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So I AM a Secular Humanist

… at least according to this test. (HT: TheoPoetic Musings, who also turned out to be a secular humanist, though not quite as much of one as I am.) I scored 62 of 166, 37% which makes me a secular humanist!

The interesting thing about this test was that I had a hard time deciding whether it was written by incompetent test question writers, or skilled marketers. In favor of incompetence I noted: (1) the obvious lead-in, which seems to announce, “We’re trying to suck you in!” (2) Questions with obvious false dichotomies implied, (3) The obviously American character of a worldview test, 4) Questions with multiple elements not necessarily connected logically.

In favor of skilled marketing is that “sucking you in” feeling which might be much more effective on someone who doesn’t look for it everywhere. In this case it was very blatant, but their market may well be people who can only be drawn in by the obvious. The idea of the test is clearly designed to catch one’s fear of not really being on the in-crowd with God, despite several nods to salvation by faith.

In the “I don’t know what it means” category is the ridiculous scale they use:

  • Strong Biblical Worldview Thinker
  • Moderate Biblical Worldview Thinker
  • Secular Humanist Worldview Thinker
  • Socialist Worldview Thinker
  • Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Secular Humanist Worldview Thinker

Everything from support for war to economic policy becomes part of a Bible world view.

War:

One of the Ten Commandments is, “thou shalt not kill;”, thus it stands to reason that God is opposed to war and nations going to war.

My answer of “tend to disagree” was said to be incorrect. The correct answer, if one has a Biblical worldview approved by these folks, is “Strongly disagree.”

Similarly things like capital punishment and a capitalist economy are said to be a part of the Biblical worldview, and the only acceptable answer is to strongly agree that capital punishment is Biblical, and that the Bible overall teaches an economy built on private property and personal initiative. (I’m not so sure about the former, and the latter leaves substantial wiggle room, in my view.

In any case, in the final analysis, it appears to that test is designed to produce the result “secular humanist” unless you’re an American right-winger who probably regards the Republican party as socialist, thus making you a good candidate for indoctrination into the so-called “Biblical worldview.”

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5 Comments

  1. Henry, thanks for that link it was the most fun I’ve had all day! I am also, apparently, a secular humanist. My very favorite part, though, is the breakdown at the end where you are told what the “right” answer to each question was. On top of that, the “right” answer is invariably either strongly agree or strongly disagree, demonstrating yet again that the crazy US Fundies have no time or patience for careful thought or nuance. Also, as you noted above, some of the logically unrelated elements in various questions were simply hilarious!

    1. The “not so funny” part is that there must be people who are making donations to the folks and paying to go to their worldview seminars.

      But the test was hilarious, as you say.

  2. A few years ago, I tested as a Communist/Marxist/Socialist/Secular Humanist. Knowing the right-wingnuttery of Brandon Howse (thanks to slacktivist and other bloggers), I tended to answer the badly worded or logically incoherent questions the opposite of what they thought the correct answer should be. The Communist label makes no sense to me, since my politics tend toward a center-left for almost exclusively Christian reasons (though I never claim them as the only Christian possibilities for government), but to someone like Howse, my position is probably indistinguishable from the position of an atheist communist.

    I remember that one of the questions when I took the test was “Is George W. Bush president of the United States?” Not a question of interpretation, but a question of fact. Have they gotten rid of that question? I’d be willing to bet pretty much everything I own that they haven’t replaced it with “Is Barack Hussein Obama president of the United States?”

    1. I set out to evaluate the test–a futile gesture on my part as it turned out–so I tried to answer as honestly as I could given the either dishonest or incoherent nature of the questions. Still, as a quite devout Christian who is center-left-libertarian, and thus has many of the capitalism oriented questions on my side, I was surprised at the number.

      Even my capitalism is too wishy-washy for them, and I absolutely do not include agreeing with me on capitalist ideas as part of what sort of Christian one is. When I was overseas with my missionary parents, many of our Christian friends were fully socialist and unapologetic about it. We never attempted to convert them!

      And no, they didn’t have the question of whether George W. Bush is president of the U. S., and you are correct that it is not replaced by Barack Hussein Obama. Doubtless that was intended to catch leftists who would say, “not my president” and thus, for reasons past my comprehension, would lack a Biblical worldview.

      I feel a rant coming on about all this use of “Biblical.”

  3. Thanks for linking to my post. Anyways, nice test evaluation—I also find it funny that for a test about theological worldviews—the questions have little if anything to do about theology or the bible.

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