Should the beliefs of a person or group be respected even in the absence of any factual basis?
Absolutely. Take religion for an example. There is no factual basis for any religous claims made and yet millions of people believe in their religion of choice. Even the Darwin theory is not factually based. It's a theory. But yet many people believe it. The Big Bang theory is also that.
Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to, and everyone should equally respect the right of others to believe what they want.
The best option for me is to view ALL sides with an open mind, and be willing to concede, if true facts are presented, that my beliefs could be wrong.
That is a very interesting question. I would have to say yes because I would want people to respect me and my believes. Also, just because there currently isn't any collected evidence at this point to support their claims, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is not true. Take Watson and Crick for example: the notion that a thing such as DNA existed while they where trying to understand it , and collect evidence was viewed as being crazy and a waste of time. But, they totally changed the field of science with their findings. Just because we don't understand with our finite knowledge, does not mean that something is not true.
As usual, my answer is politically incorrect: NO. If there is no factual basis, why should anyone's whim/belief be respected? They should be mocked. Enough of this wussification (substitute "p" for "w" in the preceding word.)
People are different, people are raised differently and people believe in different things (religions included).
Why would we not "respect" somebody else's beliefs especially if we expect them to respect ours especially if it runs counter to theirs, even if we actually believe ours is the correct one. To the other person's mind they are correct and we are not.
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