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I think I got an A-

I took the Are You a Humanist? test, and only scored 90%. They’re not going to drum me out of the group, are they?

Unfortunately, the results don’t tell me on which of the questions I fell short of the humanist ideal. I suspect one might have been where I said my purpose was to protect the planet for future generations, rather than to increase the happiness and welfare of humanity, but I don’t know.

Comments

  1. dianne says

    Tsk, tsk. Next time study harder. I got a 93%, BTW. Not sure what it was all about. I didn’t like any of the choices in some cases.

  2. Gnumann+, Radfem shotgunner of inhuman concepts says

    Yup, they seem to contrast environmentalism to humanism.

    Many do, it’s one of the reasons I call myself a humanist with some reluctance. Fundamentalist humanism with no though for the long-term consequences is nobody’s friend.

  3. Louis says

    I got 93% too, Dianne.

    The important thing is that we are MORE humanist than PZ. This proves exactly what all the PZ-Critics have been saying for aeons. PZ is some sort of low life scumbag who is breaking atheism, scepticism and NOW humanism too. What a fucker. He is insufficiently humanist, he needs to be stoned or something.

    Up next, PZ goes to the toilet and does poopy that doesn’t smell of roses. Apparently.

    Louis

  4. gAytheist says

    I got 90%. Like PZ I took a long view and felt the most important thing to do was save the planet. I guess I’ll have to be stoned along with PZ. Bummer.

  5. Louis says

    Dianne,

    Indeed, indeed.

    Because the most important thing EVAR is how evil PZ is. In fact, I think at every given opportunity we should make every thread about it. Plus set up dedicated sites to how evil he is. The RIFTS are just that DEEEP.

    What’s also important is that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet in this echo-chamber (despite the MASSIVE DIFFERENCE in our humanist scores) or something. I’m not sure. All I know is I am a very bad monkey.

    I blame Rebecca Watson.

    Louis

  6. robindavies says

    I got a 93% as well. The only question I noticed on which I could have possibly lost points is my hideously selfish and self-centered insistence on enjoying a landscape rather than preserving it for future generations. I can’t help feeling that humanists should be more concerning with preserving HUMANS for future generations, rather than landscapes. I demand a recount!

  7. Louis says

    gAytheist, #6,

    I am presuming, and indeed hoping, that your ‘nym signifies that you are a gay atheist. If so, remember the words of the bible, a man who lies with another man should be stoned.

    Now I’m not judging, but it sounds like a good time to me.

    ;-)

    Louis

    P.S. Caution, humour may have been used in the formulation of some of these comments.

  8. says

    93% as well.
    I declare that to be the Pharyngula standard.
    Everybody else just leave.

    Nah, in some cases all answers were bad, in others there were two.
    And actually I think that to preserve the planet mightily increases human welfare and happiness. Hurricane Sandy seems to have made people rather miserable, don’t you think?

  9. Eurasian magpie says

    I got only 86% *quietly leaves through the back door*

    Some of my answers were decidedly hedonistic, like to the question of the beatiful view.

  10. darwinharmless says

    96% humanist. I wonder where I lost the 4%. Not that I was trying to top you, PZ. But it would be nice to know how they are defining this category.

  11. allencdexter says

    What’s this scoring crap? I must have missed something as I never took any survey and don’t plan to do so. I’m an evolving individual and where I am in opinions, understandings, etc. is just where I’m at. If it fails to meet someone else’s standard, too bad. Are we now setting up creeds for humanism?

  12. Sastra says

    93%

    Somewhere on the net (Belief.net?) was (or is) a popular test called something like “What religion are you?” A while back the religious chatrooms on IRC were all playing around with it. There were a couple dozen questions and at the end it gave percentages on how well you correlated with a couple dozen religions or so. Depending on how I chose to answer certain questions which I felt were ambiguous, my lowest scores were for either Islam, Catholicism, or Jehovah’s Witness. My highest were atheist or humanist.

    Which of course demonstrates a huge flaw in the test, and one a bunch of us protested against at the website. Whoever set the test up had separated atheism and humanism. That would be like having different categories for “Christian” and “Protestant.” I re-took the test multiple times and figured out that my score for “atheist” went down and my score for “humanist” went up every time I checked anything which had to do with ethics or morals and did NOT put down that it “didn’t matter” whether my belief/religion/life philosophy took a position on this issue.

    At the time, we thought that the test was implying that atheists had no morals. But looking back on it now, I realize the test was actually separating “dictionary atheists” from humanist atheists.

    Heh.

  13. The Mellow Monkey says

    Good lord, I did not like that quiz. I got 96%, but with most of the answers I was only choosing the best out of bad options.

  14. anchor says

    I didn’t live up to someone’s arbitrary and narrow definition of ‘humanist’ either. I am apalled to learn a tenth of me isn’t humanist.

