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I disagree ... but respect

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I disagree ... but respect

Postby Ibn Taymiyyah » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:20 pm

I never understood people’s saying: I totally disagree with you, but I certainly respect your opinion!

How could this be?!

Could you respect an opinion with which you fully disagree?!

For example: could you be pro choice and respect the opinion of: pro life?!

Or do we really mean: I respect your right to have a different opinion?
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby Twpsyn » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:21 pm

Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:Or do we really mean: I respect your right to have a different opinion?


Yes.
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby cdm2003 » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:45 pm

Twpsyn wrote:
Ibn Taymiyyah wrote:Or do we really mean: I respect your right to have a different opinion?


Yes.


I always use it to mean, "You're obviously not going to come around to my view, so there's no point in me wasting my breath trying to win you over. I don't respect you or your opinion, but I'm not going to say so out of politeness. However, I am going to say something clever which will allow you to walk away feeling good about yourself, your opinion, and me. Don't let the door hit you on the a** on the way out."

:D
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Postby Essorant » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:38 pm

I would rather say "I disagree with your opinion, but I totally respect <i>you</i>". For respect should always be between people, no matter how different their opinions may be.<pre> </pre>
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Postby Bert » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:37 pm

If I have no respect for that particular opinion of the other, I will not say that I do. There are times when I can understand the other's opinion and I can understand why he holds that opinion. Then I may say that I don't agree but respect.
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Postby quickly » Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:31 pm

It doesn't appear to matter, as far as I can tell, if the vocalized phrase appears in the particular context of a debate, a discussion, a congenial gathering, whether it passes all logical scrutiny and universal judgment - whatever that might mean. What matters is that it is a linguistic formula like "Yes, but...", "Well perhaps, but...", or when spoken in agreement, "No, you see...", which does nothing more but indicate to the recipient that you wish to proceed amicably, that you don't respect their opinion itself, but are willing to assume or stand upon it (in order to tear it back down) or allow it to enter conversation. Unless it is spoken sarcastically, rhetorically as a question, and so on. But that's not important.

On the other hand, am I required to assume respect when I utter a phrase as such? No, but I am required to sort it into the context, sift it from all possible phrases, and conclude that, normatively, this phrase best represents my intentions per its colloquial use - not in regards its actual semantic content.

I can respect an argument, however. I disagree with, for example, Marx's interpretation of Hegel's structure of servitude and the social realization of self-consciousness, because I think Marx misinterprets the notion of Spirit (and thus argues against a straw-man, missing an entire aspect of the Hegelian philosophy) which forms through the positively characterized social interactions of the populace, and emphasizes the process of the negative to a suicidal extent. But, I have a great amount of respect for Marx's argument because it is well crafted, a well-worn analytical device (in literary theory, sociology, etc., - if not politically!).
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby beerclark » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:01 pm

I think you can disagree but respect an opinion.

I'd like to present a different example using the abortion subject you asked about:

I want to qualify that I am not trying to favor one side or the other here..I am just presenting the argument for discussion.

If a Pro-Choice person hears the following reasoning
Pro-Lifer: I respect all forms of life and no one has the right to take away a life in any form. Since a fetus at any stage is life, CONCLUSION: no one is allowed to destroy a fetus.

The Pro-Choice-er may think: "HHmm.. I agree that life is precious, I agree no one has a right to destroy life... I simply disagree about the definition of LIFE. "

If the discussion simply ended there, there Pro-Choice-er could easily appreciate the opinion of the Pro-Lifer. But I think where people make the mistake with you concept is that they go beyond the basic argument. Like a Pro-Choice-er may say they DON'T respect the Pro-Life because the PL wants to make bad laws and is using religion to dictate everyone. And that would be poor understanding of the discussion because it ignores the above statement and addresses something not even brought up.

I think your question is a great one because it addresses what I think is the biggest problem with polarizing discussions. Especially public ones because a lot of times, public persons commenting make this very mistake. I think its intentional many times unfortunately. They don't WANT to respect the opposing opinion.
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby Lex » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:29 am

beerclark wrote:They don't WANT to respect the opposing opinion.


