85 6

Should we respect other people's beliefs? I'm not asking whether people should have the right to believe what they will, but if a person's beliefs are superstitious, ignorant, hateful, or factually wrong do those beliefs deserve our respect?

  • 22 votes
  • 101 votes
  • 13 votes
Sdusmith 5 May 6

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


I respect people, not beliefs.


Everyone has a right to believe what they want, but those beliefs don't warrant special status. If they can't survive criticism they should be discarded. Respect people, but beliefs aren't people. There are people who believe women are inferior to men, pedophilia is okay, or that vaccines cause autism.

Basically beliefs are bullshit unless they can be backed up with evidence. They warrant no more respect than an unproven scientific hypothesis.

JimG Level 8 May 6, 2019

Well put... very much agree...

@Sdusmith thank you.


I don't respect a person's beliefs. I respect the person and their right to believe what they wish. However if they try to preach it to me as it were then I will tell them how it is.


Nazis, racists, bigots, enviornment destroyers, mean, cruel, sexist people, liars and haters get no respect from me.

Nor should they. Agreed.


No. Acknowledge, but most certainly NOT respect!

Thanks for that point of view. Short, succinct. the best way to say it that I have read so far


Depends. If said beliefs are factually wrong, but not causing any harm to the person or others, I don't know that I would necessarily respect it but I would accept that they have the right to believe what they want.

However, if said beliefs are factually wrong, and being used to cause harm to the person or others, then I cannot respect that, nor just ignore it.

Well said!


I voted "No" because I was raised a Hindu and I questioned a lot of these superstitious and ignorant beliefs. They don't have answers because they don't give you answers. They just get angry. Why should I respect it just because I was born into it? This talk of respecting it for the sake of peace and live and let live, means we add to ignorance and lies and encourage it to spread, if we don't question even if they get angry. If they believe and have no reasonable answers, don't expect me to follow and respect. ...and don't call me disrespectful because I was bold enough to ask the questions to try and understand.


I don't respect belief in a flat earth. I don't respect a belief in "racial" anything. I don't respect a belief that the planet and universe came into existence 6,000 years ago by the word of an invisible alpha male. I don't respect a belief in chopping the heads off people who disagree with one's beliefs.

I can respect a belief in treating others decently, no matter from where it was derived.

So, do you have a category for "It depends"?

Unsure would probably come closest. I'll see if I can add it.


Respect the person , not the beliefs .


How do you disrespect the belief but not the person? After all, it's the person who holds the belief and in disrespecting the belief, you are also disrespecting the person for holding said belief, right?

For example, if I tell someone "That's a fucking stupid belief you hold and that belief should be relegated to the depths of oblivion because it's such a god aweful stupid belief." in an attempt to disrespect the belief, how am I not also disrespecting the person for holding said belief?

I ask this not in challenge to your position but trying to understand how to separate belief from person when showing respect or disrespect.


The principle is respect for the right of belief, not by necessity the belief itself, proving it doesn't involve hate or bigotry or speech deemed outside acceptable norms. "You must respect my religion" is one of most confused and erroneous claims religionists make. Never fall for it.


I used to believe in "live and let live", but that just doesn't work anymore. That type of thinking has failed us all.
I can't respect the beliefs of others when they actively seek to influence and control how everyone lives.
I won't respect anyone's bullshit beliefs anymore.

They take any attempt to refuse their influence as discrimination.

Fuck them, and their bullshit.


I think that I will quote one my favourite philosophers with regard to the above question. "History is replete with men and women who have gone to their deaths for their beliefs. There is nothing new in this and it will continue into the foreseeable future. Personally, I would never die for my beliefs because after all I could be wrong." Bertrand Russell


Until somebody dies & makes you Czar of beliefs, you can reason or you can ignore, but not impose.


Seems like we liberals get accused of that a lot, but sorry I do not respect your belief that I as a woman should not be able to make my own medical & family planning decisions, know whether or not I have been sexually assaulted. Human rights trump your beliefs.

Carin Level 8 May 6, 2019

People should be respected... Beliefs... Case by case basis....



Not respect, no. I'm not going to respect racists, homophobes and narcissists, etc.

I'll leave them in peace unless they are crossing the threshold to act on their beliefs and hurt someone, but respect is something people earn by virtues; not something anyone can demand.

PS. When it comes to peaceful beliefs, I also find it difficult to respect people who profess their faith with no knowledge of what that entails.
A Christian asserted to me that god was against slavery. I pointed out the relevant passages of the bible and the believing "Christian" told me he had never read the holy book he believes in with all his heart.
Who can respect that?


Treat the person with respect, not the belief


I respect a person’s beliefs, UNLESS their beliefs involve taking rights away from or harming others that don’t believe the same as they do. That type of belief system deserves no respect and, imo, it is the duty of decent people to challenge those beliefs and make it clear that we do not accept them.


Respect for people but not beliefs especially if they are harmful.


A person may believe what ever they wish, however their belief does not make respect a prerequisite.
The Church of Scientology can believe whatever they like, no matter how stupid, but what they believe deserves no respect, because it is a lie and is dangerous when it denies people the medical help they may need in favor of pseudoscientific bullshit.

The confusion comes from a religious person asking someone to
a) respect their right to believe bullshit which is legitimate
B) have their bullshit respected which is not


Ideas do not have rights! You are free to believe whatever you want, and I am free to criticize it.

Buxx Level 7 May 6, 2019

Literally COULD NOT agree more...


You don't have to respect a belief, but you can be civil and tolerant with delusional people, except of course it theiy become offensive , then you put the hater in his or her place.


Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does. If you're a dick, you're a dick. Doesn't matter what you believe at that point.

I don't agree. Your belifs inform your actions. For example: Mark believes vaccinations are dangerous, so Mark does not vaccinate. It's true though, I think, that dicky people will have dicky beliefs. But I think the person is product of the beliefs, to an extene, and not the other way around.

@Sdusmith I've dealt with enough hypocrites in my lifetime to fully stand behind my statement. Terrible people can claim to be Christian, or Atheist, or any combination of things, but they're still terrible people either way.

Some religious people help the homeless, some religious people scream at them to get a job. Just because someone religious goes to church and prays doesn't make them good if their day to day actions don't correlate with that.

Some Atheists volunteer at animal shelters, some atheists abuse animals. Regardless of religion or lack there of, you should still know right from wrong and should be able to choose kindness over cruelty.

I have no respect for people who act high and mighty because they believe in this or that. I respect the people who do the right thing despite their beliefs.


You are confusing "tolerate" with respect. There are a lot of views I have to tolerate that I don't respect.


NO for me,if people/person belief is like what you mentioned(superstitious,ignorant,
Hateful) the word respect are barely to them...respect is not like a candy that you can buy or ask for,it is a matter of attitude and a reflection of what kind of a person we are.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:342627
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.