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This is a Debate Page, and it has gone pretty badly down the muddy slope.
This debate now resembles something halfway between a mud pit and a hell hole.

See also Debate: Therian (Scientific Promise)

The Beginning[edit]

So my student newspaper (in an aside, undergrads are so cute, the way they think they're the first people in the world to figure things out...) had a piece today on Furries and the need to respect them for their practices and beliefs, and then went on to talk about another bunch of self-marginalising, self-absorbed weirdos vibrant alternative community who call themselves "Otherkin." It seems, from the few sentences I read, that these people believe that they are, at heart, aliens/star people/elves/unicorns/what-have-you who are currently embodied in human bodies....does anyone know much about these folks? You should write an article if you do....TheoryOfPractice 20:46, 21 January 2009 (EST)

I do. I am otherkin. To be specific wolf-cheetah. Or cheetah-wolf (the cheetah side's dominent). And we aren't self-marginalising. Or weirdos. Our thought proccesses merely mimic that of another species. Or two. I believe that it is because of my brain, as I also have autism. Possibly the two are connected, there is some speculation within the group about that. Some invoke the supernatural. Some are Christains. Some are Jews. Some are Muslims. Some (most, actually) fit most closely with other, or pagan. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 20:53, 21 January 2009 (EST)
HAHAHA. Why am I not surprised that YOU, of all people in my life, is the one person who would actually go around thinking he is a wolf-cheetah. What the hell do we know about the thought processes of either of those two species, never mind the amalgamation of the two....good God, this is hilarious...TheoryOfPractice 20:55, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Shades of $cientologists! Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 20:58, 21 January 2009 (EST)
I don't buy the pseudoscience/theology that animates therianism or any of that either, but I'm not a fan of making fun of people for it either.-Diadochus 21:01, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Have you read what we say about the Christians? You should have been here when Susan was around...TheoryOfPractice 21:04, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(EC)Go bite yourself. And by thought processes, I mean behavior, i.e. instincts, i.e. we feel the need to do some of the same things they do- hunting, howling, running, swimming, etc. And it can be very obvious. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:00, 21 January 2009 (EST)

That just sounds like you're an outdoorsman.-Diadochus 21:01, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Or have rabies...which I suppose is a distinct possibility...TheoryOfPractice 21:03, 21 January 2009 (EST)

Shut up!

I'd like to hear more though...?-Diadochus 21:02, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(EC)If you do. . . than here's your chance. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:04, 21 January 2009 (EST)

The only time I've ever heard anyone talk about "otherkin" was when they were mentioned on a gaming podcast I listen to, mentioned because some of the otherkin actually felt related to some of the fictional video game characters, though animals and more traditional myths are apparently much more common. I guess "otherkin" would cover those who consider themselves vampires, too. Wikipedia gently describes the thought process: "Otherkin often believe themselves to be mythological or legendary creatures, explaining their beliefs through reincarnation, having a nonhuman soul, ancestry, or symbolic metaphor." --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 21:05, 21 January 2009 (EST)
As with all furry-esque concepts, follow any links at your own risk. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 21:06, 21 January 2009 (EST)
CUR, I'd rather not involve myself in the community there - Arcan gets it - and I'd rather hear more about your own perception of it.-Diadochus 21:07, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Just to remind folks, humans are mammals, so it should not be surprising if we have instincts toward "hunting, howling, running, swimming, etc.". Just sayin'.-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Grüß Goat! 21:10, 21 January 2009 (EST)

How is howling human? --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:15, 21 January 2009 (EST)

This is human howling: ROTFLMAO. Actually, when I hear the neighbor's dog barking, I often step outside and howl back at him. Just can't help myself. Hey, did anyone else see how friggin' bright Venus was this evening? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:21, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Pal takes the obvious alternative argument. As always, Pal, good show.-Diadochus 21:12, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(2nd EC) My perception? Gosh, I'm flattered. But really, I can't speak for the community. If you want, I can possibly convince a few to come over here- but one of me is probably enough. So- therianthrophy (the condition of being a therian), as far as I am concerned, has to do with irregular synapse links. As such, our brains are screwed up. This fits, because I suffer from autism. Now, your therianotype, has do to with your subconscious. If you feel the urge to howl at the moon and be part of a pack, you're a wolf (and the most common type). If you feel the urge to swim in a river, darting through driftwood, playing, sliding down riverbanks, and catching fish, you're an otter (very rare). Our therianotypes tend to be visible to outsiders too- we snarl when startled, or (in my case) do that thing with our arms that cats do to clean their ears (I don't have a word for it). --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:15, 21 January 2009 (EST)

That would explain your morbid facination with MOAR KITTY — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

"[O]ne of me is probably enough", that is the most accurate thing you have ever said. - User 21:32, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Are there any articles or controlled studies on this condition in peer-reviewed journals dealing with mental health issues? TheoryOfPractice 21:19, 21 January 2009 (EST)
I concur with Pal that these behaviors are more likely primal human than modern animal. Recall that what is or isn't human behavior is a societal construct. I'd say you're living out your human life differently, but not animalian.Diadochus 21:19, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Ahem. I inflect NO judgment in that sentence. How you choose to live your life is your biz, I'm just trying to logically square it.-Diadochus 21:20, 21 January 2009 (EST)

Humans don't howl, Diadochus. Humans don't have the urge to run on all fours and hunt with wolves. Humans don't snarl when suprised or injured. We aren't 'primal' humans. It's modern animal (though I do know of a therian who's 'type is a prehistoric cat) --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:23, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(EC)Look. I figured out what I was about a month ago. I have no idea if there was one, but I'm willing to bet there isn't. Therianthrophy is relatively unknown. Thank goodness. I don't need people accussing me of having a dark connection to werewolves. I have no wish to be run out of town by angry farmers with pitchforks. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:23, 21 January 2009 (EST)

Or run out of a wiki by angry sysops with banhammers....TheoryOfPractice 21:25, 21 January 2009 (EST)

TOP has a point(or a blunt banhammer)

So what? I'm a therian, and I can't be sysop anymore? That is the dumbest reason to promote me ever. You could surely come up with better ones. However, let's stay on topic. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistor

is Rodney McKay 21:27, 21

Actually, bozo, I was referring to your therian misadventures on CP earlier on today...but now that you mention it...TheoryOfPractice 21:30, 21 January 2009 (EST)

I didn't tell them I was a therian. They didn't know. For God's Darwin's sake, I said it was pagan and evil! Surely no more is required to fool them! --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:32, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(massive ec) I had a student, about 12 yo, who was very autistic, and he identified with a pterodactyl. In his case, he cawed like a bird, flapped his "wings", and "perched" on his chair when he was overwhelmed. Now, it's fairly obvious that he had no idea how pterodactyls acted, but the concept was appealing to him. He wanted to identify with the pterodactyl because he thought they were both big and strong (which he was neither) and they had wings (a method of escape). In other words, they were what he would like to have been when he was scared. It seems, from the extremely limited contact I've had with other "otherkin", that this is generally how the process works. The identification happens with creatures that the person would like to be or with creatures who are naturally associated with a characteristic they might feel ashamed of, such as a meek person feeling like a mouse, in order to justify that characteristic. Then again, it's not like I've done extensive research, so YMMV. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 21:28, 21 January 2009 (EST)

CUR, your insistance on defending your "alternate lifestyle" shows much about you Liberal Bias What's more, not only do you support equal rights for therians, but you also want to censor classroom prayer and support evolution. After reviewing your contribs, I find a recurring pattern of talk,talk, talk, with little or no substantion contributions, and you are at risk for a 90/10 block. Now go and contribute, as I'm going to do now. Thanks and Godspeed24.13.203.96 21:44, 21 January 2009 (EST)

Arcan--what you describe sounds like a complex mental illness---the article I was talking about the first place, way up at the top of this section, made it sound like a club, a social thing, a gaming thing, a sex thing, masquerading as self-delusion/pretentious nonsense. TheoryOfPractice 21:33, 21 January 2009 (EST)
It is complex. But's it's only an illness in the same sense that autism is an illness- not bad, but unusual. And that's a gem up there. I'm going to copy and paste it. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:34, 21 January 2009 (EST)
My student didn't know of this "otherkin" stuff, it was just something he did, and in his case, it was a complex mental problem. I have no doubt that many otherkinners (?) choose to act this way, I'm just offering an explanation of the reasoning behind it. Of course, there are just as likely those who do it because they know it's weird and, as such, will gain them acceptance to a cliquey niche subculture, like some kind of "weirdo trendy". --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 21:41, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Surely it's just an extreme (?) of the spectrum of normal Human behaviour? Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 21:42, 21 January 2009 (EST)
It definetely is not. Oh, and the one's I know definitely aren't pretenders. Especially since being a therian will likely just make life harder. Believe me, it's no piece of cake. Oh, and we don't choose to act this way. We do. The only times we choose to act that way is at howls- therian gatherings. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:46, 21 January 2009 (EST)
But you do choose to identify the way you act (whether it is voluntary or not) with an animal. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:48, 21 January 2009 (EST)

"howls..." Just when I was thinking of starting to take you seriously. "Howls." TheoryOfPractice 21:50, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(EC)So? It is a logical identification. And it also is the way we feel. We feel like a wolf or a cheetah or a whatever. Oh, and who are you talking to, TOP? Me? --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:51, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Howls must be a real hoot! <drum riff, dodges tomatoes> I'll be here all week, folks. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 22:00, 21 January 2009 (EST)
As for the "we wouldn't choose it, because it makes life harder..." Bullshit. punks, neo-nazis, bookish misanthropes, lots of people choose lifestyles that make their lives harder in some ways...TheoryOfPractice 21:54, 21 January 2009 (EST)
(ec)It certainly is a choice. How do you know you're howling like a wolf and not a dachshund? What parts of you are cheetah? You're deciding what you'd like to emulate, whether or not you've got some real emotional/mental need (like my student). --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 21:56, 21 January 2009 (EST)
As far as it being an illness, is it? Being different doesn't mean that you're ill. Consider that homosexuality used to be in the DSM. (Evidently there is some debate over including some of the stronger sexual fetishes in the upcoming DSM V, but I may be wrong.) I mean, there are millions of Nickelback fans, and I don't know of any modern science capable of explaining that. Either way, I performed a quick medline search and can't find anything. Interestingly, though, here is a case report on a young man who thought he turned his mom into a wolf. CorryWow. We're just blowing through nap time, aren't we? 21:57, 21 January 2009 (EST)
(EC x many) Feeling like an animal is understandable, but it's a bit of a leap to say that's is a logical identification. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:58, 21 January 2009 (EST)
If I gave the sense that I thought it was an illness, I apologize. I'd certainly agree that it's not an illness, but it can arise from some serious mental/emotional problems. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 21:59, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Corry makes an excellent point. Nickelback DOES suck. Get your voices examined and fix that scratchy business, for God's sake...-Diadochus 22:00, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(5th EC AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGGG) (4th EC)You think we want this? I can't speak for others, but I don't. I am torn between three sides of me- the cheetah, the wolf, and the human. Oh, and the Vulcan. Yes. The ears. The EARS! I would give almost anything to just be one of those sides, to be able to stand being in my body. So don't you tell me I want this. I don't. I live with it. I try to make it a good part of my life. But I don't want it. I didn't ask for it. By the way, dachshund's don't howl at the moon in a pine forest. Wolves do. Cats don't feel the urge to chase down gazelle. Cheetahs do.