  15. Sastra says

    allencdexter #16 wrote:

    What’s this scoring crap? I must have missed something as I never took any survey and don’t plan to do so. I’m an evolving individual and where I am in opinions, understandings, etc. is just where I’m at. If it fails to meet someone else’s standard, too bad. Are we now setting up creeds for humanism?

    The perfect humanist response! He must have found the secret to getting 100%: you refuse to take the test, on principle.

    I therefore declare that allencdexter is now the Pharyngula standard, everybody else just leave.

  16. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I think question 8 is scored wrong.

    “They are people with feelings like mine.”, “score”: 2
    “We will all be happier if we treat each other well.”, “score”: 3

    That’s backwards.

    The latter implies that I should treat other people with respect because I will be happier if I do. That is a more selfish answer than saying I should treat other people with respect because I understand that they have feelings which are equally important as my own.

  17. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    86% …what the heck is the point of the question about the beautiful view? It’s ridiculous.

    Some of the questions and choices provided make me think that being at all pragmatic is anti-humanist and that seems really odd. For instance, it’s just not true that it’s intrinsically good to be honest like one of the choices presented suggests in response to the question about honesty. It is true, however, that people find you more trustworthy when you are honest. It’s a good, if selfish, reason to be honest and some might argue it’s the only real reason.

    In any case, I guess I’ll follow Eurasian magpie out the back door. There’s no room for such deep rifts or …wait.

  18. Louis says

    I am now 100% Humanist. I am the first* to post this and therefore better than all of you. Everywhere. Forever.

    Louis

    P.S. SPOILER ALERT: 1d, 2 c, 3 d, 4 d, 5 b, 6 b, 7 c, 8 d, 9 c, 10 b. q5 protect the planet for future generations, q6 consequentialism, q7 pursue personal happiness, q8 maximise general happiness.

    I suppose if I have to there is a serious point here these aspects of “humanism” are debatable. Clearly this quiz is aimed at EVEN DEEEPER RIFTS!!!! (Damn couldn’t manage serious for long)

    * I see Randomfactor beat me to it. This happened during the writing of this post and due to relativity and QUANTUM I actually wrote it first. This means Randomfactor cheated and has plagiarised my answers and should thus be hunted down and persecuted unto the nth generation. Where n is a number to be determined.

  19. says

    @strange gods before me:

    Thanks!

    But there is also a non-trivial conversion between those scores and the percentage that is given at the end. I ran my own answers through and got 90%. Then I ran through all of the score-zero values, and got 3%. Apparently, they want to say that everyone has a little humanism in them.

  20. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    strange gods before me ॐ, but what’s wrong with the selfish answer? It’s not necessarily bad. I didn’t answer with the selfish answer to that question, but I did for another of the questions because it was the better fit. I think the problem rather lies with the questions and responses rather than the scoring (or just the scoring).

  21. glodson says

    I got a 100%, but a few answers I could have gone in a different direction as I think they would have amounted to the same thing. For instance the question on treating people well, I would imagine that treating people well because they have feelings like mine and treating people well because it benefits everyone have the same net effect.

    Looking at the answer key provided in this thread, I don’t like the scoring for the last question. I would put the answer of “Making lots of money” at zero.

  22. harvardmba says

    I scored 93%

    It makes sense, PZ, that you only made 90%. You most certainly lost points on the question about how we should treat animals. Considering you believe we should treat them however we please, I think you should have been flunked — and kicked off the planet.

    Ah, to dream ….

  23. Louis says

    Sastra, #24,

    No no no NO. These quizzes are authoritative. Failure to take them means you are not a True Humanist. One has to prove how much more of a humanist one is than someone else because this allows one to feel superior.

    Haven’t we learned by now that making any form of ethical statement or argument in the same sentence as any science or expression of atheism is causative of DEEP RIFTS? After all we all know by now atheism and humanism and scepticism have to be purer than pure and never attached to anything, because if any ethical dimension is ADDED it’s shaming racists or something.

    Isn’t that how it works?

    Louis

  24. anchor says

    Ah, ok. Can I still be a ‘humanist’ even if I’ve made a mistake? Or must humanists be dictionary perfect?

  25. strange gods before me ॐ says

    strange gods before me ॐ, but what’s wrong with the selfish answer? It’s not necessarily bad.

    Right, it’s not bad; I’d only switch the scoring from 2 and 3 to 3 and 2. And in practical terms, it’s fine, I have no real worries about someone who picks the answer they’ve scored highest.

    But if we have to score one higher than the other: a purely selfish person who actually does not believe that any other people ought to be happy at all, but only wants their own happiness, can honestly pick “We will all be happier if we treat each other well”. But it’s only possible to honestly pick “They are people with feelings like mine” by valuing the other person’s feelings as intrinsically important.

  26. Scr... Archivist says

    I also got 93%.

    But now that some of you are riding the Kobayashi Maru to 100%, you’re throwing off the curve. No fair!

