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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:27 am 
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Oh, Jnyusa, don't be so hard on the poor boys who made up the silly quiz! ;) Look at the fun it's given us. :D

I didn't mind being pushed around, I knew where they were pushing me to.

I just like internal logic, consistency, and that's where I think the whole thing fell apart. I DO NOT like it when people make up a game, invite you to play, and then start changing the ground rules, just because they can: " Oh, no, you can't move your Green piece there, didn't I tell you? Silly me. No, no Green ones can only land on Yellow squares. So, guess what? You lose!"

I do agree though, that the number of "ID" articles looks mighty Fishy.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:28 am 
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One could certainly design questions that would legitimately test the consistency of a person's beliefs. That's exactly the kind of psychometric testing that is used to detect mental illness. But I wouldn't know where to begin to evaluate a test like this. If every person who answers seem to understand the question a different way, and that does seem to be the case, then the reliability of the test is zero.

Jn

edit: cross posted with vison

I may add a rant later about the math sites that do this same kind of thing. I am deeply allergic to people who use pseudo-professional knowledge to convince the great unwashed masses that they are stupid and/or illogical.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:59 am 
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Jn:

Well, I'm about as mad as I get, because this kind of thing really gets me. Honestly, I feel as if these people are being slandered based only on suspicion, and I don't like it one bit. It's wrong. That's my warning. I've tried to dial everything back.

I am astonished that you still think they are secretly pushing religion after the evidence demo and I presented. I haven't seen one bit of real evidence that they are pushing anything.

Let's see, that God building excercise. Well, if you take that test and answer it as a Christian would, they jump all over you and tell you your God is implausible and inconsistent. You seem fixated on this idea that they are secret enemies of rationality, when all they are is builders of imprecise internet 'philosophy' games that try to hit everyone.

Well, I am at this point fairly convinced you are dead wrong about no respectable philosphy journal touching ID, since everything I can tell about this magazine from my still limited investigation is that it is respectable and not anti-rationality. Philosophy isn't Science! Why would Richard Dawkins submit an article to a magazine that pushes religious anti-rationality?


Here is what the questions on the first test actually say:

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.


The website guys believe that to answer True to both questions amounts to saying that Evolution is proved certainly and irrevocably.

Of course, one can argue with their reasoning. I don't think it's that compelling myself. But I am appalled that you feel the need to attack them as secret religious anti-rational pushers, based only on this and the other ( in my opinion ) mistakes you made in analyzing the magazine.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:41 am 
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Faramond:

Quote:
You seem fixated on this idea that they are secret enemies of rationality, when all they are is builders of imprecise internet 'philosophy' games that try to hit everyone.


I won't go so far as to say that building an imprecise internet game that tries to hit everyone is the same as being a secret enemy of rationality, but I will repeat what I said to vison in my post above:

Quote:
I am deeply allergic to people who use pseudo-professional knowledge to convince the great unwashed masses that they are stupid and/or illogical.


I also despise colleague who put trick questions on multiple choice tests under the pretense of separating the sheep from the goats. I despise trickery that masquerades as professional knowledge wherever it occurs, even on the internet, because I think that most people do start out a test like this having hopes that they will be confirmed lucid if not the reincarnation of Socrates, and the test is most certainly designed to destroy that hope in the average person if it achieves nothing else.

Whether they are secretly motivated I can't really know. Maybe they just get more advertising money when they get lots of hits and lots of emails.

Faramond wrote:
Of course, one can argue with their reasoning.


Faramond, they couldn't pass Philosophy 101 with reasoning like that. That's what makes their pronouncements so laughable.

I would not have concluded that they were pushing God from the questions on this test alone; though I would certainly have concluded that they were pushing an idiosyncratic and broadly demeaning view of rationality. My conclusion about a not-so-up-front agenda came from the combination of the answers given on the dead chicken test, which has to do with moral reasoning, and the fact that they are advertised on another website together with book likes the Catholic Encyclopedia and The World According to Chabad, or whatever that other book was, as all cut from the same cloth.

