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Should Worldviews And Religions Be Respected And Protected?

Please, give your reasons here whether worldviews and religions should be protected from criticism and rigorous examination. Would be most helpful if you could defend your case with pertinent examples. For instance;

1) If worldviews were respected and protected, modern-day democracies would be non-functional

2) If worldviews and religions were deserving of respect and protection, the Igbo practice of twin-abandonment would still obtain in parts of Nigeria.

3) If worldviews were deserving of respect, the Roman practice of infant abandonment would have lasted much long. It was eliminated thanks to humane ideas from the Christians.

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@huxley,

I understand a lot of non-religious people may feel some unease at the state of affairs described above. The one question that people often ask is this: in publicly affecting issues like politics, for instance, have atheists ask themselves what theoretical framework could establish political sciences of nations from just shade of atheism?

The thing is that there are a lot of non-religious people in the political arena; but what some atheists do not realize is that the lobbying against theists in public affairs is not doesn't make sense because they are failing to understand that politics and other public issues in the nations of the world are not solely controlled by theists.

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Brilliant point.  Can be summarised as follows "Are there any objectives ways of appreciating reality?"  For if there is, it is only against such that worldviews can be judged.

My view is that, for some elements of reality, there is an objective measure (that is not to say that it is know), while for others, it is not clear, or indeed may in fact be relativistic.

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I think first and foremost we will need a set of CRITERIA by which to judge worldviews.

We should bear in mind that those world views will be evaluated according to one value system or another.

Hang on a minute . . . All world views come ready made with their own value systems.

In fact our value systems by which we judge everything are derived from one world view or another.

Is there an Absolute set of CRITERIA by which we can make these judgements.

That is criteria that are not the particular bias of any particular worldview, but can be accepted by absolutely everybody living.

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Thanks for that and I get your distinction make a lot of sense to me (and may I say, many critics of religions as well). I generally see this approach as a rather more "civilised" way of dealing with people. In my experience, many critics are frustrated when their targets do not make and understand the distinction and that is why they have to resort to "abrasive" methods to rile their targets up a bit.

There is a massive distinction between criticising a belief and criticising adherents to that belief and for me, that is the message I want to put across. Having said that, I realised that for many people this distinction is not clear and for the sake of courtesy, I would not wish to inflict unwarrented hurt to those who have become so attached to their beliefs, much as I would like for them to see the difference.

For instance, I would have found totally unacceptable and dispicable when the missionaries (and even atheists) matched into African villages many years ago and desecreted local shrines, disrespected the local beliefs, etc. Thankfully, most missionary work is no longer done like this. Sensitivity to local beliefs and understanding is required, to create a rapport with your target audience.

I think that one of the reason why atheists have become very vocal recently is because it is taken for granted by the general public that religious views are deserving of respect. Consequently, religions has infiltrated into almost every sphere of life, totally unchallenged. See the extend to which they influence politics now in America & Nigeria. This is what is pissing off a lot of nontheists and secularist.

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Hello,

Pardon me to emphasise that this thread was calling for the examination of ALL worldviews and not only those one disagrees with.

It was prompted by calls from many religionists that other people respect their beliefs, as they respect the beliefs of others.  I put it to the evangelical christian that  they do NOT generally respect the beliefs of other people, otherwise they would stop evangelising amongst them.

Having lived amongst evangelicals for many years, I have seen how they criticise other "Christians" particularly the Catholics, other Protestans, Moslems, etc, etc.  They have sought to change the behaviours and beliefs of non-evangelical.  Does this amount to respecting non-evangelicalism?

Nowhere in this post was any mention of atheism made.  I know it can be taken as given that because I am an atheist, every argument I make is in defense of atheism.  That would be wrong.  This was a general point that transcends religion, politics, etc.  The rigorous examination of all worldviews is a requirement for human progress and it was in this light that I raised this post.

By the way, atheism, per se, is not a worldview.  There are worldviews (naturalism, metaphysical naturalism, humanism, etc) that are based on atheism, but atheism, by itself is not a worldview.  It is important to recognise the distinction.

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Hallo all,

I think that some people are making a very fundamental mistake when they make inputs into discussions of this nature. Let's mind the topic again:

               "Should Worldviews And Religions Be Respected And Protected?"

We all know that atheism is a worldview: there's no gainsaying or denying the fact. If we are not careful to read the topic and assume that "worldviews" should not be respected or protected, then certainly it means that atheism should not be respected or even protected.

That being the case, why are a[/b]theists so passionate to push their own agenda and establish unions, hold conferences, incorporate institutions and lobby for [b]a[/b]theism to be taught in British schools?!? Surely, as a worldview, atheism has nothing to be respected for, nor should its adherents/proponents be concerned about its values anyway.

