Should atheists or people of one particular religion show deference to prominent religious figures like the Pope or the Dalai Lama if they don't believe in the religious movements?
Personally, I don’t think so because respecting someone purely for being a big player in a religion I don’t believe in makes no sense…what does it matter if a million people follow their words? Does that mean anything? What do you think? And if you are a believer, do you show the same deference to a religious figure that does not belong to your religion? Say you’re Muslim and the Pope’s coming over (because that happens) – would you be showing any more respect to him than you would any random person.
I equate these figure-heads with celebrities…people revered by others for a multitude of reasons but the extent to which these beings are elevated in society can be quite extreme…on the other hand, I would probably be showing more deference to President Obama if he came over…but I like him…meaning, I wouldn’t at all be showing any deference to Bush…so am I just like everyone else? Are my reasons for respecting Obama more than the next person the same as the reasons people (you) hold for respecting (more than others) those who are the higher ups in the hierarchy of religion?
Say you’re dealing with a nun or a priest, is the way you speak to them different because they’re a ‘person of god’?