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From: Ontario, Canada
[Faith] may believe a lot of things I don't fall for, but that hardly makes [Faith] right.
Faith's beliefs, alone, should be respected.
Any actions she takes because of those beliefs that negatively affect others - should be disrespected (as anyone's actions that negatively affect others should be.)
It's not that Faith "falls for" her beliefs and you don't.
All beliefs are "fallen for."
Faiths, yours, mine, Richard Dawkins'... everyone's. Regardless of whether or not those beliefs include God.
If it's something accepted based on evidence - then it's not a belief. It's a tentative position that will change as the evidence changes.
If you have a belief and you think there's also evidence that supports it - it's still a belief.
You may be using the "evidence you think supports it" as a crutch to hold it up, or as a trumpet to blast and pat yourself on the back... but, unless it is a "tentatively held position that will change as the evidence changes" - it is a belief, and you've still "fallen for it" as much as anyone else with their own beliefs.
There's nothing wrong with beliefs - no matter how ridiculous you or I may find someone else's ideas. In fact, when used correctly, they can be extremely useful and beneficial.
What's wrong is negative actions - and then the belief doesn't matter, as the action itself can be judged, condemned accordingly and even punished if necessary.
I would suggest that disrespecting beliefs should be avoided.
However - disrespecting actions you can show are negative - should be done and publicly denounced.
From: Ontario, Canada
If she keeps them to herself fine, if she starts pontificating about them they need to be ridiculed not respected.
I don't have a problem with pontification.
And I respect, and defend everyone's ability to pontificate about anything. I think it's important.
Now, if she acts on her beliefs.
Or if she pontificates about acting on her beliefs (inciting others to act.)
...and those actions are negative...
...Then we move onto ridicule and disrespect. Or even judgement and punishment if necessary.
I know that this is the traditional approach...
I wish it were.
And I think I see where you're coming from - it's certainly an ideal that's been tossed around very publicly for a lot of history.
But, in practice, I don't think I've ever heard of any civilization - historical or otherwise - actually incorporating it and using it.
Maybe we should try it?
Faith's beliefs are stupid, superstitious, ignorant and wrong.
And, just to be super-pedantic, I have no issue with such a statement. I defend your ability to pontificate on Faith's beliefs as much as I defend hers.
And I think my previous wording was either incorrect or perhaps just not-very-clear.
Notice the difference - here you are disrespecting the ideas that Faith is discussing.
But the line I picked out from Phat's post was accusing Faith of "falling for" her beliefs - that is, it was disrespecting Faith herself for holding beliefs.
One is a negative idea towards ideas.
The other is a negative idea towards an intelligent being for acting like an intelligent being.
That's the difference I should have focused on more clearly.
From: Ontario, Canada
I have a friend that thinks all beliefs have equal validity, which is the same as saying all beliefs deserve respect.
I agree with your sentiment that this idea is wrong.
This is wrong and part of what has caused our society to be in crisis as it is now.
I think it's a very, insignificantly small part of what has caused our society to be in crisis as it is now.
The larger part is not disrespecting/judging/punishing the negative actions grown from such beliefs.
If we did that, we would not be in this mess.
Because media has for years treated all sides of a subject as having equal validity...
I don't see that. Neither in respected media or extreme media.
...we now have climate deniers in charge of the US government.
Again - you're jumping the gun.
We don't have climate deniers in charge of the US government because the media treated all sides of a subject as having equal validity, we have climate deniers in charge of the US government because we didn't judge/condemn/punish the negative actions of those who believed such ideas.
Again - stop the negative actions and you prevent your crisis.
No need to stop the discussion of ideas.
Should the beliefs of pedophiles and white supremacists be respected?
Discussions on the ideas? Absolutely. How else can you teach it's wrong if you don't respectfully discuss the ideas?
The actions? Absolutely not.
Why can't we do that?
Faith believes that homosexuality and atheism are crimes against her god. Does she just believe people she thinks are immoral should go to jail or does their blasphemy deserve the death penalty. Her beliefs deserve no respect.
Then don't respect them. But you should, still, respect her (as long as she simply holds/discusses such believes.)
They should be ridiculed and attacked any time she or anyone like her espouses them.
Espouses? What's wrong with you?
People need to be able to "espouse" whatever they want, whenever they need to. How else can you teach someone that something is wrong without espousing it?
Of course, I certainly agree that they should be "ridiculed and attacked any time she or anyone" acts or espouses-about-acting on them.
This is not just a battle for our rights. The battle against religious extremism is a battle for our lives.
And so the cycle continues... to go around and around again and again.
Have you never read a history book?
Do you think the things you're saying have never been said or put into practice before?
And things are good, for a bit.
Until people realize the ridiculousness of preventing speech.
Then the speech is lifted again.
Then the problems start again.
Then we get to where-we-are-now-again.
Stop the cycle.
Try something new.
Don't jump back to the beginning again.
Instead of jumping back to the beginning - why not fix the actual problem?
Draw the line where it needs to be - preventing actions.
Enforce such a line.
We will have good times again.
But, it will be a lot harder for people to persuade others to lift regulations put in place that prevent negative actions rather than those put in place to prevent negative speech.
We could give it a try.
Or we could spin the wheel another time, if you prefer. See you again in another 40 years.