There's nothing wrong with the Catholic Encyclopedia! But it doesn't pretend to be religiously neutral, does it.

I'm not an atheist and I don't care if websites are out to prove a religious point, but I suspect that any attack on the ability of religious people to reason properly would be just as repulsive to established religious authorities as the equating belief in God to belief in evolution would be repulsive to a scientist. Not all religions apply the same system of logic to their orthodoxy, but all religions with any ... provenance, let's say ... do attempt to deduce from religious principle to moral precept using some consistent method. Attempting to convince people that religion is nothing but wayward inner conviction also strikes me disingenuous and a rather dangerous idea to espouse. That was pretty much the point of the morality test and I found it disturbing, not funny at all.

So I don't know what bone they're chewing on, but I am not satisifed that the answer is 'none.' Shoot me, if you like, but the whole picture does not add up for me. Maybe they're just jerks. That too is always a possibility.

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:41 am 
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I should probably pre-emptively apologize, before called out for it. I've gotten way too worked up about this ... it isn't worth it, really.

I'm sorry for the tone of my last post. If it's bad enough to edit some Shirrifff can take care of it.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:43 am 
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Faramond, we cross posted. No I don't mind what you posted. I tried to answer honestly, but I don't know if my answer will be satisfactory from your point of view.

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:57 am 
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Jny

I think you are making far to much of this. Having checked out these guys background and looked at the rest of the site I am very confident that they are not theists or jerks or idiots, quite the opposite. I think this a fun little quiz that is debatable at some points, which the creators cheerfully acknowledge (frankly it would be impossible not to have hotly debated points with a subject like this). Despite those points I think the quiz holds together very well and I am surprised at the depth of your feeling on this.

I'd smile and let it go if I was you. :-)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:28 am 
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:) Smiles and lets it go.

<begs posters not to have too low an opinion of their own reasoning power>

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:32 am 
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:)

Reminds everyone who will listen that sense is what you make of it. :upsidedown:

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:45 am 
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It is satisfactory from my point of view, certainly.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:31 am 
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Jnyusa wrote:
I despise trickery that masquerades as professional knowledge wherever it occurs, even on the internet, because I think that most people do start out a test like this having hopes that they will be confirmed lucid if not the reincarnation of Socrates, and the test is most certainly designed to destroy that hope in the average person if it achieves nothing else.


I see that all of those criticising the test appear to be from the disappointed.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:09 pm 
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:scratch:

I believe most of us did rather well despite the test's flaws. I'm certainly not going to retire in shame to an obscure watering-place and live out a solitary and enigmatic life.

But that's just me.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:50 pm 
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Um...whatever.


My one bullet:
Quote:
Earlier you said that it is not justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, paying no regard to the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of this conviction, but now you say it's justifiable to believe in God on just these grounds. That's a flagrant contradiction!


This is not a contradiction - the first part is about the external world. The second part is about God. I don't quite see God as part of the external world. :)

I was very amused that the first question - Do you believe in God? - I can now honestly answer with all three answers with total honesty depending on what POV I choose to take. :)


Oh, and I sw000000n for Faramond.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:53 pm 
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yov:

But what did I do that was swoonworthy? :)


Jn:

So, what about these tricksy math sites you've mentioned a few times? Where can I find them?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:59 pm 
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Aravar wrote:
Jnyusa wrote:
I despise trickery that masquerades as professional knowledge wherever it occurs, even on the internet, because I think that most people do start out a test like this having hopes that they will be confirmed lucid if not the reincarnation of Socrates, and the test is most certainly designed to destroy that hope in the average person if it achieves nothing else.


I see that all of those criticising the test appear to be from the disappointed.


Disappointed? You mean, like, I think I "should have done better"? Um. . . . done better in what way? Did I get a C+ instead of an A?

While Jnyusa's exact criticisms of the test are different from mine, I can't see that she, or I, were "disappointed" in our "results", but rather that we both feel this quiz was dishonest and illogical.

