Why should I respect your religion?

I respect my fellow humans; I respect their rights and their individuality. I respect their right to free speech, and their right to believe whatever they find compelling. I respect Constitutional rights as well. Let there be no confusion. I am not asking why I should respect the people I disagree with. I understand that fully already.

But something I don’t understand, is why I should have any tolerance for what I consider to be effectively, a form of society induced insanity. Why should I not consider religious indoctrination a mild form of child abuse? Why should I not mock it as I do astrology, lucky charms, or other forms of false causality?

Can someone explain to me why I should not mock and bash religions to my heart’s content in public? —not the people who hold these beliefs, but the beliefs themselves. …and please, no threats of hell or other fantasy lands. I obviously don’t believe in such nonsense.

I can think of no other category of human beliefs that is sheltered from open and unabashed criticism, and in reality, few religions show any respect for competing religions behind closed doors.

Why should I not open the doors and show similar disrespect?

I’m interested in hearing your arguments for self restraint, and observing whether or not you follow your own advice.

Answer #1

* its just plain hateful.

It’s no more hateful than debunking cold fusion. It’s our duty as rational beings (to the extent we are) to debunk nonsense. Personal beliefs rarely stay personal.

*IF you are wrong, which there is a chance you are, then you’re screwed

This is why I think I should hold no bars. Has it never occurred to you, that some other ‘god’ that despises mindless zombie-like fear induced belief might be ‘the one true god’, and it’s YOU rather than me that will be screwed? Surely, not even believers believe this ridiculous form of argument!

Answer #2

i hope you do not take offense,         To that that comes hereafter;         ’Tis only that it’s my two-cents,         Not one penny more thereafter. §;o)       Your first paragraph explains it all. If you really believe what you wrote in that first paragraph then you have to be tolerant of other people’s rights to believe as they choose. You also have to accept their constitutional right to raise their children according to their beliefs. The only time that you have a right or maybe even responsibility to interfere is when the child’s health is endangered as like maybe Christian Science believers refuse to get needed medical help for their child.

You have the right to not have other people’s religions forced upon you. You have the right to not respect religions but you don’t have the right to interfere with other people practicing their religious beliefs UNLESS such practice interferes with your rights.

If you want, you have the right to parade in front of religious institutions protesting the insanity of their beliefs. But, if there beliefs are not interfering with your life and freedoms, what’s the point? The very existence of those beliefs help many people to “cope” and therefore causes greater peace and harmony within society.

And what about Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Boogieman? Are you going to claim child abuse because each of them is false and the use of them with children is promoting false teachings?

Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny are simply cultural creations that bring happiness to children. In some children’s settings they are part of the only joy and happiness that comes into their lives from society.

And the Boogieman? That is a creative tool utilized by society to prevent young children from wandering off which might get them into harm’s way. They can’t comprehend the negative possibilities around their lives but they can comprehend that a Boogieman is bad and might hurt them.

The world is full of people of all levels of intelligence (IQ). Grant to them the right and ability to believe and function as they wish as long as such beliefs and actions don’t infringe upon your rights and freedoms.

Tolerance is a salve that allows society to exist and prosper.

Answer #3

* To answer your question you should respect other beliefs regardless of your opinion

The question was “why should I”, not merely “should I”. You seem to be arguing that I should just sit back and let people teach insanity to my kids, nodding my head saying “Oh, I value your riduclous ancient cult programming more than I value my children’s ability to think clearly”. I guess I just don’t see it that way.

Answer #4

Atheism secularism communism Republicanism Democrat libertarian all things nor religious but are doctrines or ideologies To some it up no matter what someone believes all try to indoctrinate children my question is why is secular indoctrination of a child is ok when religious is seen as bad or vice versus

To answer your question you should respect other beliefs regardless of your opinion of them second you should realise everyone no matter what beliefs or ideology will attempt to indoctrinate kids so no one is the great good all are taking advantage of the undevelopement of kids.

Answer #5

* You don’t have the right to mock religions

Sure I do. I don’t nomally go around getting in the face of religious people, but if they’re in my face, then why on earth should I restrain from telling them how silly their beliefs are?

Answer #6

I agree with that I dont have a religion because I dont agree with some on how they do things but I still dont think that I could mock someone in the open about their religion but if im misunderstand your position correct me.

Answer #7

* well in my opinion would you go up to a fat person and call them fat?

No, but I would say that obesity is dangerous - I would even say that to a fat person who I cared about. Wouldn’t you?

