Question of The Week: What Woo Would Make Someone Undateable?


In the second to last episode of Skeptics With a K we asked you, our loyal listeners, to suggest some Questions of The Week for us. You might think that we were just being lazy, and you would probably be right, but it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of interactivity with all of you unseen listeners out there. It makes us feel loved and needed.

The best suggestion we received was from regular listener Stoko, so without further ado here is this week’s Question of The Week, courtesy of Stoko:

What Woo Would Make Someone Undateable?

What level of woo would it take for you to refuse to date someone? Does it bother you at all? Maybe it’s just particular areas of woo: belief in psychics might not bother some people, while belief in god might send them running the other way. Maybe your partner pops homeopathy pills on a regular basis and it’s just an adorable quirk. At what point on the scale of woo would someone become undateable to you?

Whatever your answer, let us know.

Don’t forget, our call for your suggestions for future Questions of The Week is still open. Feel free to leave your suggestions here, or send them to podcast@merseysideskeptics.org.uk. If it’s a good suggestion, we’ll use it.

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  1. #1 by w_nightshade on June 4, 2010 - 13:23

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I came to skepticism well after marriage, so I have no practical experience with this question.

    My cutoff would not be woo-specific; I am too aware of how easy it is to believe goofy stuff against your own best interests. However I could not be in a relationship with someone actively anti-science. If we had the common ground of understanding and trust in the scientific method & process, I think I could work through or accept most woo. But if your position is that science is a big conspiracy/waste of time/dogmatic religion/etc., we have nothing to discuss.

    Wait, I forgot about homeopathy. I can’t respect a homeopath.

  2. #2 by Kimbo Jones on June 4, 2010 - 14:55

    My husband is exactly like me so I guess maybe I do have an unrealistic threshold. 🙂

    Seriously though, I did find it hard in the past to date people who were religious (i.e., not the “I believe in God” types, but those who actively had an issue with my atheism and occasionally tried to convince me, terribly, of God’s existence – a sunset? is that the best you can do?).

    But if I were to evaluate this question now as if I were single, I think the threshold would be general children-related issues. There is no way I’m going to the effort of squeezing out a child just so my spouse can try to kill them by refusing to vaccinate or feeding them unpasteurized milk.

  3. #3 by Helen on June 4, 2010 - 16:37

    As I am currently single, perhaps I should say that I’m not too fussy, and as long as the person didn’t have Health Ranger-esque levels of delusion, I’d be able to cope…

    Perhaps I should, but I won’t! I could not date an actively religious person. I’ve had friends in the past who have tried to “share Jesus with me” and lets just say those friendships didn’t hold up to the test of time!

    I am also particularly against the various anti-technology forms of woo. The biggest one is the electromagnetic hypersensitivity rubbish, mainly because it shows such a staggering misunderstanding of the very nature of the world!

  4. #4 by Helen on June 5, 2010 - 13:41

    This really got me thinking. I’m not too fussy when it comes to belief on the proviso that the guy is able to think rationally about it (meaning they’re also capable of debating it). The biggest barrier for me is when someone uses the old ‘I think this is true because I feel it’s true’. Don’t give me that crap – give me logical arguments.

    Unfortunately most of the people with woo theories believe them because they want to. That’s just unattractive. Have the balls to question your beliefs and open them to the scrutiny of others.

    Could I get any more generic? o.O

    What I could live with:
    – Moderate to light belief in God/Gods/Goddess
    – Moderate atheism
    – Belief in free will

    What I couldn’t live with:
    – Belief in mythical creatures (vampires, fairies, unicorns, angels)
    – Holocaust denial
    – Complete hard determinist

  5. #5 by Michael Gray on June 6, 2010 - 02:27

    I could not date someone who is a ghost.
    Especially if they died from willful refusal to being vaccinated against sacred holistic homeopathic vortex feng shui perpetual motion crystal chakra detox spirit vibration quantum-pyramid energy subluxations.

  6. #6 by Stu on June 7, 2010 - 09:13

    I work in advertising (sorry!). A girl I’ve fancied for years but hadn’t seen for a while came up to me in the street and started chatting recently.

    After the small talk she asked me to do the marketing for a new shop she and a friend were opening.

    “Of course I will! What is it?” I asked. “It’s an alternative therapy salon, my friend’s a crystal healer and I’m doing reiki.” Says she. Shit!!

  7. #7 by Stu on June 7, 2010 - 09:13

    DO NOT get me started on psychics!!

  8. #8 by Stu on June 7, 2010 - 09:20

    ‘Started chatting recently?’ Terrible grammar!

  9. #9 by Emma on June 16, 2010 - 18:42

    Crystal Skulls
    Homeopathy
    Child Witches

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