Creative Commons license icon

Anthrocon 2011 survey online; prior results released

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

Those who missed out on taking the survey led by Nuka and Dr. Gerbasi at Anthrocon 2011 get a second chance, as it's now available online for both furries and non-furries.

In lieu of physical prizes, online participants will be invited to a $50 Amazon.ca gift certificate drawing. Those who completed the survey already are requested not to participate.

Results from February's survey are also available, and make interesting reading.

Comments

Your rating: None

I don't remember the February survey very well at this point, but kind of wonder if there is some bias in the non-furry data due to where people came from. For example, could there have been an significant number of otherkin that didn't identify as furry affecting the questions about feeling human, or people around furry sites for the art that don't identify as furry but still have some related bias. I also don't remember if it just asked where people heard of the survey from, or if they used something like the http referrer too. If the former, I would worry a tad about the bias from possible people coming from 4chan or other sites and faking stuff (as they suggest at least some portion did come from there). Both potential issues might be partially considered by checking for correlations between how they found out about the survey and other results.

Your rating: None

Awright, ai did it.

Now, the only thing left is to wait for the results...

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)

Done the survey.

Glancing over the previous results they are kinda scary. Approximately 25% consider themselves less than 100% human. Obviously an education system somewhere is failing. Most of that group also give irrational answers to the other questions too.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

I don't think you can draw the conclusion that there is an education failure or people are being irrational from the results of that survey question, as it was left kind of vague and open ended. Based on an personal experience, and some less formal surveys of related groups, of the people who would say they are less than 100% human, only a very small proportion, small singled digit percent, claimed it was in any way biologically less than 100% human (not to be confused with thinking one has similar traits to their fursona species). Instead the vast majority who considered themselves partially nonhuman, said it was in spirit, or in some more abstract sense of identity.

Maybe the relative proportion of ways to answer "yes" to the "do you consider yourself less than 100% human," have changed over time, or are different with furries than a few other related groups. But you can't really tell from those results.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (5 votes)

Really saying they disagreed about spirit is not helping say they aren't irrational. A belief in a spirit is still irrational in the sense that there is no evidence for it. There's not even any way for a spirit to have any meaningful impact in the physical world.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (5 votes)

Oh, so you're one of those people.

Go picket a church if you care so much about people's private beliefs being irrational and are arrogant enough to cite an individual you don't even know as uneducated if you smell a whiff of a concept you don't understand.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (6 votes)

Picketing is irrational. If you really want to get rid of a church, burn it down.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (4 votes)

Suppose I should reply. Yes, I am one of those people that thinks evidence is an important part of deciding what is and isn't true. Picketing won't accomplish anything. What I have done is written about the flaws of religions on forums. I also didn't cite anything but you don't seem to be using the word correctly anyway.

Lastly, it's not about not understanding. It's about no evidence. I understand it as well as anyone who believes it but there is no basis for that belief. There's also nowhere for that belief to fit. As talked about here, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immo..., if a soul or spirit exists and has meaning it has to interact with the world. We know a lot about how the world works and there is no gap that leaves enough space for a soul.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

ITT: a nihilist fundamentalist creates a shitstorm.

In b4 R. Growlithe gives my post a 1 star rating :P

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

Your reply is completely useless and contributes nothing to this conversation. Rakuen has the right to his opinion. I am giving you a one star.

Your rating: None

>calling others' beliefs "stupid" is a valid opinion one has the right to have

I... have nothing.

Your rating: None

yes it is a valid opinion. However we do not want that kind of thing in this conversation. ad hominim attacks are no way to construct an argument.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I believe the entire debate boils down to this:

"You cannot prove it exists, therefore it doesn't."
"You cannot DISprove it exists, therefore it does."

And from there we have an infinite loop.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

That's not how it goes at all. You cannot prove (or even provide evidence for it) so it is there is no justification to assume it to be true. It doesn't mean it's false but you don't believe something because you can't disprove it.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

The failure here is that human behavior is not dictated by the rules of logic.

A man may choose to believe that his wife will never leave him for the rest of his life, but the android rationalist would cite that he has no "right" to hold that belief because he cannot prove or disprove the uncertain future. At best, some evidence - such as his wife seems to love him - may suggest a probability towards lifelong happiness. But feh! It's proof of nothing!

Nonetheless, most who are married proceed forward under the provisional belief that they can and will be happy for the rest of their life. As human beings have discovered, the other alternatives are no way to live, and there's along line of desperate and unhappy objectivists to back that up. In point of fact, "delusion", as the pedantic rationalist would see it, is a necessary survival trait.

People must be able to believe in things that are not in front of them, and a person who claims they literally have no belief in anything not objectively true is likely a liar at some level. The caveman must believe that he can find food in desperate, uncertain times; he must be able to live in a "delusional" world where he knows he is good enough to mate without what you'd call proof.

What is commonly dismissed as irationalism, like spirituality, are not really about depending on the existence of things like spirits. It is the human animal constructing a framework in which it can live and translate its subjective experience with the natural world.

There is a misguided battle being drawn up between the rational and the "superstitious". What's needed is a rational grasp of the subjective human experience and a prudent application of those ideas.

One of the greatest rational thinkers of the 20th century said, before his death, that as a scientist he could not comment on the existence of the soul or other planes of existence. As a human being however, he could not believe that such rich experiences were not, in some way, echoed, transmitted, reflected, or recorded somewhere in the amazing framework of reality.

You're a smart kid; it's not hard to figure out who it was.

Your rating: None

Einstein?

Srsly, I have no clue.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I don't see why you would consider it scary that 25% of furries surveyed hold a belief you consider irrational.

What percentage of non-furries believe in some religion or other? Way over 25%. This is also an irrational belief.

If furries have, so far, only been shown by the survey to believe in irrational stuff at a rate lower than the general public, surely there's no cause for alarm there. Granted, many of them probably believe in religions as well, but a mere 25% of them believing in some additional irrational notion doesn't strongly indicate that the total of belief in religion + furrystuff + other irrationalities is significantly higher than the public at large. 25% isn't worrisome at all, given how much irrational stuff is widely believed these days.

Do the math next time before you call something scary.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Well I suppose when you put it that way it doesn't seem as bad. There was a much lower level of religion in general. Still I think 25% is too much.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Regardless of what 'it' is, neither statement is valid. Both are based on the fallacy that the inability to prove something constitutes proof of its opposite. In actuality, proof of either requires the same rigor, and if neither has been achieved, it is 'neither proven nor disproven'.

