This thread is based on this brief exchange between Trekky and Fantasy Chaser:
Let me introduce you to a man by the name of Fred Hollows. I read about him some time ago.
Fred Hollows was a New Zealand/Australian ophthalmologist, and an atheist. He was also a member of the Communist Party of New Zealand during the 1950s and 1960s. He died about 20 years ago.
In three years, he visited more than 460 Australian aboriginal communities, examined 62,000 aboriginal people, leading to 27,000 being treated for trachoma and 1,000 operations being carried out.
I’m just going to quote the rest from Wikipedia:
His visits to Nepal in 1985, Eritrea in 1987, and Vietnam in 1991 resulted in training programs to train local technicians to perform eye surgery. Hollows organised intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal to manufacture and provide lenses at cost, which was about A$10 (approximately US$9) each. Both laboratories started production after his death, in 1993.
The Fred Hollows Foundation was launched as an Australian charitable foundation in Sydney on 3 September 1992 to continue the work of Fred Hollows in providing eye care for the underprivileged and poor, and to improve the health of indigenous Australians. The Foundation has also registered as a charity organisation in the United Kingdom where Fred did much of his training, and in his country of birth, New Zealand.
It has been estimated that more than one million people in the world can see today because of initiatives instigated by Hollows.
According to Fantasy Chaser, this man cannot be a moral man because he was an atheist and had no objective moral system. Further, he had been a communist and remained a dedicated lefitst for his entire life.
It is also part of conventional Christian dogma that this man is now in hell, because he rejected religion, and chose to live his life as a devoted humanist.
So, is Fred Hollows a moral man? Or did he need a religion for that? As an atheist, is he he now in place of eternal torment for devoting his life to restoring the eyesight of the world’s poor and underprivileged? Is that the “reward” bestowed upon him by god for his life of unselfish service to the welfare of others?
Is it any wonder so many people find religion to be absurd at best, and wicked beyond imagination at worst?
Would any of those who expect to go to heaven like to measure their life by the yardstick of Fred Hollow’s life? Would anyone like to conclude that he is not a moral man?