From: Ontario, Canada
Once one has solid evidence or facts, there is no belief, correct?
But I think it should be clarified that the defining characteristic of "belief" is not on the existence of evidence or facts - it's on how the "belief" is held.
That is, if you hold a 'belief' tentatively, and are willing to change it according to the evidence or facts - then it is not a belief. It is a "tentative position."
However, if you hold a 'belief' as something resistant to change. Something you refuse to change regardless of what happens... then it is a belief - regardless of how much evidence or how many facts may also support it/you.
From: Ontario, Canada
Sure defend the right to say stupid things. But as far as I'm concerned there no right - or need - to respect either the words or the person saying them.
I get the feeling we're talking about the same thing, but using slightly different nuances in our adjectives.
It's not possible to respect the speaker of words you find offensive, dangerous stupid or all three. You might respect his right to say them - whilst holding your nose - but you can't dissociate them from the speaker.
Again, I get the feeling I agree with what your saying, but just not every nit-picky last part of it.
But, I don't feel inclined enough to chase down the nit-picks I don't agree with, so I'm just going to agree with you
From: Ontario, Canada
As this applies to Faith, her religious beliefs are not falsifiable and deserving of all due respect.
I think the problem I created is with my understanding of "respect."
You see, I do think that Faith's religious beliefs are deserving of all due respect.
I just limit what I see as "all due respect."
That is - allowing Faith to discuss and talk about her beliefs.
What is not included (not an exhaustive list):
-no need to "respect" (in the sense of "accept") claims of fact that she believes in, but one should "respect"-fully go about disagreeing (in the sense that Faith is a person.) No need to use insults and all that sort of thing. Of course, we will all have different lines to draw on how many insults Faith is allowed to have before it's "okay" to insult her back. I expect and enjoy such differences.
-no need to respect any speech about acting negatively toward anyone based on those beliefs (again, this line will be drawn different for each member of Faith's audience - differences should be expected and taken into account.)
-no need to respect any actions about acting negatively toward anyone based on those beliefs (in fact, such things should be directly opposed.)
...but what Faith does is just plain ridiculous.
This cannot be denied.
From: Ontario, Canada
Because the American people were not presented with the data in an objective manner. The evidence was manipulated by media presentation.
So why can't the answer be to, actually, "present the data in an objective manner?"
Why must the answer be to silence those who do not present the data in an objective manner?
It's taken some time, but Science was able to break free from the Dark Ages and begin a respected quest for objective truth.
Science did not need to silence their redactors - they just proved them wrong.
Why can the media not do the same?
Granted, Science couldn't silence their redactors - Science was the minority, they would have been slaughtered (and were, in areas.)
And now, it can be argued, that the power to "silence the redactors" does exist.
I just don't see an advantage to using such power. And, in fact, I think there's a disadvantage - one that will be regretted in the future.
I have a brother that thinks I should not have the right to vote because I am not a christian. I have no respect for him. I am a firm believer that respect is earned and not freely given and I am a firm believer that words have meaning and power. Words are actions.
I think we're getting lost on our differing definitions of the word "respect."
I understand you don't respect your brother in the sense that you don't agree with him and feel free to "make him feel bad" with your verbal rebuttals about his choices.
But I would assume that you do, indeed, still "respect your brother" in the sense that you do not think you should kill him. Or, say, break his arm.
With such differences floating around the word of "respect..." perhaps we should stop using the word and elucidate ourselves more directly?
What is wrong with you? Do not attack me. If you disagree, disagree without making it personal.
Ah, I see... so you think that even if I disagree with you... I should still "respect" you and not make it personal?
I absolutely agree with you.
Perhaps we should define this further...
People can espouse whatever they want. Words are actions. When they espouse hate they need to be called out and ridiculed.
Could we word this, perhaps, as "People can say what they want... but if they act negatively (or speak about actions - inciting violence) then it should be opposed?
Sounds a lot like what I'm talking about.
Are you voicing the meaningless pithy line of those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it? The line actually means nothing.
It can mean nothing in certain contexts.
And be very applicable in others.
Like most simple saying. Don't judge a book by it's cover - except, of course, for when it walks and talks like a duck.
I'm saying that the direction of "opposing beliefs" leads in the direction of silencing opponents, which leads us into a history circle I would prefer not to repeat.
I'm saying that the direction of "opposing negative actions" while "defending/respecting beliefs" leads us into a new area where i would prefer to go.
People are entitled to say whatever they want. That you make the claim that I think otherwise just shows a lack of understanding or a conscious effort to misrepresent what I actual argued.
Good. People need to understand that such entitlement can be followed through on (if done thoughtfully in it's own manner) and received in public with no ill repercussions - but not necessarily agreement.
As for any misunderstandings. I assure you my fervor is more placed on a passion for the subject than it is a personal vendetta.
Speech is action.
Some yes, some no.
I'm saying we should work on identifying a way to tell the difference.
When it is - (and it's negative action) - then go ahead - judge/condemn/punish accordingly. I'll help.
When it's not - then take it for what it is - just speech. Allow it to occur, defend it's existence, and verbally disagree as much as you'd like - but remain non-condemning at this level.
Strawman again? I thought you were better than that.
Depends on the moment.
Sometimes a strawman can be a desired tool.
Especially when you're trying to make beer.
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