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Is prejudice against sceptics socially acceptable?

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posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 04:33 AM
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I've noticed a lot of hatred across the boards from people who appear to think of sceptics or debunkers as bad elements to have on this website.

The reasons for this, which we are all familiar with, usually come from being asked to prove a claim, cite a source or to provide evidence to substantiate a story. More often than not facts don't exist to back up a story and a polarity of 'Sceptics are teh l33t' and 'Skeptics are dogs' is created.

I completely understand how frustrating it must be to have something which you know to be correct proven wrong time and time again by people who require solid evidence to accept that mindset.

I also understand why some people will dub sceptics or debunkers as 'dis-info agents' or 'on the take' due to their anger at not seeing their truth come to fruition and perhaps believe that more clandestine operations are against them.

I can also imagine the overbearing joy at having a claim hold up to scrutiny and be accepted as fact. There are many occurrences of this on ATS which allow for traditional accepted mindsets to be questioned (COINTELPRO stories that have been proven true for example). This is in itself fuel for questioning what is taken as reality and proposing ideas which go against the hegemonic standpoint.

Now this topic isn't about stating what a sceptic is or isn't. I've already given a brief overview of that in my opening.

This topic seeks to understand, and question, why sceptics are so often vilified on these boards. The names called, attitudes towards and general treatment of those who are sceptical by some makes racism, sexism and religious intolerance look like pleasantries at a United Nations food fight.

In a more globally aware world where a person has to be careful about what language they use, and to whom and when. We should be aware of the acceptable limits we set for tolerating those who share different mindset than our own. When people who have been put upon due to their skin colour, gender, sexuality and body type (all of which they had no say in) expect to be treated as equally as anyone else and when people who chose to follow a mindset (be it Christianity, Islam, Atheism or Jedi) also expect the same rights of treatment - where are we with our outlook towards sceptics?

There are many rude sceptics; many, many rude sceptics. Just as there are many who have a belief system which doesn't have any proof to back it up who are incredibly rude to others. On individual cases I think personal discretion towards your own tastes is advised. Do you ignore someone for saying something in a rude way or so you engage with them and give them what for?

However generally there is an air of poking fun at sceptics from afar as if it were an acceptable practise by all. Thread titles with inflammatory remarks towards sceptics or with requests for them not to read can only make for a splintered (and unfairly bias) community.

If I were to post the following as thread titles how long would it take before they got pulled down for being prejudice?

'Proof of the true master race!! Jews won't like it'

'The true purpose of life - not for women'

'God's secret message to mankind- no gays please'

'Man's true origins - Afro-Americans must give it up'

Yet for sceptic bashing it's all good - perfectly acceptable.

I hope we can address why bashing sceptics is seen as acceptable, if these views are tolerant and mindful of others and what changes we could, if deemed appropriate, make to have this place be more balanced with regards to discriminating towards others due to their outlook on life.

As always, and and all assistance in dealing with this is much appreciated.

-m0r




posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 04:50 AM
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When people's beliefs are threatened they tend too lash out at those who threaten those beliefs.

The main issue, as I see it is the phenomenon of stereotyping. We usually create these stereotypes based on two things. Personal experience and information from "trusted" sources. We then apply these stereotypes to future individuals to categorize them into groups so that we feel that we know what to expect of them. The truth of the matter, as in the cases of racism or religious bigotry, is that people are individuals. One skeptic may be truly interested in getting to the bottom of a phenomenon while another one is willing to believe anything that will support their point of view. The same goes for believers. The good thing is that these individuals usually make up about 10% of any group where these issues are discusses. They tend to be some of the most vocal, though, so the general view is that believers hate skeptics and skeptics hate believers. Most of us, though, can have an intelligent discussion and leave the name calling and bigotry at home.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 04:52 AM
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I haven't seen anyone prejudicing sceptics on these boards. Only if they're very rude, I suppose. But then they deserve what they get. Maybe I'm reading the wrong threads. Is this rife?

On the other hand, is being very rude to 'believers' prejudicing them? I do tend to see more of that.

Being rude isn't acceptable, no matter what side you're on. Sarcasm can be very hurtful.

I do see argy-bargying everywhere on the internet these days though. Some days it's like everyone's gotten out the wrong side of bed. I read the DM every day. It never fails to astound me when for example, they'll print a few marvellous nature photos, and then WW3 breaks out on the comments section about it. People are nuts.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 04:54 AM
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reply to post by m0r1arty
 

Sceptics are worth their weight in gold to this website.

