Stop Telling me to be Respectful of Others’ Belielfs

Here are some thoughts that I can get behind. Respect is earned not demanded. You cannot legislate reason nor criminalize thought. Ideas are successful because they are true. Respect for ideas that are not true is simply Ostrich thinking.

atheist nerd girl

As an outspoken atheist I’ve come across the “be respectful of others’ beliefs” sentiment many times when expressing my thoughts. The funny thing about it is I’ve been told that sort of thing by fellow atheists on several occasions. It’s as though they feel they’re being very nice and protective of the religious group being criticized. I see where they’re coming from, because of empathy we don’t want to see others feelings get hurt because we know what hurt feelings can be like. But I must say I greatly disagree that having people censor themselves is a respectful route to take, and I don’t think it’s important to protect people from getting hurt feelings.

Whenever I’ve been told to be respectful of religious beliefs one of my immediate thoughts has been, well what about my beliefs? I don’t think telling someone they can’t share what they believe is very respectful…

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  1. This is the comment I left at the blog this article came from. Thanks for sharing it, I enjoyed reading it. Hugs

    I often say that civil disagreement is a discussion, disagreeable discourse is a brawl. My point is I don’t agree with everyone, and they sure do not all agree with me. However I don’t need to be disagreeable or a jerk to make my points. If I have to resort to name calling, and insulting to try to prove my self, I have already lost. On my blog I love to have honest disagreement and I have even entertained a few trolls for discussion, but I draw the line at abusive personal attacks. I always say, argue the subject, not the people talking about the subject. I agree that as the ones who feel they should be able to push their views unwanted on the rest of us, we also should be able to respond. But I think more minds are changed and more words heard when people don’t feel personally assaulted than when they do. Thanks, great post. Hugs

  2. “What does a society without racism, bigotry, cultural hatred and similar items look like?”

    Good question and although one has never existed in human history and any guesses made will be purely conjecture, here’s my thought.

    It would be totally homogeneous with no genetic or environmental differences what so ever. We would all have to look and think and feel exactly the same. We would be asexual and procreate through parthenogenesis.

    Not even ants or bees exhibit the sameness required for this sort of society because they too war among colonies.

    I wouldn’t call it perfect though, far from it. I like diversity even though it devolves into cacophony at times.

    Eventually machines will take over and then the earth may get a whiff of it, but not today!

    • Frank,
      Thanks for commenting. Sorry this reply is so late. I see what you’re saying but I don’t think we’d have to be asexual clones to achieve it. Science fiction stories have shown us that it’s possible at least to a greater extent than we have accomplished so far. I rather like the vision that Star Trek displayed for 23 century Earth.

  3. I don’t believe that, how can you not give respect, you say it’s earned, correct, but to get respect you have to give, because you saying it has to be earned, you have just reversed your theory. Now you are demanding. I have always looked at life as to get respected, you have to give respect to those of high rank then you, including Jesus Christ.

    • Stupid and dangerous ideas do not deserve respect. Those that hold them don’t deserve respect though everyone is deserving of others to respect their rights – that is much different than deserving of respect.

      Giving respect to those of high rank without them earning it is the road to slavery. If you want to respect the position or title of authority without questioning it you have put yourself on the road to being a slave.

      Your opinion seems to say that you should also give respect to Zeus, Shiva, and Ra but you do not, do you? The King of Saudi Arabia holds a position of great authority, do you believe this makes him worthy of respect, or of fear?

      • Respect and fear, we Christians fear God for we know that if you don’t follow God, you’re going to burn in the gates of hell, now you don’t want to die and burn there now do you? And for Greek gods and all the others, well yeah you’re right, I don’t respect them, simple reason is because…. There now real. If you understood Christians instead of criticizing them you just might have a second to understand that then huh? Mate, I respect you, you have a great mind, and Jesus Christ would want me to respect you becuase that is what the moral thing for a christian to do, but stop demanding respect from others without getting, it’s the same in reverse, you want respect form other people, but how do they know they can trust you? Have a think mate, just open your ears, not your mouth.

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