It never ceases to amaze me how people confuse ‘tolerance’ with ‘respect’. Respect is something which one earns through intellectual merits, whilst tolerance, thanks to genetic proclivities, is present in the average human being.

These delusional obscurantists have a tendency to make a wilful claim to my respect, without ever explaining how or what this respect entails.

Let me make myself clear: I respect nothing that has not proved itself deserving thereof. It does not matter whether a pig is called muhammad-scum or jesus-scum; they are all equally obnoxious.

It is incredibly supercilious to assume that somehow others should be coerced to profess ‘respect’ for you, simply because they are wearing a Smurfs’ hat and are not very good at English.

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Comment by Rory Pralow on March 25, 2014 at 3:48pm

I have a mutual respect for people to believe in whatever they want. It's not my job to educate every religious person I encounter on their utterly idiotic thought process. I simply mind my business.

However, if you bring that rubbish to my front door, I will rain down hell-fire on your parade and not think twice about it.

My own mom doesn't like for me to even talk about my atheism, like its a disease or something. Truly pisses me off. I just find most religious individuals to be morons in every sense of the word, but once again I mind my business.

Comment by Travis Hedglin on March 24, 2014 at 4:41pm

Eh, I have general respect for their right to believe whatever they want(no matter how wrong or stupid I think it is), but that is different from "respecting their beliefs" as if they were somehow on equal footing to mine.  As long as THEY remember that their right to swing their metaphorical arms ends at my nose, we don't usually have a problem, but fundamentalists often don't understand anything that requires an IQ higher than 20 to comprehend...

Comment by Loren Miller on March 24, 2014 at 7:57am

Exactly, Future.  This is where Christopher Hitchens' challenge comes in:

  1. Name one moral or ethical action or behaviour committed or carried out by a believer that could not have been committed or carried out by an atheist.
  2. Name one immoral or unethical action or behaviour that has been committed or carried out in the name of God.

Atheists are currently involved in every kind of humanitarian work and aid in the world that you can name, whether they get the notice for it or not, so membership in a church is by no means a prerequisite for doing good work.  And whether in the name of their deity or not, believers in that deity have committed more reprehensible acts than can be documented without resorting to encyclopedic length.

If a believer interested in humanitarianism REALLY wants to get my notice, he can help someone out without expecting them to "pay for the soup" later by being indoctrinated into the faith.  That might impress me.

Comment by Future on March 24, 2014 at 7:49am
I respect that you donated your time at a church food drive. I respect that you went with your church group to help out in an area devasted by natural disaster. I respect that you went with your church group to a poverty stricken country to help build homes and agriculture. I have zero respect, however, for the religion that you give credit to for doing humanitarian deeds. It is unnecessary, and you should recognize that not only are you doing more for these unfortunate people than your god, but by your own beliefs that god who is doing nothing to help is also responsible for creating their misery to begin with. It's time to grow out of the fairy tale you are mired in.
Comment by Loren Miller on March 24, 2014 at 7:14am

Yer damned skippy!  As I have said multiple times around here, I have exactly ZERO respect for any kind of irrational belief system, and I will say so to the believer's face, if necessary.  I will respect the person holding those beliefs, their right to espouse said beliefs and so on, SOLELY as long as they respect me and mine.  If they want to play nice, I'm perfectly happy to.

If they don't, it will be my privilege to make them wish they HAD.


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