Your rating: None

However, it is in the human nature to pretend we know more than we do. If some information is unavailable to us, we make assumptions and form opinions anyway, instead of facing the fact that... we just don't know.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

If you believe that to be true, then that's fine. However, if you are trying to convince other people out of their beliefs, then you are no better than those who try to convert others. Keep it to yourself. I do believe in a spiritual existence. I am also the top of my class. No, there is no evidence but that is what faith is. I believe that there is a spiritual existence because a part of my mind says that that is true. I need no evidence.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Well, let's look at things this (my) way:

>your mind says it's true
>your mind exists
>to exists = to be real

If something is in your mind, then it does exist, since the mind itself does exist. If the mind is not real, then how in bloody Hell do you think?
   ^something for nihilists to think about over a cup of tea

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

troll much? that logic is completely fallacious. because i think it is true does not make it true.

Your rating: None

Well, you can think your way.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Like Burger King!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Actually, I think that's about as serious as Mister Twister gets. I think he's trying to be humorous, yes, but just because he likes humour; I think Mister Twister is making a point, and, you know what, if you can make a point and be humorous at the same time, good on you.

Unfortunately, not Mister Twister's funniest joke ...

But, anyway, Mister Twister's logic, if a little off, is not completely fallacious; it's a fairly common philosophical exercise. Mister Twister is arguing from a Platonic base (which deals more with perception or "ideas" of reality), while Rakuen Growlithe is arguing from a very Aristotlian base (which deals more with measurable absolutes of reality).

Neither way to view reality has yet to be proven wrong, and it is probably impossible to prove either wrong, right or even "better". I'm a Platonic guy myself; most religious people are by necessity.

Your rating: None

Okay, now you made my head explode. I will have to clean my computer now.

I hope that you are happy.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Usually when I make people have to clean their computer, it wasn't their head that exploded.

...

If you catch my drift.

...

It's a masturbation joke.

Your rating: None

Confirmed for owner of a porn website.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Pfft. As an Inkbunny moderator, I assure you we have better jokes.

Wasn't this story about some kind of survey?

Your rating: None

It was. Originally. And that survey could have been better. I hate yes/no questions; I want a 3rd option! >:3

Your rating: None

You always have the option of not filling in a question.

Your rating: None

How about this: "describe a typical furry".

What IS a typical furry?? Am I being asked of my OPinion based on what I might heard somewhere, OR a logical conclusion based on objective reality???

Your rating: None

Or the option to contact the authors to change the survey for next year.

In fact there are some questions asked (about furries by furries) on the researchers' panel at Anthrocon that they were not able to answer from the data collected; but apparently they did note them and will incorporate questions that hopefully will answer them.

Your rating: None

Well, lah-dee-da.

Now, Mister Twister, you post saying a Green Reaper joke is bad, and we three can be the Rock/Paper/Scissors of bad furry comedy.

Your rating: None

My post said no such thing; it does not even have a mouth!

Your rating: None

It was, and it actually explains why this is occuring. Basically 25% of the fandom is agnostic, 25% is atheist and the other half is religious in some shape or form. So the fact this debate about religion and spiritualism got heated should be anything but a surprise.

Your rating: None Average: 1.4 (5 votes)

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with trying to convince people, if done in an appropriate way. Writing an essay or article in a newspaper or blogging or writing a book is fine. Going door to door and confronting people individually is not, unless the topic was brought up before.

My problem is with this idea of not needing evidence. Just try imagining holding that view in a non-spiritual/religious situation.
"I believe people only die when they want to, so it is fine for me to shoot them."
"I have faith that that man committed the crime so he must go to jail."
"I believe burning this candle will remove your cancer so you can skip chemotherapy."
Do you see how little sense it makes? Sure, you can hold whatever private beliefs you want but those that you have affect how you behave with others and, in the absence of evidence, you are not justified in holding them.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Ah, so a person is not justified in thinking something in the absence of evidence that satisfies you, even if it's a personal belief. You're taking an absurd reductionist approach to human behavior and how the behavior of others impacts yourself.

Your cute examples in quotations are the typical strawmen trotted out to justify why everyone should be a fanboy of Richard Dawkins. Because surely every spiritual person in the world denies the demonstrated effectiveness of medicine. Surely considering concepts for which evidence may be subjective means that one will advocate policies that dramatically impact others for subjective reasons, such as sending people to prison just because one feels like it.

Granted, it's a bangdead easy strawman to fall back on. No shortage of people who impose their will on others in the world using excuses such as religion.

There's a reason why a lot of very reasonable people who practice nothing that negatively impacts others see atheists and crusaders for "rationalism" as complete assholes. In your effort to "wake people up" about all their naughty, horrible, irrational perspectives on existence, you are committing the same violence, even if on a philosophical level, that you pretend to oppose. The door swings both ways.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

I salute you! :'(

5 stars.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (3 votes)

They aren't justified if there is an absence of evidence. It's not that it doesn't satisfy me, it doesn't satisfy anything. There isn't even any evidence.

How are they strawmen? If you don't think claims demand evidence then you don't think claims demand evidence. Just because someone is willing to arbitrarily say some things require evidence and others don't doesn't make it a strawman. Not every spiritual person denies the effectiveness of medicine but some do and there's no way to argue against that unless you start using evidence. Also the existence of a soul is not a subjective concept; either it exists or it doesn't.

How is it the same 'violence'?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

Wow, you guys really do dance around. You have great form, as much as religious fanatic. It just makes you look disingenuous, and as if you know exactly what you're doing, or you don't know nearly as much as you think you do. Which is it?

You trot out descriptions of a specific practice that you know odds are in your favor of being seen as absurd, such as denying observable effects of modern medicine. Then frame the conversation to attach such beliefs to other notions such as that of subjective reality and generalized spirituality.

Folks such as yourself have been lead by your own intellectual leaders to adopt the narrative that you are brave warriors of the future, holding alight that tiny candle in the demon haunted world. Everyone has a narrative, including those who believe there is only one "rational" and objective narrative and all others are false.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

There are quite a few irrational people who picked that answer, just as there are some number of people whole checked off the "100% human" option for poorly thought out reasons. Just about any debate on the net has quite a few people on both sides that have arguments with little thought and failed logic, and I just want to set them aside as I don't think they are representative of the actual arguments for/against something, nor need explaining/defending.

I don't agree with the beliefs, but I've talked to quite a few people with such spiritual beliefs before. To say they were based on no evidence is usually quite incorrect. Many of them developed their beliefs on their own, based on their own experiences, unlike what you sometimes see with other beliefs that just come from instruction. These are heavily based on evidence which can often be listed at length.

