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I think I've finally discovered the central issue that makes communication so difficult. It is not merely, as many surmise, a conflict between fact-based viewpoints and faith-based viewpoints. Nor is it simply a conflict between rationality and credulity. No, it’s a full-on clash of cultures that makes real communication improbable at best. I know this firsthand, because as a former member of the New Age culture, I struggled for years to decipher the language, the rules, the attitudes, and the expectations of the skeptical culture. Yet for a great while, all I could hear from the skeptical culture was noise-and confusing noise at that.
I couldn't find myself in the skeptical lexicon. I couldn't identify myself with the uncaring hucksters, the wildly miseducated snake-oil peddlers, the self-righteous psychics, the big-haired evangelists, or the megalomaniacal eastern fakirs. I couldn't identify my work or myself with the scam-based work or the unstable personalities so roundly trashed by the skeptical culture, because I was never in the field to scam anyone—and neither were any of my friends or colleagues. I worked in the field because I have a deep and abiding concern for people, and an honest wish to be helpful in my own culture. Access to clearheaded and carefully presented skeptical material would have helped me (and others like me) at every step of the way—but I couldn't access any of that information because I simply couldn't identify with it. Until now.
We have a different language and different references, but we share these basic human needs. I would ask you to respect our humanity, and approach us not as if you are reformers or redeemers. I would ask you to approach us as fellow humans who share your concern and interest in the welfare of others. I would ask you to be as culturally intelligent as you are scientifically intelligent, and to work to understand our culture as clearly as you understand the techniques, ideas, and modalities that have sprung from it. We are a people, not a problem.
Im not a 'newager', but what I dont understand is why you feel it so important to voice your skepticism over a belief you do not share? Have you been hurt in some way by this belief?
Why not accept we are different and believe different things. Why do you feel it necessary to try to 'debunk' others beliefs? I have never understood this in people. If a belief makes someone happy, be happy for them. Dont try to tell them it is wrong. We are different yet so many people fail to recognise this. We should take joy from learning others beliefs and cultures. Not turn against them for no apparent reason. If you see any reasons why the belief system is wrong.....so what? You are not being forced to believe it. Just accept it and walk away.
Sorry, I never understood why some people are like this.
Why would a new age believer want to work with you just so you can trash their beliefs?edit on 12-9-2013 by greavsie1971 because: (no reason given)