a charity group?  I think the United Nations can attest to how difficult even getting food to poor regions of a country can be so imagine the difficulty in importing thousands of vials of morphine.  People hear millions and imagine that a hospital could be run with such a sum but keep in mind that a single medical-surgical floor has a budget of over several hundred thousand dollars.  Places with higher levels of care easily break into the millions marker and so forth.

I don't know if she was a saint or not, but I do question how much of this is beating on a dead woman that was trying to help versus being fairly critical.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2017, 09:18:36 AM »
No, I don't think it's that at all. She only had 500 Hospices (I think) and had access to millions of dollars a year. And this was in the 70's and 80's when a dollar went a lot further. It wasn't that she couldn't afford medication, it's that she actively preached against painkillers and the like. And considering how many Hospices she had, her coverage of the sick should have been much higher than it was. It isn't that expensive to make up a simple broth for the homeless and buy basic medication for the sick, especially not with charity and bulk budgets, and the amount of money she had access to...which she spent on herself, or in donations to the church, I would wager. On my phone so I can't google that right now, unfortunately.

Even if you had google, you wouldn't find your answer, since Theresa's organization (Missionary of Charities) never published the amount they received in donations, contrary to what is/was required by Indian law. This is also what opened the door to so much conjecture regarding the handling of donations.

Also, I think you're selling her group a little short as they operated outside of India in over a hundred different countries, so they were funding far more than the five hundred hospices you mentioned alone. Millions of dollars is a drop in the ocean when taking that into account. And as a reminder, when "The Lancet" conducted their investigation, they were comparing the fairly high quality conditions of a developed nation to those of a developing one, so I still feel that it's possible that her group overextended themselves in an effort to provide more care as opposed to better care...

Again, I'm not holding the torch for Theresa and I find the fact that they didn't publicise donations and spending to be worrying. I also don't know enough about Theresa or her organization that would make me want to judge whether she was good or evil, especially considering information was hardly as easy to record or come by back then, meaning we're all working off possibly biased or incorrect data, or we're simply reading data in such a way to suit our perspectives, ignorant of what the situation may have been back then.

Personally, I have a strange mix of feelings on this current trend to demonize past heroes. On the one hand, I really appreciate that people are able to look at a supposed hero and not be blinded to their possible flaws (something that infuriatingly happens today far too often, with current "heroes"), and yet I can't help but also think, "Aww, do we have to get all analytical, can't we just have nice things!" :P

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2017, 09:30:35 AM »
When someone gets the kind of notice Mother Theresa received, the attention of a world-known figure like Princess Diana, the cause that person works for is brought to our attention.  We are then given the ability to intercede and contribute.  We have the choice and if we don't take it that is on us.  No matter how little we have, no matter what the state of our own health, no matter the needs that make life difficult for us, we are still better off than others and are given the opportunity to be a benefactor.

Do you walk, unseeing, past the homeless?  Do you turn off the news story about the abused child?  Do you shrug off the needs of the victims of crime and government attacks?  Do you actively make the choice between helping and ignoring, telling yourself you have nothing to give?  Mother Theresa had nothing to give until she started showing the world where giving was needed.  Some of us helped her and some of us didn't.  But she took our offerings to help others and make the world a better place for all of us.

What we do for the least of those in need from our own limited resources is more than the tithe of a wealthy person who doesn't miss the few coins they throw at the feet of the destitute.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 09:32:17 AM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2017, 11:36:50 AM »
She had 517 hospice clinics in addition to shelters and food distribution center if I remember correctly.  Saying only 500 is a bit of an over simplification I imagine.  I would be willing to bet those 517 saw way more than they were intended to see and probably had quite an overflow population.

Well, I DID mention that I was on my phone, so I knew it was somewhere around 500.
But as I mentioned in my earlier post, studies suggest that only a fraction of those actually saw any populace outreach at all. Not many people actually got treated at her instillations, and those poorly.


As for hygiene and conditions, I believe this was pointed out earlier that this may be a classic case of first world physicians coming to pass judgement on third world conditions.

No, they were passing judgement on a woman who had access to first world supplies and funding.


How long would a multi-million dollar facility have remained open to the impoverished of that country I wonder.  Do you honestly believe a facility with state of the art facilities, highly trained personnel and plentiful access to medications would have been allowed to remain in the hands of a charity group?

I dunno. Ask Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross.


I think the United Nations can attest to how difficult even getting food to poor regions of a country can be so imagine the difficulty in importing thousands of vials of morphine.