Answer #8

well in my opinion would you go up to a fat person and call them fat? I think mocking someones religion could be just as painful as making fun of someones faults. and also you might piss the wrong person off and get shot you never know in this world

Answer #9

actually he did say that he would disrespect them if they came up and talked to them and instead of disrespect why not just say sorry im not intrested instead disrespecting someone for no reason. you said that you dont like it when someone trys to push or give you crap about jesus and that it pisses you off well why do that to someone else with your beliefs

Answer #10

LAMTFHO, XD nice one todalay & agreed love10121

Answer #11

What is wrong with some of you people? He said he wasn’t going to disrecpect the person who belives in a religion but just saying how he himself feels about the religion. He never acctualy said he was going up to a person disrecpecting his religion so he wouldnt go up to a fat person he would just speak saying that it is a dangerous situation not that he is disrespecting you but instead the obesity in the world he is saying is dangerous in his opinion!!! Some people need to start reading the questions and think about them for a few minutes in my opinion! My opnion

Answer #12

__ 37, imagine you lived in a society in which a solid 80% of the adult population sincerely believed in Santa, but you didn’t. Organizations were set up to perpetuate belief in Santa. People prayed over their gifts and claimed that Santa spiritually entered them as a result thus making them gifts from Santa. Certain fundamentalist Santaists were constantly trying to post “The Night Before Christmas” in courthouses and public schools, and kept trying to introduce ‘Intelligent Levitation’ as an alternative to aerodynamics…and so on.

Wouldn’t that drive you nuts? Wouldn’t you just want to slap them and scream THERE’S NO GODAMNED SANTA YOU FOOLS, WAKE UP

This is what life is like for me and many others. I see no difference between Jesus talk and Santa talk.

Answer #13

my religion (christianity) isnt about religion its purley about the relationship with Jesus christ our savior that died on the cross for our sins and learning to walk in his ways yea your gunna run into christians that arnt walkin with God but that dosent mean everyone is like that we all face trials we either react or respond and they either make us better for him or bitter aginst him and

Answer #14

well you know what they say, do on to others as you want done onto you but hell, not lke it works so screw that to hell. people will treat you badly if they want no matter what. So no, you really don’t have a reason in which to respect religions if they don’t respect you. You shouldn’t have to respect or tolerate anything that doesn’t respect to you. I’ld have to agree with Jazz

Answer #15

“You don’t have the right to mock religions, but, you don’t have to show tolerance either.”

Of course you do. Part of free speech is the right to mock whatever you please, basically. Why should religion be any different? This is more or less the whole point of the question - why should religion receive special treatment compared to other ideas? Or are you suggesting we’re not allowed to mock anything?

Answer #16

You don’t have to mock everyone’s religion. But, you do have the right to disagree with believers such as myself. I think you need to research and watch what you say sometimes. when someone gets affended because you disrespect their religion? That would be painful. I know, if someone doesn’t respect the Mormon faith and the doctrine, You’d probably be mocking it. You don’t have the right to mock religions, but, you don’t have to show tolerance either. I love free speech and if this world didn’t have free speech, I can’t imagine what we’d be like. If you don’t believe, that’s fine. You have a right to practice Atheism, teach that to your children, make them believe that there is no religion out there, ect. You have rights just like everyone else. But, again, you don’t have a right to mock religions.

Answer #17

I think the question is more one of why religion should get more respect than other opinions and beliefs. You can make a plausible case for just about any level of respect for other peoples’ opinions, but it’s a lot harder to make a case that religious belief should get more respect and less questioning than other types of belief.

Obviously, though, I agree with you - religion deserves no special consideration.

Answer #18

* How do you stay respectful of the person without tolerant.

…by focusing on the beliefs rather than the believer. For example, if someone says to me “you have to have Jesus in your heart to get to heaven”, which is obviously confrontational, why should I reply with a greater degree of courtesy than was just given to me?

I could reply with, “I understand you believe that, but I don’t”, or I could reply with “That’s ridiculous, and it comes across as a thinly vieled threat. I’m amazed adults who have dispensed with Santa haven’t figured that out these fables were invented by rulers to control the masses.”

Answer #19

“not the people who hold these beliefs, but the beliefs themselves”

then you say

“Why should I not open the doors and show similar disrespect?”

Well its your right to disagree with anyone, or anything. but you want to respect the person, your words. How do you stay respectful of the person without tolerant. Not saying that you have to agree of be around these beliefes.

Answer #20

ty: That’s an oversimplification. People do use religion to justify their beliefs and actions, yes, but they also modify their actions based on religion.