Weasel, it is logical. I look at my feelings and compare them to the animal that they most closely mimic. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 22:02, 21 January 2009 (EST)

That's exactly why it isn't logical. Those creatures are decided by you on an emotional, subjective & arbitrary basis. Every human being has different aspects of their character, & sometimes struggles or swerves between them. That's human nature. Different people find different ways of explaining or dealing with that, & often feel like they've realised something profound about themselves when they're actually just looking for a simple explanation that seems to account for the way they feel. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:11, 21 January 2009 (EST)
I try to find the most logical explanation. Therefore, it is logical. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 22:15, 21 January 2009 (EST)
That's not the way logic works. You're essentially saying, "I want it to be logical, therefore it is." --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 22:19, 21 January 2009 (EST)
  • reads back* Wait--you also think you're a Vulcan too? As in a made-up character from a cheesy, 1960s television show? TheoryOfPractice 22:21, 21 January 2009 (EST)
If you can think of a more logical being, tell me. Oh, and I'm not saying that since I want it to be, it is. I'm saying that if I try to deduce something logically, the answer is logical. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 22:22, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Vulcans aren't "logical beings," as in they don't, um "be." TheoryOfPractice 22:25, 21 January 2009 (EST)
(ec)Yes, the most logical solution is that you are a human. Just because you think your method is logical doesn't mean your solution is. I'm honestly not quite sure what your "logical" reasoning can be such that you end up at an "otherkin" solution, though I can be certain that there is some flaw in it. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 22:27, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Your logic is starting from an emotional premise ("I don't feel like I'm a normal human being") and jumping to <spock>highly illogical</spock> conclusion without looking at more plausible explanations. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:30, 21 January 2009 (EST)
(EC)Can you clarify what you believe the actual connection you have with these animals is & how you believe you come to have it? On the Otherkin article you said it isn't supposed to be science, but here you seem to be saying that this is a real condition you have relating to animal characteristics. Please elaborate. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:24, 21 January 2009 (EST)

(2nd EC, and how come everyone is so interested? Give me room to breath.)The condition is real. But it is mental, not scientific. There is no scientific theory on therianthrophy, aside from idle speculation. I plan on organizing a study using MRI scans when I am older. Until then, it is not science, but the connection is still real. If you love someone, is that condition of love real? Yes. Is it scientific? No. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 22:28, 21 January 2009 (EST) I was joking about the Vulcan. I meant the logical part of me. Oh, and there is no flaw in my logic. I think like an otherkin. I act like a therian. Therefore, the most logical solution is what? Correct. I am a therian. Live with it. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 22:30, 21 January 2009 (EST)

If you love someone, is that condition of love real? Yes. Is it scientific? No. Go read about Harry Harlow and the wire mothers and see how wrong you are...TheoryOfPractice 22:31, 21 January 2009 (EST)
It's not a matter of us "living with it". Most of us are of the "live and let live (for the most part)" mindset. Saying that "therian" is a logical conclusion is another matter entirely. I can understand the need to identify with something other than yourself, but claiming that you are something other than human is essentially half-way to madness. The fact that you feel and act that way merely means that you feel and act that way. In the matter of being homosexual, feeling and acting gay are the only prerequisites for being gay. It is not sufficient to feel and act like an animal to be an animal. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 22:41, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Freaking ridiculous. Otherkin? please....Ace McWickedRevolt 23:15, 21 January 2009 (EST)
Not entirely cool....-Diadochus 00:13, 22 January 2009 (EST)

Okay, so for the record, CUR, like most people at this site (as you've probably seen) I'm not so sure about this Therian-ism business, mostly because it seems a tad contrived to us, and (obviously) different. But I at least will defend your right to be who you want to be, different or otherwise on this site :).-Diadochus 00:13, 22 January 2009 (EST)

Way to pull a Voltaire on us, Diadochus. ;) --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 00:20, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Unforch with none of his dry whit...-Diadochus 01:05, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Ace McWicked with friend - Otherkin's from way back

…Being otherkin is a Soul condition. Belief in it requires a belief in reincarnation and, often, life on other planets. It's existence and reality, however, does not require your belief. My soul was first incarnated as a Dragon on a very distant planet, a very long time ago. As a soul is eternal - something even Christianity agrees with - I've been incarnated as lots of different things since then. There is usually a fog that prevents an incarnate soul from remembering their past, but in some cases, that fog is thin and/or patchy, letting some memories flow through. In the case of Otherkin, this 'memory' has influenced their development and behavior to the point that many 'normal' human thought patterns and learned behaviors are replaced by thought patterns or behaviors of the previous incarnations. When an otherkin goes though their Awakening, they realize the past lives that are influencing their present existence. Some reach out and find Otherkin communities to discuss their realizations with and/or indulge their more unusual urges with - often to find ways to cope with the instincts and urges (such as remembering being in flight, soaring, diving and then longing to fly without mechanical means) to allow them to live a more normal life. Rarely does a wolfkin move to the forest, strip off all clothes and chase deer and rabbit and eat them raw. An Otherkin usually does not believe themselves to be, physically nor mentally, an animal or a shape shifter. So when I say, "I am a Dragon" it does not mean that I am going to sprout wings and scales and fly away (no matter how cool that would be). It means that my first existence as a Dragon has had a great influence on my present existence. It is a mental illness? No more than being Christian or Conservative or Hippie or Surfer or Biker. It is also no more ridiculous than being a frat-boy or a cheerleader or republican. Graywalker (talk) 19:39, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

The model to test[edit]

Now, now rejection out of hand is not the right way to go about this. If the idea is merely an allegory, with no claim to "fact" than terms like "scientific" or "logical" do not apply and the realm of debate is different. But it seems that it is being put forth that this is something "real" I even see the suggestion that fMRI might be used to test it? Well help me to understand, what is the hypothesis, what is the model? What are the predictions and test that derive from this? tmtoulouse 01:36, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I see two options:-
  1. This is harmless fun, like those people who learn elvish from the Tolkein books, but, as with learning a made up language, it is basically meaningless.
  2. People really think that they are 'otherkin' which is woo, pure and simple and should be filed along with people who have 'psychic' powers or channel messages from aliens.
If it's harmless fun I don't see much reason for it on RW unless someone wants to. If it's woo then we should treat it as such. Silver Sloth 06:21, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I don't think anybody's objecting to the hobby/fantasy/subculture aspect of otherkin. The contentious issue is asserting that these people have a real connection to animals, with no rational explanation to back this up. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:10, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Asserting that people have real connection to animals is woo and should be treated as such. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs and the burden of proof is on the proponent. This is, after all, Rationalwiki. Silver Sloth 08:34, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Good idea about running fMRI on this, it could throw up some interesting results if it wasn't harmless fun. Probably something similar to how people may have gender identity problems. ArmondikoVpathetic 09:01, 22 January 2009 (EST)
We call it species dysphoria. I believe it may well be part of our brain. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:32, 22 January 2009 (EST)

The politics of otherkin-ness[edit]

So here is the article that started this whole thing. It's not really a great bit of writing. The author is trying to balance the argument that otherkin are profoundly unhappy/ill/disturbed with an argument that we should accept them the same way we accept any socially awkward kid, if not embrace them for their uniqueness. Politically, what interests me is the extent to which otherkin-ness, like, say, homosexuality or different ideas about gender, may be used as a position from which to make claims. Most of us thing it's reasonable that gays should be allowed to marry and adopt children; more and more universities are rebranding washrooms/locker rooms for transgendered people. Could this trend be taken up be otherkin, with public facilities mandated to meet their needs (can elves share a changing room with dragons? Do unicorns require troughs in the cafeteria? Should CUR be allowed to howl in the park or chase rabbits on public land?) If people want to dress up as giant bunnies for sex play, or go get their ears pointed and to conventions with all their elvish friends, I don't care; whatever gets you through the night. But if people are going to water down the long struggle for equality and accommodation and acceptance waged by LGBT people and ride shotgun on those struggles because of silliness and woo, that's not cool. TheoryOfPractice 09:17, 22 January 2009 (EST)

Relax. We just want to be left alone. And stop critizing my brain. I can't help what I am. And it's not woo. It's a philosiphy. Be more respectful. Actually read the article that I linked to. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 12:09, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Well, you're not really in a position to speak for an entire community, are you? "I can't help what I am" is the first step toward using a subject position as a place from which to make claims. I'm curious as to whether or not that's a possibility with so-called otherkin...if they see themselves as hard-wired this way, if they see their otherkin-ness as something akin to biological sex, sexuality, skin colour, what-have-you, then there are bound to be political consequences to that...TheoryOfPractice 12:14, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, why are we being so nasty about otherkin when we are tolerant of pagans, Catholics, Muslims, and most other beliefs? Phantom Hoover 12:24, 22 January 2009 (EST)
And so what, frankly? Currently, this subculture is far too small and marginal to ever make any kind of "claims". I don't think that's ever going to change, but if it did, it seems fair enough to consider whatever hypothetical claims they'd come with on an equal footing with any other group that makes up a significant part of society. For the moment, though, I can't for the life of me seem why it's any of my business if a bunch of people want to go around and identify with animals if that's what they want. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:31, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, why are we being so nasty about otherkin when we are tolerant of pagans, Catholics, Muslims, and most other beliefs