  27. Cuttlefish says

    I scored higher than I would like to have; the majority of the questions did not have an answer I would have come even close to if I were writing it for myself.

    I do not self-identify as a humanist.

    I am much too shellfish.

  28. Eurasian magpie says

    So I lost points because I answered that death is the end of me, a beautiful view gives primarily pleasure to me, I’m motivated to honesty because then people will respect me more,* and other people matter because they have feelings too.

    Interesting.

    *see what I inserted there? See!!?

  29. The Mellow Monkey says

    SG:

    I think question 8 is scored wrong.

    “They are people with feelings like mine.”, “score”: 2
    “We will all be happier if we treat each other well.”, “score”: 3

    That’s backwards.

    The latter implies that I should treat other people with respect because I will be happier if I do. That is a more selfish answer than saying I should treat other people with respect because I understand that they have feelings which are equally important as my own.

    Interesting analysis. I didn’t like “they are people with feelings like mine” because it’s not true. My feelings don’t match other people’s feelings. I may be perfectly fine with something that’s terribly hurtful to someone else. I have to make choices based on what the best outcome is, not on what my feelings are. How I’d feel in a situation is unlikely to be exactly how someone else would feel in that situation, so I need to consider their feelings, not what my feelings would be. Additionally, there are times when something makes a person “feel” great in the short term, but will have long-term consequences or will cause suffering to others. The environment is a great example of that.

    It’s a fine start, but it’s where empathy begins, not its final destination. That’s how I felt about a lot of the answers, though.

  30. tfkreference says

    93%, because when I look at a beautiful landscape, I think about its beauty – not the potential threats to it (and I’m being honest here, so respect me).

  31. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    86%. Probably because I like fluffy animals, and certainly prefer cats to people most of the time!

    Crazy cat-owning old person in training.

  32. consciousness razor says

    Are we now setting up creeds for humanism?

    Who’s “we? Humanists have been doing that since at least 1933, depending on what you mean by a “creed.”

    ———

    I agree with sgbm on #8. Besides the possible selfish interpretation, it doesn’t matter all of the time if “we will all be happier.” Even then, others should be treated with respect because they can have feelings just like mine, which is the reason why they should be given any moral consideration. Not just the happy kind of feelings, but all sorts of different feelings.

    I think this is a simple scoring mistake, because #9 goes with the “because they can suffer too” answer for non-human animals, which is the same reasoning.

    I don’t like #2 either. When I die, that will be the end me. I will not “live on” in a memory. There’s no person inside a fucking memory; and I’m a person, so whatever that may be isn’t me. It isn’t an honest way to express that kind of sentiment, and it’s plainly avoiding the issue of what actually does happen at death.

  33. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Interesting analysis. I didn’t like “they are people with feelings like mine” because it’s not true. My feelings don’t match other people’s feelings.

    I agree it’s not very clearly written; it would be better to say “they are people with feelings as important as mine”.

    You’re reading it like the golden rule, but I do think it can be read like the platinum rule. “People with feelings like mine” can mean “people who experience happiness and sadness et cetera” and not only in the same situations as I would.

  34. robindavies says

    “How did the Universe begin?” Clearly the answer should be “I don’t know”. Unless somebody has a “Scientific answer” to that question, that I’m supposed to believe in. Sure. There was a big bang. But where did that come from? I’d like a recount on that question too.

  35. robindavies says

    … starting to think that anyone who score MORE than 90% should be kicked out of the Movement.

  36. Louis says

    tfkreference, #41,

    I’m being honest here, so respect me

    No.

    Black helicopters are on their way to your location as I type. You will be sent to a Detention and Reprogramming Centre for a Psychiatric Humanistic Adjustment. Please comply with all the Evil Atheist Conspiracy, Humanist Division, Operatives. We don’t want a repeat of the Berlin Incident now do we?

    Louis

  37. consciousness razor says

    I didn’t like “they are people with feelings like mine” because it’s not true. My feelings don’t match other people’s feelings. I may be perfectly fine with something that’s terribly hurtful to someone else.

    The way I read it, “like” means comparable or equal to, which is not similar or identical in any given circumstance. They have feelings in the way you have feelings, whether or not those feelings are the same.

    (That is of course one place where “the golden rule” breaks down: all other things being equal, you should treat other people how they want to be treated, not how you would want to be treated.)

  38. glodson says

    I am much too shellfish.

    I actually groaned out loud reading that. Which means, of course, I loved the comment.

  39. The Mellow Monkey says

    SG:

    I agree it’s not very clearly written; it would be better to say “they are people with feelings as important as mine”.

    Yeah, that works far better for me.

    This is one of the reasons I always hated multiple choice questions that have any shades of gray whatsoever. A vaguely worded answer or question and there’s no space to stop and say, “Wait. What do you really mean here?”

