I am starting a new thread, because I do not want to be blamed as an alleged monster making fun of cripples and this accusation was getting out of the scope of the discussion about soulmates.  

I claim:  Every religious and other irrational belief and every behavior based upon such beliefs are so preposterous and ludicrous, that this justifies ridicule and making fun of it.   This is independent of who is afflicted with the irrationality and of the reasons to behave irrationally.   

This ridicule is principally justified by the irrationality.   Hurting the feelings of the misguided believers is not justified, so the ridiculing has to be restricted to be done in a way, that they do not know it.

I told about having been to Lourdes and discreetly having a good laughter about the weird spectacle of the irrational religious behaviors.    This does not imply laughing about the unfortunate and tragic situation of cripples and sick people.    They have my compassion and my sympathy.    

The evaluation of a person's situation and the evaluation of a person's method of coping with a situation are independent.   Compassion with a person's unfortunate situation does not require automatic respect for weird coping, no matter if the coping is the belief in a miracle at Lourdes or in homeopathy or any other woo-woo.   

The availability or lack of having a choice is the decisive difference:   Becoming sick and crippled is not a choice.   Making a fool of oneself by going to Lourdes is a choice.   It is this choice, that justifies the laughter.   

What about the Darwin award?   Are the people, who have invented it also monsters?   Does their laughing at weird ways of getting killed really preclude their having compassion with the dead persons and those grieving?   

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Apparently, on this thread Melissa, you are not free to interpret comments for yourself - it's Kris Feenstra's self-appointed job to tell you that what you read really didn't mean what you thought it meant.

We're lucky to have him, otherwise, we might be tempted to use our own judgment and comment accordingly, then where would we be?

The OP herself said that wasn't the case.  I'm not going to pretend like your straw man is simply a difference of opinion.

I think there is a misconception and misunderstanding about what really goes on in Lourdes.   I suggest to watch these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9VvSdE...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=o1tv8J...

Accusing anybody laughing at cripples who laughs at the spectacle as shown in the second video is absurd.   In the darkness and from that distance, the minority of disabled people in wheelchairs are not even visible.   And I did not start to use the word cripple in this discussion.   

Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage.   By my own observation, an estimated 95% or maybe more are either healthy or not visibly ill or disabled.  

The catholic church charters trains and offers cheap package tours to their congregations, who fill the groups with whoever wants to go, no matter their reasons.   Some have health problems, some have another specific wish, some are just pious, and some youngsters go there for fun.   

"Methinks she doth protest too much."
-- Hamlet --

I am on the web and on forums like TA for the purpose to find a mindmate.    Unjustified accusations like the one of me allegedly being a cripple-offending monster damage my reputation and this may put off someone.   My objective of being intellectually attractive requires to defend and correct my reputation.  

Yes, you've made that quite clear - I'm reminded of Melville's Ahab and the white whale - it may surprise you, but I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for, and that it's all you thought it would be.

My focus is not on making you personally change your opinion about me, but I am trying to repair my reputation on this forum.  

I doubt it was damaged, I honestly mean this, you worry too much. I think you have already explained yourself very clearly.

ok, thanks.

-- and I'm not changing my opinion of you, just wishing you well.

Maruli, I don't see you as a monster, or as having a bad reputation.  I agree with you on the importance of rationality, and I agree that irrational thought should be engaged [especially regarding the specific point of religion].  I simply disagree with you on the value of a specific method of communication.

Over the last year I have been engaging in these discussions more face to face than online, and have adjusted my tactics to fit the situation.  I've been reflecting on this, and it is part of a wider framework.  I'll probably brain dump a blog of my own regarding it sometime soon.

Also, it is very easy to slip into troll-mode online, and I am very prone to that myself.  I apologize if I came off as dickish.  Note that I'm not conceding my argument; I'm just saying I'm sorry if I was being a tool about it.  :)

Take care and I'll talk to you later.

No apologies needed.   I get, what I am exposing myself to and I am coping with this.  

I like to exchange thoughts in a constructive way, but I dislike antagonistic debates.   I do not mind neutrally expressed disagreements with anything of what I really mean.   

But it exasperates me, when I get accused in an unfavorable way of what I did not mean or intend to say, before I had a fair chance of explaining.    It also exasperates me, when such accusations are based upon lacking information.   Careful behavior requires to get informed before jumping to conclusions.   I doubt that anybody outside Europe has any clear idea about what really goes on in Lourdes.    I wonder if anybody bothered to look at the videos, that I posted.   I should have posted these links earlier.  

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