Well, we're not tolerant of most other beliefs; antisemitism and anti-muslim discourses abound. try getting elected to public office in the US as a pagan. But the big difference you're missing is that this is, from CUR's POV, is NOT about's what he IS. And if he IS a wolf-cheetah or a unicorn inhabiting a man's body, is he entitled to the same rights and/or claims to rights as say, a trans-gendered person based on those differences? The implications, while limited in scope due to the relatively small size of the community in question, are still important. A hundred years ago, the idea of a trans-gendered washroom or a gay couple adopting and getting married were as insane and unthinkable as the idea of accommodating the particular needs of an otherkin. In a hundred years, will some of us be seen as racists of a sort for not accommodating the needs of people based on their biological make-up? TheoryOfPractice 12:55, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I meant here, which seems fairly tolerant towards beliefs, so long as they are not particularly hateful. How does the otherkin's assertion that they are the souls of something else in a human body differ from Catholics' that the eucharist is literally the flesh of Christ? Phantom Hoover 13:01, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Well, our society has evolved to allow us to accomodate those beliefs--we don't lock people up or medicate them for believing such things; we give them days off of work to participate in the rituals prescribed by those beliefs, etc...but you're not paying attention--this is not about belief, it's about biologically-determined subjectivities, like sex or sexual orientation, skin colour, or deafness, say--CUR does not believe he's a wolf-cheetah, he says the way his brain is wired MAKES HIM a wolf-cheetah. There are implications to that.TheoryOfPractice 13:15, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I agree, but I was attacking the dismissal of all otherkin, not the ones who make silly statements like CUR. If they just claim things about the soul, it is on the same ground as most religions, and should be treated as such. Phantom Hoover 13:20, 22 January 2009 (EST)
Was anyone here saying much towards otherkin in general, other than saying if they think it's a real biological condition, it's woo? It seems like most of the discussion here is more about CUR's statements than the (rather loose) group at large. --Kels 14:25, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I was just going by CUR and a rather lame story in a student newspaper...perhaps you can shed some light onto thso discussion? 14:35, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I don't think we're being intolerant. Just addressing these beliefs from a skeptical perspective as is the nature of the site. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:04, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I feel so sorry for the otherkin; it must be awful to have your representative as CUR. Phantom Hoover 15:24, 22 January 2009 (EST)

People seem to be confusing Furries with Otherkin - Otherkin don't usually dress up and run around in the woods believing they are animals of some sort. It is a soul and behavioral, perhaps thought-pattern thing. We don't require special restrooms nor feeding accommodations. An interesting thing is that otherkin can often 'see' or somehow sense what another 'kin is - that is, what their first incarnation was. It would be interesting to have a scientific test done on the "kin-sense." Graywalker (talk) 19:56, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

See if You feel Sorry After Reading This[edit]

In summation of your various attacks on me, I offer you this Lenski-esque piece of work. You had it coming. Read all of it. If you don’t, I’ll find out, and you’ll look bad. So read it all. There may will be a pop quiz on it later. Goatspeed.


1. Therianthrophy can be rational- one can choose to interpret it rationally.

2. Troughs? Don’t be ridiculous. Therians act human- we just don’t feel fully human. We don’t go around flaunting it. We try to hide it. Why? Not doing so could cost us our jobs, our lives, everything. I’ve heard of other therians getting told they would go to hell (note the lowercase h) for being a therian, or being called a demon-possessed witch. Add a few farmers, one or two pitchforks, a largely defensive weapon of gun, and an angry intolerant fundamentalist pastor and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

3. We aren’t a cult- we are a philosophy. We feel a connection with our ‘type, we feel the urge to act like them, and on occasion do, if we are startled, for example.

4. We can be of any religion- Christian, Muslim, Jewish, athiest, pagan, humanist, Native American religion, shaman, or, for that matter, any religion.

5. Stop treating us as if we are idiots, or sick. We aren’t. And even if we were, this is supposed to be a polite, respectful environment.

6. Do you really think that we want to be therians? Well, we do, but we didn’t decide to be. We didn’t wake up one morning and say, ‘Gosh, I’ll be a _____.’ We just are.

7. I don’t chase rabbits in public parks. I have no wish for anyone to know. I’m a vegetarian. So don’t act like it’s obvious. It’s not. Far from it. On the outside, I appear to be just like any normal geek (if a geek can be considered normal).

8. We have freedom of speech. This includes the right to howl at the moon- if we want to.

9. GROW UP! Please respect rational viewpoints other than your own on this, even if you don’t think they are rational.

10. Even if it isn’t rational, neither are just about every other feeling you can mention.

11. I never claimed it was scientific. I claimed there could be a scientific explanation. Therefore, it cannot be pseudoscience.

12. There are fish therians, earwig therians, and rabbit therians. The reason there are so many wolves is because the human’s closest social resemblance is to the wolf. Oh, and there are deer therians.

13. The only times we don’t act completely human is at howls. Other than then, you’d never know. Unless we told you. Currently, you are about the only people who know, aside from the other therians on the werelist.

14. We aren’t dysfunctional. I have a fairly good chance of being a zoo design expert when I grow up. Not what you’d expect from a screw-up.

15. Even if I can’t properly defend my position, it is because there are way more of you than of me. Let me get somemore therians here, they might be able to help me with this.

16. Otherkin aren’t actually therians, but are simply related. Therians identify with actual animals. Otherkin are vampires, unicorns, or other fantasy creatures. Otherkin may indeed be a cult, but therianthrophy isn’t. We simply acknowledge that we feel like a particular animal. Otherkin believe that they associate with vampires. Or Norse gods. Which sounds more rational? Give us our own article.

17. Under no circumstances whatsoever would we go around in those silly fursuits. So that picture doesn’t belong here. Oh, and we have nothing to do sex. So links can be followed freely.

18. If therianthrophy was a cult, I wouldn’t be a Jewish-athiest-agnostic. I am, therefore it is not a cult. I also know an evangelacial Christian wolf-therian. The Christian group he is part of knows he is, in his words, ‘a werewolf.’ They have no problem with it. If it was a cult, they would have a problem with it.

19. It is a well documented mental phenomenon that people may act wolf-like. It is called something along the lines of lycanthrophy. It isn’t much of a stretch to assume that mild cases could be therianthrophy. It also isn’t much of a stretch to assume that the same thing could apply to other animals, especially since a similar condition exists for people who have the same connection with cats.

20. I’m cheetah-wolf, not wolf-cheetah (the cheetah side’s dominent).

21. I was kidding about being Vulcan. I meant the rational and irrational sides of me. Please remove the Vulcan reference from the otherkin article.

22. Some of you here have been being extremely rude towards me. Next person who calls me insane/crazy/faker/cult member/really illogical/stupid may or may not get banned for 30-seconds. Depends on my mood and exactly what you said. Currently, I’m being more tolerant than you are. This would be for the same reason that if I acted like you are acting towards me towards, say atheists or women, I would get banned or at the very least, mobbed, and rightly so. I am not insane. Got it? RationalWiki is not a platform to insult unconvential beliefs, assuming they aren’t crazy. Therianthrophy is about as insane as autism. Humor’s fine. Calling us idiots or fakers isn’t. Conservapedia’s for that, not RationalWiki. Calling us idiots or fakers is ‘’’’’not’’’’’ rational in the least. On a side note, did you act this way to you act this way towards evealed as a furry? Do you act this way towards pagans? Not from what I’ve seen.

23. Thank you for reading this monster of a post.

24. Oh, and by the way if you type in 'werelist' into google search, and click on the library link, you can find much better explanations than this. Thank you.

25. One last point: RWW’s gonna have a field day if you keep acting this immature. As a matter of fact, it may be too late, unless you act more respectful. Then you might be able to save your reputation.

26. Last last point: We are not self-marginalizing. If we were, I wouldn’t be planning to go to the University of Honolulu. If so, things would be very different. We’d be more promient, for one. The fact is, the whole point of being a therian as opposed to a furry is that it is an actual mental connection, not just a ‘I like this animal.’ thing, and we do our best to hide it from other people. Furries do not in the same respect we do. They don’t have to actively hide behide a smokescreen. We do. You can’t ‘turn off’ therianthrophy, no matter how hard you want to. If we could, we’d do it, believe me. The whole point is that it is a part of our minds that cannot be controlled. We can choose to act on it or not, but we cannot turn it off. Admittingly, if we don’t exercise it in some way, howling or snarling for example, or doing something our theriotype might do, it comes to the front of our minds, and can drive us nuts. Nuts not being crazy, but nuts in the sense that you can’t stand your brother’s singing while he’s in the shower. It emerges in an M-shift, when we take on the mindset of our ‘type. This doesn’t imply anything supernatural. Instead, it implies a split personality. But instead of having a split personality with a different type of human, we have a split personality with a different type of species. Now, normally we can remember what we did when we M-shift. On occasion, I’ve heard of other therians blacking out, usually when subjected to extreme emotional stimuli. As far as I know, these are the only times when we completely lose control of ourselves.

Finally, and in summation of the summation: WE AREN’T CRAZY!!!!! --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 18:25, 22 January 2009 (EST)

Moar Debates[edit]

I don't feel sorry; as I've said, I'm not entirely convinced it's a rational thing and not a religious thing. You of course have full freedom to do what you want to do and be whom you want to be, and if you're happy and functional I'm glad you're happy and functional. All I think we're trying to do is push you to think about it rationally - on that note, vegetarian cheetah/wolf therian doesn't seem to follow - and learn about your beliefs.-Diadochus 18:41, 22 January 2009 (EST)

My diet is not influenced by my therianotype. And I think about it rationally. I am currently theorizing on the possible causes for therianthrophy. Currently, a few include:

1. Irregularities in the brain.

2. Mild lycanthrophy, or the equivalent for a therians therianotype.

3. Something evolutionary.

4. There is the possiblilty that it is completely subjective- unlikely, but possible.

--"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 18:45, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I'd edge towards the subjective explanation - and good there's no fursuits involved. That's... "interesting" business, that.-18:46, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I highly doubt it is subjective. Otherwise, it wouldn't spontaneously surface with no prior knowledge, as it does with some. I've wondered whether it was just in my mind. Finally, I decided that I was born a therian, but gaining knowledge about therianthrophy triggered something inside of me, 'waking me up,' so to speak. That's when my M-shifts started. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 18:49, 22 January 2009 (EST)

1. Irregularities in the brain. You need to talk to some sort of neuropathologist about this. It's probably not a good idea to self-diagnose "brain irregularities."

