Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Do ideas and beliefs deserve respect?

Where did the idea that all beliefs and ideas should blindly be given protection from criticism come from?

People have to earn respect, though everyone deserves basic courtesy. Why should ideas and beliefs be given a free pass? Do we really want to encourage intellectual laziness and discourage reason?

If people want their beliefs to be free of criticism, they are free to keep them to themselves.

26 Answers

  • tj
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Does that mean you have no respect for my theory that rocks grow in my garden each time it rains?


    Source(s): It happens every time lol
  • 1 decade ago

    Interesting. I agree. I don't give them much credence and it's for the reasons you say here - intellectualism and reason and logic.

    People can believe anything they want to but the truth may not care. Reality may interfere. "I believe in Santa Claus." "I believe that one day there will be peace on Earth." "Good people will get their due in heaven." Ok - whatever. Others do not have to subscribe to these beliefs. What good are they anyway? Does it make happen? It's more like wishful thinking.

    Not everyone has been taught to think for themselves and to question things. There is a lot of ignorance and lack of sophistication.

    I cannot tell you how many arguments that I've had with my husband. We are on different levels some times. He gets emotional on some things and I'm not and vice versa. We have a good balance though. I have a masters degree and he has only taken some college courses.

    I think that is why sometimes we do not communicate well. He misunderstands me or maybe I'm not expressing my thoughts and ideas in a way that he can understand.

    Some people seem to equate any kind of criticism as being disrespectful or harmful. It's negative. I was criticising a show that we were watching. My husband nearly bit my head off. He could not stand it. I was calm. Maybe I was too harsh but only he could hear it. It was a Fox show - Secret Millionaire.

    Some people cannot handle being challenged. My FIL is like this. You must not challenge him or deal with the consequences. He's fighting with 2 sons now. It's so stupid. Everyone suffers. It's just a difference of opinion. There isn't an agree to disagree mentality. It's you either agree with me or you are against me.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not all ideas and beliefs are equally reasonable and valid. I think it is good to scrutinize our own beliefs and ideas, test them against reason and experience, and change them if need be. And I think others should also be encouraged to do that.

    However, we are not all the same. People have different brain structures and some people are stronger in analytical things, while others are stronger in intuitive things, or whatever. Some people just do not have it in their nature to question every thought and idea like we do. To someone like me, who is very analytical and scrutinizes my own thoughts, that can be very frustrating! But I try to step back and realize that not everyone's brain is wired up the way mine is. They may be strong where I am weak, and vice versa.

    I think that what we must respect is not the ideas and beliefs themselves, but the right of each person to hold those beliefs. From where they stand, the belief looks right, or else they wouldn't hold that belief. We have to respect that each person may be at a different level, and respect where that person currently is in life. I don't think we need to respect refusal to question. But if after encouraging someone to think a little deeper about their beliefs, they refuse to do so, I think we have to finally just step back and let them be.

    And I try to respect them even for that, by having compassion on them - because there must be some emotional reason or something that makes them fear losing a cherished belief. And we should have compassion on them, since they have a deep emotional fear of some sort, or whatever the case may be. In other words, they have a reason for holding on to an unreasonable belief! And I think we should respect that situation they are in.

  • 1 decade ago

    What makes one think that a person or people would say all beliefs and ideas should blindly be given protection from criticism??

    If someone is being obnoxious about their belief system maybe a little criticism would be in order.

    If someone believe G-d told them to go to the mall and kill everyone, they should not be respected.

    But if someone is not talking and people are harassing them to ad mitt to believing in G-d, if that person give in and ad mitts to it, then they should not be criticized because they did not provoke it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    People are to be accorded respect, the beliefs they hold are not.

    Beliefs should stand and fall on their own merits, and if they must be

    shielded from criticism they should be treated as suspect.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Logic error ! Logic error !!

    You have actually defined as beliefs as whatever you would rather like people to keep to them themselves !!

    The onus is on you to show that those 'beliefs' are fideistic and not based on reason. For myself, I accept the existence of God as proven by reason with certainty. As to Jesus, that too is based on His Ressurection. And I am a convert.

    For fideism you might have a point but for the other stuff I turn your statement back upon you : Prove it.

  • I love Douglas Adams' comments, quoted in The God Delusion:

    "Tell me not to move a lightswitch on a Saturday and all of a sudden I have to genuflect and obey" or something like that.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    kind of like free speech

    You have done nothing to get the right of free speech but yet you feel that you deserve it and that the populace should let you have it

    Think about that for a minute then come back about beliefs

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have never heard that ideas and beliefs should be free from criticism. Isn't that what keeps this board alive?

  • Westboro church has beliefs, and since they're twisted beliefs that I can't respect. You're 100% right.

    Source(s): 23-year old Deist
  • 1 decade ago

    no free passes. i think it's not that hard to disagree or be critical whilst retaining courtesy and dignity. without criticism there would be no progress.

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