Hayley is a Ghost

The rather disillusioned skeptic

Posted on: December 29, 2010

Sometimes people ask me how I can manage to juggle so many different projects at once and congratulate me on being able to do so, yet recently I’ve began to have serious doubts about if it is really worth the time and effort.

I really do identify myself as a skeptic, but sometimes I get a bit embarassed to do so – this is something I’ve blogged about before, and the feeling still stands. I’ve been pulled into many debates and discussions I haven’t really wanted to be involved in simply because of the word ‘skeptic’ and the negative picture it paints up.

I often dread speaking at paranormal conferences because I’m usually either the only skeptic, or one of a few – and usually the only female and the only speaker under twenty-five. Before I even get on stage people have their minds made up about me. It’s pretty crap.

I don’t think there is ever a time that I would feel comfortable with misleading people just so that I can make my point later on down the line.

I can’t do the whole ‘I am right and you are wrong, thus I’m better than you’ thing – I feel like it sometimes, but I try to be a good person and I link to rational information relating to the topic in hand, or I try to calmly explain myself.

I cannot and will never mock other people because of something they believe – it’s disgusting, and I get that some people like to do that and don’t care about how they appear to other people, but I’ll never be that sort of a person, skeptic or not.

Also, I judge those skeptics who do that, I think they’re awful. I was once ‘the woo’ and ‘the stupid one’ and it’s not nice and it doesn’t make anyone look clever or big. Just smug and arrogant, really. It doesn’t achieve anything, but then again, I doubt that a lot of skeptics actually want to achieve anything, which is sad.

This isn’t a blog post where I’m telling people how I think they should act because, as far as I’m concerned, everyone is old enough to figure that sort of thing out for themselves. I’m just writing this because it’s been bugging me for a few days now, I want to get it off my chest, and this is my blog and I can do what I want.

This isn’t more skeptical navel gazing either, for instance, after I write this I will be editing down the next episode of ‘The Ghost Field Guide’ podcast that many so-called “woo” people have been listening to. I’m trying to make a difference by not being patronising and simply answering questions, and it’s working. I’ll probably also go on to plan some more articles for BARsoc in the hope that we can counter misinformation portrayed by the media, because that’s quite useful – or at least, more useful that mocking people.

I don’t feel like I stand united with a lot of people I thought I did before, I’ve become disillusioned with what the so-called ‘skeptical community’ seem to think skepticism is about. I find navel gazing, arse-kissing, ‘celebrity’ idolising and ego building a bit hard to stomach when there’s actual stuff that could be being done to tackle misinformation.

I am a skeptic, I use skepticism as a method of investigation and processing information – but when people talk about the so-called skeptical community, it has suddenly started to feel fake and unimportant.

I’ve decided that in 2011 I’m going to be focussing more on the things that I think are important. No, I’m not going to be quitting Righteous Indignation before anyone asks, I just think I’m going to fade quietly into the background because that seems to be where all the decent skeptics are, working their arses off to make a difference.

I have closed comments for this post, because I can.

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1 Response to "The rather disillusioned skeptic"

[…] blog post and… the AVN? It would seem my blog post about being disillusioned with skepticism had been discussed in great length on the AVN facebook page (oddly enough) and I wanted to point a […]

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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