2. Mild lycanthrophy, or the equivalent for a therians therianotype. Don't be stupid. There's no such a thing.

3. Something evolutionary. You need to talk to an evolutionary biologist about this. The idea that modern humans contain somehow the necessary structures to emulate the thinking/behaviour/instincts of creatures that they did not evolve from would have serious implications for our understanding of evolution.

4.There is the possiblilty that it is completely subjective- unlikely, but possible. My money is on this one. TheoryOfPractice 21:05, 22 January 2009 (EST)

TOP, I'd like to point out that in many ways, therianthrophy resembles autism. As for mild lycanthrophy, I didn't mean shapeshifting- I meant the mental condition, which is a well established fact. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:07, 22 January 2009 (EST)

But the mental condition is defined as one of delusion. See WP:clinical lycanthropy. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:14, 22 January 2009 (EST)
So? We aren't deluded. But it could be related. And by mild, it wouldn't be a delusion, just a feeling of strong connection. So it would mimic lycanthropy. It could be lycanthropy, just extremely minor. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:17, 22 January 2009 (EST)
CUR, you have to bring something to the debate that you didn't 1. get from someone else who participates in this behaviour or 2. pull out of your own ass. You want us to believe that this has serious ties to autism or brain structures or evolutionary biology and isn't just a bunch of kids playing pretend? Fine, we're all pretty open minded. But saying all these things without a shred of evidence is getting you no where. I wrote z bunch of stuff above trying to engage with the implications of what happens if this turns out to be legit--would we need to change the way we think about this "condition" like we've changed/are changing the ways in which we think about gender and sexuality? So I'm obviously open to the possibility--but I need more than made-up vegetarian wollf-cheetah-boys to go on. Bring us proper scientific evidence, or stuff from social theorists that talks about humanism as a construct and otherkin-ness as a challenge to that construct; do something besides say "'cause I say so" over and over again. TheoryOfPractice 21:31, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I told you! I told you! Actually ask another therian! I told you where to find them! I even asked them to come here! Surely you could be bothered to go and ask them! For Darwin's sake! And the fact is that science doesn't know everything. As I said, therianthrophy has not been properly studied, though I would love the opertunnity to study it. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 21:35, 22 January 2009 (EST)

Great--I say "bring me something that isn't just someone who participates in this " and you say "Actually ask another therian." Well argued, there. TheoryOfPractice 21:42, 22 January 2009 (EST)

"I decided that I was born a therian, but gaining knowledge about therianthrophy triggered something inside of me, 'waking me up,' so to speak" I personally think this sums the whole thing up. CUR is clearly socially awkward, the online "therian community" where welcoming to him and so he began to identify with them. This is how most people get into religion or a subculture, they feel socially isolated and so join a group that is welcoming of them. I don't think there are any real therians just people who share and identity so as meet some of their basic social needs. - User 21:51, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I think you've got it exactly right, but keep in mind that otherkinity doesn't just provide a refuge for the socially awkward, it also provides an explanation. Awkwardness is both celebrated and rationalized away. "Of course you don't fit in. They're just humans, and you're part animal or have an animal soul, etc." It turns the awkwardness into a point of pride. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 22:21, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I hadn't thought of the rationalising of the social awkwardness bit. That would aid in the memeplex replication even after the original proponent of the idea had left the group. - User 22:27, 22 January 2009 (EST)

Being nice[edit]

I think the above explanation of Therianism is probably the most rational one could come to - love bombing, rationalizing awkwardness, etc. - but I think it's important for CUR to understand that, at least for me, I sneak no judgment into that except a recommendation that you evaluate this group from arm's length. Also, although people are calling you "awkward," note that (I'll speak for myself at least) everyone here has been socially awkward, at one point or another, or on a continuing basis. This is the nature of the human condition, maturity, and all those good things.-Diadochus 22:32, 22 January 2009 (EST)

I agree. I can't speak for everyone, but I certainly didn't mean "awkward" as an insult and I apologize if it was taken as such. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 22:43, 22 January 2009 (EST)
I don't think it was either I'm just preempting, from an excess of caution :).-Diadochus 22:44, 22 January 2009 (EST)

It has come to my attention that other therians should be called here? For testimony of our beliefs? For what? For whom? I don't think any of are coming here for approval or to prove ourselves. I was asked here to give logical evidence. Well, there isn't any. There is no evidence that there is a God, and I'm a Christian, I just know he's there I believe he's there. I also believe that I have a soul and a spirit. I believe that my spirit is all wolf. I believe and that is enough fact for me. It is a debate and always will be one that no one person can make another belief. A fight as old as religion and science, it is religion and science! Be mean about it, be mealy-mouthed, you will get no where with me and if any other therians know any better you won't get anywhere with them either. There is no explaining this to the close-minded and that's just what half of the people "WE CRAZY" are being.- ForeverChagrin

Nobody is having a go at you, so don't automatically take a victim stance. Most of us never heard about this until the other day and we are naturally sceptical people. I find non material explanations for things a little hard to swallow so all this animal soul stuff sound like woo to me, especially when the explanations that don't rely on mystical wolf spirits are a lot simpler. - User 00:10, 23 January 2009 (EST)

I came here to say my piece and be done with it. That was all I was asked and that is all I will say. I've been debating with people offline, oh yes, real live people, my whole life with who and what I am and it never gets solved unless you have an open mind and can just calmly say to yourself, "So that's what that person" But for those who can't I feel sorry for you. You will never know serenity with being okay with people for who they are when they aren't hurting anyone. That is all I have to say.— Unsigned, by: Foreverchagrin / talk / contribs

(ec)You've reacted with hostility without cause and furthered no understanding of your position. This may be why you are unsuccessful in your off-line debates. Just claiming that someone needs to "open [their] mind" is rhetoric we've seen all too often over here. It's too bad, because personally, I would have enjoyed learning more about the intricacies of and rationale behind your beliefs, but you don't seem interested in providing them. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 00:35, 23 January 2009 (EST)
I'm fine with it, I'm just trying to understand it, and as Pi said, very skeptical of the biological basis theory. If it's just a hobby, I get it.-Diadochus 00:28, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Hobby? Are you trying to imply that a belief is a hobby?— Unsigned, by: Foreverchagrin / talk / contribs

I'm saying I don't understand it as a belief, how it works, what you feel, etc. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. Also, for wikidecorum, don't use the line breaks, use Indent characters (colons) and sign with ~~~~-Diadochus 00:33, 23 January 2009 (EST)
Well you won't have to worry about me posting here anymore because I'm not here to get into this. I was asked to say my piece, no more.— Unsigned, by: Foreverchagrin / talk / contribs
I'm disappointed with your reluctance to discuss your beliefs. Again, we meant no judgment.-Diadochus 01:13, 23 January 2009 (EST)

"14. We aren’t dysfunctional. I have a fairly good chance of being a zoo design expert when I grow up. Not what you’d expect from a screw-up. "

Just pointing this out for emphasis/posterity. It's been seven years. How much you wanna bet the kid grew out of it? All this shit is is kids playing pretend on the Internet. It's annoying that they're acting as if they're oppressed. It would be disgusting, but they're just a bunch of stupid kids who want to feel special in some way. My guess is it's a bunch of middle class white kids in the burbs who, awash in lgbt/poc assimilation propaganda, feel ostracized or dull for not being as fabulous and unique and romantically oppressed as we're presented as being on TV. I mean, we are fucking fabulous and unique, but come on.

It's a very strange extension of colonialism and oppresser/oppressed dynamics. I don't know what to make of the children of the shit classes learning our stories or treating us as human. It must feel like not having any ground beneath their feet. It's not wonder they retreat to a fantasy world where they can deny their involvement in humanity and the accompanying colonial/apartheid dynamics. As someone who's lived through some serious shit, I understand what dissociating feels like. It's not fun. Reinforcing their imaginary world and nurturing imaginary friends and shit might be the way to go. Making fun of them and slamming them face-first into the harsh reality of the world, on the other hand, might be the way to go. I don't know. I don't care either.

It's just a bunch of stupid white kids in the burbs being stupid and trying to feel special. They have it so easy that simply learning that others don't broke their little brains. Whatever. Kids will be kids. (talk) 17:39, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

So your argument comes down to an extreme case of first world problems? That people felt like they weren't special enough and so made themselves feel special by lying to themselves? That people wanted to make themselves "outcasts" for the purpose of having the moral high ground over being associated with the "oppressors"? ...Certainly it's hard to prove that right or wrong. And for some it might be the truth. But I find it hard to believe that you "don't care" the way you go on about it (not to mention the fact that you went out of your way to rant about it here). And more bluntly, I don't think that making fun of them and trying to force them into "reality" is the way to go either. Especially because plenty of them accept the real world as reality, if reluctantly, and simply have a sense of identity that conflicts with their physical body. Is this just simple "delusion"? Possibly. But as long as they don't believe anything physically impossible it's quite simply not going to hurt anybody, even if there's no basis for it.
Your ad homenim attack on the "kid" that posted that list doesn't necessarily hold water either. Maybe he did "grow out of it" in these seven years. Maybe he just left the argument because it was going nowhere, and might still feel the same way about his identity. Who knows? In any case the argument that it's "just a phase" for people to "grow out of" is as bothersome here as it is anywhere else, like with bisexuality or asexuality. The main point can be expressed in two cases; if that claim is true, and if it's false. If it IS just a phase, they'd grow out of it on their own, without being prompted to by the rest of society or forced to adjust all of a sudden. They'd just change their mind naturally and move on. Trying to force them out of it early may actually reinforce their position, for exactly the reason you suggested they "became" like that: whether they wanted it to happen or not they are now facing genuine (if usually relatively mild) persecution. This might even go as far as to reinforce it into a key part of their identity, even if it began as "just a phase", which would be a somewhat bitter irony to you. If it isn't just a phase, then suggesting it is would obviously be insulting. And just because their beliefs are "irrational", or otherwise don't conform with our perspective on reality, that doesn't mean they aren't capable of being productive, well-adjusted citizens. Especially considering their beliefs generally pertain to an almost exclusively immaterial nature; they believe something about themselves unrelated to their body, and in more irrational cases may have a religious or spiritual justification for it. ...But as long as that's all they believe, they should be fine to keep it. It's not like they're arguing that OUR perceptions of reality are wrong, like what you get with flat-earthers or YECs.
In conclusion, you claim they're just kids trying to feel special, that they shouldn't be taken seriously. But you offer no reasons why any of the things they do actually harm anybody, even themselves. If it's just harmless fun, let them have it while they can. There's no reason to be uncivil about it, even when "they" aren't the ones you're talking to. If you don't like that it happens, nobody's saying you have to. But if that's the case you can simply ignore it. Tired advice, perhaps, and not always 100% effective, but it's all I can say. AnonymousPoster (talk) 06:24, 21 February 2016 (UTC)


Comment moved from talk:therian

I'm Anuolf, I'm a moderator at a therian forum. I understand your skepticism, and I encourage it. Should any of you have questions after my comment, please feel free to bring them to my attention. I've been in the therian community for 8-9 years, while I'm not the most experienced, nor the most knowledgeable I will do my best to give you as accurate information on therianthropy as I can. I only ask that you will be patient and read it carefully. So here we go.

