Can your beliefs about religion make it across our intellectual battleground?
In this activity you’ll be asked a series of 17 questions about God and religion. In each case, apart from Question 1, you need to answer True or False. The aim of the activity is not to judge whether these answers are correct or not. Our battleground is that of rational consistency.
This means to get across without taking any hits, you’ll need to answer in a way which is rationally consistent. What this means is you need to avoid choosing answers which contradict each other. If you answer in a way which is rationally consistent but which has strange or unpalatable implications, you’ll be forced to bite a bullet.
Of course, you may go along with thinkers such as Kierkegaard and believe that religious belief does not need to be rationally consistent. But that takes us beyond the scope of this activity, which is about the extent to which your beliefs are rationally consistent, not whether this is a good or a bad thing.
I hear you asking (because I want to answer) Brian, what was your score?
Oh, thank you for asking. I got zero -- count 'em, ZERO -- hits on the Battleground. Perfect score! Only 8% of Battleground God contestants are equally rationally consistent.
I earned the freaking Medal of Honour! Check it out:
Of course, I've been pondering subtleties about belief in God, and the lack thereof, for most of my life. So it's not all that surprising that I'd have my philosophical act together when it comes to this stuff.
I assume that now nobody will ever leave a comment on this blog criticizing my views. (Joking! But seriously, critical dudes and dudettes, you should take the Battleground God test yourself, and see how consistent your own beliefs are.)
Looking over the TPM home page, I noticed another test that sounded intriguing: the Philosophical Health Check.
The PHC report below lists pairs of beliefs which are identified as being 'in tension'. What this means is either that: (1) There is a contradiction between the two beliefs or (2) Some sophisticated reasoning is required to enable both beliefs to be held consistently. In terms of action, this means in each case you should either (1) Give up one of the two beliefs or (2) Find some rationally coherent way of reconciling them.
It may help to think of the idea of 'tension' in terms of an intellectual balancing act. Where there is little or no tension between beliefs, little intellectual effort is required to balance both beliefs. But where there is a lot of tension, either one has to 'jump off the tightrope', by abandoning one belief; maintain one's balance by intellectual effort and dexterity; or else 'fall off the tightrope' by failing to reconcile the tension and holding contradictory beliefs.
Not to toot my own horn, but...HONK, HONK! Once again, I aced the test: zero tensions in my belief pairs, zero.
I'm a philosophical rock star! Well, along with 9% of the 160,211 other people who have taken the Philosophical Health Check.
All this means is that I've got highly consistent beliefs about the nature of God, morality, and such. Which must be why everyone always agrees with what I say in my blog posts.