I've often heard it said that we should all respect the beliefs of others, but I don't agree. Why should we respect a belief for which there is no credible evidence? Surely, all we can reasonably be expected to do is acknowledge that people do have a right to believe whatever they choose? After all, we can't MAKE anyone believe anything, can we?

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that we should be rude or unkind to people of faith, but respect them and their religion? I don't think so. Respect is something that a person has to earn and merely repeating stories and phrases learnt by rote in Sunday school or church, without ever having given them a second, independent, thought is not IMHO deserving of respect.

I suspect that most people confuse respect with courtesy, which IS something I think everyone deserves, and which costs the giver nothing. So I think it's perfectly acceptable to politely treat religious people's faith with the contempt it deserves.

What does everyone else think?

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I respect all people until they give me a reason not to. I respect that others have different beliefs then myself. I can even under specific circumstances respect others' beliefs. I certainly do not think that respecting others' beliefs should be the default position though. There are many beliefs out there that do not deserve respect. Just because I don't respect another person's beliefs doesn't mean I need to disrespect them either. Personally, I think in everyday interactions thoughtfully disagreeing or agreeing to disagree is the way to go. There are of course some situations that call for stronger words or actions but most everyday situations do not. I've gotten more acceptance from and have more often broken the negative image some people hold of atheists by standing my ground but also by having courtesy and being kind.

Tolerate yes, but respect has to be earned - it's not even within my powers to give away.

Fuck tolerance, you allowed to be biased towards reality. It is the law. 

Respect implies a tacit approval. There is nothing about Religion that I approve of and nothing that I can see that deserves my respect or approval. I can respect civility and courtesy, which is the only thing necessary when dealing with religious people.

Their demand for respect is simply an attempt to steal moral high ground.  Respect is earned not given.  History shows no reason to respect their delusion.

I always considered that to mean respect the fact that people have the right to believe whatever they want, no matter how stupid it may be, not necessarily to respect the belief itself or the person who believes it.

They have the right to believe it, not force it on me.  I'm not in the habit of asking for their beliefs, in fact I don't, ergo....to hell with them.

I agree; I hate having other people's ridiculous ideas forced on me. Once it crosses that line, I don't have to respect anything. But I respect the actual right of believing what one wants to believe. You can worship and make sacrifices of fruit to the god of the Times New Roman font if you want to and that's well within your rights (and I respect that right) but keep me out of it.

I respect people's right to choose their beliefs, but not necessarily what they believe. And I tolerate their beliefs out of courtesy when in their presence, so long as they aren't trying to push something on me, therefore not giving ME any courtesy or respect. At that point, it's one of those "choose your battles" situations. I try to do whatever is the most civilized thing to do.

Respect the person, not the idiocy they believe in. As for courtessy, well that is a two way street and if one person is not being courtious then it becomes a very short street.

Regards

Judith vd R.

They are suffering a mental condition. Ridiculing it is immoral just as respecting it is immoral. Education is the key. Understand what they believe and why they believe it. Then help them see the delusion. Going at their throat seems more like a personal ego stroke. Sure, if they want to be some Westboro shits, great... argue them down with the sole purpose of dominating them. Problem is, most aren't those fucks and then even less fully believe the bible. Those are the ones that need mental help.

That is the most arrogant response I've read in sometime.  It's not a mental condition, it's willful ignorance.  The facts are at hand, and ignored. 

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