Author Topic: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?  (Read 1181 times)

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Offline Robert Sole

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Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« on: August 09, 2012, 09:13:55 PM »
When I hear radio talk show hosts exhorting callers that they should respect another person's belief, I start feeling nausea building up in my gut. I have nothing but utter disdain for people that believe in fairy tales, the tooth fairy, and gods. I usually keep this disdain to myself, for self-preservation reasons. And I forgive little children for the fairy and Santa beliefs.

Would I silently nod in mock agreement if I was being told that the world is flat, as almost 100% of all people believed in the past? Of course not.  Why should I treat contemporary theists any differently? I fully realize that most believers were born into their respective cultures of fantasy and I can provide no proof that their holy books are fiction. Showing respect is a matter of political correctness in most cases, and a matter of preserving the peace in other cases. 

Respect is also relative, depending on the religion. Christians, atheists and the like must tread carefully to not offend those more sensitive. Islamists, on the other hand, are free to condemn, behead, and declare fatwas on those who dare to commit the slightest "insult" to He-who-must-be-given-total-submission-to. They can, however, print cartoons showing  Jews and others and their gods in the most vile characterizations with impunity.

The modicum of respect that I do have, is that they know no better. I feel pity that they waste their thinking on nonsense and anger that the belief in an afterlife allows many to despoil our only world because of their belief that all will be well once they have moved on.

Offline jetson

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 09:22:47 PM »
Beliefs do not "deserve" respect at all.  The dilemma for atheists is that they are marginalized in American society, so they do indeed have to tread lightly, as you put it.  Religious belief has a stranglehold on society, to the extent that challenging those beliefs is considered taboo, and even rude.

I like the atheist label for that reason, but I still have some reservations when it comes to my fairly conservative workplace, and my career growth.  Sad.

Offline Aerial

Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 09:26:33 PM »
I will respect a person's belief until it infringes upon others.
I respect my Mother's belief in Jesus as she spags it to be a loving and nurturing belief.
I disrespected my Father's belief in Catholic doctrine because it was hateful and hurtful to other people.

Maybe that does not make a lot of logical sense...but I enjoy people's differences.

Oh and after reading Jetson's response, on belief's deserving no respect. I sort of think people put a lot of importance on their belief's. It can become a part of them.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 09:28:46 PM »
I don't respect other's beliefs simply because they hold them. I am an advocate for religious tolerance and I respect certain religious people. I think it's important to understand the difference in tolerance and respect.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Nam

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 09:30:34 PM »
A persons belief itself isn't deserving of anything, in my opinion. The person themselves, however, no matter what they believe, deserve respect up to the point to where they no longer do. Probably, most likely, to do with how they react based on their belief.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 10:12:43 PM »
I'm with Nam.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 10:58:58 AM »
I cant respect a belief if that belief has no respect for others. If a person holds that belief, and adheres to the disrespect of others (denial of equality) I dont respect that person OR their views. Thats not to say I will be outwardly disrespectful, but they shouldnt expect me to ignore the silliness of their beliefs if they actively oppose equality for all.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 11:46:21 AM »
Beliefs do not deserve anything more than consideration and examination to determine whether or not they are based in fact and/or at least reasonable. Where respect is due is the person to person interaction no matter the belief of the persons.

We should try and always respect the interaction because we are (presummably) interacting with other thinking, feeling, sentient beings with high intellectual capacity. In the course of our respectful interactions we would do well to find ways of hopefully politely bringing beliefs to the table so they all can be examined against reality so that we can help our collective race advance in truth as well as in other ways and not continually be so mucked up and at each other's throats over subjective matters of belief and tradition that oftentimes have no truth in them.

Offline stuffin

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2012, 02:00:58 PM »
Ditto NAM,

I will respect the invidual till such time they do not deserve my respect, but I do not have to respect their beliefs. I will be curteous towards their beliefs till such time they no longer deserve my courtesy.
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 02:17:48 PM »
I teach students who have many different religious beliefs, and I try to respect them all. The students, not the beliefs.

I think it is like the way many of them look. The saggy clown pants, wobbly high heels, lip piercings, shaggy bangs, butt tattoos, booty shorts, black burkhas, black nail polish pajamas and house slippers are silly, but I am too mature to make fun of them.

Their religions and their clothes are all part of their identity armor. Maybe someday they will outgrow them. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Energized

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 02:55:37 PM »
No.

Most religious people don't even know what they believe in to begin with - why is this characteristic worthy of respect?

I find this dampens my respect for the individual, too. I mean, how I can show the individual respect when they believe in fairy tales? It bothers me...

E.

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Bringing torment and pain to others.
O damned soul wallowing in your sin.
Perhaps it is time to die?'

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Offline Aerial

Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2012, 03:03:36 PM »
What if you respect the person before hearing their belief? Do you then dismiss their good qualities?

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2012, 03:20:24 PM »
What if you respect the person before hearing their belief? Do you then dismiss their good qualities?
In other words, "can a person lose my respect by having beliefs that arent respectable?"