Therianthropy, consists of two Greek words. Therios meaning beast or animal; Anthropos meaning man. But really, therianthropy is just a label, just a name to bring people of like-minds together. On a basic level it's a term to describe someone who has a deeper connection to a certain animal than just being a favorite or most awesome. In fact, therians don't choose their theriosides, like those of the furry community commonly do [some changing it frequently]. Ask 10 therians what therianthropy means, and you'll most likely get multiple answers from each. You have people who claim it's something spiritual [such as a connection with an animal spirit within], others claim it's a mental abnormality, and others [like myself] have species dysphoria [it can be compared to gender dysphoria or transgender]. There are many other reasons, but I feel it best not to get into too much at the moment.

While it may be CUR's explanation, a situation of multiple personalities is not likely to be common amongst others in the community. Does that make it any less of a valid theory? No. I don't agree with CUR's way of explaining therianthropy to you all, because a few over-generalizations have taken place. Anyway, a person who takes up the label of therianthrope is someone who has a strong spiritual or mental relationship, or a physical connection to a certain animal. Sometimes specifics cannot be found or understood, so many simply feel canine, or feline, or like some sort of big cat, etc. Could it be a simple thing as the human brain being miswired during development? Possibly. Could it be the human brain "reverting" to a degree to a primal stage? Possibly. There is no answer other than "possibly" to any of those questions. There have not been any scientific studies done on the therianthrope community to have any other answer. It's because of this lack of scientific study that people often disregard our beliefs/thoughts/feelings as something from fantasy or fairy tales or just wishful thinking. It hasn't be the first time, nor will it be the last. I encourage any questions, comments, concerns, etc that any of you may have. — Unsigned, by: Anuolf / talk / contribs

Hi Anouf. I can see problems in terms of trying to study therianthropy scientifically, in that the hypothesis is so vague (i.e. therians themselves disagree on what sort of connection they have with animals) and the nature of the evidence is so subjective (i.e. feeling like in some way you're an animal). Ultimately, since it rests on internal convictions and emotions, it's neither verifiable nor falsifiable. Physically therians remain human, something that is testable. If they claim to be animals spiritually or emotionally, there is no way of testing, proving or disproving that. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:51, 22 January 2009 (EST)
No doubt that therians remain human, 100% physically. We can never stress that enough. We are not superhuman, nor do we look at ourselves like we're more special than your average Joe. The only thing that's different is that our thought processes have both human elements and animalistic elements. Or at least what we perceive as animal-like. There has been talk about how therianthropy could be a genetic trait, but it's doubtful as not all signs point to that conclusion. My personal belief is that it's like homosexuality in a way. A general miswiring of the brain. I don't see therianthropy as a mental disorder, since that implies that there is a loss of functionality in our lives. Which isn't the case with most therians. We can function and blend in with the average Joe's no problem. Of course it's a bummer, and takes some getting used to, but we're still humans, whether we like it or not, and we must act the part when we are not with like-minded people or by ourselves. I don't see therianthropy as split personalities, because my therioside is me, not some separate entity, external or internal. I'm just here to make sure that you all understand what therianthropy is and what it's about. As I said, I've been involved in the community for some time, but I'm not the most experienced nor knowledgeable on these matters. But at least I can share those experiences, and what knowledge I do have with those who don't understand therians/otherkin. If anyone would like to talk about these things off of this site, feel free to ask for my AIM/YIM/etc. And I apologize for my lack of understanding Wiki's editing system.(Anuolf 10:15, 24 January 2009 (EST))


One thing that disturbs me about all these "beliefs" (not only "therianism" but including religion and extreme politics) is their apparent encouragement of susceptible people. I find the "welcoming" of young, autistic, intelligentand possibly vulnerable people (such as CUR) rather revolting really. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 09:42, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Susceptible? I am not susceptible to things. I use logic. By the way, no one under 13 is allowed there. And stop patronizing me. If I am so vulnerable, why am I so cautious? The fact is, I'm not austitic in the dysfunctional sense of the word. I'm austistic in that I'm smarter. And thanks for calling me intelligent. It's the nicest thing anyone's ever said here. By the way, they don't recruit. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 15:35, 23 January 2009 (EST)
Well, if you're actually autistic, you would presumably have some difficulties with making friends, making you susceptible to groups being "friendly" to you. Phantom Hoover 15:39, 23 January 2009 (EST)
It's called being polite. Just because they're polite and you're not doesn't make them stalkers. It makes them more mature than you. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 15:49, 23 January 2009 (EST)
How are we impolite? You are unpopular here because you have edit warred with with most prominent members. This debate was really the last straw, where you said you had a rather silly and irrational belief that your brain somehow is similar to that of a cheetah/wolf. Phantom Hoover 15:58, 23 January 2009 (EST)
I can assure you that we do not give special encouragement to people of autism or other "susceptible" people. We give everyone the same encouragement and welcomes as the next person... Unless they have some questionable ideals, or beliefs about theriantrhopy, or that they become a 7 ft tall were-turkey at night, etc. Otherwise, unless the people tell us that they are autistic [or are obviously so] we don't really notice, nor give special treatment. In fact, there have been issues that certain people have caused problems with disregarding the rules, and mouthing off the staff of the forum I moderate on. They get the same treatment as everyone else, autistic or not. There may be quite a few autistic people in the therianthrope community, but that does not mean the majority or the others are autistic. We encourage people to make friends offline, and to live their lives as a functional, mature, and professional adult. And we do not condone any animalistic behavior that could endanger a person's life, their own or otherwise. We cannot stress it enough that people of the therian community need to be mature adults and function in human society. They need to be able to realize fact and fiction. Reality from fantasy. We do not condone the beliefs in fantasy-fiction and will tell people believing they can physically transform into a big bad wolf on the full moon to seek success elsewhere. There is no real harm to people joining the therian community, as therians or those interested in therianthropy.(Anuolf 10:30, 24 January 2009 (EST))

Yet another piece of work[edit]

My second Lenski-esque piece of work:

1. TheoryOfPractice, you raise a valid point. I admit that I cannot find a person other than another therian who would be able to verify it’s rationality. However, I would like to point out that we shouldn’t try to rationalize everything. Should, for example, we try to rationalize the willingness of someone to forgive someone for murder? Or the willingness of someone to die for a stranger? These are things that are not insane or crazy, but are not rational. Obviously, irrational does not mean the same thing as crazy.

2. Therianthrophy can indeed be a religion, and many therians choose to interpret it as such. However, there are therians who do not choose a religious explanation, but choose to look at it scientifically. We do not have a good theory yet. That does not mean that we are wrong. You have no explanation for how the pre-Big Bang universe came into existance, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

3. If therianthrophy was all in our heads, and spread by the internet, than why does it surface in totally unrelated people, who don’t even know the word? And frankly, therianthrophy would have to be ‘all in our heads,’ as it is phsycological in nature. In addition, the idea that it is totally subjective holds very little water, as it does not explain our symptoms. The idea of it being subjective has as much evidence as saying that our reality is subjective, at which point you get into doubting things beyond reason.

4. You are giving the ‘what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence’ argument. However, we have evidence: our personal experiences. You cite ‘I don’t agree with it’ as your evidence. Guess who’s evidence is more powerful? That’s right. Ours.

5. Our claim is not extraordinary. We simply argue that we feel in a way that an animal feels. We aren’t claiming to be psychic. We are claiming to have a higher degree of empathy. Our empathy is to the point at which we identify with the animal. We have a split-personality. Whether we suffer from split-personality disorder, I don’t know. But we suffer from the same symptons- only our other personalities are other species.

6. Yet again: Therianthrophy isn’t a religion. It is a philosophy.

7. The reason that therianthrophy is most prominent on the internet is because we are scattered, and the internet is the easiest way to communicate. If this was earlier, we’d be doing phone calls and gathering together every few days.

8. Non-online therian groups do exist- they’re called packs, and can be anywhere from loose friendhsips to living in the same house as ten other wolf therians, and being part of each other’s daily lives.

9. You seem awful determined to prove that therians can’t be rational- but we can. This post is rational. And let’s face it. No human is completely rational, and maybe that’s a good thing. If everyone was completely rational, it would rob life of all its meaning, all its variety. Humans would all be the same. Since I am capable of feeling something without feeling the need to rationalize it, it would appear that I currently have more of a life than you. It would be irrational to be completely rational. No one would make sacrifices for strangers. There would be little to no alturism. Rationality is important, but in a good human, it must be fused with that tiny bit of emotion, or irrationality, that makes us what we are. We may be RationalWiki, but we still are human, and we have emotions. I know of another user who is against aerial hunting- but he or she has no rational reason to oppose it. It doesn’t harm him or her. He or she is against it on moral grounds- and morality, while far from incompatable with rationality, can not be replaced with rationality.

