Question of The Week: What Makes You Angry?


Being a Skeptic often means dealing with a huge amount of nonsense and woo. Most of the time, it’s not an issue. Generally, woo is harmless, or at least its harm can be easily identified and followed up on. Plus, it can be quite fun to research and examine strange claims and ideas, to try to uncover the truth, or lack of it , behind them. However, we all have our strong ideals and personal viewpoints, and sometimes woo isn’t simply something fun that you can play around with. Some of it can be downright dangerous, some of it can be mind-boggingly stupid, some of it just doesn’t make any damn sense. You can’t always respond with calm and objective kid-gloves: even Skeptics get angry.

So this week’s Question of The Week is this: What woo makes you angry? What pushes your buttons? What can’t you deal with? Maybe it’s the harm that can be caused by extreme religious beliefs, or homeopaths who claim to be able to cure AIDS. Maybe it’s just the fact that your brother/sister/husband/wife/parents just won’t listen to reason over something silly. Maybe psychics just piss you off. Maybe your best friend never makes it to the pub because he/she is too busy chasing UFOs.

Whatever it is, we want to hear about it. So feel free to vent your spleen in the name of Skepticism via the comments section below.

  1. #1 by Dan Buzzard on February 13, 2010 - 16:56

    Alternative medicine, because innocent people suffer by passing up legitimate medicine. Fraudsters who con sick patients belong in prison.

    Also the moon hoaxers have been pissing me off lately, but their easy to deal with.

  2. #2 by Michael on February 13, 2010 - 17:20

    All of the above. With the exception of ??????????

  3. #3 by Jo on February 13, 2010 - 19:42

    Feng shui!!! Apparently where I live does not have good feng shui because I live in a cul-de-sac, and might not, therefore, attract good quality Chi.

    However if I put a whirligig (!) in my garden, paint my door red and plant a row of evergreens in my back garden then everything will be hunky dory!

    For crying out loud.

  4. #4 by John on February 13, 2010 - 22:04

    Any time any complementary medicine claims to treat a disease I get riled up. Also anytime anyone says they can contact a dead member of my family. I despise people who trade on the deaths of loved ones. Who lie and cheat and steal from grief stricken families.

  5. #5 by Michael on February 14, 2010 - 16:28

    Goldie Hawn bringing over her ‘Learn to Breathe Proper” schools with David Cameron as headmaster.
    “Its a jolly good idea and there are learning and health benefits for the poor who can’t afford to go to a proper school!”

  6. #6 by Miguel Corkhill on February 14, 2010 - 22:13

    I guess I get pissed off at the people who tell us how doctors try to push useless drugs on us because they are being sponsored by ¨big pharma¨ to do so. Then in the next paragraph they are trying to sell you Hopi ear candles and megadoses of vitamins. Yeah I´m looking at you Mike Adams ¨Health Ranger¨.

  7. #7 by Joe Btfsplk on February 15, 2010 - 04:29

    Anti-vaccination promoters. The only advantage in their stupidity is that they may be removing themselves from the gene pool because of their belief. The larger problem, however, is that they are causing so much harm by their inability to understand science-based medicine. Children are dying because of them and unfortunately it may be their own offspring if they do happen to pass on their genes.

  8. #8 by PJ on February 15, 2010 - 12:37

    People who like to imply that psychic ability is possible because “we only use ten percent of our brains”.

  9. #9 by bob on February 15, 2010 - 13:01

    I cannot stand alternative medicine claims.

    The thought that real medicine is somehow a con, perpetrated soley for profit by extending illness (or even creating it).

    The alternative answer to this is usually equally ridiculous. Magic stones/unknown forces/cosmic pewp rays, or whatever.

    I also hate it when you have carefully explained why the woo is wrong, and shown evidence, and they spin off on an unrelated tangent completely avoiding the original point.

    Now’t but jabbering monkeys in shoes (QVC angel festooned biofield jewelry optional)

  10. #10 by Stu on February 15, 2010 - 14:12

    Don’t get me started! Actually, I’ve started anyway so I’ll finish.

    1. Young Earth creationists who deny all the overwhelming evidence.

    2. Complementary therapy.

    3. Psychics – I have a special little place in my brain where dormant feelings of intense hatred are stored up just for when I see an advert for a psychic night or when somebody claims to have had contact with decaying flesh. I’m not joking or being light-hearted. Anyone who has read anything on these pages that I’ve written will probably know about the hot reading one of these charlatans did for my ex. These people are dangerous scammers who need to be stopped. I don’t give a shit about those who get “comfort.” The fact is psychics con people out of money while fooling them about speaking to someone they’ve lost. Without exception they are F****ing C***ts!!

  11. #11 by Michael on February 15, 2010 - 19:53

    Well Stu.
    I bet you are glad you are not me?
    In work (as part of staff development) I work with a loverly chap on teaching and learning research. Until he asked me a favour. I am a physicist. He only wants me to come up with a scientific solution to why he is psychic! He was so straight faced when he told me this. I said there is no such thing as psychic and to grow up. Then I got loads of anecdotes. The Fu***r only has his own web-site, doesn’t he. And he does corporate functions, parties and funerals etc. The effing cheek of some people. He has more front than Lewis’. He actually believes he is psychic!
    Gawd help us all!

  12. #12 by Michael on February 15, 2010 - 19:55

    Oh and Marsh says we should get him on the show!

  13. #13 by Declan on February 15, 2010 - 21:25

    I hate the glib phrase (usually delivered with a sigh..)

    ‘Well, everything happens for a reason’.

    its very hard not to get drawn into a long debate about what..( forces himself to stop typing)

  14. #14 by Chris Pugh on February 15, 2010 - 22:15

    People who willingly don’t tell the truth and distort the facts for their own gain. No idea how people like The “Health Ranger” can live with themselves.

  15. #15 by Stu on February 16, 2010 - 11:21

    Well Michael

    I think it’s probably more accurate to say that chap would be glad I’m not you.

    I won’t go into details, but he would regret telling me he was psychic!!

  16. #16 by Dave C on February 16, 2010 - 14:54

    What gets my goat are the so-called investigative reporters, who incredulously report every bit of woo-woo as true without doing any research whatsoever. This does nothing more than help spread misinformation and eventually costs lives.

  17. #17 by Michael on February 18, 2010 - 19:39

    Stu. You are probably right. I have to work with him although I have told him that he is delusional. (I refrained from calling him a liar, as I actually think he believes he is a real psychic. After all he has a web page. Just Google “Ian Tumilty” and see the shite he promotes! I fuckin’ hate psychics too.

  18. #18 by Chimbley Sweep on February 18, 2010 - 21:57

    Chiropractic. People actually use this shit. It’s covered by insurance. (I’m in the US). And worst of all, I actually have two friends who I later found out are chiropractors, so I actually have to be nice to chiropractors on a regular basis. Its so unfair of them to put me in that position. 😉

  19. #19 by Barra on February 23, 2010 - 02:01

    David icke, derek acora( and his invisible mate ), 9/11 conspiricy theorists, religious fundamentalists, any hippie type medicines, psychic tv channels, misguided political correctness, queue jumpers, the kwik fit advert with the kid bouncing the ball off the water cooler, sort the annoying little bastard out yourself woman!!! Waste of taxes and the pot holes in my road that still aren’t filled! Think that’s it.

  20. #20 by Vermonter on February 24, 2010 - 18:34

    Otherwise intelligent people, who after hearing a thorough, well reasoned debunking of the woo they have fallen for, say about the skeptic “well, they just don’t have an open mind.”

(will not be published)