What is at issue is not lack of evidence, but validity of the evidence, often due to contradictions with other evidence. Without the latter evidence, they can easily have thought rationally, although possibly not optimally and possibly reaching a wrong conclusion. And that is a whole different discussion, with possibly different implications for the people being hastily labelled, than simply blanket statements about ethereal beliefs (which is similarly different than then discussing them as all being detached from physical, day-to-day reality).

And you still have the whole mixed bag part. For example, some don't even make any claims that the spirit has any physical impact on the world, that it is instead more of an abstract concept of identity, and not even supernatural (this is where it forms a continuum with the other category previous mentioned, those feeling less than 100% human in identify, not spiritually). I've heard parallels made to stating what a cloud looks like, and it is often nonsensical to bring talk of evidence into such a discussion, as say a survey of what it looks to most people may not have any bearing on why it looks that way to a specific person. In that sense it is in part about trying to convey abstracts and kind of poetic in nature.

So in other words, there is a lot of stuff lumped together and drawing single conclusions about such people can end up being quite superficial. Even if it looks like most of such a group is crap, that doesn't necessarily say much about the others, and could just be the result of Sturgeon's Law.

Your rating: None

Personal experiences are not evidence. Some people might think they are but then at least you mention validity of evidence. Personal experiences are completely subjective and unreliable. Humans don't even know all the limits of their perception, that's why we can make optical and audio illusions. That's why people think they will see stuff that they don't. Personal experience is more often than not just taking a mistake that the brain makes, or that they just want to see, and treating it as though it is somehow reflective of reality.

The mixed bag doesn't matter. Either there is evidence or there isn't. If a spirit has no physical impact on the world then there's no way for them to detect and no reason to assume it exists. They probably don't assume a couch has a spirit but there's just as much evidence for the spirit of a couch as for a person.

You can describe what a cloud looks like, there are various names for different types of clouds. They sometimes resemble stuff and that is unique to each cloud but you can show a photo of a cloud and say what it looks like. Yes, that's open to subjectivity but that means it's not evidence. People's opinions are not a reflection of truth.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Here's some food for thought for ya: if your own experience could not be trusted, why should someone else's be?

In other words,

If you cannot trust yourself, who CAN you trust??

I have a relative that spend her entire life trusting others and not herself. Needless to say, she ruined her entire life by relying on that principle.

Also, the main topic is probably too boring, so the conversation got derailed.

Your rating: None

I come from a science background, so I am well aware of the fallibility of the human mind and personal experience, which is why I disagree with many such beliefs. But discussion of evidence, reasoning, and rationality is much broader than just scientific evidence, with epistemology being a branch of philosophy, not science. And this isn't necessarily an issue of correct vs. wrong, but difference between sound and valid logic, that a reasonable person can come to unusual conclusions if given unusual premises.

You missed part of the point of the bit about saying what clouds look like. Saying a cloud looks like a bunny is not about classifying clouds or accurately convey the shape of the cloud in detail like a photo would, but about conveying what the cloud looks like to that person, their interpretation of it, or sometimes their state of mind.

The mixed bag matters, because you are still treating everything as a scientific claim, when not all such people are making such testable claims. Talking about spirit in the abstract identify sense is like the cliche abstract example of love. Love itself has no physical presence or direct physical impact, but instead is a nebulously defined collection of actions, feelings, and emotions that are what is actually affecting the world. In one such sense, a spirit is just a abstract representation of a collection of feelings, experiences and aspects of a person, and exists as much as that person does, and has physical impact as much as those aspects of the person does. It is a description, an act of conveyance

Unless you are trying to argue there should be no claims or statements outside of scientific claims, and are discounting all of philosophy and most of art...

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Yes, I know you can interpret things differently. That's why I wouldn't say you need evidence of who you love or what colour is your favourite. Those are not objective questions with a real answer. But the question of whether a soul or spirit exists is an objective question. The way people talk about spirits makes it very clear that they do not think of them as some abstract concept like an emotion.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Then you've looked at only a specific subset of such people.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Yeah, that type I to type IV bit is going to be a problem; Rakuen Growlithe is attacking Type IVs from the "rational" side, while the Type IVs make me nervous as a practicioner of an established religion.

The possible backlash here may be brutal; this labeling of different sections of the fandom (and even going so far as to basically label one group, the type 1s, as "furry fans," i.e. the "real" furry fans) may cause a schism in the fandom that we will be feeling for years. This could easily be the "big" issue of this new decade, as divisive as our struggling with the bigger world outside the fandom in general and the "media" in specific was last decade.

Admittedly, an easy reply to this post is to say "slippery slope." I will counter this before it is even proposed by saying I do not understand the antagonism against "slippery slopes." Historically, just about everything that has happened ever has been the result of a "slippery slope" like situation.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

This is nothing new. It is the same argument that's been going on in your fandom for fifteen years or more. Nervous furries were debating in hushed tones "what to do about THOSE people, those crazy people" since 1995.

You start up a subculture about cross-species fiction, role playing, and characterization, then act confused and scared when people expressing some of humanity's most primordial psychological triggers show up.

Perhaps it was a shock to suburbanites whose reality tunnel ended at the local church of nailed-to-a-tree-man.

Christ (with irony). You could learn more about what makes half of furries tick by reading a Scott McCloud book on fucking comic books than from a decade+ of whinging over THOSE LOONY NUTS WHO THINK THAR ANIMALS.

Your rating: None

I do not ge

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

There was one question on the survey that stated "from 1 to 100 (bad to positive) what do you think the general public's feeling of furry is. I said 70.

In parenthesis next to is I said (Other furries view of furries is closer to 45).

I'm surprised they didn't have more questions about one's view on people's view of furries, I saw one survey that had this as 4 questions, which did much better on the whole perspective thing.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

My point is not the problem is new; my point is now we have a "scientific study" breaking furries into groups along the lines of the old problem!

In other words, old fire, yes, but, ohmygosh, GASOLINE.

Also, your rant got a little creepy at the end.

Your rating: None

The thing is the results said that most of those that believed they were less then 100% human were those that stated they had pagan beliefs. Now pagans are in the international community as a whole a minority, as are atheist and agnostics. The fandom actually has a higher percentage of agnostics, atheists, and pagans then the international community in general.

For better or for worse the same education system that allows minority beliefs such as atheism and agnostism to exist are the ones that allow the pagans and spiritualists to exist. It is not a failure, but is in fact a great victory because our education system should ABSOLUTELY NOT be dictating what belief systems are the correct or incorrect ones. Church and state must be separate always in the education system.

