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When Met With Skeptics Who Are Rude?
#1
So, maybe an uncomfortable topic, but an interesting one. Hope it's in the right forum, Ari. Please move if not.

Are those of you who believe that extraterrestrials are here and/or abducting people offended when people dismiss your beliefs as "insane"? How do you react when someone tells you you're nuts? Do you get angry? Do you just feel that they're uninformed and attempt to educate? Or something else?

Frankly, while I don't believe we're alone in the universe, I also don't believe that extraterrestrials visit or abduct people. I believe there is a scientific explanation for all the stories and claims about encounters with aliens, and I feel that way about most paranormal things. I feel as convinced of my beliefs as others feel about their own opposite beliefs.

However, I don't believe there's any cause to be rude to people who disagree with me about it unless they start to become aggressive, obnoxious or dogmatic about it. I don't care for proselytizing of any sort, especially when combined with a fundie-like zeal. But that aside, I also don't see any reason to be impolite to people who believe differently than me just because we disagree. It happens in life. It's not a big deal, and often enough it's our differences that keep life interesting.

But not everybody feels this way. Some people are mocking, denigrating and rude right out of the gate.

What do you do when you encounter someone like this?
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#2
I personally don't believe in most of these things, although I am open to it. There are enough things I don't understand because of lack of knowledge, experience or intellect, unfortunately, hence I wouldn't dismiss another person's opinions as crazy only because I don't share them.
Some behaviour makes it difficult, of course, but I will try.
I am aware how difficult it is to talk about these things, especially with foreigners at a forum, which may be a reason why things easily sound rude and get heated. To be precise is complicated and to discuss things when neither side has really 100 percent sound proves, but merely opinion and personal beliefs, is a task that needs a lot of care from any participant.
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#3
Well said, Tazeden! I agree. I think it would be difficult to discuss subjects like these even in person with people you may know to some degree because they are controversial. I would guess you'd have to be very thick-skinned to be a vocal believer of these things.
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#4
I had to realise some of my posts here could already be viewed as rude, actually, which is a shame, because I never intend to ridicule someone else. This simply shows me how difficult it can be Smile
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#5
Same here. That's why I started this thread. I don't want anybody to think I'm mocking them. I can see how it could be taken that way when you say that you think much of the paranormal world is a myth, but the truth is I don't claim to be the definitive voice on what is or isn't the truth, just what's true and untrue for me. And I don't mean to belittle anybody.
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#6
I agree, no matter what my opinion on a subject I try my best not to express my opinion rudely even on a forum, every person is entitled to there thoughts or opinion, from what I have read on this forum everyone has been perfectly "behaved" so far if you ask me Smile
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#7
(01-29-2011, 08:09 PM)Graffikgal Wrote: Same here. That's why I started this thread. I don't want anybody to think I'm mocking them. I can see how it could be taken that way when you say that you think much of the paranormal world is a myth, but the truth is I don't claim to be the definitive voice on what is or isn't the truth, just what's true and untrue for me. And I don't mean to belittle anybody.

The thing is, I would like to have proof for myself. Not like talking to my alien buddy, but something that convinced me that there is more. The thing I would be most happy about is a proof that we have a soul and I believe remembering another life would be such a thing to me.
This one is essential in my eyes, far more important than most other things to me personally. I even hoped to find something like a religious revelation during one of my more serious depressive phases.


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#8
Firstly, it doesn’t bother me if people that I meet online don’t believe me when I recount my experiences, or beliefs. I don’t know these people, and they cannot possibly have any influence over me, or my life. I won’t lose any sleep over their opinions of me, because in the real world, where my friends, family and loved ones, whose opinions and regard for me do matter, are far more important to my state of mind and well being than is that of the the anonymous world.

Having said that, one has to understand that there are many reasons for why an individual would join an online community. In my case I was encouraged to join a forum because in real life I am extremely reserved and reticent, and somewhat reclusive. Not shy, but not at all outgoing. I, we, thought that it might ‘bring me out of my shell’ a bit, and encourage me to tell of my own personal experiences, of which only very close friends and family members had been privy to before.

This was in 2005, and I joined a forum that was, supposedly, a platform for people who wanted to talk about, and share their paranormal experiences. In my case, I was mainly interested in those who shared similar experiences such as memories of having lived before, and/or, but not limited to, sightings of UFO’s. The site also included forums on topics such as crypto-zoology, ghosts, religion, philosophy, science and physics, etc.

