Social Question

NerdyKeith's avatar

Ethically speaking, should we respect “beliefs” and “belief systems”?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) February 21st, 2016

I am not suggesting that anyone should intentionally disrespect spiritual or religious individuals. In fact I try to aim to judge people on their actions and not on their creeds. Furthermore it is my view that there is more to an individual’s personhood than their spiritual / religious label.

But should we without question, automatically respect all beliefs? Especially when some of these beliefs could be used to put forward an agenda, and discriminate or oppress others?

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19 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

No. Everything is fair game.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Ethically speaking no, it causes more problems down the road.

ucme's avatar

No, if you’re going to spew shite down people’s throats expect all kinds of piss to be ripped out of you.

cazzie's avatar

Respect the person, but ideas are up for questioning.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m going to draw a line here. Similar to @cazzie.

I think that we should respect the person who may have a belief system which differs from one’s own. By this I mean that any person is entitled to think and believe what they want.

But that does not imply that I accept their beliefs. They can be ludicrously idiotic and counter to everything I hold to be moral and right.

It boils down to this I respect your right to believe in whatever idiocy you wish

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I agree with @elbanditoroso As long as others beliefs are not being trumpeted as ultimate truth and forced on others, live and let live, however, I do have a hard time respecting unquestioned religious belief as I see it as someone who is willing to accept their programming without questioning or coming to their own conclusions. Progress has always been made by those that challenge the norm, the status quo and think for themselves not just blindly accept what they are taught and told.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is only logicaly consistent and therefore admirable that folks evince the courage of their convictions. The problems arise with the necessity to enforce certain of those convictions on the society at large when such beliefs are deemed either detrimental to the public good or at odds with reality. Thus we are confronted with perpetual outbreaks of campaigns to breach the separations enforced between church and state. It may well be ironic, yet nevertheless vital that vigilance is maintained in suppressing the blinding zeal always at the reins of galloping righteousness.

zenvelo's avatar

From an ethical standpoint, it is a matter of mutual respect.

The First Amendment Freedom of Religion is me protecting your right to believe whatever you believe. But that carries the ethic of you protecting my right.

There is a strongly intolerant religious viewpoint in the US that feels their religious freedom is paramount, but that other religions are not worthy of protection. To the extent they do not fight for protection of all, they lose any ethical point to keep their belief free of criticism.

Misspegasister28's avatar

I think you can respect other people’s beliefs but still criticize the bad parts of it.

Cruiser's avatar

IMHO it is common courtesy to extend a level of respect for others own beliefs

Mariah's avatar

Depends on what you mean by respect. I see this word thrown around in a lot of different ways. In the “deference/bowing down to” definition of the word, hell nah. In the “acknowledging it as something that has a right to exist,” of course.

ragingloli's avatar

@Cruiser
That is just your political correctness.

ibstubro's avatar

I do not respect Scientology or Scientologists, so I guess I’d have to answer no.

I’ve read quite a bit about the religion and from the founder to the time frame, the whole thing is so fantastical that I have to seriously question the sanity and reason of anyone that would immerse themselves in the religion.

People were respectful of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple and it turned out he was just as nuts as he seemed, and 918 people died with him.
Okay, so maybe the 500+ adults went to some sort of JJ Nirvana, but there were over 300 kids killed, too.

So, no, we don’t have to respect all belief systems automatically.

Jak's avatar

Well, as much as I am trying to be respectful of all other life forms, I am not yet enlightened enough to say that I have any respect for people like Donald Trump or his supporters.
I also think Scientologists are less than informed and Tom Cruz is probably classifiable as batshit insane. L Ron Hubbard made that shit up to get rich. Level one stuff that they pay so much for is available online and it is laughable. I have zero respect for the people who pay so much money for such drivel, though I feel that they are just as dangerous as any fanatic who blindly follows orders. Any ideologist is capable of atrocity in the name of their ideology. Sometimes it isn’t so much the belief system, which can be all kinds of benign, but the followers who then twist ideas to fit their own twisted views.
So, no.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli Yes you are on to me as I would much prefer to don a black outfit and slowly draw a rusty knife across the throats of those who don’t believe the same as I do.

cazzie's avatar

Oh, I will respect the person, but only to a point, I should add. Until they give me reason not to. Trump is a good example.

dappled_leaves's avatar

No. Some beliefs are crazy. Some beliefs are ridiculous. Why should anyone respect those?

I think all people should be respected, but that doesn’t mean no one should ever argue with them about their beliefs. Quite the opposite, actually. If I have no respect for someone, I won’t bother to argue with them.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

You mean respect the fact that a spectrum of belief systems exist and that whatever someone believes is their business? Sure. Do I have respect for people who insist on darkening my doorway to proselytize, or will I stand for any other unsolicited buttonholing? No.

Will I offer to martyr them immediately free of charge if they open their unsolicited spiel with statements that in the least bit (1) negatively judge me, my lifestyle or my personal beliefs; or (2) even hint that I am doomed forever according to their beliefs? With pleasure. That is just rude.

Will I defend my right, with violence if necessary, to believe whatever I wish, or to believe nothing at all? You betchya.

vorg's avatar

No. It would be impossible for me to respect the beliefs of others because they would always be either in conflict my own beliefs or would simply be contrary to what I believe. Only the latter can co-exist without the respect.

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