I mean yes technically this is an international survey but I think most of the international community, with obvious exceptions, have embraced keeping religion (or lack there of) view points out of the school systems. Obviously it doesn't mean we don't teach ABOUT religious beliefs (or viewpoints lack thereof) but it's not up to the school to call religious or a-religious beliefs rational or irrational.

As long as their beliefs aren't hurting those around them, I have no quarrels with someone's belief system. Sadly though people always have to be 'converting' others because they always believe people will be happier if they were more like them, when really conversion is done more for the satiation of the person doing the conversion so they'll feel they contributed to the growth in their community and that they feel they are 'making a difference' because despite how large their group is, it's never large enough and they must always have more.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (4 votes)

It's a failure of an education system when it doesn't teach people to differentiate between beliefs that are supported by evidence and likely to be true and ones that are not. Believing in paganism or the like is the same as believing in the force. There's no evidence for any of it and no reason to think it's right. All it is is taking a wish and treating it like reality.

Harmless beliefs aren't a problem but that doesn't mean they should just be left alone. They aren't a major threat to anyone, though the mindset they encourage can be a threat itself, but if you have any respect for a concept like truth or reality then you will find it important to challenge such beliefs. As it is even people with those beliefs have a desire for the truth,there are very few people who would say they don't care if what they believe is real or not.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

The problem is if you go around saying "My statements are facts and yours are beliefs" no one would learn anything cause they'd be too busy arguing over what is "fact" and what is "belief"

To say that God does or does not exist are both beliefs because we cannot prove either hypothesis. I think science should concentrate on what it always does, pushing for more understanding in the mortal plain. Sure religious people will always try saying the science is against God, but this isn't because of scientists. This is because avid a-religious people are trying to use science research to prove "there is no God". I kind of blame Darwin on this one because he was an avid person against the church.

People forget that scientists were once part of the religious community as well. Sir Issac Newton being a religious man, but of course a skeptic on human interpretation of God. Personally I find myself more in that line of thinking then Darwin's handling.

That's the thing with the church too, sadly, it seems they will reject ideas from someone simply based on weather or not they are religious. Gravity and laws of motion were hardly contested by the church, evolution of course is. The reason being is that mainstream religion seems to be very skeptical on what skeptics say despite evidence to the contrary. Though like Galileo probably in a few millennium from now the church will adapt evolution into their Bible interpretations. That's how religions evolve.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

I think science should concentrate on what it always does, pushing for more understanding in the mortal plain.

Science only works on questions that are testable, otherwise the question is for philosophy. (Although some specific versions of God include testable claims.)

People forget that scientists were once part of the religious community as well.

A huge number of scientists still are part of religious communities now.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

True on that last part, though there has been a push to try and make science and religion mutually exclusive as if one cannot exist with the other. Take Cid's game Civilization V for instance. "Reason" and "Piety" cannot be held in the same culture.

Obviously this might have been for game balance purposes to make one focus on either science victory or culture victory, but the implications are also clear. A culture cannot be both pious and rational. Which seems to be part of the conflict I've been seeing between the religious and a-religious these days. The a-religious are being tought that one cannot be scientific if they are religious. And ironically the religious are also being taught that nothing of worth can be produced by the a-relgious because their ultimate goal is to destroy god.

Thus through both side's misconceptions of that comes the ever increasing conflict. Did not mean to imply that it was not in occurrence today.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

I dunno, destroying the concept of god sounds like a pretty worthwhile (if unrealistic) goal to me.

Being religious may not guarantee a lack of rationality, but it does suggest a conflict of interest.

Your rating: None

Seems ppl like to hate God a lot these days...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Personally, I'm religious, but not in the sense of the American religion about trying to get ones self into heaven, but more in the hope there is a hell for people like Ghadafi, al-Assad, Hitler, and for people who purposefully hurt and wrong others.

Whether I am going to heaven is really not up to me, nor is it up to a church, and if the powers at be define me to go to hell, then so be it. What I do have a hope in a final justice which is unflawed. Maybe it's a pipe dream, but there are some people I do feel that death should really not be such an easy escape from the pain they caused in life.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

"there are very few people who would say they don't care if what they believe is real or not."

"One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."

- C.S. Lewis defends religion (and genre literature while he's at it).

That's the thing, Rakuen. How can you be a furry and be so down on the irrational? We deal exclusively in what isn't, what hasn't been and what won't. We both have recently looked at the same piece of art; one of us saw life, the other saw death.

I saw a fox tonight. I don't know what that means, but I know that means something.

Your rating: None

It was probably hungry.

Also, super nice point!

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

I can be a furry because I like the concepts and I like the aesthetic. Just becasue you are rational doesn't mean that you can't dream or can't imagine or can't enjoy fantasy. I can enjoy everything furry, wish it were possible but still accept that it isn't. The problem is when you let your wishes take over and start confusing what is fantasy with what is reality.

It doesn't mean anything. There doesn't have to be a meaning to everything.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

"I can enjoy everything furry, wish it were possible but still accept that it isn't."

But it is an irrational enjoyment, is it not? All you are getting positively enjoyment; let's take for granted that mere "enjoyment" is, in itself, rationally worthwhile. Even if you take that perspective, furry is still irrational; sure, you "enjoy" it, but aren't there better sources of, er, enjoyment, without all the negative stigmas, reduced social opportunities, and contact with, well, a population of at least 25% irrational people, plus limited chances for monetary or survival gain. Guess there's a chance for sexual gratification, so I guess that's a plus, but when you add up the costs and add up the benefits, furry definitely goes to negative rather than positive side of the equation.

The evidence does not support furry. I know. I've "done the math" (metaphorically speaking), and being a furry has historically been, for the vast majority of furries, a losing game. The furry fandom has not produced anything of lasting worth; whether anything of value has been created within the genre is debatable, for no other reason than we two rather obviously disagree on what even constitutes said genre.

And yet I still continue to call myself a furry, despite the fact that my own assessment of what other people under that label have done is rather dire, to be blunt, because I believe in furry. When faced with the choice of whether or not I am a furry, I will answer yes, not because I know it is the right answer, but simply because I want it to be. The decidion to claim the title furry is not rational; it is based entirely on emotions.

However, this is my view of the subject; you may have convinced yourself that "being furry" is the rational choice, and have "evidence" to argue this point. I'm sorry, but if you actually think rationally furry is provably "worth it," your math sucks. Metaphorically speaking.

In conclusion, you have to little respect for the human's mind to create meaning. Of course the fox means something. It means something to me.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

"I can enjoy everything furry, wish it were possible but still accept that it isn't."