I believe that some people don't give the sceptics around here the respect they deserve for the reason stated above but also because for some reason (probably frustration) the sceptics here often struggle to show decorum and manners.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 05:35 AM
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I was pegged as a skeptic within weeks of signing up. As an Englishman, being 'sceptical' is a good thing. I googled what a 'skeptic' was and discovered it's a different term entirely on the US-based internets. After embracing my skeptic title and enjoying the company of other ATS Skeptics, I got stuck in to the forums.

Got Foed, got called a 'shill,' was accused of being cointelpro, got called a disinfo agent, got called gay...good times and heart-warming to many skeptics. Awww...the warm glow of an idiot's anger


Nowadays, I prefer less conflict and avoid most of the ignorant replies and members. Over here in the middle-ground there's a clearer view...

ATS always has about 3 skeptics (evil skeptics!) who just essentially troll believers. They get banned and resurface with different names. It's cyclical, but I'd guess it's about three in each major forum. They outsmart themselves by using the same writing-style and arguments.

As an increasingly moderate skeptic, I see the behaviour of these guys (evil skeptics) as being a large part of the problem. They generate a lot of the negativity against all skeptics. The sneering comments or mocking style is actually ignorant. The rotten attitude of these kind of members makes it hard to condemn *some* believers for responding in kind.

A lot of believers then fall into the same crap attitude as the evil ones and see all skeptics as being on the dark side. At this point it's nothing more than a food-fight in a kindergarten.

So no, I guess it shouldn't be acceptable to be bashing skeptics. Predictably, as long as the children (believers and evil skeptics) are still having the food fights and calling each other names...it's gotta carry on.

Skeptic-bashing is water off a duck's back to most guys and possibly a cheap orgasm for the 'evil-skeptics' getting their kicks by attracting the insults.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 05:38 AM
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reply to post by m0r1arty
 


M0r1arty me ol' mate!

In the last week I've been told I should be "shot in the street" & I'm "a waste of DNA & body fluids!"


Cheers mate
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 05:48 AM
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reply to post by m0r1arty
 


It's what all the cool kids are doing.

Damn sheeple I says!

You make good points but you know what's going to happen don't you?
I won't say it so as not to jinx things and hope that it doesn't happen.


 


reply to post by Kandinsky
 


The problem here is that you're getting older and slower Kandinsky, can't keep up with these young whippersnappers!


I hope I'm not one of these 'evil-skeptics' you speak of, although I'd hazard a guess that a few out there will think that I am, and to those guys, Chopper Reid has a few choice words for you!


As you say water off a ducks back!



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


Terms of endearment I'm sure!

You know it's because you're so damn polite.

MMN...the polite skeptic.




posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 05:52 AM
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Excellent points so far.

I would say that a combination of basic manners and internet bravado are equally to blame. Add to that the fact that so many out in reality-land have to deal with massive amounts of BS at jobs they hate to maintain a life they feel stuck in.

Something has to provide a release.

As an example, I used to work at a call center. Without going into detail, there was a specific group of customers that were ALWAYS ignorant and a nightmare to deal with. Based on thier situation, calling us gave them someone to be superior to, someone they could treat like they were treated but with no chance of reprisal or comment.

Anonymity online allows people to express thier deepest held beliefs or thoughts. It is the very nature of those thoughts and the passions associated that leads to such intolerance in responses on both sides.

It is a vicious thing to have the core of your being questioned or criticized.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 05:55 AM
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Originally posted by Chadwickus
reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 

Terms of endearment I'm sure!
You know it's because you're so damn polite.
MMN...the polite skeptic.


Chadwickus me ol' mate!

I forgot one of my favourites.....

"Maybe...maybe not - every time I see your name I just want to smash you in the face!"


Cheers
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:01 AM
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reply to post by Maybe...maybe not
 


I'm sure they meant pash...

Anyway, we're digressing.

But your examples do show what us nice skeptics have to put up with from evil non-skeptics.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:04 AM
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Since I ended up being considered a skeptic too, I can only agree. But we do have our black sheep on our side - that's a good point.

The best way to frustrate the people who post truly ignorant stuff is not to harass them but to engage their claims calmly and 1 by 1 and debunk them. That sounds very easy but it isn't, especially since attacking the motives of skeptics on this site is the default position.

Then again. If any of you guys is paid for being a skeptic, could you please U2U me and give me an application form?
I would love to work for "disinfo central" if there was such a thing. Or, maybe, lacking such a central hub we could unionize?

Industrial Skepitcs of the World Unite! Something like that?

We could invent suave handshakes and codewords and have conferences in fancy places. Oh, the good life.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:05 AM
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reply to post by Chadwickus
 
Nah, you're not one of the guys I meant. They know who they are. Maybe you're right about age creeping in? I found a white hair on my chest last week. OMFG! A white hair!




