Originally Posted by Last of the Fraggles
Again you simply repeat your accusation, i.e. your strawman!
Again: Where do I say that I am opposed "to teaching people that witchcraft isn't useful"
? Would you please quote what you consider to be "my words"
since "the whole argument we've been having"
appears to be based on your misunderstandings.
Could you also tell me where I "dismiss everyone who does have access access to medical care"
, which is all the more absurd since my argument the whole time has been that health care is a prerequisite for for abolishing the belief in witchdoctors.
When I point to a case like Steve Jobs, it's because I'm not really concerned about people who could know better, who should know better, who have access to the best kind of health care and choose woo instead. They have an actual choice. I never claimed that the prerequisite for the education about the difference between proper and woo health care (= acces to proper health care) would force
people to become 'enlightened'! (I've dealt with these people before when I've had a personal interest in one or two of them, and my conclusion is that you should leave them alone. Their need to believe
is of a different kind.
My concern is the people who don't have this choice, whose only choice is between faith and the lack of it, which is what makes your endeavour to teach them about the blessings of modern health care pointless.
In this respect it's similar to the case of the children in Beslan
who were held hostage at a school by Chechen rebels:
Carat, 11: "I was hoping that Harry Potter would come. I remembered that he had a cloak that made him invisible and he would come and wrap me in it, and we'd be invisible and we'd escape."
Nine-year-old Laima draws pictures of what she saw when she was held hostage:
"I found a little cross on the gym's floor. I kept it on me for all of the three days. It helped me to survive."
What these children needed
was to get the hell out of there
! Once they were in safety, you could start telling them about the superstitions that people invent in uncomfortable situations that are out of their control.
What sick Africans need
is health care, first and foremost. Once they have that
, it makes sense to start telling them about the difference between medical doctors and witchdoctors. Only then will they actually benefit from knowing about the difference.
But I already know how you guys respond to an argument like this: I 'compare Africans with children', right? Unlike many others, however, I wouldn't tell them to 'grow up'
. That's what I tell skeptics who do so, and that's what I might have told Jobs ...