Why I have no respect for your beliefs and hope you feel the same way about mine
To be honest, all of the myriad religions, and their believers, claim that theirs is the one true religion. As others have also pointed out, this makes them all wrong and untrue.
As I have said to people in person, and I will repeat here, I have absolutely no respect for yours or anyone’s beliefs, religion, etc. And, as I have also said, I hope people feel the same way about mine, should they discover that I have any.
What I respect are human beings who do their best to live by eternally valid, higher principles and values in life, such as peace, love, freedom, harmony, wisdom, understanding, compassion, etc. I respect people who seek and treasure the truth above all beliefs.
People’s beliefs also change. So, why should I waste a moment of my time working up “respect” for any beliefs, when in a moment of whimsy, or deep thought, someone changes their beliefs, now requiring me to get all… respectful about their new ones?
I certainly do respect each and every person’s right to believe whatever they want.
But I do abhor the fact that we overindulge and try to assert such things, which are often rife with hypocrisy, in the secular (and rational) realm, pushing people to become submissive so that these beliefs can dominate social and political processes and institutions.
As I have also pointed out before, every religion rests on the patently childish and inadmissible premise that, “What’s in this book is true… because this book says it’s true.” You can’t bring that absurdity into a court of law…let alone into a kindergarten.
Nonetheless, we’ve become so defensive, thin-skinned, and sensitive about our precious little beliefs, that the vice-president of the United States, pandering to his primary constituency, feels it necessary to publicly rebuke rebuke talk show host, Joy Behar, for her politically/religiously incorrect utterances. Of course, when we are pointed to a scientific study that shows a correlation between religious fundamentalism and being wacky, there’s a bit of dissonance.
It’s hard to think of other times when the opinion of someone on the equally wacky, self-righteous left had some actual scientific support behind it.
Some of the worst hypocrites are either members of the various clergy and/or outspoken proponents of different religions. These are the people who say they really respect other people’s religious views, which is obviously an odious lie, or they themselves would hold those same beliefs.
Expressing false respect is a devious way to try to create some kind of an advantage, a twisted path to get people to feel good and/or compliant, and thereby get agreement, which they feel (probably correctly) wouldn’t succeed if they simply had the honesty to say they didn’t respect the other persons beliefs.
Trying to assert any kind of moral authority over one another is a pretty pathetic and counterproductive way to communicate. When we are living a truly higher-value based life, however we have come to those values, then we can have true fellowship, communication and cooperation.
With friends of mine who indeed are religious, we sometimes discuss just how and why we do seem to have solid agreement on a number of important things when our…cosmologies, as I refer to them, are so different.
I illustrate the answer by making circles with the thumb and ring finger on each hand. These, I say, represent our respective cosmologies. Then I bring my hands together so that one circle partially overlaps the other. “This circle in the middle, where our common values overlap,” I say, “is the reason. Everything else is far less important.”
The revolution begins within.