Absolutely. A person can also gain my respect by shedding traits that arent respectable. Not that MY respect is something people should strive for, but they should reach for being better people. Its important to note that I am not saying I disrespect people for their religous beliefs. I'd say a good portion of my best friends are either Christian or Muslim. They dont openly pursue the bigoted views of their religions though and Ive been through enough with them where theyve had to choose between dogma and reality. Reality won out.

Offline Energized

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2012, 03:23:14 PM »
What if you respect the person before hearing their belief? Do you then dismiss their good qualities?

Respect isn't a constant.

I would still respect the person, just not as much...

E.
'O pitiful shadow lost in the darkness,
Bringing torment and pain to others.
O damned soul wallowing in your sin.
Perhaps it is time to die?'

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Offline Boots

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2012, 03:28:11 PM »
One of the major problems at least in the USA is the judicial precedent of respect of religion.  Tax exemptions, allowing genital mutilation, witholding medical treatment . . .all these things and much more are open due to 'respect for religion' when, IMHO, none is deserved.  The courts respect religion enough to give it special treatment.  That sickens me.
It's one of the reasons I'm an atheist today.  I decided to take my religion seriously, and that's when it started to fall apart for me.
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Offline Aerial

Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 03:29:28 PM »
Fair enough.  :)
I have had friends and family who believe far differently to me. I guess I can compartmentalise. I heard their views on what they believe and could not dismiss it...because I respected them to start with. It made me take their perceptions seriously.

Oh and seeing Boots post above...i think respect should stop at a government level.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2012, 03:44:23 PM »
A person's belief deserves the respect it earns. 'Belief' shouldn't hold any greater standing than anything else. If a person 'believes' it's okay to kill a man, do we have to give that belief any special respect? Sure it might not be his religious belief, but it's still a belief at the end of the day. What makes belief so special? Sure it may be special for the individual and they're welcome to it so long as its not hurting anybody. When that belief is causing you to discriminate against other people or even be physically violent, then it should be viewed as discrimination if they're discriminating and viewed as violence is they're being violent. The reason why somebody harms another person doesn't change their action and they should be judged accordingly. People try to hold 'belief' to try and make themselves unaccountable for the words the say and the things they do because to their mind it is God's word or God's will. Should you choose to act on that, then that's up to you, those are your choices.

The same people who demand 'respect' for their beliefs will not respect yours. In the case of Christians, I am certain they do not respect the beliefs of a Muslim extremist strapped to a bomb. It's their belief that we're all infidels, that we all deserve to die and that by killing us they shall be rewarded greatly.

So as I say, a belief only deserves the respect it earns.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 04:01:34 PM by Seppuku »
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Offline Whateverman

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2012, 05:08:06 PM »
Would I silently nod in mock agreement if I was being told that the world is flat, as almost 100% of all people believed in the past? Of course not.  Why should I treat contemporary theists any differently?
I've got conflicting opinions about this.

The first is that respect is earned, not owed.  Everyone gets a certain amount of the stuff, enough to allow civil interaction, until they demonstrate whether they deserve more or less of the stuff.

The second is that what a person believes doesn't generally affect me too much.  Unless that person is careless or makes an effort to get me to accept those ideas, I'll simply let them believe whatever they want, and hope this helps me understand them better.

The third is similar to your bit about believing in a flat Earth.  I've got the right (and perhaps the duty) to point out where and why an idea is faulty.

The last is that "religion" is a powerful idea, and something that's driven the history of humanity.  It's resulted in wars and death and architecture and charity and all kinds of stuff.  To some extent, religious ideas should be treated with a little caution rather than respect.

So, that basically means that I treat every religious idea differently, depending entirely on the context.
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Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2012, 06:04:22 PM »
I begrudgingly respect a persons right to have a belief/opinion. But respecting the belief itself, no I don't think so.
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Offline Death over Life

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2012, 08:07:27 PM »
Ah. Great question to the OP! I will start by saying this video was shown to me in my Christian days, and this is my answer as well. Pat Condell once again nails it!



In agreeing with what he said, I have 2 comments.

#1. I tend to respect people regardless of beliefs, but when Christianity or religion comes around, I do start becoming very "rude". Now, with that being said, I make sure that they know when I talk about religion, I talk about belief, not the people. For some reason though, theists and religionists think that talking trash about religion is talking about that specific person themselves, and thus makes it hard to discuss with a religious person because they will personally make sure your comments will offend them. That imo, does not deserve respect.

#2. Why do I have such disrespect and hatred for religion? 2 words as 1 example: Blue Laws. That is right, because of somebody else's belief, I can't for example buy beer on Sundays, I can't run for office in the Bible Belt, etc. Because somebody believes in bullshit and because they think differently than I, if I finally get a girlfriend/wife, get her pregnant, and she has complications with the pregnancy where she needs abortion, she can not get it and either we have to travel to another state entirely (or all the way across the country to the north) to get the medical help she needs, or she possibly dies from it, all because some Joe Schmoe who believes in a god that I have no clue exists, dictates that pro-life in the most extreme cases, should be the law and abortion should be illegal, and voted as such. Because of some random elderly fundamentalist Baptist who believes in their religion, if I get sick and need medical attention and have no insurance, I should be left to die because for some reason, Jesus, according to her beliefs, would have been against national healthcare.

