Respecfully agree to disagree
March 15, 2010 10:06 PM Subscribe
Can one truly respect an opinion that s/he disagrees with on a profound level?
posted by war wrath of wraith to religion & philosophy (53 answers total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
In learned, polite circles, we learn to agree to disagree, and respect the other's opinion even if we don't share it.
But is this really possible? One can of course respect the rights of others to express themselves regardless of what that opinion is (freedom of speech), one can accept that people have different preferences ("I think 'Jersey Shore' is a brilliant program" is really a statement of preference, not an opinion), one can certainly be civil with others that they disagree with, and one can even respect the person who holds an opposing point of view.
But that's not what I'm talking about. Can a pro-abortion rights activist, for example, respect the opinion that women should not have this right? Or a libertarian respect a royalist's political beliefs?
My specific questions are:
-If you think that it is possible, can you give me examples of opinions that one may profoundly disagree with, but can still respect? This can be personal, second-hand, from literature, whatever. And simply saying "I disagree with this, but respect it too" doesn't really help - please explain why.
-If you don't believe that it's possible, what of the people who believe it is possible? Are they fooling themselves? Do they have a different definition of "respect" than you do? Are they confusing what they're actually respecting?
Please help me think this through!