  40. colonelzen says

    90. Ripoff. With the landscape it didn’t say “Ponder the synthetic nature of phenomenality, and worry at the information flows that could account for the relationship between between the vision of landscape and good feeling, and try to see if there are any gotcha’s in their natural evolution” or more appropriately and generally “Simply enjoy and accept being in that beautiful moment”.

    And the thing about life? I thought the answer should be “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women”. Or is that wrong?

    — TWZ

  41. robindavies says

    The Beautiful View Question:

    From a purely humanist perspective, it seem to that the name of the game is not to “protect the planet for future generations”, but to optimally exploit the planet for this, and future generations. While there may be views that are worth protecting, there are also views that may make nice farmland and feed 100,000 people. Chances are good that any “natural” view that still survives today has either been farmed (at the expense thee planet), or clear-cut an two or three times over within the last three centuries.

    The optimal way to protect the planet would be to get rid of humans altogether. Which surely is not compatible with humanism. So that can’t be the right answer.

  42. Beatrice says

    93%

    Lost a point because I believe that death will be the end of me. If they had put that question in general terms, I would have answered differently.

    Mellow Monkey:

    Interesting analysis. I didn’t like “they are people with feelings like mine” because it’s not true. My feelings don’t match other people’s feelings.

    I didn’t want to choose that one for the same reason.

  43. says

    harvardmba: You guessed wrong on how I answered that question. That you think you know my mind better than I do makes you 100% moron.

  44. peterhuestis says

    I got a 93. :)

    I really objected to the question about animals; none of the responses were quite right for me.

  45. consciousness razor says

    And the thing about life? I thought the answer should be “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women”. Or is that wrong?

    That is what is best in life, not what is most important.* There is more import in the general happiness and welfare of humanity, simply because humanity vastly outnumbers you.

    *This quiz is obviously worded very carefully.

    The optimal way to protect the planet would be to get rid of humans altogether. Which surely is not compatible with humanism. So that can’t be the right answer.

    We’re certainly harmful to lots of other species,** but I have a hard time seeing how that could be “optimal.”

    **Does anyone seriously care about “the planet” itself, other than maybe Wiccans or Captain Planet? (Not to be redundant, but I just don’t know if he’s a Wiccan.)

  46. Spoon says

    86%. I definitely lost points for “It’s best to be honest because…” “People respect you more if you’re trustworthy.”

  47. The Mellow Monkey says

    Does anyone seriously care about “the planet” itself, other than maybe Wiccans or Captain Planet?

    The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement?

  48. says

    I didn’t like “they are people with feelings like mine” because it’s not true.

    I think it would have been better if they had phrased it: “they are people with feelings, like me”.

  49. randay says

    I’m proud of my 73% because I am too cynical for the “test”. Questions 5, 6, 7, 8,9 shot me down. 6 got me a 1 because “I really don’t think that much about it…” The others were 2’s, which I am happy about. 7 because I don’t feel happier about myself if I am always honest. Everyone lies everyday, that is the social grease that make society’s wheels turn.

  50. cardinalsmurf says

    I got 100%. So, why do I feel ashamed now?

    I didn’t like any of the provided answers to the final question, but that’s because it asked the question as “most important thing in life”. That makes me think of The Prime Directive, which is simply that the species must survive, and failing that, life must survive. But that’s only when it comes down to the wire!

  51. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Harvardmba, you are an embarrassment to animal rights activists. Instead of wasting your time haranguing a (mostly vegetarian) biology professor for dissecting a few fish how about you go a do something about the billions of cows chickens and pigs being tortured in CAFOs so Americans can suck down artery clogging fast food?

  52. brucegorton says

    90% – I did’t much like any of the honesty answers though, I figure it is best to be honest because I value knowledge, and dishonesty gets in the way of acquiring more of it.

  53. bradleybetts says

    I would tell you how much of a Humanist I was if the fucking test would load

    It’s by the British Humanist Association! How is that your heathen American broadband can load it but my good, honest, hardworking British broadband can’t? ;)

  54. consciousness razor says

    It’s by the British Humanist Association! How is that your heathen American broadband can load it but my good, honest, hardworking British broadband can’t? ;)

    Are you blocking cookies or scripts, perhaps? I had to allow the site with NoScript for it load.

  55. strange gods before me ॐ says

    michaelbusch,

    Then I ran through all of the score-zero values, and got 3%

    You must have missed one. I had a look at the code and saw nothing funny; to be certain I tried it and got 0%.

  56. yubal says

    @ strange gods

    I think the scoring for those two answers is correct since other people might have feelings orher than mine and still deserve happiness.

    Humanism celebrates diversity.

    (96%er btw)

  57. Christoph Burschka says

    Ooh, we have a catechism now? [/snark]

    But seriously, I don’t get some of these questions. For example, the “I don’t know” and “I don’t know, so I assume not” style agnosticism seem to relate equally to a humanist outlook, unless the “I don’t know” guy decides to play Pascal’s Wager. And both kinds of agnostics could be objectivists just as easily.

