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Mother Teresa was not so saint-like.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,236 times Debate No: 37916
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




I have tried to debate this several times but I have had difficulty as a result of opponents forfeiting rounds, so I am looking for a good and thorough debate.
It's an Interesting topic as you don't hear it that often. I will be for the notion that mother Teresa was in fact quite immoral and unjust in her actions and ideas and therefore doesn't deserve the title of "saint". Round one is an acceptance round only, followed by rounds of back and forth argument/rebuttal. Good luck and happy debating.


I myself have read several biographies on Mother Teresa, and I see no evidence that she may have been immoral. She joined the church at a young age, and it was a sisterhood with a good reputation. They were known to provide many humanitarian act in India. Mother Teresa decided to go to the city of Calcutta to serve God there. She taught for awhile, until she developed a case of tuberculosis, and she started on her way back to 'civilization' to recuperate. Shocking to many people, she instead decided to go back and live amongst the poor and desolate, the "untouchables" of India.
I do not believe that someone immoral would be compelled to live in filth with no luxuries. If she were immoral, she would have been selfish, and instead would live in a more wealthy district, a place in which she could live in comfort, rather than sleep on a filthy alley floor. Mother Teresa drastically improved the living conditions of many poor. Not housing, but rather in health and education. She provided a free education for the children in Indian slums, children who would have no other chance to be educated, see as they were most likely considered as untouchables by the society, and the west at this point was still quite racist. She even took the expense of learning medical procedures and would give help to those who could get help from no one else.
If you are able to provide evidence as to how she was immoral, I will hear it quite willing, as this topic intrigues me. But otherwise, I fail to see how an immoral person could do so many saintly things. At this point, it feels the same to me as if you were saying that Hitler just wanted to make the world a better place.


Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta by Mother Teresa and Brian Kolodiejchuk

Mother Teresa: In My Own Words by Jose Luis Gonzalez-Balado
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate however I did state that round one was an acceptance round only. It is too late now though of course.
"I myself have read several biographies on Mother Teresa, and I see no evidence that she may have been immoral."

Of course biographies are for the most part only going to speak highly of her rather than pointing out her flaws. However a lot of what I feel to be her immoral actions/speakings do not appear immoral to some. Only when you think thoroughly on it and analyse it you realize her immoral nature.

In my argument I will show plenty of examples of this immoral and unjust nature and refute your points on where she supposedly shows morality.

1. Issues regarding donations:
Mother Teresa's view was that if someone offers charity for the poor it should be accepted for their sake regardless of the giver. Charles Keating, an American banker known for the infamous saving and loan scandal, had donated up to $1.25 million to Missionaries of Charity. Despite pleas to return the money, Mother Teresa remained silent as a result of her "view". When Keating was brought to court mother Teresa asked the court to show mercy on him because he contributed a lot to her charities. This is a very selfish act as she is saying that if a man has done wrong then it's okay for people to forget about it because he has given a lot to charity. It also shows that she didn't care where the money came from or the implications of it, just as long as it was received.

2. Issue regarding use of donated money:
A report in a German magazine showed that in 1991, of all the donations aimed towards the Missionaries of charity, only 7 percent was used for the charity. ( I don't need to explanation the immorality of such a claim, it is self explanatory.

3. Immoral speakings/teachings:
In a time where countries like India were greatly suffering from a vast high birth rate and multiple diseases such as HIV, mother Teresa still condemned the use of any kind of contraception. Her policy was that aids is bad but not as bad as condoms are bad. This shows immorality as she preached for the prevention of some of India's main problems getting any better.

4. Quality of medical care:
In 1991, Robin Fox, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet visited the Home for Dying in Calcutta and described the medical care the patients received as "haphazard". He observed that sisters and volunteers, some of whom had no medical knowledge, had to make decisions about patient care, because of the lack of doctors in the hospice. Teresa was responsible for these conditions as she constantly visited the facilities and would therefore be very aware of the conditions and quality which existed. The order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. Mother Teresa did after all refer to the facilities as "Houses of the Dying".
In contrast to the conditions at her homes, it is well known that Mother Teresa sought medical treatment for herself at renowned medical clinics in the United States, Europe, and India. This is hypocrisy at it's highest and also an extreme contradiction to her perceived title of being "for the people". Many of this is shown in Christopher Hitchen's "Hell's Angels" documentary ( ).

5. Sincerity of helping people:
I feel that Mother Teresa's own words on poverty proved that her intention was not to help people. At a 1981 press conference she was asked: "Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?" She replied: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." ( How can she get away with boasting such an inhumane idea? Also writer Aroup Chatterjee stated that in Papua New Guinea none of the eight facilities that the Missionaries of Charity ran had any residents in them, and were purely for the purpose of converting local people to Catholicism. This is also a selfish and unjust act as it shows that Teresa had a higher interest in converting people to her religion than in helping the homeless or poor off the streets. This also shows that the public image of Mother Teresa as a "helper of the poor" was very misleading.

These examples are hardly the action or work of a saint-like person. I could go on but I won't as my aim is to try to prove why "Mother Teresa was not so saint-like", showing every possible example of this is irrelevant. I feel I have showed ample evidence of her immorality, insincerity, unjust ways, selfishness etc. for my pro side. I look forward to your response.


My apologies, I was unable to respond in time.
Debate Round No. 2


I ask my opponent to give their response in the next round if possible.


wmatychuk forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Please do not accept a debate if you cannot finish it, with all do respect.


wmatychuk forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by vbaculum 4 years ago
We've talked about this before in the forums.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), there don't seem to be a lot of people out there willing to defend her. If I were you, I increase the criteria for acceptance so you could get a good opponent.
Posted by Magic8000 4 years ago
Good topic. Hitchens had some great material on this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Weiler 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A debate like this should not be forfeited..... It's a shame, could've been one of the better debates, and I and not sure Pro could have defending all of his arguments. But alas, con conceded the debate by FF.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited leaving Pro's unanswered. I wasn't too convinced by Pro's case. It seems to me that Con could have argued she did more good than harm, and that her motives were good. But I don't know how it might have come out. However, Con didn't rebut, so Pro has a clear win.