“People dont wear the same clothes”


“they dont eat the same food”

Halal. Kosher.

“they dont speak the same language”

Obviously not, since language is a regional thing, and all major religions have followings in many regions.

“and they dont follow all the same practices”

That’s practically the definition of religion.

“And just because people of different religions dont respect each other, doesnt make their disrespect and intolerance acceptable…”

That’s not what toadaly is suggesting. He’s asking why he should respect religion any more than any other bad idea someone has and tries to foist on others.

Answer #21

yes I would but like im overweight right now for health reasons none of my own would you mock me before I told you why im overweight and then hearing why I am would you make fun still knowing that it hurts me I feel its the same with peoples beliefs why make fun of someones belief if you dont know why they believe the way they do and if you find out why make fun of them to their face if you think that their beliefs are dumb or dont believe it make fun out it when there not around in your own time like I do

Answer #22

why would you not respect this one “idea” (religion) that is so universally shared? To me, its like saying… why shouldn’t I spit on people’s feet?

Answer #23

A better answer is if you want to say you disagree then do so. My point was on tolerance not respect but you can freely say they are stupid or whatever.

    The only problem is when people pass laws to suppress others beliefs. Im not presenting a paticular religion so I dont have a position to defend respect comes from what you see is good and if you think there are good aspects respect what you see as bad dont. If you dont believe in a god then atleast respect their rights but free speech is totally there and use it. I did not say for your kids to be indoctrinated by something you disagree with whatever you find that best suits your kids is up to you. 
    Im just making a point of the fact that all beliefs indoctrinate and that tolerance is  the best why you should respect will come from what you learn about that belief and so on. I guess my answer is use your free speech to point out what you dont like but to not pass laws that suppress others rights and that the respect of ones religion will come from what that religion has done and caused.  I also understand you did not say you want to push laws in that hinder rights but the question is why you shouldnt speak out my only thought to that is being respectfull if that person wants to hear your opinion then say away what you will I think that the only times to restrain your self would be when some ones not enterested in the subject .
Answer #24

I can’t believe you’d belittle me lucky charms! :)

I don’t think mocking does what you might intend, for one. Sure, social pressure keeps people from hording all the legos at playtime, but that only works when the pressure means something. If the vast majority of the people think religion should be respected, the few dissenters are going to be seen as background noise.

I think the bigger effect will be that believers will come to see you (and maybe all non-religious folks by proxy) as negative and disrespectful. That’s kind of become the common atheist stereotype: someone that’s snarky, disrespectful, elitist, unemphatic, etc. If you cultivate that impression your position will just seem that much less appealing, which will make things harder on the rest of us.

I think the best path lies somewhere between respect and disrespect. People are only going to listen to you if you’re having a conversation, and to do that you need to find an agreeable way to disagree. Coming out fists swinging puts folks on the defensive, and then they’ll be more focused on winning the argument than thinking about and exploring what you’re saying.

Anyway, there’s no reason to try and be offensive. When you’re talking about religion, even the nicest, most sympathetic person is going to end up offending someone.

Answer #25

I’m going with tad here, people rarely act the way they do because of religion, it’s more a cultural thing and they use religion as a way to legitimize what they do… Otherwise everyone with the same religion all over the world would act the same, and they dont… People dont wear the same clothes, they dont eat the same food, they dont speak the same language, and they dont follow all the same practices… Why blame religion on what is really a cultural thing? And just because people of different religions dont respect each other, doesnt make their disrespect and intolerance acceptable…

Answer #26

For one thing, you can never be sure if the way a group of people act is programmed through religion or through the local culture. You can find Muslims in Arabia, India, Asia, Africa and they don’t all act the same way and do things the same way. And the same goes for every other religion: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism etc.

If you really want to be honest about your opinions regarding the lifestyle choices of other people, you’ll have to really try and understand why they do things the way they do things. You’ll have to consider whether they are the way they are because of religion, culture, upbringing or if they’re just plain *ed up because they’re just like that.

If you’re going to shoot your mouth off about other people at least offer a pretence of intellectual effort.

Answer #27

because just like them, you have the right to your own free speech and beleifs/opinions …I myself have learnt that I dont respect any religion because I dont agree with any of its teachings or anything about them I respect the fact that people can beleive in what they want, they have free speach, opinions, ect but im not going to rspect something that doesnt respect anything itself …religions dont actually repsect other religions they beleive that theres is the right one and that if people dont beleive in what they do, its there loss …and even if they did I still have no reason to respect it because I dont agree with it, or anything it teaches

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