    Particularly, the multiple “happiness” vs. “preservation” questions really got me, because how are those distinct? It’s impossible to ensure the welfare and happiness of humanity without preserving its habitat; and there is little point to preserving the planet if humanity isn’t alive and well to enjoy it.

  58. consciousness razor says

    This is just absurd.

    { “id”: “9”, “question”: “Animals should be treated…”,
    “answers”: [
    {“answer”: “However we see fit. They don’t have souls and were created for us to use.”, “score”: 1 },
    {“answer”: “Kindly because they are sweet and fluffy and nicer than people.”, “score”: 2 },
    {“answer”: “With respect because they can suffer too.”, “score”: 3 },
    {“answer”: “With respect because they are part of God’s creation.”, “score”: 0 } ]},

    Treating them like shit because they don’t have souls (while implying we do, or at least a teleological “creation”) is scored higher than treating them respectfully because Goddidit. Of course, that’s an awful reason to treat animals with respect. Neither should get a point, if you ask me, but if anything the respectful one should be counted as better rather than worse.

  59. says

    93% here too. I also think it has something to do with equating environmentalism with humanism. Just because you think something in nature is beautiful to appreciate and enjoy doesn’t mean you don’t think it should be conserved and preserved for future generations. Using and appreciating a natural resource with respect is not anti-conservationist.

    I hate these all or nothing type tests. And not enough questions.

    I’m having more success figuring out how to do the 12 steps as an atheist.

  60. consciousness razor says

    It’s impossible to ensure the welfare and happiness of humanity without preserving its habitat;

    Not exactly impossible. We could build spaceships and colonize some other habitat(s), since the Earth isn’t the only possible one.

    and there is little point to preserving the planet if humanity isn’t alive and well to enjoy it.

    Again, are we talking about “the planet” or any other species on the planet? Are they completely irrelevant? Do you think it’s at least arguable that there is a point, however “little,” in giving some non-human animals some degree of moral consideration?

  61. strange gods before me ॐ says

    yubal,

    I think the scoring for those two answers is correct since other people might have feelings orher than mine and still deserve happiness.

    Humanism celebrates diversity.

    You are definitely misunderstanding my objection. See comments 36, 45 and 50.

  62. says

    If you define a Humanist as an atheist utilitarian then you will score well. Although I guess it depends on how you define ‘atheist’ and ‘utilitarian’!

  63. Sastra says

    Ah, the online religion test I was talking about #17 is this one. And now it’s clearer about the fact that it’s separating secular humanism from dictionary atheism (“nontheism”) in the descriptions.

    I remember that some of the Christians who started taking the test stopped in the middle and warned others not to take it, that it was not “faith-promoting.” When questioned as to how a survey of one’s own religious beliefs could be seen as subversive, they said they didn’t like the “pick and choose what you believe” vibe of the test, as if that’s all faith was. I suspect they were also rather shaken with the wide range of diversity of views about God, and concerned that sometimes they weren’t sure what they were “supposed” to answer in order to get what they believed in right.

  64. David Wilford says

    I think the test actually tests for whether you’re human or not. So PZ is clearly 90% human, and presumably 10% squid.

  65. Lachlan says

    96%. Some of the questions were pretty lame though. The one I got wrong was the “When I die…” one. I answered “That will be the end of me”, but apparently the correct answer was “I will live on in people’s memories.” Ok, so we’ve abandoned the actual definitions of “die” and “live” in favour of poetry. Is that a Humanist value?!

  66. EvoMonkey says

    “We calculate you are 96% humanist. You are a humanist or very close to humanist thinking. Many people are, often without even knowing it!”

    That remaining 4% has me worried. I going on a diet, so can I selectively lose that 4%.

  67. graham says

    Only 90% humanist it would seem. As a member of the BHA, next time my subscription’s up for renewal presumably I only have to pay 90% of the full fee?

  68. fastlane says

    We calculate you are 80% humanist.

    You are a humanist or very close to humanist thinking. Many people are, often without even knowing it!

    Meh, I’m surprised I got that high. I hate people…. :p

  69. Eric O says

    96%

    Looking at the answer key, I lost 4% by saying that we should treat others well because they’re people with feelings like myself rather than saying that treating others well makes everyone happier. I guess True Humanists are utilitarians rather than emotionalists.

  70. says

    96% Humanist here.

    Like some others, I lost one point on q2. I find the “Live on in my loved ones’ memories…” trope really irritating. Yes, I hope my widow and my sons and my friends will remember me with love, and that I will leave behind some positive influence, but that’s not “living on”; it certainly won’t feel like “living” *to me*, and putting like that steers way too close to mystical bullshit for my taste. It’s trying to invoke the emotional resonance of the word “living” to cover up the reality of the situation. My parents are dead, and I have lots of mementos of them, and I continue their legacy in certain ways, but they’re not *here*; I can’t talk with my Dad about things I think he would find interesting, and I won’t lie to myself about that.

