Why do people think that religious beliefs MUST be respected?

What is so special about religious beliefs?
Why can we criticize political, scientific, philosophical, artistic and ethical, positions and beliefs, but almost everyone things that religious beliefs should be above critique?

Why? After all the religious beliefs are the most important, and if they are wrong they…

All beliefs should be open to scrutiny, otherwise they just become dogma. Enforced dogma is totalitarianism and repression. It can happen anywhere where free (respectable) speech is stifled. To maintain that one can’t ask a respectable question about another religion is simply engendering fear. To maintain that they MY god is above questioning but YOURS isn’t, is essentailly a circular argument that takes us nowhere. To maintain that my question insults your god (and that this involves punishment to me) is simply barbaric. I am happy to discuss all of my views with ANYBODY that doesn’t intimidate or threaten me.

The answer is simple: people grow up trained to be afraid of the unknown.

People want the security of knowing that some “higher power” has a plan for them, when both their own personal world and the world around them is falling apart. The belief is so strong that they will surpress their urges, their sexuality, their independence and their creativity, “in the name of God”.

Now if someone was going to go to such extremes to basically castrate their very existence and mutilate their reason for living, wouldn’t it just seem natural that they would violently resist anyone that questioned the “word of god”? The “righteously religious” usually don’t even need a question to get violently defensive – don’t forget that it really wasn’t that long ago that human beings were called witches and burned.

Maybe the gas cans and torches got put away, for decency’s sake. But the poison that these people inject into the veins of a dying world is potently deadly enough.

First of all, respect and criticize are not opposites. You can criticize and still respect. Secondly, here in Answers nobody seems to respect, and everyone criicizes! In a public venue such as in the press, however, it is very dangerous. A Christian Television Evangelist can probably get away with criticizing Islam. If a politician tries it, however, at best he could expect to end his political career, at worst he could start a war!

Because those people are radicals, idiots or both.

You cannot make anyone respect something which they don’t believe in.
Nothing wrong with joking, criticizing, or arguing about someones beliefs that I don’t share. They should have a decent respect for the opinion of man but in religion we are often talking about hypothetical laws, so idiots abound to police them.

Who told you you can’t criticize religious beliefs? You’ve clearly never been to a university or a church, both of which criticize religious beliefs quite regularly. However, *respecting* is not the same as not criticizing. Respecting beliefs, whether they be religious, political, philosophical, or aesthetic, is simply basic courtesy (which, I’m sure, you would want extended to you).

Before you went on the Nazi tangent, I was with you. I don’t feel the need to respect anyone’s religion. Just as I don’t feel the need to accept their political slants. But, I’m a polite person and don’t go looking for arguments. Like they say, when at a party, avoid politics and religion, and the fun won’t go away.

I believe that it’s important to respect the beliefs of others because I would hope that they would respect mine. As long as people aren’t hurting each other, let them worship according to how they choose.

Also, the United States was originally settled in part by people who came here for religious freedom. Going against that tradition would be going against what we feel makes our country great.

Every religion has its own beliefs what is good and bad. What is condemned in one religion may be good for another religion. Its like 2 neighbors, one may think that keeping dogs is good, but another one may think keeping cats are better, as their ultimate choices.Do you think you would want to argue to contest upon that issue voicing your ideas that one is good and the other is bad, when you know the other neighbour will not give up to your ideas and is adamant that it is his rights of keeping the animal of his choice? Similarly to religion, we must always uphold this policy as far as religions is concerned, and that is, M.Y.O.B. (Mind Your Own Business) or should I say, Mind your own religion (M.Y.O.R). Hope you understand what I mean.

Arguing about religion is like arguing over your favorite color. When you get down to the bottom of it, (sorry to the true believers) all religions are the same thing. They all serve the same purpose. Anyone who argues with that obviously has their head so far up their god’s rearend that they can’t see out.

There’s nothing saying you can’t criticize them. It’s polite to respect others beliefs.

Are they really respected? I wouldnt call arguing about one’s opinion respect and thats all that seems to happen when the word religion comes up.

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