This is a quick one while it's on my mind. When it comes to talk of respect, the standard line seems to go something like "I will respect the person and their right to believe whatever they want, but I won't necessarily respect the belief."


But if you respect the person, aren't you also respecting the belief, as the belief is part of the person i.e. the person views that belief as who they are. Consider the Taliban, do we really say we respect them as people but not their beliefs? Do we say we respect their right to hold such iron-age beliefs? This is were it gets a bit confusing.


Personally, If I don't respect a person's belief for whatever reason, say they believe atheists are going to burn in hell, then I find it very hard to find respect for the person - the human being. Aren't beliefs part of the person? They are the driving force behind what makes us who we are. Maybe it's just me.


How do you feel on this?

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Cool question.


If a xian or other person of any other faith shows me respect, and speaks to me, argues with me in way that respects my opinions, I can definintely respect them without having to respect that specific belief. I saw a debate between sam and hitch and two rabbis, and the debate was lively and it was clear that although no one agreed on anything, they all respected each other.


Now on the flip side, I think unless I really meet someone face to face, or read something they have written, I will base my respect on what I see. For example, the crowds gathered in NY to demonstrate against gay marriage. There might be a person in that crowd who can argue well, debate "nicely", but I do not respect one of those people. They do not deserve an ounce of my respect.

So I guess that bring me to this....where the religious are concerned, I will not respect the belief, and I will not give that person the benefit of the doubt until I know more about them and their views. So whereas the default position for me meeting a stranger would be respect given automatically, for the believer, for me it has to be respect earned. If that makes me sound egotistical then I'm ok with that.


Exactly, respect is a two way street. But I despise those who say "show respect for others beliefs" and "don't rock the boat, you might upset their feelings" Well it's not so much that the boat needs rocking, rather it needs to be overturned.

Live and let die


Tolerance does not include respect for intolerant organizations and their evil adherents who openly desire and work towards the overthrow of the secular Republic and the establishment of theocracy.


the anti_supernaturalist

Right, and criticism of intolerance is not intolerance - that's what the pious plebs don't understand.

Respect is such a defanged word today. I don't respect many people to begin with. To me, respect is not the kind of passive tolerance we associate it with. It's something you actively feel and show because of someone's actions or ideas. I believe the word we should be using is 'decency', and that I will gladly show anyone who does not earn something less. So that I "respect" someone who stands up for a principal that I find noble. I respect someone who fights for the rights of others. Martin Luther King, for example. Someone who overcomes a fear or danger in the pursuit of an ideal, like a war veteran or civil rights activist circa 1961 Alabama. Or someone who has discovered something through hard work or conveys complex but important ideas to a larger audience, like Crick and Watson or Sagan and Dawkins.

But I don't respect someone merely for being a decent person, or because they have an idea I do or don't agree with. These are the neutral positions, in my mind, that all humans need to maintain our various cultures. This calls for simple decency and courtesy.Civility. Tolerance and empathy. Many, if not most theists fall into this category. I will argue points with them, but as long as they don't take the argument someplace dark, I certainly wouldn't want to become belligerent or vituperative. That I reserve for people who learn or already know they cross a line and keep on going.

Respect is earned. But this is lost on the religious - as they seem to think they are automatically entitled to it based on their cultural magic beliefs. This is very strange. In no other area or walk of life is this the case. Religion therefore retards the idea of respect. Anyway, someone who thinks they deserve respect when they don't, should be ridiculed.

Esp. in Islam - those who "don't respect" are pretty much killed.

Pretty much killed slowly with a sharp blade.

I think this is true, though I first try to explain why I am about to take that tack. The entitled - which I find, depressingly, mo

Edit: What the hell happened to the rest of my text?
Short version: Before I start verbally fire bombing their Dresden, first I offer an explanatorywarning so they can sue for peace, flee the city or prepare the fire department.


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