I will use this quote to segue into my opinion. I think that many people nowadays don't even think that opposing opinions are worthy of consideration. For instance, liberals (social democrats, for you Europeans) often think that conservatives are either simpletons mindlessly clutching to their guns and religion, or heartless, greedy bastards; conservatives often think that liberals are either nothing but sentimental fools who think with their hearts, or subversive nihilists who hate our civilization and are plotting to tear it down. Either way, they consider the opinions of the other to be not worth considering, or simply a rationalization for some dark ulterior motive. I believe that in saying that while you don't agree with an opinion, you respect it, you are saying that the opinion is one that a sane, thoughtful person might reasonably hold, and that it is worth serious consideration.

With respect to the pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy, for instance, I think that it is reasonable to conclude that abortion is murder, given the prior assumption that people are ensouled at conception. I personally disagree with this prior assumption, but if I did agree with it, then a pro-life position would be the only reasonable position I could take. And I do not have any compelling argument against such religious beliefs; I certainly cannot prove that we are not ensouled, much less pick nits about when we are ensouled. And so I believe that a pro-life position is one that a thoughtful person might reasonably hold, and can respect it, even though I don't agree with it.
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby beerclark » Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:37 am

I once had an online discussion with a vehement pro-choicer that felt there was no soul and no real life into a baby until it was actually born. I argued the reasoning (...because that's what I do...) and tried to reason that somewhere between the extremes there was probably a reasonable compromise. Her response was that if she (also meaning anyone on her side) agreed to the pro-lifers in any way... it would give them an opening to exploit against the pro-choicers.

This is when I have a lot of trouble respecting someones opinion because it is no longer part of the discussion.

I used to be a member of the NRA. (For people outside the USA, it is a group that supports individual's use of firearms. But it has an infamous political dept that fights with no quarter for people's right to bear arms per our Constitution. I left because of money, not just their political views). I always supported their basic principles and their overall support of safe firearm use, but their political views drove me nuts. I would see the same framework of argument as I would the hardcore pro-lifer/choicer. It was not about finding truth. It was about winning.

To try to bring my seemingly agenda driven commentary back to the subject... and even latin a little bit, I will say that the attitude of ignoring the opponent in a discussion with lack of respect and thereby abandoning any form of concluding an argument is what eventually brought down the Roman Republic (SPQR). The Senator's over time no longer cared about what was right for Rome but what they had to gain. Eventually this personal greed became so strong that they handed their authority over to the emporer's for a small gain rather then accept a small loss for the sake of the republic.
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby Lex » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:34 pm

Beerclark,

Some people are more interested in furthering their values politically than in justifying them rationally. And possibly with good reason; I personally don't think that values can be derived rationally, either. We just rationalize them after the fact.

(Funny that you left the NRA partly because you thought their political arm was too extreme. Many people have left them because they feel that their political arm is nothing more than a tool of the Republican Party, and supports GOP politicians whether they support 2nd Amendment rights or not. In other words, they think it's not extreme/principled enough.)
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby beerclark » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:27 am

LOL... if you include the word 'Politics', then I completely agree!

But I think in reality you are only partially true with "I personally don't think that values can be derived rationally".

Ultimately, only and individual can decide their own values through being taught and/or their own experience. I try to teach my kids values that I think are good and important. As they grow, they are going to reflect those values (I hope!), but they are not going to fully comprehend them without maturity or experience. So they are going to rationalize their values as they are challenged. But the hope is that as they grow they will eventually come to their own values. Whether they take their taught ones, modify them, or just come up with their own is up to them. The point being that they do eventually CREATE/ACCEPT their own values.

All that said... the 'grey area' of both extremes is where the question is. I have to submit to you that you may be more right then wrong in your opinion!

So if we tie this into the theme here... how often are people "agreeing with respect" out of simply parroting values vs. really contemplating that statement?!

About the NRA, I just want to clarify, I did not leave at all because of their political work. I left strictly due to monetary reasons. However, they CONSTANTLY asked for more money to support their political actions. I never gave them more money for that. My dues only paid for their magazine and their core work into firearm safety and promoting postive firearm use (hunting, targets, personal safety).
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Re: I disagree ... but respect

Postby Lex » Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:25 am

Beerclark,

Thanks for clarifying. I understand how your view that they were interested in winning, not in finding the truth, relates to this thread. But on their side, the NRA is not an after-dinner debating club. It is an organization that tries to protect what it considers to be a fundamental right (I happen to agree). If you have people in society who are bound and determined to take your rights away, then sooner or later you have to take your rights as a given truth, and focus on winning.

In other words, you can respect that another's opinion (about gun control, say) is one that a sane and intelligent person can have, and yet think that that person's opinion is dead wrong and worth fighting!
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