Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ask a Stupid Question ...

The above is the result I received upon completing an online "What kind of Christian are you?" quiz, and it goes to show that for every stupid question there is a misleading answer. The correct answer is "I am not a Christian," and the non-stupid form of the question would be, "To what form of Christianity do you object the least?" The quiz's constituent questions are, if anything, worse than the one that frames the whole of the quiz. Consider #5:

A "liberal" Christian of the sort this quiz declared me would find it hard to choose between the first two options, especially if "no single account is necessarily more accurate than the next" is read to encompass "each account is equally unreliable," and so long as "a complete picture of the historical Jesus" is read to encompass complete in scare quotes, so that it means something more like, "the gospels are among the primary texts from which Jesus's sketchy history has been stitched together."

Meanwhile, it's not difficult to imagine a committed Christian finding it difficult to choose only one of these, as they're not truly exclusive of one another. Consider the second and third: nothing in item two, as worded, suggests the gospel writers' biases and perspectives are incompatible; meanwhile, nothing in item three, as worded, requires that the identity of the gospel writers be firmly established. Nothing in the first three items contradicts the emphasis in the fourth on the clarity and moral instructiveness of the gospels. And so on.

Question three is worse:

The "largely mythological" of the fourth option is perfectly compatible with the "mixture of history and myth" of the third option. Also, the "people blinded by faith" mentioned in the fourth can include "the church" that was "guided by the holy spirit" mentioned in the third, with the "guided by the holy spirit" being the way believers characterize their faith-fueled blindness. From their perspective, they were "guided by the holy spirit" as they cherry-picked ancient texts; from other perspectives -- mine but not only mine -- they cherry-picked ancient texts based on, well, any number of biases and predilections.

Online quizzes should try harder. This one is a wreck.


Sheldon said...

A comment from the survey:

"I am a Christian after the Joel Osteen example. I am amazed how people
generally misinterpret the plan of salvation, by putting their own biasis and man made dogmas instead of taking the Bible, as GOD would have us to
live it,.."

I wonder what a Christian after the Osteen example thinks of what Jesus said about the chances of a rich man getting into heaven?

Dale said...

Joel Osteen ---- there's something deeply wrong with that fellow. Maybe a few things. He might one day be revealed to be some kind of robot.