Short version: You can jack off to furry porn without calling yourself a furry, you know.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

You are the smartest person here.

I salute you, and give your post 5 starz.

Your rating: None

It's not irrational enjoyment. I don't know about you but I can't make a decision on what I do or don't like. I can't say I've ever bothered to try work out whether being furry is good or not. I suppose you could make such a calculation if you wanted to but that wouldn't make you enjoy something. I like furry because I like it. There is an aspect in it that appeals to me. In the same way I don't like Coke. I used to as a kid but then I stopped liking it and it doesn't matter that it's slightly cheaper and easier to get than other drinks because I just don't like the taste. There's nothing you can do about that. You can't choose what food appeals to you, you can't choose who you are attracted to and you can't choose whether to like furry or not.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

Actually, there is a lot one can do to test and examine whether they like something or not, or if they actually like something for the reasons they do, etc. I've actually seen quite a few cases of people's claims about their food preference being demonstrated as incorrect by blind tastings, whether motivated by bets or just curiosity. And you can see people's enjoyment of foods evolve as result of them untangling the psychological components from the more fundamental enjoyment of taste. Although food preferences is sometimes one of the easier things to test, and this is not even getting questions of efficiency (i.e. if one could be finding better enjoyment elsewhere).

Of course people don't test all of their preferences and enjoyments, whether because of ego, laziness, or because even the most inquisitive, motivated person lacks enough time to test everything. Sometimes you have to go on what you have or what others give you. Although I wouldn't call that irrational, as being rational is about dealing with what you have, not being clairvoyant.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

But you have just described irrationality.

My point is not that liking furry is bad (on the contrary, if liking furry were bad, that would make me a "bad" person); my point is there is no rational reason to like it, or not like it. Therefore, it is irrational.

I do not go around weighing most of my choices anymore than you have, but that's not the issue; if you look at the vast number of choices made by humanity, the vast number are irrational.

JFK once said, "We choose not to go to the moon because it is easy, but because it is hard." Rationally, we go nothing from going to the moon. Oh, sure, the space race gave us some tech we wouldn't have gotten to as quickly, but that wasn't the point. And it cost us; it takes a lot of money to go to the moon. That's measurable, not counting all the work, effort and emotional distress put into all those rockets. And people died getting there; okay, so most of the space program's deaths weren't actually directly related to the moon, but that was always the goal in mind. And for what? So a handful of men could bounce around and collect some rocks that could have been collected by robots if we really needed rocks, which, come to think of it, Earth really already has an abundant supply of.

But of course that's not what it was about. The point was to go to the effing moon, man. For no other reason than because it was a worthwhile thing in and of itself; there is no rational way to prove it was really, truly worth it.

Likewise, there is no rational way to prove furry is worthwhile. Rationality has no place in furry; whether you're a type I or type IV.

You just gotta believe in some things, man.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

You are either very old, or very wise.

Or both. :O

Your rating: None

Well, according to the survey, 25 does actually make me pretty old for a furry.

Your rating: None

It shows that less than 10% of furry fans are over 30. While I won't question that it is an accurate measurement of the people who took the survey, I have difficulty believing it's an accurate demographic of furry fandom as a whole. In other words, it leads me to suspect older furry fans are less likely to have taken the survey than younger ones.

As for why that would be the case, I'm not sure. Maybe older fans are more concerned about what they are willing to reveal about themselves by taking a survey, or have less time to spare to take a survey. Or maybe it has something to do with the age demographics of the places the survey is most heavily promoted. I haven't been to Anthrocon, which seems to be one of its primary venues, so I can't comment on the age demographic of that convention's attendees. But between the two conventions I've attended multiple times, Mephit Fur Meet and Midwest Fur Fest, Mephit Fur Meet seems to attract a noticeably higher proportion of greymuzzles.

(By the way, the numbers I would have expected based on personal observation are that 20-25% of furries are over 30 and about 10% are over 40.)

Your rating: None

A lot of surveys can have huge biases in age since it comes down to who has free time (or if done near a university...), although with phone surveys it can be a strong bias to seniors. There would probably be a big bias toward younger people with free time on the net, while conventions might do better or even be biased toward older people on the basis of older people being more likely to have money to travel across country or further to a convention.

There are things that can be done to fix age bias, but I only know of things that require prior knowledge of the age distribution.

Your rating: None

I still disagree. I'll agree that it's not a rational choice to like furry but I don't think that makes it an irrational choice. What you like isn't something that you can reason or decide rationally, it's just something that you are.

I'm not trying to prove furry is worthwhile. I'm just saying that I enjoy and like furry.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

>I still disagree with the above statement
>it is rational to enjoy something irrational

When "yes" and "no" collide, they make "yo!"

:P

(In b4 this post gets 1 star rating)

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Well, the prefix "ir-" means "not."

If the choice to like furry is not rational, it is, by definition, irrational.

There is nothing wrong with irrationality, is my point. The ability to make intuitive, not-really-thought-out leaps of faith is just as important to human intelligence as rationality. Of course, you get moments of borderline insanity (say a belief that one race is "God's chosen"), but rationalism, taken to the extreme, can be just as dangerous (the "science" of eugenics). The routes taken are different, but the end result is the same.

I seem to have distracted you (and the peanut gallery) by bringing furry into the argument (though this is a furry board, so it's not like I'm going to apologize); it was not my point to prove furry is not worthwhile. In fact, as I am arguing the irrational side, just saying that you enjoy and like furry is, in fact, enough to prove furry is worthwhile.

I am just trying to show you this is an irrational thought process in yourself. At the very least, I am trying to show that "pure" rationality is not truly possible; humanity is not wired that way. Neither is "pure" irrationality; we are both rational and irrational beings, by our very nature. It is, in fact, not very rational to expect rationality from humanity all the time. People just don't work that way.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

But it's not even a choice to like furry. I didn't find furry and say, "Hmm, should I like this or not?" I found furry and found, "Ah, I like this." When I used choice beforehand I probably should have put it in inverted commas. I was just using it in the sense that there were two alternative paths, not that there was any actual choice to be made. If there is no choice and possible way to reason something then it makes no sense to label it rational or irrational. We don't say it's irrational to have white skin. We don't say it's irrational to be a male. Both of those are true for me and neither of them were due to any reasoning on my part. It's the same with liking furry.

Intuition is not important to human intelligence. Intuition is the opposite of human intelligence. The only time intuition exceeds rational though is when you have a brief to exposure to limited information and no way to get more. The entire idea that intuition is of any use has it's own section in 'The Invisible Gorilla', which is a really excellent book that looks at a number of flaws in human psychology that affect our everyday lives that most people are unaware of.

