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Author Topic: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?  (Read 3639 times)

RandallS

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Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« on: October 25, 2012, 08:13:19 am »
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 08:36:01 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 
I suppose, for things that are counterintuitive, I expect some degree of demonstrable proof of the claim. So all 4 of your examples fall beyond the line of acceptance for me. I'd tolerate it--hey, if that's what someone wants to believe, that's their business--but if they're waiting for me to accept it and treat them accordingly, they'll have a long wait.
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 08:50:14 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?


I'm pretty much giving a ditto to Altair's response, but I take it one step further in that I don't generally tolerate being in the company of these kind of people. I like a good RPG as much as the next person, but when playing, everyone around the table has consented to being in said RPG.

When someone "thinks" they are faerie, or the incarnation of Gabriel, or the epitome of what "real Wicca" is all about when they've only read 101 books and then started their own tradition (while giving themselves a title at the same time), and THEN expects me to play along with their RPG without my consent? I think they're just delusional narcissists using spirituality as a prop.

I think it's one thing to believe any of these things and keep them to yourself, or amongst those you are GMing, but it's another thing entirely to attempt to force others to recognize your "leet imagination" skills. I just don't find willful ignorance, mixed with hubris, and a shot glass of stupidity to be anything worth inviting into my personal space.
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 09:05:00 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 
1) If someone claims to be a Christian, Wiccan, Asatru - I'll accept them as such. Even if they go against the tenets of the religion, it's up to other members of this religion to renounce them, not up to me.

2) If this person means it to be in spiritual/psychological/shamanistic sense... I guess, I won't argue. Other than that, if they'd expect everyone to accept them as literaly belonging to other species... no.

3, 4) No. I have especially little tolerance to those who claim to be an incarnation of a deity.

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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 09:12:19 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038


 
I go with the "treat people as they appear to be" method.

You tell me you're Christian and act as non-Christian as possible?  I'll go with your actions and treat you accordingly.  I might mention other options if I think the person is having trouble with religious understanding, but I won't say someone's "really" something.  Labels are your own problem.

You tell me you're a human-shaped *other* being?  Again, I go by actions.  You want to be treated as some kind of sooper special hot shit - no.  Sorry.  Don't believe it, not interested, go away.  You want to tell me you believe this about yourself and it's just a *this is who I am* - okay, I believe you believe that.  My belief at that point is IRRELEVANT.

You want me to treat you like an incarnate god (and not everyone is one, you're a special incarnate god type person) good luck with that.  If you're VERY lucky, I'll just ignore you.

Or I'll point out your logical fallacies and have some fun, if I think you're trying to get street cred.  Because ... dude.  No.

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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 09:31:02 am »
Interesting questions! I have off-the-top of my head opinionated answers:

Quote from: RandallS;78038


1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

I treat them as I would any other human being...? Perhaps as a hypocritical and condemnable human being if its a severe case of a "Love Thy Neighbor" religion and they are a murderer. But that's a severe example and not usually applicable.
I found this question a bit confusing, honestly. I'm going to treat them as according to my beliefs and morals, not theirs (my beliefs/morals being that we are all equals, in this case).


Quote

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

Roll my eyes, nod along and continue to live my life. Unless they're talking in the metaphorical sense, they are expressing the fantasy wish to be so or we're talking about a really bizarre dream.

Quote

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

If it gets really irritating (ex: they claim they are the reincarnation of Anne Boleyn and Joan of Arc AND George Washington), I'd point out the fact that this particular past life is "in the past" and continue to treat them as the person whose life they are living today. If they don't learn something from the past, then there's no point in bringing it up.

Quote

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

Continue to treat them based on their value as a living being and their character.

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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 09:56:14 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 
I can go with accepting -or pretending to accept, if intuition or common sense suggest otherwise, for politeness' sake- pretty much anything of the above until the person doesn't ask to be treated with special honor or extra consideration because of it.

It's one thing to ask people to accept that you just remembered being queen Elizabeth I reincarnated and whole another to ask to be bowed at as such.

In general, I am rather sceptic of anyone who uses any bit of 'supernatural ' info to make their opinion on whatever to weight more than anyone else. Same said if that info is being used for simple attention-gathering.
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 10:06:59 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038


However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 
1. Not really my problem, if they want to be X religion but ignore what it means to be a member of x religion then okay.

2. That's cool too. I've flitted around Therian and Otherkin forums before BUT if you claim to be a cat/eagle/unicorn/angel/mouse/deer/whateverelseyoucanpulloutofyourass hybrid then no, I think you're delusional or just trying too hard to be a special snowflake.

3. Out of luck, sorry. Find someone gullible enough to fall for the crap.

4. See above. I've had the laughable experience of talking with someone who considered themselves the daughter of Lucifer, half angel/demon, able to shape shift into anything she chose and copulate with a T-Rex is her spiritual dragon form. No, seriously. "It's mating with me right now as I type this." <-- really happened.

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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 11:24:22 am »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

 
Part of the question for me is about how someone's choices are affecting the larger community. So, someone's beliefs about themselves - generally fine. (In the sense that I may or may not want to interact with them much, but they get to decide how they view the world.)

The problem for me is either when someone's behavior is complicating things for the larger community in problematic ways. If someone's misrepresenting a religion, the other people in the religion get to say "Hey, not cool, knock it off." because a shared religion isn't about one single person's interpretation.

(Who gets listened to is, of course, another question, but that's what you get for using communal terms and descriptions.)

The other problem is when someone wants me to substantially change my behaviour in significant ways. Treating someone as their chosen gender does not put a particularly heavy burden on me, generally, once I know what they prefer. (Since, you know, I interact with people with a variety of gender identities anyway.)

And likewise, someone who says "I identify as Otherkin" but who doesn't expect other people to treat them particularly differently as a result, fine.

