Respect for Religion
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02-12-2012, 04:16 PM
Respect for Religion
Hi guys this is my first post here and the reason behind this I want to ask a question.

So you know from were I come, I am from east Germany what has probably the densest amount of atheist you can find. For you who can understand a little german

http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/a...auben.html

Just from the graph's you can see we have just about 8% theists. In the population under 28 we have roughly 72% atheists and then a lot of people who just don't bother with the god concept.

I grew up without the god concept at all, my parents grandparents, friends no one ever mentioned the concept. So for me it was like Santa Claus. And I realized that I was an atheist when I learned that there are people who really believe in the god concept. You can imagine that I was quite shocked.

So how can I take grown up people seriously who believe basically in Santa Claus? This is not intended to be offensive but is the serious attempt to find an answer to this. Sooner or later I am bound to meet a person who I would like to respect but is a believer and I honestly cant see me capable of this.

I am asking you here because it is basically rather hard to ask this anyone at home because there are mostly two kind of people. Like my mother who is of the opinion to let everyone believe as long as there is no harm done and one should not insult people who want to believe. And the people that say "of course it is bullshit know lets talk about the real live". The people are so atheistic that if you ask them such question they lock as if you just asked their opinion on whatever the loch ness monster likes his sushi with soy sauce.

Thanks in advance Smile
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02-12-2012, 04:25 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
For me, I have found a way to respect the rights of the people to believe as they wish, I liken pretty much everything in my life like a good episode of Star Trek, its a nice planet with interesting beliefs but you wouldnt want to live there but while visiting, you nod and smile and allow the people their own ideas and ways of doing things.
Im a Unitarian Universalist and we believe that there is value and wisdom to be found in all cultures, religions, spiritual Practices and celebrations/Rituals and so even if I find the ideas to be silly and stupid for lack of a better word I can still find something to agree with, kind of like agreeing to disagree.
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02-12-2012, 04:36 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
I respect religion the way a person who doesn't understand the water cycle would.

That is to say I'm willing to educate them. To offer explanations, show counter arguments, etc.

But as long as they do not bother me, or society I couldn't care less.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
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02-12-2012, 04:45 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
If you say educate them does this mean you do not see them on your level? You see that is my problem I have no problem in accepting someone who is my intellectual inferior being a believer. But what if I meet a clever person who believes? Just like Prof. dawkins debating Professor Lennox, Lennox is a oxford professor who is most probably vastly my superior but his arguments sounded so stupid. How can a intelligent man say such stupid things?
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02-12-2012, 04:49 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
(02-12-2012 04:45 PM)Marcus Wrote:  If you say educate them does this mean you do not see them on your level? You see that is my problem I have no problem in accepting someone who is my intellectual inferior being a believer. But what if I meet a clever person who believes? Just like Prof. dawkins debating Professor Lennox, Lennox is a oxford professor who is most probably vastly my superior but his arguments sounded so stupid. How can a intelligent man say such stupid things?
Typically the more intelligent a person is the more they engage in something called rationalization.

They are simply more capable of defending their positions and lying to themselves.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
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02-12-2012, 04:52 PM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2012 05:06 PM by PoolBoyG.)
Exclamation RE: Respect for Religion
Religions, and the religious, are opposed to knowledge, facts, and higher order thinking. Religions, and the religious, are not reasonable - you cannot reason with them. They are a danger to themselves, and others.

It does not matter if they can compartmentalise their thinking - believing in everything, and yet not believing. They are still promoting religion and the religious.

They do not deserve respect, they do not need respect. They need sympathy, and above all caution and vigilance. "God help you" if the religious and religious thinking becomes predominate in society once again.

Edit: I'd like to define "sympathy" to encompass an understanding and reflection on people who 1. have been indoctrinated and believe so intensely as you "believe" the globe is round, and 2. the evil or greedy who feed off such people for financial, or political, or social support - that they were able to fail as human beings so tremendously. That a decent person could have existed, but instead we got "them".
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02-12-2012, 05:31 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Do not respect religion, it is not worthy of it.

That does not mean you cannot respect religious people. I can respect those who keep their religion to themselves, or those who try to make logical arguments in favour of it, even if their logic is flawed.

But if they are shown why their logic is flawed, and cling to it anyway, then I do not respect them. I pity them instead.

And those who are deliberately dishonest in an attempt to promote their religion do not deserve either pity or respect, merely contempt.
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02-12-2012, 06:21 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
I do not respect religion at all. Religion is one of the worst institutions I can think of.
I do, though, respect people.
At least those who do not bother me with their religion and those who do not identify themselves by their religion if that makes any sense.
As soon as someone tries to brainwash me or make their religion sound oh so good, I lose respect and patience.

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02-12-2012, 06:42 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
I have learned to respect parts of people. For instance, I respect a singer's ability to sing, but I do not respect their moral or political views (at least until they can prove they have some intelligence and sensibility) just because they're famous.

I try to do this with religious people, but I most often fail. I've maintained my silence rather than lace into them for their views on this, but I struggle to maintain open communications about whatever else it was that brought us together. Especially if they continue to bless me or pray for me or ask me to pray for them or pull the "god's will" crap or wave the bible around or quote from it or....... You get the idea.

They throw their shit in my face, they lose my respect. It only takes a few times to make that permanent.

I can't help it. They're idiots.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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02-12-2012, 07:12 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
There is a distinction to be drawn between respect for the religion, and respect for people who happen to be religious.

Regarding the people, just because they have SOME religion doesn't mean they are blinkered, blindered, bullied, or bastards. (There are exceptions to this, of course.) Respect them or don't as you normally would. Their religion is just one facet of many that make them up.

Regarding the religions themselves... well, there's another distinction to be made here, between Religion As Written, versus living tradition. The first is what one figures the religion to be based on its "official" writings and dogmas, and the second is what emphasis and actual beliefs (however divergent with those official doctrines) the religious cling to. A lot of people emphasize the first. It's a steady and easy thing to figure, because it's less subjective, easier to pin down, doesn't move around as much. Call this the theory. I put much more emphasis on the practice, because that's what is actually at WORK in the world. Calling attention to discrepancies between the two is a useful tactic in trying to modify a person's practice, but whining and gnashing your teeth JUST because people don't believe or act the way members of their religious category theoretically should, accomplishes exactly nothing.

That said, focus on their practice. In practice, does their religion guide them to charitable acts, understanding and compassion, a humility in their understanding of the world and general acceptance of those around them, and a healthy sense of self-esteem and being accepted? Bully for them. Sure, it's not the ONLY way a person can arrive at those ends, nor perhaps the best way, but (in this case) the religious beliefs are producing real good for both the believer and those around him/her. Respect the crap out of anything that does that, religion or no, implausible hookiness or no.

And if religious belief, in practice, makes a particular person bigotted, condescending, angry, hurtful, fearful, conflicted, arrogant, and an all-around ass? Disrespect the crap out of it. If avoiding stepping on their toes makes decent tactical sense, respect it like you would a landmine. If steamrolling over it makes good tactical sense, fire up the steamroller.

Contrary to what others might say, both types of consequence exist in practice, as does a greyscale between them, so take a moment to distinguish between these. And always bear in mind that it's about the individual practice, and not the abstract theory.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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