I didn't say it was rational to expect rationality from everyone all the time. But that doesn't mean that it isn't something we should strive for. I don't expect moral behaviour from everyone either but it's still something worth striving for.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Okay, the commenting system seems to have changed ...

Anywho, sure it's not a choice about liking something (no accounting for tastes, blah, blah, blah, though perhaps that further illustrates my point that the human mind is not rational); but it is a choice to label oneself furry. That's what I'm talking about.

I think we're defining intuition differently; I'm probably the one using the word wrong, this time. We don't actively set down and "do the math," but the ability to see the solution without consciously doing the math is what I'm talking about. The ability of the human mind to work so fast that it, quite literally, can't keep up with itself.

I didn't say it was rational to expect rationality from everyone all the time. But that doesn't mean that it isn't something we should strive for.

Past arguments (I'm thinking of arguments over cub porn over six months ago, so I keep track, or something) do not support this statement about yourself. When I argued that cub porn causes extreme negative emotional reactions, you replied back that we should not allow emotion to sway us. All well and good, but it ignores the fact that you cannot expect that kind of rationality from everyone. In other words, to win this argument, you must lose that one.

I don't expect moral behaviour from everyone either but it's still something worth striving for.

This is a very, very, very religious sentiment, and it can also be argued that it is a particularly Christian sentiment.

Your rating: None

Another 5 stars.

And it still does not matter.

Your rating: None

It's the Internet. What are we supposed to talk about?

What we jack off to?

Your rating: None

The choice of labelling yourself a furry is barely even a choice. It's something you are. If you play rock music you are a rock band, whether you choose to label yourself as one or not. It's ridiculous to think someone is only something if they choose to label themselves as such. If you take that to be the case then there's no point even bothering to debate the definition of furry because it would be irrelevant.

How does any of this contradict my stance on not letting emotional reactions take control? It's still something we need to work on. It's the same message then and now.

That last sentence has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

"The furry fandom has not produced anything of lasting worth;"

Define 'lasting worth'. Is it that meaning creating something that becomes popular outside the fandom? Is it the number of people that liked it? Is that what makes something great and of lasting worth?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

This is not meant to sound cruel. It's just blunt.

You're tragically overthinking furry. You are conflicted internally and insecure about the time you've invested. Internet psychology at its finest, but signs are clear enough. You've bought in to furry fandom's sense of self importance and desperation to legitimize itself so as to seem more impressive against people who attack it.

Trying to apply 'math' to furry fandom to determine if it has produced anything of 'lasting worth' - an illusion if there ever was one anyway, in a vast universe - is like measuring a left sock and determining it has failed at being a killer whale.

Furry is a participatory hobby. At the core it is essentially no different from model railroading or building radio controlled aircraft. An individual hobbyist might create a masterpiece model that ends up in a museum. However that would have no bearing on the "worth" of the hobby of building trains or airplanes. It is an activity that you participate in because you enjoy it.

That's perfectly rational. Partaking in an activity that gratifies you without causing harm is a perfectly logical decision.

Some people have used furry fandom to cause themselves or others harm. Anything can be abused. However, there is ample evidence that for a large sampling of furry participants, the activity does nothing to make their life worse than it would be without the subculture.

Therefore, if you like furry and you're not using it as an excuse to fuck yourself up, no further justification or rationalization is required.

Life is very, very simple. People overcomplicate it. Stop doing it, humanity. You're not helping.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

My point was not "furry fandom sucks," people.

My point was "I'm trying to convert Rakuen Growlithe to Christianity by showing he already follows something irrationally, but I couldn't, like, be too obvious about it or he'd get suspicious and realize what I was doing, but now you've posted this so I had to defend myself so I had to tell you what was going on so now Rakuen Growlithe will never find Jesus or God's love or whatever so now it's your fault when he goes to hell, good job, asshole."

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

On further thought, though, maybe furry Internet newsites aren't the best place for witnessing.

But, totally, Rakuen Growlithe, you should, like totally find Jesus and stuff, you'd be happier and stop with the dogfucking apologism and I can't even tell if I'm being ironic anymore, either.

Your rating: None

@U:
LOL

Your rating: None

I'm one of those people who put that I consider myself less than 100% human, because, well, I do consider myself less than 100% human on a spiritual/psychological level. I do consider myself 100% physically human. My belief has nothing to do with a failure on the part of any education system. In my experience, most of my classes from elementary through college didn't even discuss religion outside of a historical context unless it was a class on religion or philosophy.

Perhaps you see it as a flaw, perhaps it is illogical, but plain and simple, it's what I believe thanks to my own personal experiences. Sure, personal experiences are not to be considered evidence in debate, but what I have seen and felt in my own experiences are enough to sway my personal spiritual beliefs. I have no reason to doubt what I've seen and felt since I haven't been diagnosed with any medical condition that would cause hallucinations or the like. Therefore, I answered the survey appropriately, since it asked what I considered myself, not what I could scientifically prove I was or was not.

Whine about it all you like, but as you stated there are apparently roughly 25% of us out there who hold such beliefs. Figured I'd at least offer why I answered the survey the way I did.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (2 votes)

This argument over "rationality" is hilarious, and more pathetic than the "not %100 human" bits that started it. Keep it up, furries, you're doing great things here.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Why, thank you! I am doing my best :3

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Wow, furries are having a discussion of religion and philosophy, that is possibly getting heated for some. Of course that doesn't happen anywhere else on the internet, or with people from any other groups, and they are definitely not topics that get treated seriously in any books or in academics...

Do you not read books or the rest of the internet?

Your rating: None

@U:

LØL

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Wow o.o' I suppose I'll chime in a little bit here:

With regard to the question about being 100% or feeling less than 100% human: I'll state that none of the researchers has any opinion about people claiming to be one or the other. We do not believe any of the four "Types" of furries to be "right" or "wrong", or "true furries" or "less furry" based on their answers to two questions. We are also very well aware that furries are an incredibly diverse group and that a typology does not do justice to the full range of beliefs on the diverse subjects in the fandom. The typology is, for most intents and purposes, a way of getting a rough division of furries into four groups to ease the task of data analysis. A person can say what they want about how nice it would be to have nothing but open-ended questions and multiple dimensions, but until you've tried to run a set of multilevel models or multiple multiple regressions on a set of data this large and complicated, it's difficult to appreciate the need sometimes to create approximate groups like we've done here.

