Thursday, December 12, 2013

You Don’t Demand Respect.

Respect. The word is so used up, its real meaning is diminishing. Theists and unfortunately, some atheists have expressed concern about being disrespectful to religion every time it's been criticized. The theists demand that we should respect their religious belief  while some atheists say that we must respect other people’s religious belief.

So before we start, let us go to the basics. What is respect?

They say that respect is a due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. Simply put, it is a positive feeling of submission and… wait a minute... submission? Yes, submission to a specific action, a conduct that you regard in highest esteem.  You praise it, honor it. That is respect.

Now that you know what is respect, we ask, “When we criticize god belief and religion, are we being disrespectful?” Most theists and some atheists might answer yes.

To question the authority of the divine is considered as disrespectful. Most religions have expressed their deep hatred with doubt and rational inquiry to the point that no one has the right to question the truth and revelations of faith. Now, for some reason, this kind of thinking became so established in our mind that we often think that when we carp religious belief we are automatically disrespectful. Unfortunately, even some atheists have this kind of mind-set.

Is it also possible that religion is hiding behind this so-called “respect?”

As long as the theists shout “respect” atheists are prevented to scrutinize their religious belief, you are prevented to criticize their claims, their holy books, their ethics and their pseudoscience. It also prevents an atheist to speak out and point errors in religious belief.  Worst, it prevents people to act when religion is trying to break the wall of separation of church and state or if the church is trying to influence education, especially science.

And how about these atheists that are shouting for religious respect? Obviously, they don’t know the difference between tolerating and respect. To tolerate religion is to give them the blind eye. They already see the issues, they already see the erroneous claims, but by claiming “peace” what they really do is to turn their heads and ignore just for the sake that they won’t have any enemies.

Respect is not demanded, it is earned. To call for respect to religion, religion must first open itself to scrutiny, then can they earn the “R” word.

No comments: