So for every idea there are three stances : disbelief, uncertainty, belief. In religion we say atheism, agnostic & theism but such judgements apply to every realm.
Everyone should be able to look at a statement and form for themelves a reasonable stance:
"Acupuncture can cure many ills." results in disbelief for me.
I'm sorry, keep your freaky needles out of my skin, I am not buying. Then again, does my belief apply to all cases, or might other people reach different conclusions? Other people have had positive results from acupuncture, in some cases stronger results than a placebo effect can explain.
So while acupuncture is not for me, I'm not sure that I can make fun of anyone for trying it.
I am not without a belief, but I am really agnostic.
"The earth is spheroid." results in belief for me.
On this issue, I'm pretty sure that disagreeing with me makes you an idiot. Call me a zealot, but I'm a believer here. If you're not a believer, then as an idiot incapable of making rational choices, I'd really prefer that you be kept away from sharp objects and positions in government.
When I am right and you are just plain wrong (so often the case!) I have several options:
If you keep your wackiness in check and don't damage anything with it, I'm prepared to ignore it and allow
you to live as normal a life as someone like you is capable of living. This is what is commonly called
"tolerance." The Dali Lama is tolerant. Ghandi was tolerant. Nelson Mandela is tolerant.
Jesus Christ was tolerant.
If you don't actually cause harm, sometimes even when you do, tolerant people simply allow you to do what you feel you need to do.
However, they disaprove of the harm you do to others,and they'd really like you to become a more self-actualized and tolerant person yourself. In some cases they will even commit acts of violence against you to stop you from continuing to harm others -- soldiers and police officers enforce societal norms when they must for us all to live in peace.
If you disagree with me and it's really not hurting anyone, but it bothers me so much that I wouldn't mind if someone else were to harm you, then that makes me radical. Sarah Palin is radical. Glenn Beck is radical. Brian S. Brown is radical. Benjamin Netanyahu is radical.
These are folks who disaprove of your views enough that if someone were to kill you, they wouldn't quite be able to bring themselves to condemn that act. They might not explicitely condone it, but a jury of these folks couldn't convict your murderer.
Osama bin Ladin is a terrorist. Anders Breivik is a terrorist. These folks actually cause harm and destruction. Not only do they disagree with you, they are willing to torture and kill you to prevent you from disagreeing with them - even though your views caused them no harm.
Radicals who don't hurt anyone should be educated, while terrorist should be incarcerated. But at no point can we dehumanize them, laughing and applauding their pain and their deaths. For when we do that, we become them.