Exchanging religious opinions with respect

A common lament in believer – non-believer discussions is believers demanding respect for their beliefs or the sincerity of it and sometimes for themselves.

Non-believers, free-thinkers and atheists don’t seem to be as hung up on respect as believers are.  Kinda like believers are way more obsessed with gay sex than gay people.

I think that this demand for respect stems from their authority fetish. The world view that believers tend to have is a rigid framework with a clear hierarchy of authority: god to to their religious leader, down through the priesthood ranks and finally to the laypeople. People who believe in a personal god, I suppose include some sort of hot-line that bypasses the other people between them and their god.

Many of the rules in religions are focused on submitting to various levels of higher authority – often starting with the parents to the religion’s priesthood ranks to god.

In Christianity, about half of the commandments are authority worship. And the purpose of authority worship is controlling people.

So, that makes it curious to me why anyone thinks that this is the basis for a moral code at all -which is a whole other blog – since there’s nothing about evaluating the authority for worthiness and no restrictions on the behaviour of said authority.

So it’s also curious – and a future blog on belief and hypocrisy – that so many of the isolationist and anti-government groups are right wing believers. So, they are failing the commandment idea that they hold most important.

So, when believers demand respect, they are really asking for submission. Unconditional at that.

Respect is earned, not bestowed.

Believers do not earn respect when they sincerely believe the atheist is going to hell, when they outright lie and misconstrue or are plain ill-informed about science concepts.

ID/Creationist Believers also insist on excessive proof – based on their misunderstanding science no less – to accept even basic science terminology and expecting to not have to provide any at all for their religious claims. They also fall into the trap of if science can’t prove something 100%, then all science must be wrong adn religion wins by default.

But that is a false choice and science is never about 100% certainty. It’s best conclusion given the information we have. When new information becomes available, it’s peer reviewed and the conclusion is revised.

So, it’s pretty funny that believers cannot handle ambiguity and change, yet they base their absolutist and certainty on religion, which has no evidence or proof and is entirely based on subjective feelings and personal preference reinforced by confirmation bias.

Believers also like to paint atheists as rude – as if this was the worst thing a person could be and pointing out that being rude is hardly on par with suicide bombers and shooting abortion doctors on the badness scale…. well, they don’t generally have a response for that.

The idea of respect in a conversion in which the believer is misrepresenting  scientific concepts, dismissing religious people caught in controversies as “not real ones”, does not understand logic or debate rules as evidenced by the “You haven’t changed my mind, so I won” attitude and who sincerely believes that the atheist is going to an unpleasant afterlife – and enjoys that “fact”.

How can you respect any of that or the person spouting it?

How can the person spouting that party line of disrespect, who offers no respect for the conversation and the opposing participants, honestly expect to be respected?

I respect the right to opinions and expression of same. But that’s a blanket respect for rights, not people or their particular beliefs.

I also hold myself to the standard of having to earn respect for myself and my beliefs.  If I can’t, by my conduct earn respect for my as a person or by my logic earn it for my belief, then I don’t have your respect.

And that’s okay with me, because my beliefs are not dependent on other people’s respect or acceptance.

We all have the same information or access to information. That we all draw different conclusions from that is what makes the world an interesting place.

Until someone insists that theirs is the only correct conclusion and worse, that it should be self evident to all expect the childish and immoral people like atheists, free thinkers, non-heterosexuals and really, even believers in other faiths or in other versions of their own faith.

And really, who is being the child in that situation?


It’s also funny to me that the expression “With all due respect” is usually used to indicate that no respect is owed or forthcoming.