I knew, while answering the questions, that I was likely to take a hit, since when you have to choose between unsuitable answers you are bound to wind up contradicting yourself.

These tests are fun, but think how much more fun they'd be if the designers weren't so often playing head games. I don't quite understand what the point of THAT is. I daresay they must get some validation of their innate superiority.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:08 pm 
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Aravar wrote:
I see that all of those criticising the test appear to be from the disappointed.


I didn't take all of the test Aravar. When I got to their "answer" about evolution - that was the first stop sign I got - I realized they were pulling our leg.

The morality test was posted on B77, and it was reading the explanations of poster logic over there that got my dander up - that is, I realized posters were being b.s.'ed by the 'professionals' on that one too.

I'm sure it would be possible to take the test multiple times and figure out how to either get through without stop signs or else get all stop signs. I haven't bothered to do that, but I might if I get bored one day.

Anyone who's interested can read Stephen Law's bio on the internet. He's got posted a chapter from his book ... The Philosophy Gym or something. Anyone can read it and judge for themselves whether he's an idiot or not.

(Perhaps nel and yov in particular can read it and tell us whether they would prefer to have friends like that or transparent enemies.) ;)

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:27 pm 
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Jnyusa wrote:


(Perhaps nel and yov in particular can read it and tell us whether they would prefer to have friends like that or transparent enemies.) ;)

Jn


I read it only because you asked. I'll take transparent enemies (although frankly I'm not convinced he's not already in that category). The author, though, seems to have fallen into a trap that runs all the way back to the Bible itself: consideration of gay men only.

After all, I take this commandment very seriously:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." Leviticus 18.22

...and yet no one ever credits me for it. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:32 pm 
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I read the online chapter. I'm more or less neutral about it. Well, I think it's rather crass to create a fictional dialogue with God. I don't see idiocy, though.

And it seems very obvious to me that if this guy is pushing an agenda, it's an atheist one.

edit: So, what am I not seeing? What is so awful about the chapter, nel and Jn?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:53 pm 
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nel wrote:
... although frankly I'm not convinced he's not already in that category ...


I am also unable to dispel my unease about these guys.

Faramond wrote:
So, what about these tricksy math sites you've mentioned a few times? Where can I find them?


There was one I went looking for, Faramond, but I can't find it now. It was a series of questions about probabilities, and it was designed to 'prove' that the average person doesn't know how to calculate them. But every one of the answers given was technically wrong. That is, the average person's best guess is closer to the truth than the answer given on the site.

The one that really drives me crazy, because they actually used it on that TV show 'Numbers' and I have a picture now of millions of TV viewers thinking they can win a shell game, is that Monty Hall game where they claim you can increase your chance of winning by switching your choice? You've seen that, I'm sure. You need unrevealed special conditions for that solution to hold true, conditions that never apply in real life. For the normal circumstances in which the game is played, the average person's take on the probabilities is correct: three unknown choices, odds = 1:3; two unknown choices, odds = 1:2.

It just annoys me that professionals would find it more entertaining to mislead than to reveal interesting stuff, because a lot of these topics really are interesting and I think that people would enjoy learning about them.

Jn

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:54 pm 
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I just don't understand the reactions. Why is the response to disagreeing with someone's reasoning or logic so ... out of proportion? Why is Law worse than an enemy? Why are the test makers decievers and pushers of hidden agendas? The charges being made don't fit the crimes. The only crimes I see are a bit of crassness, some simplistic reasoning, and some questionable claims. I don't see deception.

What is going to happen when I post something in which the reasoning doesn't quite work to your satisfaction? Will I be accused of deception then? It hasn't before, but seeing what's happening here I can't understand why not.

This whole thing has profoundly troubled me. There were things in that stupid test that I thought were wrong, but I can't imagine making the leap from that to calling them ringers and basically questioning their character. I don't like what I'm seeing at all ... it feels like a witch hunt.


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