"No, atheists don't have to show respect for religion"

This article is SO relevant for me because I recently cut someone out of my life because I no longer wanted to hold my tongue on my Facebook and Twitter page for fear of offending her AND because I didn't want to hear her mouth whenever I criticized religion and theism.


No Atheists Don't Have to Show "Respect" For Religion


I'll try my best to respect people but respecting religion...nah.

My former friend just couldn't get this through her head and unfortunately, I had to cut her off.

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Amen, Courtney.  Most people don't understand the difference between respecting people and respecting their beliefs.  I will always strive to do the former, but only the latter if deserved.
I respect people, and I respect their right to believe whatever they want, but the beliefs themselves rarely warrant respect. If you choose to believe the earth is flat, well, thats your right. The belief itself is just plain stupid. Not to mention contrary to  reality. Who could ever respect that?
Other stupid people? :)
It is unfortunate, but I agree with you. I don't respect self-proclaimed medical doctors who didn't graduate high school and I don't respect self-proclaimed moral high grounders who think being good means having a personal relationship with a fairy tale character.

If christian can say: love the sinner, hate the sin.

Then we can say: love the believer, hate the religion

Works for me :D




This has been my stance for a while. I think that it is one of the things you need to learn and understand to not be an arsehole atheist (or an arsehole in any case).

There is little to disagree with about "Respect the person not the belief". We atheists are often confronted by religionists who try to demand respect for their beliefs in the mistaken belief that if we can be forced to "respect" those beliefs we must then never speak against them. Over the years I have developed some answers to anyone who tries to lay that on me.

1- I'll respect your beliefs as much as you respect my lack of belief.

2- I might respect your beliefs; would you care to tell me what they are? (oddly they seldom do)

3- What is it that I should respect about your belief?

4- Am I expected to respect all beliefs? If so, can I respect the belief that your beliefs are wrong?

5- Do you expect me to respect your beliefs more than facts?

6- If you respect your beliefs, why do I have to?

7- Why? Can't you do that?

8- Why should I respect something that I think is wrong?

9- Can you show me what there is about your beliefs that is worthy of respect?

10- What does "respect" have to do with anything? You believe - I don't. No respect involved.

I absolutely love those Larry.

I was thinking of quite a few of them when engaging with this ex-friend who thought her beliefs were worthy of my respect.

I like the article and the steep crescendo in her conclusion:

"And this ecumenical attitude that reality is an annoying distraction from the far more important business of feeling good -- and that insisting on reality is an ugly form of bigoted intolerance -- is part and parcel of this unique armor religion has built against valid criticism, questioning, and self- correction.

It is not a protection against the evils of religion. It is one of them."


Iow you're not doing anyone a favor by treating convictions as if they had intrinsic value, rather than taking seriously the people that hold them, falsely, to be true.

The facebook thing is getting to me.  I'm split half and half-my atheist friends and my work friends and family and unfortunately I just can't chat with my atheist friends without having to get crap from the other half.  I'd have to cut off a lot of people, unfortunately and most of them would be my family.    It's so annoying.


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