Here's the thing. If the reason she didn't give out medication was because she was prevented by funding and logistical issues, then I wouldn't be being so harsh. The simple fact of the matter is, Mother Teresa herself said that painkillers were not to be used because she believed that suffering brought you closer to God. It wasn't an act of logistical necessity, it was an act of a woman who didn't want to ease their pain. She even said so herself, on multiple occasions. THAT is why I am being so harsh in this regard.


People hear millions and imagine that a hospital could be run with such a sum but keep in mind that a single medical-surgical floor has a budget of over several hundred thousand dollars.  Places with higher levels of care easily break into the millions marker and so forth.

I know that, but her facilities aren't that. Nobody is denying that it's difficult, but somehow other charities at the time - with far less exposure than her - managed it. Is it so much to ask that a single-floor Hospice be kept relatively clean, that they be given a fair amount of painkillers and that they shouldn't be taken advantage of and converted in a moment of weakness and desperation?


I don't know if she was a saint or not, but I do question how much of this is beating on a dead woman that was trying to help versus being fairly critical.

I think I am being entirely fairly critical. The things I am criticising her for are things that she actually did. I have no doubt that she genuinely believed that she was helping...I'm just saying that she did some abhorrent and immoral things that should rightly be criticised, especially if she's been made a saint.


I still feel that it's possible that her group overextended themselves in an effort to provide more care as opposed to better care...

Except that Teresa herself said - as I mentioned above - that the suffering of the poor was beautiful and that the poor should accept their lot. If she didn't have the money, she would have said "Funds are tight but we do what we can." Instead, she said "The poor should accept their lot; they are suffering just as Christ suffered and I think that is a beautiful thing." (I'm paraphrasing a little).
This is a woman who told her nurses not to give out painkillers because she believed that painkillers should not be given out.


Again, I'm not holding the torch for Theresa and I find the fact that they didn't publicise donations and spending to be worrying.

Exactly. I find that extremely worrying indeed. I would very much like to see that information.


Personally, I have a strange mix of feelings on this current trend to demonize past heroes. On the one hand, I really appreciate that people are able to look at a supposed hero and not be blinded to their possible flaws (something that infuriatingly happens today far too often, with current "heroes"), and yet I can't help but also think, "Aww, do we have to get all analytical, can't we just have nice things!" :P

Not when such nice things are not actually real. Not when they're built on a lie. I have no doubt that she believed that she was helping...but glorifying a woman who in fact increased the suffering of her charges and took advantage of her position and power to "Stealth convert" people under the guise of providing medical aid? I abhor it just as I abhor the nature of organisations like the AA, who take vulnerable people and build their new sense of self worth entirely around religion. Regardless of whether that religion is true or not...taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position in such a cynical way is morally reprehensible.


When someone gets the kind of notice Mother Theresa received, the attention of a world-known figure like Princess Diana, the cause that person works for is brought to our attention.  We are then given the ability to intercede and contribute.  We have the choice and if we don't take it that is on us.  No matter how little we have, no matter what the state of our own health, no matter the needs that make life difficult for us, we are still better off than others and are given the opportunity to be a benefactor.

Do you walk, unseeing, past the homeless?  Do you turn off the news story about the abused child?  Do you shrug off the needs of the victims of crime and government attacks?  Do you actively make the choice between helping and ignoring, telling yourself you have nothing to give?  Mother Theresa had nothing to give until she started showing the world where giving was needed.  Some of us helped her and some of us didn't.  But she took our offerings to help others and make the world a better place for all of us.

What we do for the least of those in need from our own limited resources is more than the tithe of a wealthy person who doesn't miss the few coins they throw at the feet of the destitute.

I strongly disagree. She put a roof over their heads, yes, but she also denied them painkillers, denied them proper medical care, and actively supported several rather brutal regimes.
I would take your money and give it to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders instead. Because honestly? Mother Teresa is certainly not a Saint, and she certainly did not make the poors lives much better. They were given roofs over their heads (some of them, anyway), but with the exposure and funding she had? She could have done much, much better for them.

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2017, 12:02:29 PM »
Well, I DID mention that I was on my phone, so I knew it was somewhere around 500.
But as I mentioned in my earlier post, studies suggest that only a fraction of those actually saw any populace outreach at all. Not many people actually got treated at her instillations, and those poorly.


No, they were passing judgement on a woman who had access to first world supplies and funding.


I dunno. Ask Doctors Without Borders and The Red Cross.


