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Old April 14th, 2013 (11:47 PM).
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Something that popped up over in the "Perspectives on Atheism" thread made me wonder on people's opinions on the matter, should respect be given by default or earned? Who deserves respect, who do we respect and why?

My own personal view is somewhat conflicting I guess but does tend to fall more towards the "earned" side of the fence. I feel more that we should "treat people politely" rather than "with respect" until they earn it. Most people seem to have a problem discerning between the two but by that I simply mean upon meeting you, providing you aren't doing something that offends me, I will treat you courteously, I may even acknowledge your authority, but I will not hold any particular regard for you.

As for who deserves respect... that is a more complicated issue. In general I respect people who display selflessness, kindness and open-mindedness but in saying that I also have deep respect for courage, intelligence, creativity, rationality and originality etc... many of which seem to contradict each other. Sort of like, do I respect a soldier who fights in a war I feel we shouldn't be involved in? Or a brilliant and intelligent person who uses their gifts for personal gain? I guess I feel as though there are traits I respect in people but their personality can override that... or that I can respect aspects of a person but not the person themselves.

For example, people always tell us we should respect our elders due to their wisdom and experience, but I won't abide by that belief if they treat me badly.

So, who do you respect? Who deserves respect? Why do you respects them? Should we respect people by default, or should they earn it? Do some of these things apply automatically to certain groups and not others? Should you automatically respect someone who respects you?

Discuss, feel free to pose your own questions related to this ridiculously broad topic.
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Old April 15th, 2013 (01:54 AM).
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Politeness refers to the social framework of rituals meant to facilitate civility. So yes. Being polite is something that everyone generally starts out with. Let's take a look at it on a scale of -10 to 10.

Respect implies trust, and sometimes going above and beyond normal politeness. It means considering their input over your own experience.

Typically, when you meet someone they start out in the center of the scale. Level 0, which is your standard, everyday common level of politeness. As that person goes about doing their deeds, their level goes up and down as needed.

If they do you a great favor, or perform admirably, they gain respect. As they gain points, they get more respect and you're more apt to learn from their example

If they perform a misdeed or harm you, they lose it. Therefore you're more apt to ignore anything they may say, regardless of it's truth or fact status.
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Old April 15th, 2013 (06:21 AM).
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That's a good way of looking at it Patchy :D

But it opens up the question of, why is that a good deed will earn you far less respect than a bad deed will lose you?

What are your views on the other questions posed? You seem to have an interesting outlook on things.
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Old April 15th, 2013 (07:21 AM).
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Quote originally posted by gimmepie:
SMy own personal view is somewhat conflicting I guess but does tend to fall more towards the "earned" side of the fence. I feel more that we should "treat people politely" rather than "with respect" until they earn it. Most people seem to have a problem discerning between the two but by that I simply mean upon meeting you, providing you aren't doing something that offends me, I will treat you courteously, I may even acknowledge your authority, but I will not hold any particular regard for you.
This, mostly. I'm polite, even if I don't respect someone :p

Also, as respect can be earned - it can also be lost...
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Old April 15th, 2013 (07:30 AM).
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I believe that nobody should be given respect by default, but sadly this is not the case. You see, given respect normally comes from a place of authority etc. You would be hugely respectful to the queen, because she is the queen, but she is only the queen from luck. Everyone in the world should be treated with the same amount of respect. And then, based on their actions, the respect they receive would rise or fall. There would be some exceptions, for example a war veteran would receive a higher amount of respect - because he has already earned his respect. Not by luck, but by his actions. But that's just what I think.
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Old April 15th, 2013 (09:14 AM).
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It's kind of hard. It's really easy to fall into a frame of mind where you think that some people should get respect and some shouldn't, and that it should be up to the individual who they show respect to. I mean, you wouldn't want show respect to a someone who's treating you badly. But what happens when someone who you think deserves respect, someone you respect, isn't respected by someone else? I mean, we should just accept that and move on, but it's easy to confuse a lack of respect with disrespect if you're not careful. Then you get offended and things spiral downward. So the solution ought to be for everyone to show everyone respect, right? Only, I have an instinctive aversion to the idea that some people are entitled to respect, like royalty. I mean, what do they do to earn that respect? And now I've gone back to the place where I insist on people earning respect, but that's going to mean something different to each person.

tl;dr I don't know
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Old April 15th, 2013 (09:39 AM).
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My life experience has led me to value loyalty and honour. I hold that everybody has a social worth that is affected by their actions. So honour for me is non-situational in that I look at what an individual does regardless of how other people perceive them. In every social interaction, the parties involved communicate in a way that reflects their social appraisal of the other party. If the appraisal doesn't correspond with the social value derived from their actions, then that person has just been dishonoured. At the end of the day I respect those who honour those around them and have less respect for people who dishonour those around them. I know it's vague, but it's just my framework upon which I judge others. I judge people who judge other people appropriately to be honourable and thus deserving of respect. That being said, I believe that everybody is entitled to a baseline of respect before that social appraisal is possible - due to everybody having equal dignity as a human being. But if a person has wronged you greatly - treating you with contempt, insulting your intelligence, and being dishonest for an extended period of time and you see no sign of remorse - I would see no problem with you unleashing hell on them. My girlfriend disagrees with this but she's too nice anyways
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