10. All through history people have shown similar concepts. Native Americans had totem animals, and claimed a spiritual connection to them. Lengends of werewolves and were-animals exist all over the planet, in places where people have had no contact. If there are no actual were-creatures, perhaps they are produced by the human mind, our subconscious. If therianthrophy was just New Age woo, then why does it have such a long history? Frankly, I think that therianthrophy is just beginning to show its true potential. Who knows what secrets to the subconscious and our minds therians could hide? If it is something mental, which is the most probable explanation, perhaps a study of our behavior could shed new light on the mystery of the human mind. You claim it is completely subjective. You have no evidence for this. If you actually met a therian, I doubt you’d think they were just imagining it. Therianthrophy is most likely partially subjective, in that certain environments can nuture it, or make it shrivel. However, from what I’ve heard, losing your therianthrophy is like going through an identity crisis. How, if it was completely subjective, would losing it drive you crazy?

11. I’m sorry if this isn’t true, but you’re giving me the feeling that you simply don’t like the idea, and are hidng behind science to critize it. You respect my views, I’ll respect yours. By Darwin’s brown hat, would you leave me alone?! Don’t tell me what or what not to believe when it comes to my mind. I, and only I, know what goes on in there. People can help me interpret it, but only I know what goes on. Only I decide what and who I am. I understand any urge you have to learn more about this. Believe me, I was a bit skeptical when I first encountered the idea. But I read up on it, and I learned about. And I realized that my personal experiences fit the definition. If you want to learn more, perhaps you should actually ask another therian, not just me. As I said, I’m new to the concept. Here’s the thing though: I encounterd both RationalWiki and therianthrophy shortly after having a serious incident upsetting my life. The idea of RationalWiki, and, a few weeks later, therianthrophy, brought new meaning into my life. I actually understood who and what I was. I am not saying I became anything like a Born Again Christian. Far from it. I realized that other people like me existed. No new ideas were brought to me. For me, I think the stress of my life brought my therianthrophy out into the open. Especially since shortly after the event, I started M-shifting like crazy, a symptom often reported by other therians when they discover their therianotypes. Now, I admit I having been doing very well defending this, but, for someone who’s known about this as long as I have, I’ve done a pretty good job of defending it. But I can’t single-handedly defend against ten other users. If you want to bicker about it (something which you constantly critize me for), I suggest that you try agruing about on a site frequented by more than one therian. Now, I know philosophy and tolerance might not be your strongest ability, as evidenced by your flat-out refusal to accept this idea, but you might get some knowledge of alternative ideas by actually visiting a therian site. You are acting like Conservapedia’s in your childish unacceptance of anything that does not fit into your world view. You are not being scientists. You are being zealots. Not defenders of science, defenders of close-mindedness. If you stopped to think about this, you might actually realize that the idea could be fit into science, and is not against science. But you don’t. You only accept your framework of ideas, as evidenced by your continual impoliteness when dealing with legit dissent. Ideas other than your own are shot down almost immediately. That is not science. Science admits that there are things it does not know about. Until I see a scientific study showing that therianthrophy is completely false, has nothing to do with mentality, and is just spread by wannabees, I will accept your position. Unfortunately, you won’t see such a paper, as:

1. No one is interested in studying us.

2. Wannabees wouldn’t actually accidentally snarl when surprised. Wannabees would have to try to be a therian. A therian doesn’t have to try. We just are. Were-sides (that what some of us call our therianotypes) don’t go away when convieniant. I’ve heard of other therians, when waking up next to someone they had never slept with before, cuffing and snarling- before they actually fully realized what they were doing. I’ve heard of people snarling when surprised- even when doing so was extremely inconveniant. The below piece of work was not done by me, but summarizes some of my arguments. If they mind, it will be taken off. So read it fast. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 16:09, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Scientific Therianthropy

P.S. I think you can start relying on me if you want someone to write anything Lenski-esque defending something. P.P.S. If so, does this mean you’re going to stop insulting me? P.P.P.S. If not, please try to retain a semblence of tolerance for my beliefs. P.P.P.P.S. By ‘beliefs’ I mean beliefs in the same way science is a belief.

Further discussion[edit]

ConservapediaUndergroundResistor, you seem determined to believe that you are being persecuted.

We are not telling you that you must not believe these things or be involved in this subculture. Really I can only speak for myself on this, although I think others are taking the same attitude as me, which is just to query the basis of these beliefs. The point of this discussion is a healthy debate, something that, based on comments by you in the past, I thought you would welcome. However, if you feel you are being picked on & want to be left alone, maybe let this subject go.

Science isn't a belief: it's a discipline. It establishes the truth of hypotheses based on empirical evidence and a trial & error methodology. It isn't the only way of viewing the world, but it is arguably the most reliable one in terms of establishing universal truths and shared understanding. Beliefs that are based on an internal feeling of personal conviction (e.g. "Jesus is my saviour", "I'm a weasel in a human body", "I was Edgar Allen Poe in a past life") place themselves outside the scientific method in that they can't generally be proven or disproven. I'm personally inclined to be skeptical of those kinds of beliefs, but I respect people's rights to hold them.

However, if those people attempt to prove those beliefs to other people, it is only fair to subject it to the same kind of rigorous criticism and unflinching skepticism that we treat any hypothesis. Hence I think you have set yourself up for some criticism for trying to put forward rational or scientific explanations for therianthropy that don't hold water. We're treating your belief system the same way we treat all beliefs at this site: viewing it from a rationalist & skeptical perspective, as defined in the site guidelines etc.

I respect your right to your belief but, like the others here, I do not share it & none of your arguments have swayed me. as far as I'm concerned, people of all beliefs should be welcome at this site, but if they're going to discuss their beliefs openly & especially try to back them up with logic or science, they can expect to have a bit of a debate on their hands & some friendly intellectual criiticism. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:56, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Actually, the bit on recruiting offended me more than anything. I would like nothing more than to forget about this, but I do not ever back down.

Unscientific, but still Lenski-esque, and quite a beautiful speech if I do say so myself, especially the last bit:


Look guys (and girls), please, leave me alone. If you want to find out about our beliefs, that’s fine. Please be respectful when asking, and please don’t make accusations that you can’t back up extremely well. I know some of you are worried about me. I’m flattered. That’s nice. But I don’t need your help. I am extraordinarily cautious online- even more so offline. No one on the Werelist knows my age, or even my gender identity- which, I would like to point out, is different from my gender. As for where I am, I told them I’m from, and this is a quote: “Planet Earth (I think)[.]” As you can see, this is slightly less than what you’d expect of an easily trusting person. That being said, I do trust this people- but not enough to give out personal information. They know my interests, and I did fill out part of the ‘about me’ bit on my user profile, but the bits I filled out were interests, favorite quotes, favorite books, hobbies, the fact I’m a sysop her (listed under occupation, it fit best there), etc. And yes, the His Dark Materials trilogy was on there. They have enough information to narrow my identity down to about, say, 20,000 people. I have reason to believe that there aren’t many more therians than that. I know for a fact that the Werelist has about twenty people who are on regularly, and who I ‘know,’ but still, like always, I am extraordinarily cautious. I’ve been disappointed in my life many times by people who I thought were friends, and I’m even hesitant to make those odd contact things on the friends list. Will I actually seek out another therian? Maybe. I don’t know. Certainly not in the next few years, as you have to be eighteen to go to a howl. I’m not. And if I do, I’ll also be careful- probably overcareful. I doubt I’d even introduce myself right away, but instead lurk around, watching, to see if I would be safe. If things were safe, I might introduce myself- or not. I might just go. If things weren’t safe- well, let’s just say I can climb and run well, and I’m quite good at darting through narrow areas while running. If I did introduce myself, I’d doubt I’d even use my real name- most of us go by nicknames. Makes things safer. You don’t seem to want to accept therianthropy- but –correct me if I’m wrong-, you haven’t even made up your minds about its definition! You haven’t decided whether it’s a religion, a mental condition, or a philosophy. Well, we really don’t know what we are. We have a saying- ‘Ask 12 therians what therianthropy is, and you will get 13 answers.’ The whole point of being a therian, at least for myself, is that you are trying to understand what you are, why you feel a certain way. I have an identity as a therian. It will always be part of me, even if I find out why I am one. Don’t try to take it away. It is as vital to me as any of your emotions are to you. Trying to tell me that therianthropy doesn’t exist is like telling someone that love doesn’t exist if you have never felt the emotion before. It is sewn into our being, our personalities, our very lives. Removing it would cause irreparable emotional damage. I’ve heard of therians almost going suicidal after trying to repress there therianotypes. I’ve tried repressing my therianotype for a while- just during school hours- and it hurts. It feels as if your heart is clawing at the inside of your body, trying to get out, as if your very self is trapped inside, and your chest will burst if you hold it in much longer. Usually this happens when I’m M-shifting to my wolf type. Why, I don’t know. Once again, we differ on why we feel this way, but almost all of us agree that it is in our brains- we just disagree why- and we respect each other’s beliefs! Some of us are pagan, and view it as related to their religion. Some of us are shamans, and it somehow fits into shaman ideas, don’t ask me how, I’m not a shaman. Some view it as a gift from God (or gods). Some view it as an brain abnormality. I am in the last category. While I certainly do feel as if I am connected with both the cheetah and the wolf more than an ordinary human, and while I believe that I do have a spiritual connection to those animals, I believe that the spiritual connection isn’t ‘spiritual’ in the religious sense. The spiritual connection is rather of being able to understand the animal so well that you feel like one. I have always had an extraordinarily high degree of empathy towards other creatures, non-humans especially, and always preferred the company of non-humans. In my view, my empathy has been raised to the point that my brain periodically thinks like one, at least in part of my brain. I hope to raise my level of empathy for all beings to the maximum, so I can truly understand how any being feels. What this will do to me, I do not know. Nor do I wish to know. It could drive me insane if my brain and willpower isn’t strong enough. It could be the meaning of life that philosophers have always sought- and by this I mean give my life a greater meaning. The fact is, that little slightly irrational part of me is what makes me who I am. While I believe that all things true can be validated by logic, I also believe that- and here is where I am irrational- feelings can be used as evidence in a logical debate, assuming that the debate is about a feeling. I do not need a scientist to tell me how I feel. I need one to tell me why I feel the way I do. I do not need one to confirm something I already know. If you were friends with someone, do you need a scientist to tell you that? No- at least I would certainly hope not. The fact is, I don’t need or want you to tell me what to believe in the realm of my own mind. It’s fine for you to give me evidence for things going on in the world outside my head, but as long as one acknowledges that therianthropy is mental, it cannot be easily disproven or proven. Evidence can be given for it to be disproven or proven, but it is impossible to win the debate. Already, you have offended one of the other people I have asked to help me here (though Weaseloid was polite to Anoulf). They left with an extremely bad impression of you- not that you were logical, but that you were disrespectful and rude. But you have the option of making RationalWiki a friendlier environment, for people of all creeds, nationalities, and ideas. You have the option to become truly different in every respect from Conservapedia, by allowing different viewpoints and respecting them. The fact is, you aren’t going to change my mind, and it would appear that I’m not going to change yours. The only thing we are doing is digging ourselves deeper into a hole, and I accept partial responsibility for that. I helped dig us deeper into this pit. But this is bigger than just RationalWiki- it’s spreading. The conflict has already spread to the Werelist, and I do not know where it will strike next. A Wikipedia discussion page, where a member of the Werelist and a member of RationalWiki get involved in a debate? Conservapedia, when Schlafly notices, and turns to mock us for not being accepting? RationalWikiWiki, where it has already started, with TheoryOfPractice using a page to complain? The Conservapedia Column? FurWiki? Someplace that we don’t even know about yet, but where we will meet at in the future? But this is more than just therians versus rationalists. This is almost every single battle of ideas in history, the idea of spirituality versus science. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to start respecting each other now, and put aside our differences to work for a better world. Only when spirituality and logic are combined can the world become a better place. If only spirituality and emotions were used to decide things, people would decide on a whim, and be careless. If only logic was used to decide things, we would not be willing to help each other in times of need, unless the benefits outweighed the risks. We must be wary of putting to much faith in either emotions or reason, logic or spirituality, science or religion. We msut keep our minds open (and an open mind is the trademark of a good scientist)- and before you compare me to Andy, I would like to point out that by ‘open your mind,’ he really means ‘open your mind, kick out all other thoughts, accept my version of events, close it back up, and throw away the key.’ The two, logic and philosophy, must compliment each other, work with each other, in the right proportions, if we are ever going to make this planet peaceful. We cannot have peace when two sides that do not have to be fighting are fighting, battling it out on sites all over the planet, both real and virtual. In Iraq, we are letting emotion decide what we do- and look where it is getting us. In laboratories all over the planet, animals are being subjugated to cruel tests in order to help science, without a second thought given to the suffering of those involved. We join or die, unite or forever perish. Therians and rationalists, believers and athiests, humans and animals (I know humans are animals, but for the purposes of my speech, the two are separate), Vulcans (that’s a metaphor) and humans (also a metaphor), Muslims and Jews, Christians and pagans, blacks and whites (already partially done- we’re making progress!), Native Americans and Asians, Australians and Americans (psst- Little Phillip meets The Fly!), socially naïve and the socially savvy, techno-wizards and those that cannot even turn on a computer, they must all unite to make this planet a better place for everyone! We cannot afford to let differences separate us any longer! Discussion is fine! This is not! Both sides must respect each other! And before you say ‘Well, Schlafly doesn’t respect Lenski,’ I would like to remind you that he is but one person. By enabling him to maipulate us into being hostile to non-logical ideas, we are letting him win. Conservapedia represents but a fraction of the population of the planet, and they are constantly shrinking. We may be heading in the right direction, but we can accelerate it by working together for the common good! Chasms cannot divide us any longer! Our two sides must end their feud! I am appealing to both your emotions and logic! Listen to them! This is wrong! RationalWiki has the chance to become a ground to spread tolerance of other ideas, other religions, other philosophies, other species! We are all living, sentient beings! We all have a right to be whoever we want to be, to choose our own destiny! This cannot happen if we cannot set aside our differences! We must not let such walls divide us! This can end, right here, right now, but both you and I must make it happen. This will not happen overnight, but by Darwin’s hat and Obama’s tie, it will, can, and must happen, even if it takes a thousand years of constant fighting, even if I must do so alone! --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 10:56, 24 January 2009 (EST)

P.S. I cried when I read this, it was that powerful. At least to me. P.P.S. I think that ‘by Darwin’s hat and Obama’s tie’ will be my new expletive.

CUR, a couple quick points. First, paragraphs. I cannot emphasize this enough, if you want to write a manifesto, use paragraphs. Second, and this is really the more important point, we don't have to tolerate everyone's ideas. We don't tolerate YEC ideas. We don't tolerate right-wing nut ideas. And we don't have to tolerate you're ideas. So long as you aren't pushing those ideas on others, we won't care what you do in your spare time. Start asking for special rights, and we have a problem.Z3ro 11:06, 24 January 2009 (EST)
I'm asking for a sembelence of politeness if you are discussing ideas. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 11:08, 24 January 2009 (EST)
The lack of politeness has much much less to do with your ideas than with how you present them.Z3ro 11:16, 24 January 2009 (EST)
Kindly leave me alone. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 11:17, 24 January 2009 (EST)

My last word...[edit]

Above, CUR writes that I was "complaining" about this debate on RWW. Not quite...the following is a comment I wrote on The Electrocutioner's talk page over there in reply to a similar post that he made, saying that 1. I had no right to complain about the debate and 2. that Toast and I had reacted immaturely to CUR's claim that he is a wolf-cheetah...enjoy the day...

In all fairness, I'm not sure I was complaining, per se--I think more than anything else I was expressing my astonishment at how quickly the thing mushroomed out--from the Saloon page to its own debate to the Therian and Otherkin articles and their associated talk pages plus a few assorted user talk pages--all out of what was, I thought, no big deal, just a comment about some weird fringe group mentioned in a lame student newspaper article. So no, I wasn't complaining--it was more of a WTF moment for me.

As for my initial reaction and subsequent treatment of CUR (I can't speak for Toast, of course...), I may be guilty as charged. Would I have reacted differently had it been Pi or Kels or Human, and not a user I don't particularly care for and find to be a nuisance? Probably. Did anything he went on to say persuade me to think differently about Therians? Maybe--I did try to engage questions about with the similarities between Otherkin and trans-gendered people (an idea that was possibly equally ridiculous mere decades ago....), but that seemed to go over CUR's head; he only wanted to repeat over and over that he was right and others were wrong without presenting anything like evidence, so it's hard for me to move beyond my original attitude. But, hey, it's RW--teasing of those with profoundly irrational beliefs is part of the game. Nothing I said comes close to what we say dozens of times a day about Ed Poor, or Aschlafly, or Conservative or TK--morons, stupid, ignorant, etc, etc, etc...or what Susan, bless her heart, has said about Christians.

So was I immature? Yup. I was immature on a website that revels in its own brand of immaturity, so whatcha gonna do?

TheoryOfPractice 11:16, 24 January 2009 (EST)

First of all, when it comes to spelling, your one to talk. Second of all, I am not repeating that I'm right and your wrong. I'n telling you how I feel. When it comes to how I feel, I am always right, because it is about how I feel. Not whether it is rational- how I feel. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 11:21, 24 January 2009 (EST)
Buzz off. You meant "you're," not "your." And what does "I'n" mean? We all make typos. TheoryOfPractice 11:31, 24 January 2009 (EST)
I'n means I'm in lypo tanguage. --"ConservapediaUndergroundResistoris Rodney McKay 11:32, 24 January 2009 (EST)

CUR, in your last post you've said a few things I agree with & a few I don't. So here's some further thoughts & advice.

I'm all in favour of "trying to understand what you are, why you feel a certain way" - I've been through years of it myself. However, sometimes it can lead to false conclusions, especially the ones that seem to suddenly make sense of everything. (Again, I'm speaking from personal experience). So what you believe now may not necessarily always stay that way; or then again it might. Ultimately, everybody takes their own path in life & finds their own way of making sense of it, and we should respect other people's beliefs even if we don't share them.

However, we should still question & challenge them (others' beliefs & our own) in order to explore & understand them better. The front page of RationalWiki says we "encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue". That's what some of us have been trying to do here in asking you about therianthrophy & what theories are behind it. Unfortunately some people have brought it down to the level of personal attacks, ad hominems & just being dismissive, & it is disappointing that we gave such a bad impression to people who came to site specifically to engage in constructive dialogue about this. So I hope that's something that the site can do better in the future.

I also think you've taken offence at comments that weren't meant offensively, & interpreted our rationalist critique as trying to take therianthrophy away from you, giving you the exaggerated impression of a big conflict that is spreading. You should try to take criticisms of therianthrophy, & even of your own belief in it, less personally, because as long as you feel at war with the world, the more likely you are to alienate people who don't share your views. Anuolf's attitude ("I understand your skepticism, and I encourage it") is a pretty good one to take. Your beliefs about yourself are unusual, so you should definitely expect people to be skeptical and accept that they are.

The RW articles about therians, furry fandom otherkin are an example of this. Because of the nature of this wiki, you must accept you cannot be in control of the content of those articles, & that they will include criticism, skepticism & some satirical humour. Those features are there in pretty much any article we write about belief systems, religions & ideologies. Trying repeatedly to take those things out looks a lot like censorship.

You lost me a bit with the stuff about emotion & spirituality. I totally agree about acknowledging the irrational part of ourselves (although I may not interpret it the same way you do). But when emotion & spirituality get too involved in things like politics is when things get messy.