(Likewise, I regularly interact with people who have particular requests when we get together or interact - a friend with substantial hearing loss, friends with mobility needs, etc. I don't really care if the reason someone prefers a particular place to meet is for mobility reasons, or because of some internal identification reason, as long as the place to meet works for me.)

But someone insisting that I only ever refer to them a particular way, or give them overt signs of respect that are out of balance with other interactions, or rearrange my life to accomodate their desire. At that point, it's not so much about acceptance, but "Do I want to spend my time around this person". And the answer is often "Nope."
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2012, 12:10:43 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;78038


Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 
I really, really make an effort to be accepting of people with "quirks" or with a particular type of identity (transgendered, therian, etc.) That starts breaking down for me when the person(s) in question start demanding special treatment because of what they are. I'm not talking about reasonable requests, to accommodate for disabilities and a certain level of comfort. I'm talking about those who want to be treated like the next coming because they believe they have the soul of a dragon/god/demon/angel/whatever.

When it comes to someone claiming to be a member of Religion X, but not following the "rules" of that religion, it depends. There are tenets in most religions that you can let slide without bending the framework out of shape. There are others that you can't. If someone's doing none of those things that keep the framework in shape, then they're not a member of Religion X. I'm not going to police people about it, though I might say something if they're blatantly offensive or wrong.

(The only example I can think of right now is the tendency for some people to want to shove a lot of New Age woo into Kemeticism. Kemeticism has woo of its own. It doesn't need New Age woo, too.)
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2012, 01:10:33 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?


I think all of theses examples would cross the line for me.

For the first example, when it comes to their declaration of faith, I will take them at their word until actions dictate otherwise, then treat them accordingly. If that means bursting their bubble, so be it.

As for the remaining examples, if one chooses to live in their own reality, rather than this one, don't expect me to change my behaviour to suit. If you truly believe it, then fine I'll accept your belief, but it will not affect me. If you are just trying to puff up your importance, expect to have holes shot in your claims and be brought back down to earth.

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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 01:48:26 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 
1)  None of my business really.  If it was a close friend I might (and have) gently point them towards better information on the religion they were claiming.  Otherwise, its up to their "coreligionists" to correct them.  I've known more people than I can count who claim to be Christian but don't live up to the title.

2)  If its an astral or spiritual thing, who am I to judge?  Basically it comes down to their behavior.  If this is an attempt to gain extra special snowflake status, I don't want anything to do with them.  If its just "this is part of who I am", that's different.

3)  I'd probably ask them why they think their past life is relevant to their current incarnation.  Even if they are the reincarnation of that person, and assuming reincarnation works that way, they are who they are in this life for a reason.  Getting hung up on past incarnations can't be helpful.

4)  Without some sort of tangible proof, I would avoid this person.  Especially if they claimed to be a deity:  I believe this would be the height of hubris and I wouldn't want to get any of that on me.
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2012, 01:59:44 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
?



 It really depends on how close I am to the person and how much I have to deal with them.  I have a sister sho has addiction problems (probably self medicating) and psychological problems - my uncle who is a psychiatrist says his opinion (not diagnosis - he has never actually gone down that road with her) is that she's bi-polar and narcisistic.  She has done thsings in her life I will never forgive - even though they were not to me directly.  And I have made it clear to her I will not be part of her fantasies, and will not have anything to do wit her until she owns what she has done.  But she is my sister and has hurt people I care about.

Random person I can mostly ignore - I just don't have the energy to care.  But if you tell me you're a dragon so watch out for the tail?  I will step on it.  And never ever ever tell me what I believe.  But if I can ignore you, I will.  But I will not agree with anything I don't see the evidence/proof of.  Just sayin'.
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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2012, 03:28:49 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish. In general, I think that's a good idea. However, where do you draw the line?

For example, I think it is fine to treat people as whatever gender they say they are because there is real world "scientific" evidence that physical characteristics do not always map to gender one for one.

However, what about these cases?

1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?

2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.

3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such.

Where (and why) do you draw the line on acceptance issues like these?

 

Personally, until that person is claiming something that is obviously false (i.e. signs of having a serious mental issue), I don't have a problem with them as people. I treat everyone like a person, not like a .

But I won't uphold delusional beliefs because indulging in those delusions is ultimately harmful to the individual.

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Re: Acceptance: Where Do You Draw the Line?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2012, 03:41:07 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;78038
The Pagan community is strong on accepting people as they are and treating them as they wish...


I actually don't agree with this statement.  I think the Pagan community is good at paying lip-service to acceptance but not so good at "walking the talk".  See the recent BNP fatphobia issues (Morag's blog is a fantastic read on the topic) to see what I mean,

Quote
1) Person A claims to be of religion X and wishes to be treated as such, but obviously totally ignores the known tenets of that religion. Should everyone treat them as religion X? What about other members of religion X?


If Person A is claiming to follow the path I do but ignoring the known tenets or is spouting off about things "everybody knows" that are completely inaccurate, I'll say something.  Otherwise, I try to ignore it.

Quote
2) Person B claims to really be another species even through they are obviously biologically human.


As long as the claim doesn't directly affect me (as in complaining that the chair I offer them doesn't have tail space), I leave it alone.  It's not my business.

Quote
3) Person C claims to be the reincarnation of historical person X and expects to be treated like they were person X (e.g. their statements about what person X believes/knows accepted, etc.)

4) Person D claims to be the current incarnation of an ascended master, demon, angel, deity, etc. and believes he/she should be treated as such...

 
This...is more difficult, but generally falls into the "if it doesn't directly affect me, it isn't my business" category.  I may believe that they believe it, but that doesn't mean I have to believe it...or act as if I do.
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Last post August 22, 2016, 08:26:58 am
by Kylara

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