Battleground God

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
Kiless
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Battleground God

Post by Kiless » Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:49 am

This particular site from skepticexpress.com forums was quite interesting.

http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/god.htm

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.

able83
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Post by able83 » Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:25 am

that was fun.

God exists? T

If God does not exist then there is no basis for morality. F

Any being which it is right to call God must be free to do anything. F

Any being which it is right to call God must want there to be as little suffering in the word as is possible. F

Any being which it is right to call God must have the power to do anything. F

Evolutionary theory maybe false in some matters of detail, but it is essentially true. T

It is justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, even in the absence of any external evidence for the truth of these convictions. T

Any being that it is right to call God must know everything that there is to know. F

Torturing innocent people is morally wrong. T

If, despite years of trying, no strong evidence or argument has been presented to show that there is a Loch Ness monster, it is rational to believe that such a monster does not exist. T

People who die of horrible, painful diseases need to die in such a way for some higher purpose. F

If God exists she could make it so that everything now considered sinful becomes morally acceptable and everything that is now considered morally good becomes sinful. F

It is foolish to believe in God without certain, irrevocable proof that God exists. F

As long as there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality. F

The serial rapist Peter Sutcliffe had a firm, inner conviction that God wanted him to rape and murder prostitutes. He was, therefore, justified in believing that he was carrying out God's will in undertaking these actions. F

If God exists she could create square circles and make 1 + 1 = 72. F

It is justifiable to believe in God if one has a firm, inner conviction that God exists, even if there is no external evidence that God exists. T

USAskeptic
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Post by USAskeptic » Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:11 am

Thanks for the link. I enjoy inspecting how different types of tests are designed.

Generally, the test is like so many of its kind, with poorly structured sentences, nonsensical reasoning, numerous contradictions, and a harsh lack of knowledge of the topics it incorrectly assumes to have answers for. I do hope that children are not swayed to conform to the test’s line of faulty reasoning.

All tests have errors, and even standardized tests have serious flaws, but I am a little peeved at this one. :D The designer says the test is still in designing, so hopefully the test will be corrected at a later date.

Kiless
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Post by Kiless » Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:36 am

USAskeptic wrote:Thanks for the link. I enjoy inspecting how different types of tests are designed.

Generally, the test is like so many of its kind, with poorly structured sentences, nonsensical reasoning, numerous contradictions, and a harsh lack of knowledge of the topics it incorrectly assumes to have answers for. I do hope that children are not swayed to conform to the test’s line of faulty reasoning.

All tests have errors, and even standardized tests have serious flaws, but I am a little peeved at this one. :D The designer says the test is still in designing, so hopefully the test will be corrected at a later date.
It is rather bad-tempered, I admit. I'd be interested in seeing an alternative one.
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Heathen
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Post by Heathen » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:21 pm

USAskeptic wrote:

“The designer says the test is still in designing, so hopefully the test will be corrected at a later date.”

This …test…will never be corrected. I first encountered this sham 3 years ago, and only a few of the fake questions have been reworded. The alterations did nothing to fix the flawed reasoning and were simply cosmetic. A few old and new observations.

These two got my attention. From the faqs section;

“7. The bullet I've bitten isn't really a bullet.
(See our disclaimer at the beginning of the game. You may well be right.)”

“15. Is it possible that you've made obvious logical errors, missed get outs, etc., in this test?
(Yes, of course it is.)”

That’s not the impression they give throughout the rest of the document. Quite the opposite, in fact. They falter over the wording of a few concepts. There is a difference between believing there is no god and having no belief in god. The first would qualify as a belief while the second would not. Non-belief is not a belief, but an absence of belief. Within this test, they attempted to portray non-belief as if it were a belief.

A blatant attempt to set up a deliberate trap with #6 and #13.

“Question 6
Evolutionary theory maybe false in some matters of detail, but it is essentially true.”

“Question 13
It is foolish to believe in God without certain, irrevocable proof that God exists.”

I really can say “true beyond reasonable doubt” for #6 without the artificial requirement of “certain, irrevocable proof”. Sin duda, the author(s) believe in the non-requirement of bisecting every quark and gluon in the universe before declaring that the supernatural is BS. I do not. Again, the artificial constraint of the test maker’s interpretations does more to reveal the limitations of their own beliefs than to reveal any contradiction on the part of the test taker.

“Question 14
As long as there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality.”

Clearly false. Perhaps a rephrasing of their position may highlight their erroneous assumptions.

“Non-faith is a matter of faith.” Need I clarify the absurdity of that position? The convoluted explanation they provided only demonstrated that, like so many others before them, they would like to define the non-believers position from a believer’s paradigm.

Question #14 completely ignores the fact that no one has an obligation to disprove god. On the other hand, theists have always had (and evaded) the burden of proof by making the incredible claim that god exists. “There is no god” is not a claim at all but merely a (dry) observation. Just another clumsy effort to reverse the burden.

A few of the questions are of the Homer Simpson ‘can god microwave a burrito so hot that even he can’t eat it?’ category. I view these as ‘filler’ and somewhat pointless.

Here’s where they reveal their own position:

“Question 7: It is justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, even in the absence of any external evidence for the truth of these convictions.”

“Question: It is justifiable to believe in God if one has a firm, inner conviction that God exists, even if there is no external evidence that God exists.”

A re-cap of the actual purpose of this sham test: The author(s) take offence that other people do not share their identical beliefs. They want to compel (rather than persuade) others to view non-belief as if it were not only a belief, but an irrational belief at that. For this reason I recommend this site as an excellent example for theists and non-believers alike to practice at discerning ‘what is bad rhetoric?’.

USAskeptic
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Post by USAskeptic » Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:13 pm

Heathen, I started to write a long reply last night about the test, but decided to make it short. You touched on most of the things I was wanting to vent about, so it worked out pretty good. :D

I did not read enough of the site’s material to know it had been online for three or more years. I was wanting to give the test designer the benefit of the doubt, but if the test has not been rationally clarified by now, then as you say it will likely never be.

I approached one designer who made tests for schools and businesses, and I showed him how the questions required instinctive responses without knowledge or rational thought. He replied with a modified excuse that his test was perfectly valid since about 99% of people do respond instinctively and without rational thought, and the instincts were what the test was best used to indicate personalities.

It’s a sad state of affairs when tests are designed by individuals who haven’t a clue of what they are testing.

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Post by Kiless » Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:17 pm

'Discern what is bad rhetoric!' Useful for something then! :) Anyone got an alternative suggestion that they've found around the internet?
Copyright © 2004 - 2006 by Kiless, all rights reserved. Permission to quote open posts is granted for users on this forum only. All other use is prohibited except by express written permission of the author. Permission to quote PMs is absolutely denied.