  71. gussnarp says

    I got a 93%, but I may have been influenced by knowing PZ’s “wrong” answer. I think it depends how you think about it, ultimately doing what’s best for the happiness and welfare of humanity requires judgment, and in my judgment preserving the planet for the future is absolutely best for the long term happiness and welfare of humanity, so it’s a subset.

    There were a couple of others where I thought two answers were equally good, and I’m sure one was more “humanist” than the other…

  72. gussnarp says

    Seeing the key it appears that I lost points for saying death will be the end of me. Just because I don’t think I leave much of a legacy if I go now doesn’t mean I’m not a Humanist, it just means I need to work harder.

  73. maudell says

    100%!

    Clearly, I outhumanist most of you!

    Ouch, that must hurt!

    (Oops, I lost 20% for the nasty schadenfreude)

  74. stevebowen says

    100% but I had to sort of lie on the environmental choices to get it. Don’t tell though as I am a BHA member and I don’t want to be blackballed.

  75. Atticus Dogsbody says

    86%. Hmmm… Someone should put together a book to help me get my dogma in line.

  76. trollofreason says

    I got a 96%. Whee. My nuanced approach to an obscure test used to determine a largely subjective label meant that I got a high score.

    I am pretty internet-psychic now.

  77. says

    Ok.. WTF. I got a 93% because I picked wrong on two questions that contradict each other:

    Mine:
    This is what life is all about. I feel good.”, “score”: 2
    To preserve the planet for future generations.”, “score”: 2

    Theirs:
    We ought to do everything possible to protect this for future generations.”, “score”: 3
    To increase the general happiness and welfare of humanity.”, “score”: 3

    So.. wait.. How do you do everything for the well being of humanity, in “contradiction” with the idea that preserving the planet doesn’t matter, yet if its a landscape, or something, you fence it off, so no one can bulldoze it, even if that harms humanity in the long run, rather than just enjoying it while its there?

    I can see it now. The whole planet converted into some madness like Coruscant in Star Wars, except for all the aesthetic landmarks, which have been “carefully preserved” for future generations. lol

  78. says

    I want Larry Moran to do this test (he eschews the label “humanist”, though I think his views mostly fall in line with what is generally called secular humanism).

  79. geniusloci says

    I got a 73%. I think I’m a religious humanist. I answered that there is no evidence for a God, but I have to be honest and say that the reason I’ve internalized from my Christian upbringing for treating other people and creatures well is that they were created by God/made in his own image. I used to think I wasn’t wired for religion, but I think I just wasn’t wired for the kind of wacko born-again mindlessness I was periodically subjected to as a teenager. I fully, unequivocally accept current scientific explanations for 99.9999% of everything and do not attribute anything to the so-called God of the Gaps, but I still tend to view the Universe in religious terms. Which probably makes no sense whatever. C’est la vie.

    My husband, an astronomy and astrophysics professor, probably would have a score identical to PZM’s.

  80. imaginggeek says

    As others have already noted, it was less than useless a poll. Half the questions didn’t even have options that were comparable with what I’d claim are my beliefs. Others gave you the choice of 3 religious answers vs. 1 atheist answer. Depending on which of the not blatently religious options I picked I was between a 73 and a 93%er.

    I don’t consider myself a humanist…

  81. leonpeyre says

    Wow, I got 90% too. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the quiz, though; some of those questions were rather loaded, one at least left out an important possible answer, and I quickly realized that I could tell which answer I’d choose by looking for the most wordy (therefore least simplistic) one.

  82. says

    I only got a 90% too, but it’s because I’m a selfish git who enjoys natural beauty without giving a fart whether future generations will be able to see it. And I also, against all rational, sane, adult, atheist logic, harbor the hope that maybe something spectacular will happen when I die and I won’t just be worm food; I just don’t think any god will have anything to do with it.

    The one that threw me was whether people should be treated with respect because they’re “people with feelings like mine” (which would have made more sense as, “they’re people with feelings, like me”), or whether they should be treated with respect because we’ll all be happier, which was what I went with.

  83. John Morales says

    As usual, I couldn’t finish it because completion would have required me to select an option that did not apply to me (Please select an answer). Bah.

    When I look at a beautiful view I think that…
     
    * It must have been designed by God.
    * We ought to do everything possible to protect this for future generations.
    * It would be a nice place for a motorway.
    * This is what life is all about. I feel good.

    (I just think it’s a beautiful view; that is, none of the above)

  84. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Since PZ ain’t much for tooting his horn*, I shall embarrass him and quote from his Wikipedia entry:

    Additionally, PZ Myers was the recipient of the Humanist of the Year award in 2009, and the International Humanist Award in 2011.

    * That’s an idiom, people!