In the social sciences we deal with trends, aggregate data and imperfect correlations due to vastly multivariate problems. If we want to have any chance whatsoever of learning anything about people, whether furries or not, it is sometimes necessary to impose taxonomies or categories which may not necessarily exist. There is, however, some validity to our typology: most furries will concede that there are significant differences between furries which can roughly be approximated by something similar to our four categories: "the furries who are fans of some aspect of the fandom, but who do not actually believe in any spiritual/ therian/ other beliefs", and "the furries for whom furry is more than just something they are a fan of, it's a part of them, a way of life, a means of self-expression, etc...". And the ones in-between. Perhaps we could argue the details about the specific questions used or about whether we should be using a unidimensional, bidimensional, or multidimensional typology to model these approximate groups. But to simply say the questions are stupid or that categorizing furries is a waste of time or misguided is missing the point altogether.

We also recognize that the instruments we use to measure can be limiting or frustrating sometimes: anyone who's ever said "why do we have to pick yes or no?" or "why a 1 to 7 scale?" has experienced this frustration. Rest assured that we, as researchers, are well aware of these issues when we pick the measures. Unfortunately, there are no perfect measures. There is no perfect way to ask questions on the subjects we're looking for. Survey design is an art just as much as it is a science. It necessarily involves trade-offs: if we do more open-ended questions, it means that a) someone has to spend a month coding one question with 5,000+ responses (true story: see the species data), b) we could very well wind up with a big mess of data which is not able to be reasonably analyzed (which leads to unsatisfying answers to questions like "well, it depends who you ask" or "the answer varies"). So, yes, we do know that our questions, like all survey questions, do have flaws in them. We also hope to overcome these flaws through converging methodology: we ask the same question in different ways, or using different modalities, or at different times to different groups on different surveys. The flaws in any one question are compensated for in the strengths of other questions, and the hope is we can zero in on a true answer this way.

So, yes, sometimes there are questions that, many would say "are painfully subjective" or which seem "pointless and stupid". Oftentimes the intent of the question is not necessarily obvious, but rest assured: for every question that made it into the survey, there were dozens more that were cut from the survey in the interest of length. Nothing was added in as an afterthought or without good reason. Sometimes that reason may be more obvious than other times. Sometimes the reason turns out to be a bad one, or based on a faulty hypothesis. But that's what science is: a series of revised hypotheses. If we didn't have things that failed to work, we'd never learn from them.

So, in sum: we definitely appreciate all the feedback, and hopefully this has explained a little bit of the method to our madness. I affirm again that we go into this value-neutral (or, at least as much as is reasonably possible), and in none of our questions or analyses do we intend to make value judgments about what is "right" or "wrong" in the fandom. All we do is collect data, test hypotheses and try to inform furries and the scientific literature. =)

Your rating: None

I am someone who typically distrusts surverys, but from having been at Anthrocon this year and having taken this myself, I can tell you more then anything it is thorough. I think the big conflict in the comments is one which can also be explained by the previous results and that is that furries are a mixed bag belief system wise. Clearly Growlithe is a very verbose and steadfast a-religious person.

I don't think anyone here implied that you guys were putting them on a pedestal, or saying they were more furry then others. People saying implications based upon results of data is something that unfortunately comes with the territory of surveys. It's probably why I distrust them. Because typically you don't hear the results first hand from the people that took it, you usually here it from a press association or individuals who might have specific agendas for such data.

And even when you have the data and have some conclusions I sometimes also disagree with the conclusions, though I do think you try not to jump too much at what the data is telling you. While sometimes it's interesting to mull over what the numbers are saying, I think sometimes it's just better to let the numbers do the talking, hopefully there will be more charts and numbers this time around, and will definately be interested in seeing the results.

I think the only question I had objection with on this survey, and as not having taken a previous one am not sure if it's new this time or not, was a set where it said. "Below are a list of emotions, on a scale of 1 to 7 state how much you believe animals can feel these emotions" and below there was a list of "joy, pleasure, anger, fear,..."

My bone with the question isn't that I am purely for or against the idea of animals feeling emotions, in fact I do believe animals can feel emotions in some regard, the problem is that their ability to do so falls onto one very important specification that is not addressed by the question, and that is the type of animal they are.

For example, if you're talking about a dolphin or a monkey the emotional scale would be closer to a 7. if you're talking about a worm, fly, or sponge the answers would be closer to a 1. I think that emotions are things that evolved into specific species for specific purposes, and therefore could not make a one size fits all conclusion for that particular question set.

Other then that I think the survey is evolving okay.

Your rating: None

That was my quibble with that question, too. "Animal" covers a lot of ground.

Your rating: None

I get that you're not making value judgements by dividing a group of people into sub-groups.

Unfortunately, you divided a group of people into sub-groups based on factors that have been a divisive issue with that group in the past. Then you released this information to us and asked us to fill out another survey. I know reading through the results of the prior survey minutes before I took the next totally colored my responses. I should have known better, but, you know what, so should you.

Why are you trying to inform furries about furries, anyway? We're furries. We kind of already know what we do. Yes, it was fun reading the results of the survey, but, if you really want to inform "the scientific literature" those results were something I should not have known about.

Your study is affecting what you are studying much more than I think you are aware.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Crossaffliction: your concerns are valid ones, and I'll address them point-by-point:

a) Indeed, we divided people into sub-groups based on factors that have been a divisive issue with the group. But doesn't that, if anything, make it a more important issue to look at? If we used typologies that no one disagreed with or had any difference in opinion on, then it wouldn't be nearly as interesting a categorization to use. This type of categorization based on something two people may vehemently disagree on is certainly not new to the psychological literature.

b) With regard to reading about past results before taking the survey: recognize that is a possibility. The past results have been up for a couple of months now, so we were hoping that many furries had already seen them and had a chance to look at them. Additionally: many of the questions that are already up on the website represent questions we've asked about several times in the past, and which we are either not collecting data on anymore or which we are reasonably confident we know what the "usual" response is - we can pick up on significant changes in these responses and any that we notice we can test for social desirability or reactivity as a result of what people may have read on the website.

