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Old 12-30-2011, 01:30 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
176 posts, read 252,880 times
Reputation: 218

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I was in a museum with some friends today and I made a slightly offensive remark about religion under my breath to them. Both are them are not religious. It was just in fun.

What followed was an hour long debate over whether or not I should respect religion.

I say nah, I mean, it doesn't warrant respect in my opinion because religious institutions don't respect me or other's rights. Gay rights, women's rights, etc. Not to mention if religion is some special class that's off limits from offensive jokes isn't that giving them an unwarranted power?

They told me religious people would be more likely to listen if I play nice, but then immediately said I'm not ever going to change anyone's mind. So why be nice then? I try to explain things in scientific ways and they throw out the faith card and that's when I say, "You're just silly" and walk off.

What do you guys think? Nice? Or let em have it until they back off a bit?

Now I don't go out in the streets yelling "God's not real!" everyday, nor do I ever start an argument or make an offensive comment towards religious friends, but when a debate does ensue I pull out all the stops.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:16 AM
 
39,087 posts, read 10,842,814 times
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This is always a tricky one, but the fact is that people do, very often, make their views known and that can very often cause offence. The thing is, those who are offended very rarely stop to wonder whether their views might offend others. Respect seems very often expected to operate only one way.

As for me, If someone made a deprecating remark about atheism, I'd see it as a good reason to say that I supported it and explain why. I wouldn't get all het up about it, though a refusal to discuss reasonably and a preference for one - way preaching with the fingers jammed in the ears can be rather annoying.

So perhaps it is the ones preaching Respect that need to ask themselves whether they deserve to get it if they don't give it.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville, NC
1,490 posts, read 5,234,457 times
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There is something called common courtesy and manners. The way you act just reflects your character.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Here and There
2,538 posts, read 3,371,321 times
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I see it as respecting the person's beliefs, not necessarily religion. I am not religious, and unless someone is trying to "save" me, or share (ie: shove) their religious doctrine down my throat, I pretty much just nod my head and smile. If they ask my beliefs, I will share my lack of belief in their god, etc., but only if asked.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
3,334 posts, read 5,261,658 times
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Whether one comes across a Catholic priest in his Roman collar, a Jew wearing a Yalmuka, a Protestant sporting a cross, a Muslim woman weariing her head covering, etc, I think all religious people should be afforded the same respect as anyone else. So long as they are keeping it to themselves and not bothering you with it, why should you care? That is their business and personal decision. Walk by, keep one's comment to themselves, and be courteous if they simply say "hi", unless....

...they are obnoxious loud proselytizing Fundamentalist/Evangelicals putting on their show and airs for all to see. I'd just as soon shoot arrows into their bodies and leave their corpses to rot on the prairie and become food for the coyotes. And that goes for anyone from any religion who is trying to convert me or force me to comply with their rules via government. If i'm interested in your religion, I'LL ask you about it.

Last edited by Fullback32; 12-30-2011 at 07:54 AM..
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:08 AM
 
63 posts, read 43,546 times
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My opinion is that everyone should be afforded the basic level of respect that all humans should have (I agree that respect does need to be earned, but there is a basic level of courtesy and respect that should automatically be given to people, in my view - the kind of courtesy and respect that prevents a person from approaching a random stranger and spitting in their face - that kind of thing.)

If religious people are behaving in a kind and respectful way themselves, then I think you should respond in the same way to them. To not do so would be unfair, unkind and discourteous.

However, respecting a religious person and respecting the religion itself is not the same thing. If you dislike so many things about a certain religion that you feel you cannot respect it at all, then you are under no obligation to respect the religion itself. However, I believe you should treat the adherents of that faith with basic decency and respect - unless they are behaving disrespectfully themselves.

What I'm saying is - if the followers of any religion are being kind and respectful to you, then you should behave likewise towards them. If they are being unpleasant, then you have some justification in acting disrespectfully towards them, although in my opinion it is still better to be the "bigger person" and not stoop to their level.

Some religious people are more sensitive towards their faith than others. Some religious people will accept criticism of their faith (they may even agree with some of it) and I know religious people who can treat their religion humorously and laugh at jokes about it and even make of it themselves. However, with some people, their faith means so much to them that critcism may be very upsetting for them - in which case, IF they are not behaving in an aggressive or bigoted way, or trying to change your own opinions, then it is probably kinder to such people to keep your views about their faith to yourself. If, on the other hand, you know the person to be accepting of criticism of their religion, then there is probably no problem in you giving your opinion, as long as you do so with some politeness and respect.

A person should not be disrespected solely because they are a religious person. They should only be disrespected if they are behaving badly, disrespectfully, unkindly themselves. If they are not behaving so, then they deserve the same level of respect that you would give towards anyone else.

The decision on whether or not to respect a person should be based on the behaviour of that person, not on any belief or lack of belief they might have. If a person is being kind and polite, then others should be kind and polite to them. If a person is being rude and unkind...well, then another person is justified in behaving likewise towards them.

So yes, in my view, you should respect religious people if they are acting kindly and respectfully themselves. That doesn't mean you should respect their faith, but you should respect them as people and treat them politely.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:28 AM
 
16,598 posts, read 14,075,580 times
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I don't like the term "respectful" in this situation because as a word it always implies being deferential. And I do not think anyone need defer to someone's religious leanings. That being said "courtesy" is warranted in any situation (aside from a debate of the inherent value of religious beliefs) where you are dealing with the diversity of the human experience.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,175,793 times
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Maybe you don't need to respect religion, but can you treat the people who are religious with a little respect?

Treat people the way you want to be treated instead of how they treat you? Just something to think about. I can understand anger and frustration when people are rude to you and judge you. We're all human. It does suck. But whether we believe in a higher power or not, aren't we all trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can be? I would think that might include holding ourselves to a higher standard of behavior.

I hope that doesn't make me sound like a self righteous snob. Trust me I'm not. I get good and angry about certain things too. But, I do TRY to hold myself to that higher standard. I think we all have setbacks at times.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:30 AM
 
63 posts, read 43,546 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
I don't like the term "respectful" in this situation because as a word it always implies being deferential. And I do not think anyone need defer to someone's religious leanings. That being said "courtesy" is warranted in any situation (aside from a debate of the inherent value of religious beliefs) where you are dealing with the diversity of the human experience.
You make a good point here, "respect" might not be quite the right word. But courtesy should be afforded to religious people if they in turn are being courteous and kind.

I know I certainly hope (and expect) people to be polite and kind to me, regardless of my belief in the occult. The fact that I believe in magick and faeries and numerous other things should not give others cause to treat me rudely. People are perfectly entitled to think my ideas are absolutely crazy and probably quite a few people do - but they should treat me politely. Thankfully, most people do.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:36 AM
 
Location: FL
1,727 posts, read 2,175,793 times
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Okay, I read the rest. Sorry, short attention span here sometimes. -_-

I think part of the problem (from what I've seen in this forum) as that perhaps some of us have trouble seeing the difference between a discussion and a debate.

Sure, if someone engages you in a conversation, there is nothing wrong with presenting your beliefs.
If you both mutually want to engage in a debate, there is nothing wrong with that either.
When a person starts to insult you, you have a choice between insulting them back or being "the bigger/better person". I guess that's a personal choice.

What I tend to be judgmental about (and therefore admittedly a bit hypocritical, because I can't stand judgmental people) is when a person "throws the first punch" with their insults. I just think it's completely unnecessary and wrong to insult someone simply because they don't think the same way you do.
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