[extropy-chat] spect (was Putting God to Rest)

ben benboc at lineone.net
Wed Apr 25 20:28:58 UTC 2007

Anna Taylor <femmechakra at yahoo.ca> wrote:

 > Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com> wrote:
 > >Actually everyone has a right to believe whatever
 > >they wish but they have no right whatsoever to
 > >respect or kind treatment for believing pernicious
 > >nonsense.  The nonsense itself has no "rights" at
 > >all. There is no "debate" implied or required here.

 > There is no debate for you.  Are you implying that any
 > and all people that believe in God should have no
 > right to respect?

... and lots more about 'respect'.

This 'respect' idea is quite interesting. It may be one of those words 
that everyone uses, but often meaning different things.

My take is that respect is earned. If i respect somebody or something, 
it's because i've been impressed in some way.

A lot of people seem to think that if you don't respect someone, then 
you 'disrespect' them. And that this is a bad thing.

Where's the middle ground? It seems to be missing. We need something 
like 'arespect' or 'abrespect'.

Perhaps this is why 'no right to respect' is seen as a negative thing to 
say. I don't think that believers in gods should have any right to 
respect, not mine, anyway. But i do think they should have the right to 
'arespect', as should everyone until they demonstrate how worthy of 
respect or contempt they are.

I don't respect anyone who holds irrational superstitious beliefs - not 
for holding them, certainly.
I also have no respect for those beliefs themselves (which is a separate 
thing, that some people often forget, or get confused about).

That's not to say that i necessarily hold them in contempt (or 
'disrespect', if you insist). I might do, of course, but the one doesn't 
inevitably follow from the other.

It seems funny to me that a lot of people think that they are 'owed 
respect' from people they've never even met before.

I suspect that a lot of the time when people say 'i respect ...' they 
mean that they tolerate.

Suppose i said that Hitler was owed respect for his beliefs about the 
nature of Jews? Or that atrologers should be given respect because they 
think that star patterns affect our personalities?
Those things make as much sense as saying that belief in gods should be 
respected, or that the people who hold such beliefs deserve respect.

(Oh, no! i just realised, i've fallen foul of Godwin's Law!
I'm embarrassed now.)

ben zaiboc

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