Missionaries, by definition, attempt to spread their own religion among the people of a particular area. If you think, as I do, that religion is both harmful and based on false claims, propagating it does not appear to be a productive activity.
Of course, that’s not how missionaries see it. They think they’re literally doing God’s work, saving souls that would otherwise fall into darkness, and that there is no higher pursuit. Whether they’re wasting their time is therefore subjective as long as the existence and nature of any god is undetermined, though of course opinions can be formed and supported.
On a practical level missionaries are generally doing their religions a great service, even if the gods are false. Take Mormon missionaries for example. All Mormon men go on a two-year mission, and on average gain between four and five converts during that time. It sounds meagre, but it’s a huge net gain for the LDS church and probably a major reason why it’s still around.
Posted: April 19th 2013
See all questions answered by SmartLX