You see, the problem that confronts has always been a narrowing and reductionist mentality that often betray the ideas of many people. While some may think it is "alright" to castigate other worldviews with ultimate disrespect, they often fail to realize that the topic also focuses on and includes their own worldviews as well! It may be easy to pick on other worldviews and pressume that the rational thing to do is disrespect them one and all! How often we fail to understand that such an attitude does not portray rational thought or integrity in human experiences.

Certainly, we can examine and evaluate the worldviews and convictions of people other than our own: that is not the same thing as "disrespecting" them. Intelligence is not the same thing as belligerence towards publicly affecting issues. There are political opinions, religious persuasions, economic policies, cultural interpretations, and social transactions that are not based on balanced and egalitarian principles. We all know that already. So, what's the problem? Simply this: we often tend to mention extremisms as if they apply to the general situation - and hence derive this attitude that "[b]worldviews and religions be Dis[/b]respected and [b]un[/b]protected". [b]WHY do we often become so polarized and often forget issues like this?

For those who feel that "worldviews" should be this[/b]respected, please lead by example and categorically demonize [b]your own worldview first before seeking to point at others! Get the feel for your own first and foremost before calling for a sweeping tenet at others! Failing to do so is hypocrisy and cowardice. I don't mean to be rude to anyone, but please think carefully before making statements that leave huge gaps in the fabric of intellectual discourses.

Cheers.

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Some threads have been locked on this board, offering no chance for expressing opinions. The topic of this thread is quite relevant to this. I'd just read some of the rules for the Religion section. A moderator wrote:

It is easy to see why this is an unreasonable rule.

Let's consider that we happen to have among us someone advocating the Mesoamerican Aztec religion; why would any reasonable person respect anyone of this persuasion? Why should anyone respect such a person? This is an extreme example, but is instructive in exposing why taking offence couldn't credibly be a standard to determining what is acceptable; neither could respect of an individual be forced (of course, being respectful could be helpful in these discussions, but it couldn't be made law; that's stretching it).

And, suppose a well-respected pastor or imam proclaims that the earth is flat and goes ahead to stubbornly advocate this position. Wouldn't it be appropriate to disrespect the position? And the person advocating it? In fact, ridiculing the person may be a sure route to making them see reason. Ridiculous ideas deserve ridicule (preferably, after all other avenues have been exhausted); to 'respect' foolish and dangerous ideas is to do a disservice to reason and humanity.

.

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huxley, funny enuff i agree with u here.

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hello Lady,

I see you point, but pardon me, if I disagree. Views do not deserve respect. However, I respect your right to have whatever views you may want, however good or nonsensical these views may be. You have every right to have your views. I do not criticise you for having them, generally, unless they are so reprehensible as to make you an outcast. Although I criticise the christian worldview, I think the VAST majority of christians are good and decent people, so the you NOT fall under the reprehensible category.

But if someone were to hold view in favour of child abuse, of slavery, say, I will not only criticise the view but also criticise them for having those views. I hope you see the distinction.

You are most probably a very nice and companionable person. However, you have allied yourself to a belief system whose godhead is a barbaric monster. In doubt, just read the old testament books like Leviticus, Numbers, Judges, Exodus. On that portrayal, is a there any other way this god could be described?

[b]Just as you would get offended when I said "intelligent" people lacked reasoning.

I would criticise this view from the point of view that it is too crude a generalisation, which in anycase may actually be wrong. But it would not offend me. Why would it offend me?

I try not to be rude to people. In fact, if you have seen most of my post, I am usually very courteous to people. But I take exception when people start calling me names. I generally don't mind if people call me fool, foolish, or insult my intelligence. These don't disturb me. All I ask is that people look at my arguments and try and debunk them if they can, and possibly learn from them, as I learn from others,

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Huxley,

I think you're confusing resepct for unexamination.

You can disagree with a worldview and still respect it.

For example I disagree with atheism, however I respect whatever reasons you give me to the belief of it and I respect you for it. And in return I expect you to respect mine. We can have dialogue without you calling my belief barbaric and outdated. Just as you would get offended when I said "intelligent" people lacked reasoning.

We can dialogue without disrespecting each other, or insulting each other.

No one wants to dialogue with you because for someone who prides himself with being knowledgeable you are very rude and uncivilized.

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All worldviews (including mine) should be subject to the most tranchant examination and where the soft spot found, attacked. I make no exception to this general rule.

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Well, glad to see you bring these up, although I believe some of the reasons I offered here and here would answer those questions above.

More reasons could be given, as the case may be. Yours is also a worldview - and the question we should be asking now is for you to give us reasons why your own worldviews should be respected and protected; and if not, also give us reasons why your own worldview should be attacked.

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