A friend asks: Who are we to judge another’s beliefs?
I answered: There is no way to “respect” the beliefs of others and still have freedom of speech. We are not obligated to surrender our ability to tell right from wrong, good ideas from bad ideas, just because somebody labels an assertion his/her belief. I say it is our obligation to judge, question, argue with and try to change another's beliefs if they are, like so many beliefs, positively harmful.
But hey. Don’t get vaccinated. Keep eating junk food. Don’t wash your hands. Stay up all night and believe you will be alert the next day. And if you believe you don’t have to look both ways before crossing the street, who am I to tell you the tractor-trailer is barreling down the lane in your direction?
Emerson rejected the idea of personal immortality and repudiated even the amorphous Unitarian God, believing instead in a vaguely Pantheistic Over-Soul.