Anyway, I certainly agree with you about tolerance & bridging the gaps between people of different beliefs, & RW could probably do a better job of that than it has here, but questioning what kind of foundation those beliefs have in reality should always play a part. As I'm sure you know, there are people of various beliefs active here on the site, some of them believing things that others of us might find somewhat irrational. We certainly tolerate them but if they want to discuss their beliefs with the rest of us, they can expect a (typically chaotic) debate on their hands (e.g. see this other example). Again, that's just the nature of the site & the people who are involved in it. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:28, 24 January 2009 (EST)

What I find interesting is the strong negative reactions that some have to the idea of Otherkin ( or Therian - as it appears that should have been the title of this 'debate.' ) What difference does it make to "you" what I believe about myself? Why do some feel so threatened by my understanding of my inner nature? Just something to think about. Graywalker (talk) 20:23, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Because it's transphobic: Putting your fantasy on the same level as people who were born gender dysphoric is amazingly insulting to people who have a higher rate of suicide because they were born in the wrong bodies. It's saying that their real struggle is just as invalid as your fantasy 'struggle', which is so amazingly insulting and delusional that I'm lost for words. — (talk) 23:01, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Wow, is that CUR back again? Acei9 00:01, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
I doubt it, since it's somebody trashing CUR's comparisons between therianism & gender dysphoria. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:10, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, quite right. I wonder what happened to that weird chap? Acei9 00:13, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Im a bit late to help[edit]

well as you can see I'm about 400 days late for this, but I am coming to the aid of a fellow therian,feeling inhuman in this way cannot be described, not proven as CUR has said, it simply IS the best possible description is that, depending on how connected you are to a particular creature, you could see a totally different person in the mirror, someone you have never met, it just isn't "you" as has been said we do not desire this, it is not escapism, escapism is to get away from the harshness of reality, therianthropy adds to it.

also in my particular case, it was not "oh i found something on the internet, it seems cool, I think I will change my worldview to that" but rather "oh I have a strange worldview, am I alone on this? the internet will know" and found, it is true, that you can find ANYTHING on the 'nets, even people who believe the world is flat.

Kideras — Unsigned, by: Kideras / talk / contribs 23:49, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Some times people just do not want to believe what they don't want to believe. some cases it might be kids and their humanity. others their religion, or anti-religion. some things are far from understood. people just have to move on from their pasts if there is such a thing as reincarnation i do not believe it it is very bad math. being a NON OTHERKIN and A Vampire. (some may try to jump in to that but this is not spiritual some of these things are BS and those are the Pokemon , they have to be many things they cant just be one. and the fictionkin and angels and demons. you ignore the rule books of religions but want to take part of its history. there does not seem to be much use or proof of many of these claims. the other thing is i can understand being something but telling everyone what you think you are is pretty stupid. being a vampire i have to tell some people. the blood comes from willing donors etc but telling anyone and everyone like it matters or makes a difference, i never heard about any of this till i got online and even then not right away. D, , 2013

Late to the party[edit]

I'm not otherkin, but I have a couple of pen-friends who are. (Elves, to be more specific.) I've read their book of beliefs, so to speak, and their forums, in an effort to understand them better. It may be bias in me speaking, but while I do realize that their beliefs are irrational, unscientific and, in fact, provably wrong, I don't want to judge them. I certainly don't consider them mentally ill or anything, I just find their beliefs misaligned with reality, as a sort of quasi-religion, but they're mostly harmless and inspire them to improve themselves and seek value in their lives, so who am I to argue? If anything, I can at least see the emotional appeal, and see how someone with whom I could identify, but less grounded in science and rationalism, could be susceptible to such ideas, and how they could change them for the better despite their irrationality. Of course, all otherkin are different and your mileage may vary.

What I think is really worth thinking about is not the truth-value of otherkin beliefs (they don't stand up to rational scrutiny at all), but the thought processes that leave people susceptible to them and cause them to develop that single blind spot in their otherwise rational minds; the mechanisms that let these initial cognitive distortions grow and ripen into something that warps one's whole identity. I have my thoughts about this, based on my observations, but they go beyond the scope of this short post; I'd say the truth is more complicated, and more interesting, than just "hugbox for misfits!" — an "explanation" that I regard to be as much of a curiosity-stopper, blocking genuine insight into the mind, as "elves!" is a curiosity-stopper for those friends of mine.

TL;DR: Not otherkin, but I think I understand at least some of them, from an outside POV, can meaningfully talk to them about their interests and aspirations, and I have a theory (based on admittedly anecdotal evidence) why and how, cognitively speaking, they arrived at their irrational beliefs. - LucidFox (talk) 22:39, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Seeing how this was posted fairly recently (a little over a month ago) I feel like I can respond in this section. I, too, am not otherkin/therian, but have acquaintances who are. I haven't done extensive research on the psychological side of it like you have, but I think I have a basic understanding of at least the surface of the matter and generally accept them. ...And to me, I really don't know if I agree with a few of the things you suggest, or at least the way you suggest them. I'll try to keep this succinct.
First off, I feel like your tone is a bit too much on the side of "condescending sympathy". And in some ways I feel like you almost sound like you're interested in the causes so that you can "cure" these people of the delusions they have, or at least influence people away from them in the future. I don't support either of those positions (and if you don't hold them, I apologize for suggesting that you do). I think that people should be allowed to form their identities without influence or pressure from any side. And as far as the mental health of the individual is concerned, harmless variations in identity should, in general, be accepted. This is far from a true, scientific understanding of the matter, but I feel that the identity is immaterial and can only be felt or known by the person it belongs to. So if it's "warped" in this way, it really doesn't matter how rational one's beliefs about it are; the fact that only the one person can truly observe the results means that, as illogical as it sounds, the warped identity makes the illogical beliefs "real", or as much so as they could ever be. Trying to "cure" an identity that's been set in may do more harm than good - especially since the "delusions" are generally fairly harmless.
A better approach is to use the understanding of how these thoughts come about to generally further the understanding of society. If it becomes well understood that there's a reason why they became the way they are, maybe otherkin and therians wouldn't need to be outcast as they are now. If we know that it isn't linked to other mental disorders, we won't try to "cure" them when what they need is to be allowed to exist comfortably as what they believe they are. This is true in more general terms as well, in my beliefs; if a mental quirk is generally harmless without other lapses, we should understand how it happens but not try to prevent or fix it. If society was more apt to the idea of live-and-let-live with personal stuff like this, it probably wouldn't even be an issue. Maybe if we understand more about the matter objectively we could make this happen.
TL;DR: Also not otherkin, and doesn't have a deep understanding of the psychological side of the matter like you do, but just here to add that it'd probably be better to focus on understanding for the sake of understanding and acceptance than to try to approach this as a problem to fix or prevent (As a postscript, I apologize if some of this was less than "rational", I mainly went off my own relatively basic understanding of identity; if anything's drastically wrong, feel free to correct me) - AnonymousPoster (talk) 09:13, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression — emotion is hard sometimes to convey in text, especially nonfiction. :) I never referred to their identity as a delusion in my post, nor did I express any desire to "correct" it. I wouldn't ever consider arguing with them, in fact, and I'd consider it not only unethical but potentially harmful! I like them as people, and as friends, and I see how this inspires them towards activity in life, creativity, self-improvement, and other values in life that I respect and in a large part share. Now, if-counterfactually their beliefs led them towards bad decisions, such as clearly self-destructive behavior, I would help them correct that and make better decisions, and understanding their beliefs would help with that (and even then I wouldn't necessarily argue the core beliefs, only the processes that led them to these bad decisions).
Other than a better understanding of these friends of mine, it helped me, personally, in identifying and defusing unwanted parts of my own cognition susceptible to wishful thinking, magical thinking, confirmation bias, and the like, through exposure to an idea that I regarded as clearly irrational (a hypothesis like "elves exist in our world and are currently born to human parents" would require a whole mountain of evidence to even start considering) but had strong enough emotional appeal to me to empathize with the community. And along the way, it also helped me resolve some long-standing problems with subconscious magical thinking that have plagued me for years — among other things I rid myself of irrational fears, such as fear of materialized thought and fears of height and darkness, which, in me, were its consequences — as well as get a better understanding of where I saw myself and my values and goals within the naturalistic view of the world. I could describe the full (and very long) process of introspection that led me there, but these margins are too small to contain it. :)
Bottom line is — but this is wildly generalizing from one example, so take it with a grain of salt — studying irrational ideas with emotional appeal can help rationalists not only get better understanding, connection, and common ground with people holding them, but also indirectly help them improve themselves, even when recognizing these ideas to be false. - LucidFox (talk) 08:16, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I'm sorry that I misunderstood you. You do seem to have some interesting ideas, taking this understanding beyond the matter directly at hand, that I really wasn't considering at first. I suppose in some way I've come to simply accept the ideas of people's identities, far beyond the "provable" or rational. And, I suppose, I guess I tend to overreact when it looks like those concepts are coming under fire. Basically my perspective on how "real" these sort of beliefs are is that when it comes to one's own identity, which exists within the mind, then I'm inclined to accept their beliefs as true in general, if not necessarily their beliefs as to why they are like that. Essentially, it doesn't matter to me how their identity came to be how it is, I accept it as true because they're the only ones who truly know themselves. It's probably a bit unscientific of me to think that way, but I'm simply saying that in my view they deserve respect for who they are, even if they credit that belief to something less reasonable than a simple quirk of psychology. And as long as they aren't doing anything self-destructive or harmful to others because of their beliefs they shouldn't be regarded as bad people for them (though the same could be said for people of any belief system, regardless of how rational it is).
I feel in some ways this comes to two different ideas of "rationality": the side of what's psychologically rational, and the side of what's sociologically or behaviorally rational. The ideas of what causes these beliefs is on the psychological side, which I'm admittedly not well-versed enough in the science of the matter to truly understand. The behavioral side is more to do with what the proper way to react to them is. And I feel that regardless of how psychologically irrational the beliefs are, it would be sociologically irrational to look down on them for them, or to treat them as lunatics or outcasts. That's really the gist of what I was saying. As for all the other ideas you brought in, such as self-improvement and reduction of more harmful ideas, I can certainly agree that this could be a helpful side effect. That really had nothing to do with what I said, though. But it's interesting and worth understanding regardless.
I guess the only thing we'd even possibly disagree on is that, like I said, I accept that the results of their beliefs are "real" (in as much as they ever could be) due to only affecting the individual's identity rather than their perception of the world around them, even though I personally wouldn't buy into any explanation for these beliefs beyond the complexities of the brain. Basically they are what they believe they are, because they believe they are — regardless of how accurate their ideas of the cause of this belief are. But beyond that it seems we both agree that they aren't a threat to the well being of others barring additional instability, and that they deserve respect and acceptance in the same way any of us do. I'm glad to discuss this with you! :) - AnonymousPoster (talk) 19:36, 5 January 2016 (UTC)