[edit on 11-8-2010 by Kandinsky]



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Chadwickus
 
Nah, you're not one of the guys I meant. They know who they are. Maybe you're right about age creeping in? I found a white hair on my chest last week. OMFG! A white hair!




[edit on 11-8-2010 by Kandinsky]



If we'd unionize we could include the following gem in our medical insurance plan....

www.youtube.com...

That should take care of your worries, I suppose?

EDIT: But it's not just shaving! It is top-of-the-notch chest hair coloring!

www.malebeautyforum.com...

Shaving is so unmanly! But combined with coloring! Grr. That's Chuck Norris approved, believe me!

[edit on 11-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]

Edited to add for future reference:

www.youtube.com...

[edit on 11-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]

[edit on 11-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]



[edit on 11-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Chadwickus
 
Nah, you're not one of the guys I meant. They know who they are. Maybe you're right about age creeping in? I found a white hair on my chest last week. OMFG! A white hair!


Kandinsky.....

Just shave it, then.

I find my chest shaving day is one of my favourite days of the week.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 06:27 AM
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reply to post by NichirasuKenshin
 
I already shave my head...I draw the line at shaving anything lower


That goes for you too, MM! I hope you're joking...shakes head...



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 07:00 AM
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Originally posted by NichirasuKenshin

The best way to frustrate the people who post truly ignorant stuff is not to harass them but to engage their claims calmly and 1 by 1 and debunk them. That sounds very easy but it isn't, especially since attacking the motives of skeptics on this site is the default position.


NichirasuKenshin.....

I agree the best way is to try to stay cool, calm & collected & just work through things in a polite, positive manner.

But I must say the rudeness & abuse can really get irritating at times.

Sometimes I find members are trying to provoke me when I haven't even posted in the thread!

For instance, recently I was happily reading away, when I came across a post that said.....

"I'll bet that arrogant Maybe...maybe not will be along soon with his disinfo posse!"

.....& I hadn't even posted in the thread!

I mean.....WOW!


Cheers
Maybe...maybe not

[edit on 11-8-2010 by Maybe...maybe not]



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 07:01 AM
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I personally haven't seen any relevant evidence that there are any
skeptics on this site. From the evidence presented I personally believe
that it is the OP's responsibility to prove his claim.

Just because you say skeptics exist, does NOT make it so.

Now if you can point to just one VERIFIABLE instance of skepticism
that isn't clearly a simple case of differing viewpoints then I would be
happy to debate. But I doubt that you'll be able to because none actually
exist. It is your claim and therefore the burden of proof rests with you...

I'll be awaiting your reply......

*cue the crickets chirping*

Edit to watch my fingernails grow while awaiting a reasonable reply

[edit on 11-8-2010 by rival]



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 07:07 AM
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reply to post by rival
 


Originally posted by rivalNow if you can point to just one VERIFIABLE instance of skepticism,
that isn't clearly a simple case of differing viewpoints then I would be
happy to debate.


No problem my fine friend, here is one:


Originally posted by rival
I personally haven't seen any relevant evidence that there are any skeptics
on this site. From the evidence presented I personally believe that
it is the OP's responsibility to prove his claim.

Just because you say skeptics exist, does NOT make it so.

Now if you can point to just one VERIFIABLE instance of skepticism,
that isn't clearly a simple case of differing viewpoints then I would be
happy to debate. But I doubt that you'll be able to because none
exist. it is your claim and therefore the burden of proof rest with you...

I'l be awaiting your reply......

*que crickets chirping*


Of course this is only verifiable to you - but it does show the well hallmarked signs of a sceptical mind:

Doubting a premise based purely on a claim, asking for evidence which is irrefutable to that claim and showing a willingness to debate it further once said evidence is presented.

The chirping cricket part could be construed as rude by some - but I'm certain that you are only adding dramatic emphasis here.

So now that you have proven yourself to be the very sceptic that you claim doesn't exist can we debate this further?

-m0r



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 07:14 AM
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This thread has highlighted something for me....

Maybe the reason people think there is a 'sceptic posse' or group of people out to demolish every thread is due to the nature of us as humans. The abuse the sceptics get forces them to come together and create bonds, as shown in this thread. It is very reasonable that the sceptics post together in the same threads, I mean, I hang about with my card playing buddies whenever I know where they are, this is the same.

It's also a pretty cool really, watching these people form friendships.

I will state here, I am not a sceptic as you will see from my post history... merely someone who likes to rant.




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