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Should We Respect Others Beliefs?

(34 Posts)
headinhands Sun 01-Sep-13 16:49:35

Should we respect others beliefs? I say no. I think while we should respect and uphold the persons ^right* to believe what ever they want, we should not necessarily respect their beliefs.

daftdame Mon 02-Sep-13 17:15:03

headinhands Off course you acknowledge the potential for harm. But hopefully you would pursue the potential for good, at least initially, otherwise you would have to give up on some people entirely...How many chances do you give?

daftdame Mon 02-Sep-13 17:27:03

hgeadinhands But if the potential for harm on a singular belief is great and would almost definitely result in harmful behaviour I would rebuke that belief and do my best to prevent any harmful action taken.

Later on I might talk to that person and see how their thought processes lead to that belief in the first place to try and prevent the same mistakes. Alternatively, I might let someone else, who I feel is better qualified do that, if I feel out of my depth.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 02-Sep-13 17:33:15

OP - I'm pretty much with you in your first post if you mean that "respect" equates to simply "acknowledge".

An analogy we might draw is that within the 10 commandments with the first 5 relating to G-d and all that is "bigger" and the latter 5 relating to "how to behave", number 5 relates to our parents.

"Honour they mother and father".

However, should your parents be abusive pieces of shit (not limited to any faith!) then does that mean you must suck up every piece of drivel uttered and kiss their collective arse? Sing their praises and never utter a word of disagreement or challenge?

Of course not! But you are duty bound to acknowledge their existence and honour the fact that you are because of them.

headinhands Tue 03-Sep-13 07:41:45

I might be wrong but the time the respect word is used on these boards is usually when a belief is questioned and how the 'believee' arrived at that belief. Is that right? Is it disrespectful to ask questions? Why?

Clearly there are times and places for such debate and I don't often get to have such discussion in RL because it's not appropriate or whatever.

Salbertina Tue 03-Sep-13 08:16:40

I respect someone's right to have their own beliefs however much they may contradict mine (unless v extreme, fascism or the like). I only object if someone tries to inflict theirs on me, is overly evangelical or is dismissive of agnostic/atheistic view points.

daftdame Tue 03-Sep-13 08:20:46

Not wrong to question headinhands. As I said before, people learn through questioning, beliefs can be refined, developed. It would be a shame if a person's respect meant they just would not engage with me concerning my beliefs or visa versa.

I enjoy having discussions and engaging with people, such as yourself. Sometimes I will disengage to collect my thoughts though, and I think as long as you can accept that (tbh on other threads you have been very good in this regard) I am fine. smile

Some beliefs are so tied up with a world view people need time to collect themselves together and reflect on what has been said. Emotions can run high because beliefs affect actions, past beliefs will have informed previous actions and so forth. Some beliefs are precious to people because they have helped them through some very tough times.

ShadeofViolet Tue 03-Sep-13 08:24:14

I respect other peoples beliefs because it is part of their identity in the same way how they dress or wear their hair is.

I agree with Salbertina, but I would also add that the most aggressive people I have met (in RL and on MN) who want to share their beliefs are atheists. While I respect their right not to believe, I also expect them to accept my right to believe.

specialsubject Tue 03-Sep-13 09:02:45

right to believe, yes. Believe away, pray if it makes you happy, wear whatever you want, spend hours at services if you want.

but there is no right to be 'offended', to be exempted from pulling your weight due to your beliefs, or to have anyone else take beliefs seriously. Not in this country, anyway.

there should also be no right to enforce beliefs on children.

daftdame Tue 03-Sep-13 14:18:08


As a Christian, my belief encourages me not to be offended, to pull my weight and not to expect (as a matter of course), to have everyone I meet, take what I believe, seriously.

I also don't believe in enforcing beliefs on children. That would be counter-productive. Added to which Faith (as in believing in things that cannot be proven) involves a conscious choice, otherwise it would just be ignorance.

So the provisos you outlined are not just the restricted to atheists or agnostics...(if that is what you were alluding to in your first sentence), thankfully. smile

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