I was there, as a member, apart from almost a 2 year break, right up until last year. And the reason for my leaving, in disgust and frustration, was because pseudo-skeptics had been allowed to take over the forum, to the extent that they were rabid, viciously rude and aggressive. The reason that I left it for nearly two years was because it was starting to become a site for, and only for the sceptics. Most of those sceptics were mere agitators, or worse, people who were sheeple and couldn’t think for themselves. I’ve worn dresses with higher IQ’s than some of them. I'm not talking about the genuine unbeliever here, or anywhere. People are entitled to their beliefs.

At the drop of a hat, and without preamble or any given reason they (the pseudo-skeptics), would trot out their very limited vocabulary store of “Fake!” “Have your brains fallen out of your head?” “Are you serious?” or worse, they would challenge one’s integrity (always a red flag for me), sanity or competence to function in intellectual society. All this BS about the burden of proof being only on the claimant is a cop-out for their ignorance, and/or lack of a source to accompany their claim that one is talking moonshine. The burden of proof is a two way street, AS IT SHOULD BE!!!

If a debunker screams “Fake”” at the top of his/her lungs, or makes a disclaimer regarding someone else’s truthfulness, that is a CLAIM, and they should be just as liable to provide evidence for that “Fake” claim, as someone who is a believer. Lets face it there is neither evidence or proof for either side when it comes to the paranormal, even tho science is now beginning to show that there is something to this phenomenon. So why should a skeptic be allowed to make claims without a source or link when a believer can't? A claim is a claim, whether it be for, or against.

So, this delightful site, which was a haven for those who wanted explanations, input and to share their experiences, learn and grow, and maybe understand what their paranormal experiences were all about, became, for me, and many others, a stressful place to visit. Discussion and debate is good, but let’s make it a fair debate. I left that site, never to go back. I had a lot of friends there, had a good reputation, had never been reprimanded by a mod, or admin, and never gotten negative rep points there. And I wasn’t the only one they lost because they let the pseudo-skeptics take over.

Most believers generally make it clear that they are speaking of their own personal experiences, and that it is their own opinions being stated. I never make a claim, unless I can back it up with a source or link. I always try to make it clear that it is something that is my opinion, and not a statement of fact, when talking about my own paranormal experiences.

However, like you Graffikgal, I found it hard to swallow the tales from alleged victims of abduction; but then I discovered that this wasn’t an isolated thing with just pockets of believers here and there, who had made these claims. It began to dawn on me that thousands of people from all around the world, and from all walks of life (Betty Hill was a Social Worker, and their CV’s have to include courses in some form of Psychology/Sociology), so, to my mind, she had to have been a discerning person to some level of intellect. She had to have been able to understand that what she had experienced would not go down well in the media, or with Joe and Jane public, yet she came forward, eventually anyway.

And then, I came to the realization that what these people were claiming was just as extraordinary and mind-boggling as the different, yet paranormal things that I had been experiencing, for all of my life. So, now, I try to be open-minded about such things; all things. After all, I know I’m being truthful when I tell of my own personal experiences, so I try to understand how they would feel if they were accused of lying, for whatever reason, when they speak of their own experiences. I don't believe everything I see or hear, as you will find from my 'Debunking the hoaxers' thread.

It’s ok to be a skeptic, there is no law, no rule of thumb that says one must believe anything; but many of these sceptics are aggressive, even rabidly so, and there shouldn’t be one rule for us, but not for them. I belong to another site as well as this one, and it’s a good site, they regulate extremely fairly, and the admin and mods are very unobtrusively ‘there.’ but I dislike their new changes to their post notification system, so I don’t post there now.

Like millions of forum members, I work. Fortunately I am my own boss, and work, mostly at home. But many members work in offices outside of the home, and we don’t have the time to go searching for a post to see whether we want to reply to it or not. If I know what a post says and I wish to reply to it I can work on that reply in between my regular work. Otherwise I wouldn’t post nearly as much as I do…
and that is the only reason for why I rarely go there now. There are some very good, well moderated sites out there, including this one, who understand that the 'paranormal debate' simply has to be a two way street debate, simply because neither side has anything to go on, other than their belief, or experiences. Smile
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#9
That was a very interesting read, Laurie. Thank you for sharing it.
I agree. Both sides don't have proves for what they believe in and everyone should be fair enough to let others keep them without ridiculing or attacking.

I am sorry you have made so bad experiences on other forums.
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#10
(01-30-2011, 05:04 AM)Tazeden Wrote: That was a very interesting read, Laurie. Thank you for sharing it.
I agree. Both sides don't have proves for what they believe in and everyone should be fair enough to let others keep them without ridiculing or attacking.

I am sorry you have made so bad experiences on other forums.

Thank you Tazeden. And, it's nice to know we agree on a good few things too, lol.

You're a great member, and er... ofttimes adversary. Smile

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