These 2 reasons and the video in combination is why when religion is brought up, I don't see a need or a reason to respect it. In fact, it is my viewpoint, nay, my duty as a rational, logical, reasonable, and caring about others kind of people to bash it and hate it to no ends and make sure that those who believe really are mentally ill, especially since I'll be the one suffering for their beliefs. I will admit that even my other non-Christian friends tell me that I take my anti-Christianity to an extreme extent, and I will agree with them, but it is necessary. Far to long have the bullies had their way with giving the communities children hugs and kisses, and being pro-life from conception to birth. The difference between my Death Worship and a Christian's Death Worship is I am honest about it, while they cover theirs in lies, and in my opinion, I view a liar as the worst possible thing you could be. I view a liar as worse than a murderer, so that is why I not only give no respect to religion or Christianity, I bash and hate the shit out of it, and do whatever I can to get people away from this pile of lying shit. Just remember though, I hate the belief, not the people, as the lies have screwed up the people to begin with.

Offline Boots

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2012, 07:03:18 AM »
I view a liar as the worst possible thing you could be. I view a liar as worse than a murderer, so that is why I not only give no respect to religion or Christianity, I bash and hate the s**t out of it, and do whatever I can to get people away from this pile of lying s**t. Just remember though, I hate the belief, not the people, as the lies have screwed up the people to begin with.

Merlin agrees with you!!

It's one of the reasons I'm an atheist today.  I decided to take my religion seriously, and that's when it started to fall apart for me.
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Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2012, 08:03:04 AM »
I'm still fuzzy on why a concept would deserve respect. It - didn't - do - anything. People who believe in it may do something in accordance to it, at which point we might say we like or dislike the concept. But respect? It's like being proud of a book or mathematical formula, as opposed to being proud of writing a book or developping a mathematical formula.
Like, do I have respect for QM? Not the slightest bit. Do I have respect for the people who developped it and for the people who are tweaking it right now? Fuck yes.
If you're christian and a good person, that will get you some respect from me. The christian part is ornamental, though. I will even lose respect if I find out you're  good solely because of, say, the fear of hell, or god's supposed say-so.
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2012, 08:06:04 AM »

Like, do I have respect for QM? Not the slightest bit. Do I have respect for the people who developped it and for the people who are tweaking it right now? f**k yes.

In the future, please don't abbreviate QM.  He lost my respect a while back, and continues to prove that forum discussion is not something he is capable of, ever.   ;D

P.S.  QM, I could have liked you, maybe.

Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2012, 11:40:58 AM »
In the future, please don't abbreviate QM.  He lost my respect a while back, and continues to prove that forum discussion is not something he is capable of, ever.   ;D
Huh?
Is there a member with those initials?
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Offline jetson

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2012, 12:19:24 PM »
In the future, please don't abbreviate QM.  He lost my respect a while back, and continues to prove that forum discussion is not something he is capable of, ever.   ;D
Huh?
Is there a member with those initials?

Sort of - LOL.  He is an active member at IGI, and the main reason I stopped posting over there a few years back.  I've since returned to IGI and found that nothing has changed with him as a poster.  He made a recent visit here and got himself banned fairly quickly.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2012, 12:39:49 PM »
I thought he was talking about quantum mechanics. I am lost.  :?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Noman Peopled

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2012, 04:27:12 PM »
I thought he was talking about quantum mechanics. I am lost.  :?
I thought so too, but now I'm not too sure ... but it does seem to fit the context better ;)
"Deferinate" itself appears to be a new word... though I'm perfectly carmotic with it.
-xphobe

Offline jetson

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2012, 10:20:05 PM »
I thought he was talking about quantum mechanics. I am lost.  :?

Yes, he was talking about quantum mechanics, but the abbreviation is identical to a poster called QuestionMark (QM).  So I was pulling his chain a bit when I made the comment.  Sorry for the confusion!

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2012, 07:38:47 AM »
Quote
Does a Person's Belief Deserve Respect?
No.

That would be my simple answer. The long-winded one would be as follows:

A belief is an idea. It's intangible and immaterial. I for one don't 'respect' ideas. I respect people or, more precisely, their actions. If someone's belief or idea makes them do something worthwhile, I respect the person for that particular act. If their ideas make them do stupid shit, I don't. For instance, I don't respect Satanic Verses, but I do respect Salman Rushdie for writing the book. I don't disrespect any religious text, but I do disrespect people who use them to do harm to others. Ideas are worthless without people who act on them. 

Anyway, to quote George Carlin (a bit out of context, but I'm hoping for a bit of leeway here), respect has to be earned. An idea can't earn it, the person holding it can.
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