    (Get your minds out of the gutter)

  85. Amphiox says

    Given the way this test is set up, I’d say a score between 80-96% might be better than 100%, because it suggests that one did some independent thinking about the answers, as opposed to 100% which might mean that, but could also be an indication of pure lucky guesses, or hacking the code….

  86. says

    That “beautiful view” question reminded me of a poster I once saw advertizing the Alpha Course. It showed a guy standing at the top of a mountain, arms spread out in joy and triumph, with the caption “Is there more to life than this?” My reaction was: Geez, what the hell more do you want? That sort of thing — conquering real or metaphorical mountains and being rewarded with new vistas — *is* a lot of what life is all about, what makes it worth getting out of bed. Fuck the evangelists for denigrating that in favor of imaginary countries in the sky. “This is what life is all about” is very much a humanist answer.

  87. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Eric O,

    Looking at the answer key, I lost 4% by saying that we should treat others well because they’re people with feelings like myself rather than saying that treating others well makes everyone happier. I guess True Humanists are utilitarians rather than emotionalists.

    Hm? Hedonist utilitarianism — the usual variety of utilitarianism these days, and the kind being promoted when happiness is being promoted — is emotionalist. Happiness being an emotion, after all.

    I’m a utilitarian, and the reasons I chose “They are people with feelings like mine”, and believe it ought to be scored higher, is because:

    Both answers can legitimately be construed as utilitarian. Obviously, maximizing happiness is utilitarian, but recognizing that people ought to be treated well because their feelings are intrinsically important also leads to the same outcome of maximizing happiness.

    “They are people with feelings like mine” identifies why widespread happiness is to be preferred. I think this more thoughtful stance makes it a more effective line of reasoning for promoting utilitarian outcomes.

  88. cm's changeable moniker says

    That “beautiful view” question reminded me of a poster I once saw advertizing the Alpha Course

    Urgh. That reminds me of the posters that were running on the London Underground last month:

    To the rebels. To the curious. The inquisitive. Dare to think for yourself.

    SCIENTOLOGY.

    *facepalm*

  89. cm's changeable moniker says

    Oh, and, again … Eric O:

    I lost 4% by [not saying] that treating others well makes everyone happier

    That’d be me too, then. That claim is, as they say, “not well-supported by the evidence”. *glum*

  90. wondering says

    What? So I’m the only one that desperately wanted to choose:

    It was set up as an experiment by extremely intelligent aliens from another universe, who drop in every now and then to see how we’re doing.

    because it was by far the most awesome answer in the whole test (albeit wildly incorrect)?

  91. says

    My main problem with the survey is that there are frequently two answers that arguably are equally good, and it’s not obvious that one should be worth the extra point.

    However, I think that most of the complaints on this thread (including mine) are taking this thing too seriously. To me, the survey doesn’t look like a test of ideological purity so much as an advertizing gimmick for the BHA and/or humanism in general. Say you’re non-religious or ex-religious, and not sure if you fit in anywhere, and you do this survey (‘cuz everyone likes online surveys, right?) and you score 80 or 90%, and realize, Hey: there’s a name for what I am! And a community of like-minded folks! We’ve seen more than a few comments in this space as to how welcome that can be.

  92. strange gods before me ॐ says

    However, I think that most of the complaints on this thread (including mine) are taking this thing too seriously. To me, the survey doesn’t look like a test of ideological purity so much as an advertizing gimmick for the BHA and/or humanism in general.

    I certainly don’t think it’s a test of ideological purity, and I found those complaints to be facile. I do think that promoting the discussion of ethics via online polls can be a useful thing, and it ought to be done as competently as is feasible. The BHA now has a lot of excellent feedback in this thread regarding how they could improve the poll, feedback which cost them nothing and will now be trivial to act upon.

  93. John Morales says

    [meta]

    ॐ, I think it’s poor methodology in any case.

    IMO, it would be better to have responses which score {-2,-1,1,2} and allow for no response (scoring 0).

  94. evilDoug says

    The test was no damned use to me at all. My own fault for not reading carefully before I started – istoid

  95. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    The Mellow Monkey:

    Good lord, I did not like that quiz. I got 96%, but with most of the answers I was only choosing the best out of bad options.

    My thoughts exactly. I got a 96% too.

  96. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    My 93% stands in stark contrast to the ravening animosity I feel toward most human beings and fluffy animals.

  97. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Morales: When you lead the invasion of the planet by grim space beings ultimately resulting in the enslavement of humankind, your score will seem fitting rather than ironic. You have to think positive.

  98. davros says

    That “beautiful view” question reminded me of a poster I once saw advertizing the Alpha Course. It showed a guy standing at the top of a mountain, arms spread out in joy and triumph, with the caption “Is there more to life than this?” My reaction was: Geez, what the hell more do you want?

    Great comment

  99. John Morales says

    davros, exactly!

    (Food, drink, shelter, health, security… all are irrelevancies compared to a nice view)

  100. consciousness razor says

    AE, but it will be beautiful!