Our hands were a bit tied on that one: on the one hand, you're right, it would have been preferable to not have the results on the website while furries were doing the survey. On the other hand, furries have a right to see the research that's been conducted in the past and which many of them have been very generous in contributing to for the last five or six years. For many, it's only after they've seen the results and know that we're trying our best to present this research in a value-neutral, "we're not out to make furries look bad" kind of way that they feel they can be truly honest on the survey. So, like all things when conducting research, it is a trade-off between a number of factors.

c) Why are we trying to inform furries about furries? Because some furries are inquisitive and want to know more about their community. While you mention "we kind of already know what we do", I contend that at every talk I've given at a furry convention, there are always many who gasp or are shocked by some of our findings. While many of them are intuitive, and many say "well, duh", there are always findings that make furries go "well jeez, I had no idea!". Additionally: many of the questions on the survey this time around were generated by furries who had questions about the community: furries who wanted to know something. As an academic, I consider it important to not only inform the academic community, but also to always keep in mind the applied nature of my research and to try my best to ensure the work doesn't simply stagnate or disappear into obscurity in some academic journal (that said, we have a number of publications in the works in which, to be sure, we will inform them fully of the nature of our findings, including the fact that there is a website where we disperse the research from past surveys, and the fact that some furries do look at that past research before taking the survey, and the possibility that it may color some of their responses in socially desirable ways).

I do thank you for your concern and your feedback, and it does raise some good points, including how we may better control for this in future surveys!

Your rating: None

I do thank you for your concern and your feedback, and it does raise some good points, including how we may better control for this in future surveys!

I guess this is my thing; I feel like a guinea pig in an experiment giving the experimenter advice.

Yeah, I appreciate it's nice to be nice to the guinea pigs, especially since the guinea pig are people (unless, of course, you've found a type IV guinea pig furry) and answer their questions and all (and, yeah, the "we know about ourselves" was bullshit rhetoric, but whatever), but I'm still going, eh, too much, too early. I think I could miss a yearly update if I knew the grand finale would be that much better.

Of course, this is the only ongoing anthropological study I'm a part of at the moment; what the hell do I know? I don't even think "anthropological" is the right word.

But that just goes back to point one ...

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Why are you trying to inform furries about furries, anyway? We're furries. We kind of already know what we do. Yes, it was fun reading the results of the survey, but, if you really want to inform "the scientific literature" those results were something I should not have known about.

This sounds similar to complaints that are made of other "obvious" research. The problem is you only think you know what we do, and the point of some research is to actually check that in a more rigorous way, hopefully with less bias than personal experience. Just making assumptions that some things are already known without checking can lead to big problems. Additionally, actually doing something like a survey not only double checks qualitative statements, but quantifies it too. In other words, it clarifies something from, "I think a lot of furries do X and those tend to be Y," to, "This percentage of furries do X, and this percentage of them do Y." And of course these results should be reported in literature even if obvious, so someone else can avoid having to repeat the work or find a way to improve upon the work.

Your rating: None

Gee, that's just what I was saying. This is about evidence of what furries are like. It'd be great if you were the same Anon from above but I doubt it. Still it's funny when if someone says 'furries are sex-obsessed freaks who dress up in animal costumes and hump dogs' they get all upset and tell you it's not true and there's no reason to say that but if some furries say 'We have wolf souls in us' they get upset when you tell them there's no reason to say that.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None

I am the same Anon that wrote one thread of responses above (registration never worked for me, and I don't care enough to stick a name on posts).

Both situations you give are quite similar, in the sense they both involve someone getting upset about someone else making judgemental statements that disagree with what they've seen before, which is especially understandable in cases where the statements are coming from an outsider lacking any effort to see where such people were coming from.

But I don't think a second thread needs to derail into off-topic...

Your rating: None Average: 1.7 (3 votes)

It's irrational to continue an argument you can't win.

Drop the dog-fucking apologism, dude.

Your rating: None

*nods* Understandable; your quibble with the question is a valid one. While I can't say what precisely we were looking for with the question (because there may be people who read this before taking the survey), I can say that your concerns are issues we've taken into question, and that, given the nature of the hypothesis we're testing with the question, that issue is not a serious problem for the validity of the question. I'd be happy to talk about it more in a one-to-one e-mail. But I would rather not talk about it in a forum >.>'

As always, thank you for your guys' interest in the research; Sonious, thank you for your honest opinion regarding the survey, and it means a lot to me that you speak well of the survey, despite the fact that it, like all surveys, is not a perfect instrument =)

Your rating: None

I'm sure you'll get responses from the general public who don't overthink the question to be sure, and I am pretty sure I already know what you're looking for with that line of questioning, and I think given the culture of the fandom those who don't think of things in specifics and are more emotionally based will certainly put their feelings on those things down despite "animal" being broad in someone who analyzes things too much in my mind.

Hopefully this musing didn't cause any undo influence in that question for anyone who hadn't read the question already. Though, people sometimes take these things in groups, and some of the questions were on previous surveys, and I think that might also have influence on some answers, particularly if someone noticed a conclusion from previous cycles they didn't want to admit even if they answered similarly and thus changed their answers this time around. I didn't look at the previous results until after taking it this time, so it didn't cause me to think about the results and instead just answer the questions.

Sometimes you just have to hope for honesty and integrity in those taking these things. Sometimes though survey takers do think about what the results will imply rather then just being honest though, which unfortunately disenfranchises them in a way.

Your rating: None

I sense lawyer talk!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Nope, it's simply not wanting to contaminate the pool.

If I put forth my hypothesis to the public on what I'm looking for in a question on a survey, the people who hadn't taken the survey yet could answer in such a way that it will either prove or disprove the hypothesis depending on their feelings on the hypothesis.

It's to keep people answering what they feel and truely are, not based on what results they want.

Your rating: None

Well, here we have a dilemma:

"what you are right now VS what you WANT to be"

Are your dreams a part of your present personality? People change, sometimes a lot. And any change in character is cause either by a powerful experience, or a desire/dream of improving. For example, a cowardly person wishes to be braver. He is asked whether he is brave or a coward by a survey. It is designed to determine what kind of person you are. But are your dreams a part of that?

Your rating: None

The problem is if he is shy at this point in time and I tell them this line of questioning is supposed to determine how brave he his, he might answer the opposite so that he appears brave right now. If however you phrase the question differently they could show that they are in fact not so brave at the moment without feeling as if they were revealing that part about them that they dislike.

I don't think ambitions was a part of this survey as it was written. Though in past survey's one's fursona's sexual orientation was hypothesized as one's ambition toward sexual exploration.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Arguing on the Internet.

You're all a bunch of retards.

*slow clap* Good that's still working.

Your rating: None

>laughing at arguing retards on the Internet
>2011
I seriously hope you won't do this again.
contemptcostanza.jpg

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <img> <b> <i> <s> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <sub> <sup> <object> <embed> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <dl> <dt> <dd> <param> <center> <strong> <q> <cite> <code> <em>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This test is to prevent automated spam submissions.

About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.