Is it possible to respect other's religious beliefs


We all want to think of ourselves as being capable of respecting beliefs that are not our own. But is it possible? If someone takes the position that their religion is true and that other religions are either false or incomplete, how can they truly respect the religious beliefs of others?

As a Jew, I can claim that it is possible in Judaism, because we believe that anyone who lives a righteous life will have a share in the world to come. But the reality is that the majority of Jews, and maybe the vast majority of Jews, believe that Judaism is the one true religion and that all other religions are flawed.

If by respect we mean refraining from criticizing or insulting one’s religious beliefs, then I suppose it is possible. But if we mean that we are willing to accept the possibility that our neighbor’s beliefs are at a minimum, at least as valid as our own, then I’m not sure this is possible.


I think you can respect someone elses beliefls but still do not have to believe the same way. I am a christian but I have deep respect for the Jewish Nation. My christanity came from and started with Judaism. How could I not respect that. Before Jesus and even in the begining of Jesus it is ALL Jewish History.:thumbsup:

I am not catholic but I respect the deep beliefs they have in their church. They have passion and love.

The only true way to respect other religions is to lay down your pride:eek: Judging by this world and how depraved it has become you probably wont see too much respect going on.:frowning:

My brother was saying he felt there was a way to true unity (Between catholics and protestant anyway) but the cost on both sides would be more then a human could bare.:eek: He didnt elaborate more then that.

Well, that is just my :twocents:


Good observation and very honest. IMO, respecting wrong beliefs is tantamount to indifferentism. What we need to do is repect PEOPLE of other beliefs and indicate that by the way we speak of or refer to their beliefs.

As a catholic, I don’t respect the IDEA that Jesus was a wise and nice guy whose followers exeggerated his life’s story and concocted a resurrection story. But I DO respect the fact that christians historically have been rather uncharitable to Jews and have by our actions discredited Jesus in the eyes of many of His chosen people. Therefore, I can respect Jews as PEOPLE and even respect the fact that their historic experience as a people reinforces what they believe while very much rejecting Jewish opinion of Jesus’ identity.

Same goes for other religious groups. Respect the people. Respect their life experiences which have shaped their opinions and/or reinforced the beliefs they were taught. No need to actually respect erroneous ideas to make the person fee respected.


I have a friend that is LDS. She is now 80. We have been friends for 40 years. We respect and love each other. We rarely discuss our beliefs, but when we do it is with that respect and love for each other that we ask our questions.


As it should be - good for you!


You can certainly respect others beliefs the same way I respect my neighbors opinion that his wife is pretty.

I nod and make no comment. It might not necessarily be true, heck his beliefs might be stupid, but he is a human being who has the dignity of being made in God’s image.

To alienate them just by pointing out they are contradicting themselves and liars would just alienate them. It is much more productive to engage them in a more emotional tactic as that is how many people think these days.

Respect does not mean accept his belief as valid.

In Christ


My friend has gone to Church with me a number of times, but she as never asked me to go to her ward! She likes our Christmas and Easter services.


Understanding and respect is not the same as indifference. Indifference would be for a Catholic priest to sit in his chair while a Muslim cleric preaches to his congregation about allah. Respect would be citing common moral understandings while retaining what makes your faith different from the other guy.


I usually associate respect in situation to the person themselves. I can completely disagree with your theological position but still respect you and even admire your devotion too your convictions.

As you say Valke2 if one is serious about there beliefts there is a level of elitism that comes with the territory I think. Still I believe it is possible to hold to your own convictions while giving people their due. If any of that makes sense.


First off, we can come to common ground on some fundamental truths.

For some religions that stand diametrically opposed it is difficult to respect them. As a human being it is hard to respect beliefs that are so far from the truth.

For those that have common ground, we can all focus on the “search for truth” . This journey in “light of truth” is respectful.


But if you think his beliefs are stupid, then you are not respecting them? Or maybe you are. Maybe it is enough to pretend. I don’t know. But there was a thread about “whether religion is necessary” that got me to thinking. In the past, religions differences didn’t have the power to destory the world. That is no longer the case. So if there cannot be widespread actual respect of other’s religious beliefs, then is the value one gets out of religion worth the risk. Is the game worth the candle?


It’s not possible. Just look at this forum and various threads over religious disputes. There are a few exceptions but the majority of the folks here are hard-headed when it comes to religion and not willing to tolerate or budge an inch on trying to understand the other point of view because they think that their point of view is the ONLY point of view to have.


Finding the truth is indeed worth it. When you find the ultimate truth you have found God.


Don’t ‘straw man’ me! I didn’t say not to understand. I also didn’t say you can’t look for things that we DO hold in common. What I DID say that it is absurd to claim to respect what you are convinced is wrong. It is entirely reasonable and expected of us as christians, however, to respect PEOPLE that hold to opinions and beliefs that are wrong. Your example is an extreme case of indifference. A less extreme, but also indifferent case is to allow his congregation to live in the mistaken idea that it is not necessary to speak about Jesus to the imam’s followers since they already have religious beliefs.


My friend and I both think our religion is the correct one, but when we do ask each other a question, it is because we want to know each other’s side. When we get an answer we say thank you. We have both learned quite a bit about each other’s faith, and she has managed to get the truth from me.
Straight from the old horse’s mouth as you might say, and we both don’t want to end up acting like the other end of that horse.


…that are so far from what one believes is the truth…


If someone takes the position that their religion is true and that other religions are either false or incomplete, how can they truly respect the religious beliefs of others?

They can’t. You can’t respect anything that is false. What you can respect is the other person’s **right **to his or her views, even when they are false.



So if there cannot be widespread actual respect of other’s religious beliefs, then is the value one gets out of religion worth the risk. Is the game worth the candle?

Religion is not a game. It is life or death for the soul … and worth a hundred candles.


No, I meant what I posted. There are definite things we all know to be true. There exists absolute truth. Do you believe it?


For me, the answer is yes, I can accept that the other person’s faith is as true as my own, to him. That is because I am thoroughly post-modern. I can’t help it, it is the zeitgeist I have lived in all my life. Absolute truths, those that are true for everyone, are those that are provable and repeatable if referring to natural phenomona or have multiple independent historical records like the sinking of the Titantic or the Crimean War if referring to historical fact.

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