    (Ain’t that what life is about?)

    That’s not even what aesthetics is (all) about.

    Fuck, I just hate that sappy, bullshit answers are par for the course even for humanists, “advertising gimmick” or not.

  101. jdog says

    Ha! 96%!!! 111 USA, USA USA! Ooops – I think I just lost some points.

    Oh well, at least I’m not stuck on some damn caribean Island with a god-bothering Papal Inquisitor Wannabe…Yes, I’m look at YOU Gordon K Mullings.

    And in other news – Yo – Louis – Good to see you’re still out there. We miss you dude!

  102. dogfightwithdogma says

    I too received a 90% score. I answered “improve the happiness and welfare of people” on the question that PZ referred to. But I figure that anything over 80% is good enough to qualify.

  103. katenrala says

    “How did the Universe begin?”

    Isn’t “I don’t know” still a better answer than “the scientific explanations are the best ones available. No gods were involved.”?

    I thought that the very beginning of this stage of the universe and what may have happened before were still un-observable and just hypotheses.

  104. katenrala says

    I guess maybe Krona published a paper that finally passed peer review then so I guess I could be wrong.

    Did he get a Nobel yet?

  105. says

    I aced the quiz, but I hear that on the mid-term we will have to write an essay on the geographical bias built into the question :

    When I look at a beautiful view I think that…
    1 – It must have been designed by God.
    2 -We ought to do everything possible to protect this for future generations.
    3 – It would be a nice place for a motorway.
    4 – This is what life is all about. I feel good.

    For instance, #3 is obviously the correct answer in North America. ‘Motorway’ is a quaint British colloquialism, and may be better understood as anything from a footpath just wide enough for two way scooter travel, up to autobahns, your superhighways, and your launch facilities for the SpaceX Falcon heavy which, incidentally, has the most science in it, and nestled snugly into a panoramic splendor, well, need I say more?
    There are also ques[That’s it, this joke is over on account of inhumane parody being committed]
    – – –

    #17 Sastra

    Somewhere on the net (Belief.net?) was (or is) a popular test called something like “What religion are you?” A while back the religious chatrooms on IRC were all playing around with it. There were a couple dozen questions and at the end it gave percentages on how well you correlated with a couple dozen religions or so. Depending on how I chose to answer certain questions which I felt were ambiguous, my lowest scores were for either Islam, Catholicism, or Jehovah’s Witness. My highest were atheist or humanist.

    I remember that quiz. I don’t remember what I got for atheist, but 99% or so hymanist(lol, thank allah for spell check, meant to put a ‘u’ and all that), ~66 Buddhist, but I specifically recall the 32% for Christian values!
    What that says about Christianity, I don’t know… O.O

  106. davidmc says

    96 percent, possibly because i’m not a breeder, so my memory wont live on in my children

  107. says

    To get 100 %, you must answer “preserve the landscape for future generations” and “increase general human happiness”. Which I don’t find to be the most consistent choice of all, anyway.

  108. Roberto Aguirre Maturana says

    96% here. I think this test was quite ambiguous, with some alternatives not being mutually exclusive and other alternatives lacking.

  109. says

    I got a 90% as well.

    Why is animal welfare important to Humanism but Environmentalism isn’t? I don’t get that at all. Choosing to make everyone happy today would include things like lying, stripping resources, and destroying future habitations. So I find environmentalism essential: We need an environment to live in.

  110. says

    I got 93%. I’m a better humanist than PZ! Or, I’m a better humanist according to the definitions used by the person making the poll for the BHA which does not necessarily represent a consensus.

  111. Mikkel Birch says

    I specifically recall the 32% for Christian values!
    What that says about Christianity, I don’t know… O.O

    It doesn’t really say anything about Christianity. It only says something about what most christians think Christianity is about. And about how little christians actually know about their religion.

    That said, I got 90%

    The sad thing is, the second time I took it, simply by randomly clicking an answer(taking no more than 2 seconds for each question), I got 73%

  112. Mikkel Birch says

    Don’t read the question or possible answers, just move the mouse up and click an “random” answer. Click the “Next” button. Rinse and repeat.

    It’s easiest to “not read the questions/answers” if you let your eyes ‘not focus’, so everything gets kinda blurry, and just ‘stare’ blankly at the screen. That way, you can’t actually see the letters/words clearly enough to read them.

    Rolling a d4 would probably work as well :)

    On taking the test two more times(in two different ways), I’ve gotten 56%, and 94%.

  113. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    It’s easiest to “not read the questions/answers” if you let your eyes ‘not focus’, so everything gets kinda blurry

    This is how you ace the Stroop test, and impress everyone in your intro psych class.

  114. says

    @150: I don’t think your randomization procedure is working well. Based on the known scoring scheme, the expected score is 15/30, ie. 50%., and should be as likely to be lower as higher. I’ll leave it for the stats geeks to chi-square it (or whatever) and confirm that.