Here's the thing. If the reason she didn't give out medication was because she was prevented by funding and logistical issues, then I wouldn't be being so harsh. The simple fact of the matter is, Mother Teresa herself said that painkillers were not to be used because she believed that suffering brought you closer to God. It wasn't an act of logistical necessity, it was an act of a woman who didn't want to ease their pain. She even said so herself, on multiple occasions. THAT is why I am being so harsh in this regard.


I know that, but her facilities aren't that. Nobody is denying that it's difficult, but somehow other charities at the time - with far less exposure than her - managed it. Is it so much to ask that a single-floor Hospice be kept relatively clean, that they be given a fair amount of painkillers and that they shouldn't be taken advantage of and converted in a moment of weakness and desperation?


I think I am being entirely fairly critical. The things I am criticising her for are things that she actually did. I have no doubt that she genuinely believed that she was helping...I'm just saying that she did some abhorrent and immoral things that should rightly be criticised, especially if she's been made a saint.


Except that Teresa herself said - as I mentioned above - that the suffering of the poor was beautiful and that the poor should accept their lot. If she didn't have the money, she would have said "Funds are tight but we do what we can." Instead, she said "The poor should accept their lot; they are suffering just as Christ suffered and I think that is a beautiful thing." (I'm paraphrasing a little).
This is a woman who told her nurses not to give out painkillers because she believed that painkillers should not be given out.


Exactly. I find that extremely worrying indeed. I would very much like to see that information.


Not when such nice things are not actually real. Not when they're built on a lie. I have no doubt that she believed that she was helping...but glorifying a woman who in fact increased the suffering of her charges and took advantage of her position and power to "Stealth convert" people under the guise of providing medical aid? I abhor it just as I abhor the nature of organisations like the AA, who take vulnerable people and build their new sense of self worth entirely around religion. Regardless of whether that religion is true or not...taking advantage of people in a vulnerable position in such a cynical way is morally reprehensible.


I strongly disagree. She put a roof over their heads, yes, but she also denied them painkillers, denied them proper medical care, and actively supported several rather brutal regimes.
I would take your money and give it to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders instead. Because honestly? Mother Teresa is certainly not a Saint, and she certainly did not make the poors lives much better. They were given roofs over their heads (some of them, anyway), but with the exposure and funding she had? She could have done much, much better for them.

Check the sources of those studies.  Usually, when criticism of this sort is broadcast, it comes from questionable origins because of personal agendas of the broadcasters.

It is also easy to attach someone who isn't available to reply; as well as being cowardly.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 12:03:44 PM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline Vergil Tanner

Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2017, 12:16:50 PM »
Check the sources of those studies.  Usually, when criticism of this sort is broadcast, it comes from questionable origins because of personal agendas of the broadcasters.

I did. They seem to be legit; the people who conducted the study don't really seem to have any benefit in painting her in a particular way, and they did grant her some positive points as well.


It is also easy to attach someone who isn't available to reply; as well as being cowardly.

So we should stop criticising somebody when they're dead? I disagree. If we're going to celebrate them, we should also be able to criticise them. It isn't cowardly to look back at their life and say "Well, they did do X, Y and Z which were pretty abhorrent."
I mean, by your own logic, all of historical study is cowardly, because it's talking about and critiquing people who have no chance to speak back. Their actions spoke louder than they ever could, and it is up to us to decide what those actions say about the individual. I reject out of hand the notion that a critical analysis of somebodies life, especially when they're up for an honourific of any kind, is cowardly.

It's also easy to dismiss sources as "bias" without having read through them. Do you deny, for example, that Teresa didn't give her charges painkillers? That she said that the suffering of the poor was beautiful and should be celebrated? That she encouraged her nurses to secretly baptise dying patients? That she endorsed Enver Hoxha, or provided a character witness for fraudster Charles Keating, suspiciously after he donated literally millions to her organisation and allowed her to use his private jet? Or that she suggested Licio Gelli's Nobel Prize nomination? That supposedly, only a few hundred people were ever serviced by her hospices, in total? That her nurses did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, putting those who could be saved at risk of infection and death through lack of treatment? That many of the needles used weren't sterilised?

And this information comes both from Studies, official visits by physicians and former volunteers of her organisation. Some of them may have an axe to grind, but there comes a point where the testimonies become so overwhelming that it's either true, or a grand conspiracy. And which one is the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions?

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Mother Theresa
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2017, 12:21:52 PM »
Don't read you own philosophy into my words.  Sometimes a pencil is only a pencil.