Believers VS Non-belivers

(490 Posts)

Why is it that if someone believes in something, they will talk about it as exactly that - something they believe in - and not portray it as absolute fact; yet if someone doesn't believe in something, they will say this as an absolute fact and ridicule those who believe?

It's almost as if those who don't believe (in whatever the subject: angels, God, reincarnation) consider themselves superior to those who do, and view those who do as stupid for doing so.

Surely everyone's beliefs are their own belief and opinion - nothing "woo" can be either proven or disproven, so therefore nobody is right or wrong.

It just seems that every thread that starts "Do you believe" on this board ends up in a bun fight with believes defending themselves against non-believers who tell them they're being ridiculous. The clue is in the title of the board - if you don't believe in anything that's likely to be discussed under that heading, just avoid the board!

CorusKate Sun 08-Jun-14 10:52:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CorusKate Sun 08-Jun-14 10:54:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sunshinemmum Sun 08-Jun-14 11:11:46

Yes but seeking to ridicule is not demonstrating debate, IMO. Whilst you have a point on that thread another poster is calling for another to be challenged by others, because she feels she has proof to the contrary.

I think that the behaviour of these people on these boards, limits the number of threads around faith. I am disinclined to start threads, that I otherwise would have on Christian studies or, because of the amount of heckling on. Threads which don't invite debate. are still ambushed (as I have said in my previous post), even if they are specifically calling for support from people who share the same belief.

Hakluyt Sun 08-Jun-14 11:25:34

I have never seen a Christian prayer thread "ambushed".

No but others are.

Hakluyt Sun 08-Jun-14 13:55:35

So are you saying that nobody should ever question anyone else's beliefs? That people of faith should be uniquely privileged and never be challenged? Certainly that's how it seems.

Support threads are not about challenging beliefs. Support threads are about support and that is why I've suggested we separate them out.

When it comes to debate there are ways of questioning and challenging that are not about ridiculing or assumptions that all people of faith are fundementalists.

Scousadelic Sun 08-Jun-14 14:25:58

I would find a person saying 'mummy only pretends god exists because she is evil and sick inside and wants you all to suffer' to a child horribly offensive and would happily challenge them on it. Just as I find 'I will ridicule the ridiculous' offensive when said about somebody else's faith or beliefs. That kind of proves the point that the problem is not the belief itself but is when anyone is so certain in it they have the arrogance to think they can impose it on others

I find myself unlikely to post on threads about faith or "woo" despite finding it interesting to discuss because of the nastiness that is allowed to happen time after time. I'm sure there are a lot of others who feel this way and think that is a shame

CorusKate Sun 08-Jun-14 14:31:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sunshinemmum Sun 08-Jun-14 14:38:44

I agree with Scous, any attempt for people to share experiences are marred by the constant assertions that what they are talking about is complete nonsense. The problem is that nothing will change. Scous and other posters probably won't want to use the boards as much as they would like to and any specific support threads based around belief systems will be ridiculed. I don't see any fragility around the arguments that these posters put forward, just sense their frustration and the never ending rounds of bad netiquette.

I have withdrawn from the other thread, because my contributions aren't helping to get the topic back on track. But I know, without a doubt, that different posters at different times, will challenge the goading and personal attacks to no avail.

gamerchick Sun 08-Jun-14 14:52:03

What i've gleaned over the past few days is that non believers have so much contempt for believers and so can't allow any chat happen 'just in case it turns into something else' I did find that amusing.. if we didn't allow threads just in case then there would be no mumsnet grin You cant reason with that level of arrogance who can't comprehend the words 'sometimes we don't want to debate, we just want to chat'.. it does not compute in their world of superiority.

So the only answer is:

make the title as boring as possible and fill the first page full of pushchairs or something in an attempt to make those on the hunt click off in search of something more interesting.

If said thread is discovered and the pile in starts.. we must make a conscious effort to totally ignore, do not engage in debate and if somebody cracks then we just go and start a new thread somewhere else.

tongue firmly in cheek wink

sunshinemmum Sun 08-Jun-14 14:57:02

[gamer] Or woo thread for woo people, wishing to access support for discussions about woo, without a non woo perspective (in short this is about woo not you). wink

gamerchick Sun 08-Jun-14 15:05:27


So the clue is in the title and a carefully worded first post so it can't be used as an. excuse for 'debate'.

I like it

Hakluyt Sun 08-Jun-14 15:09:18

"Support threads are not about challenging beliefs."

No, of course they aren't. And nobody does.

Scousadelic Sun 08-Jun-14 16:37:02

I'm not even looking for support, just a discussion in a supportive environment rather than bile. I'm quite happy to be disagreed with and really enjoy hearing different points of view, I do even change my mind on occasion after hearing something persuasive but do not appreciate me or my comments/beliefs just being ridiculed or insulted

HermioneWeasley Sun 08-Jun-14 16:42:55

"Why is it that if someone believes in something, they will talk about it as exactly that - something they believe in - and not portray it as absolute fact"

That is hilarious. There are countless examples of people seeking to impose their beliefs on others, even their bodily autonomy (remember the Indian woman who died because catholic Ireland won't allow abortion?). Christians even enjoy protected seats in the House of Lords, so get to disproportionately influence law making.

If religious and woo people could and would keep their fanciful beliefs to themselves, then i suggest there would be far fewer people seeking to ridicule them.

sunshinemmum Sun 08-Jun-14 16:46:33

That is hilarious. There are countless examples of people seeking to impose their beliefs on others

On these boards? I took it to mean OP was specifically referring to this forum.

sunshinemmum Sun 08-Jun-14 16:49:06

If religious and woo people could and would keep their fanciful beliefs to themselves, then i suggest there would be far fewer people seeking to ridicule them.

You'd like people to keep their 'fanciful beliefs' to themselves on the Philosophy/religion/spirituality section? Ok confused

Hakluyt Sun 08-Jun-14 16:50:11

I do think some people have a very ....sensitive.... definition of "bile". Anything except agreement seems to be classed as disrespect.

headinhands Sun 08-Jun-14 16:52:19

I will ridicule a belief that is ridiculous. Ridicule is an important tool. It allows us to see untenable and absurd beliefs. Top tip. You can't ridicule something that isn't ridiculous.

HermioneWeasley Sun 08-Jun-14 16:56:46

I do not get involved in prayer threads, support threads and the like. I accept that they are a space for "believers" to talk. As I have never been on them I don't know whether other atheists go and give their perspective.

But when there are threads along the lines of "do you believe in..." Or "what do you think about" or "Ooo, something strange happened" then I feel entitled to join in debate.

And any time I see anything anti vax anywhere, because that shit is very dangerous.

CorusKate Sun 08-Jun-14 17:01:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

headinhands Sun 08-Jun-14 17:07:55

I've not seen non believers post derogatory and personal attacks on the obvious support threads? There's loads of threads that are clearly not inviting debate.

Scousadelic Sun 08-Jun-14 17:11:33

Hak, head and Hermione I don't know how many times I have to say it. I enjoy a good discussion, I am happy to be disagreed with when it is a reasoned argument even when put 'robustly' but ridicule and insult, no.
Joining in a debate, in my opinion, means allowing for the possibility that the person you are talking to may have some validity to their view, not that you are 100% right and they are an idiot. If you feel you have excluded that and you are indeed 100% right then the key to debate is to educate and persuade rather than to insult

sunshinemmum Sun 08-Jun-14 17:12:40

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