I thought I would kick-start a discussion about the two things you are never supposed to talk about with strangers: Politics and Religion! I don't want to start a debate about what political ideology is right or wrong; instead, I'm interested in knowing where the people on Think Atheist fall on a spectrum. Being a Dungeons and Dragons fan, I have always loved the 9-point-alignment scheme as a way to visualize a character's morals and ideology. I think I have found the next best thing...

The Political Compass is a tool that asks you a series of questions regarding your stances on a verity of political topics. Questions cover international trade and economics, public education, and government policy. At the conclusion of the test, it then tallies up your score and displays it on an X-Y graph. Here is mine:

The X-axis of the graph charts your stance on economics. The negative side representing a more left leaning economic mindset (the extreme of which, I think, would be Socialism), and the positive side representing a more free-market ideology (the extreme of which would be pure Capitalism, exempt of any non-market influences).

The Y-axis measures your stance on society, a persons place within it, and the amount of influence a government should have in its citizen's day-to-day affairs. The top half trends towards Authoritarianism (the ultimate extreme of which would the Totalitarianism) whilst the bottom half shows preference towards Libertarianism (the extreme of which would be Anarchy, the complete removal of government).

The test is far from perfect, as it cannot account for all ideologies and viewpoints. Additionally, since the final score is a numerical tally, and each question seems to be weighted equally, a person that endorses extremes on all ideologies could come across as centrist. Regardless, I find the test to be fun, and informative. It's interesting to see a visual representation of your political viewpoint, and to compare it to someone else. 

If you're feeling bored, take the test, and post your results! Do you disagree with your score? Do you think this would be an accurate way to gauge where someone stands? 

Oh, and if anyone is curious about the D&D part, I tend to favor lawful-evil :3

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Oh, and please don't take offense just because I disagree with you. We are doing exactly what I want to do: analyze the validity of the test.

here's mine! http://www.politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=-6.88&soc=-5.49

About what I expected too, and fitting in with most of the rest of this crowd...

Lol, you conformist :P

 

 

http://www.politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=-1.50&soc=-3.08

 

Some of the wording in the questions made me say, "It depends," or, "replace 'should' with 'does'." I think I made an inaccurate answer sometimes for the purpose of gauging myself because of semantics. But I think it's sort of close enough. Definitely belong in the lower left quadrant at any rate.

I used to have a good friend who is Stalinist. We kind of drifted away, from being too busy and moving etc., but I'd love to see his graph. Hah.

Totally.  I spent the entire quiz wanting to engage in debate.  I'd love to figure out which questions sent some of the members here to the right, or left.  Quite interesting that every person so far has been south in Libertarian country.  I wonder if that's a general trait of atheistsl, or a cultural trait picked up by atheists that would join Think Atheist and take polls....

Yeah, it raises more questions than it answers... which is probably the best thing about it. And good question. As far as this poll group's results (us), it's not surprising to me, but funny because I know a lot of people in the social circles of my religious family that automatically assume that most atheists would fall deep into the upper left quadrant, like we wish 1984 on everyone. Hah. And interesting that I imagine many of the people in that circle would fall on the upper right quadrant. Yet they regularly take on the attitude that they are 'defending liberty' from everyone else trying to 'destroy' it. Strange world we live in.

That's ultimately what I was thinking. I think there is a correlation between theism and authoritarianism. If you believe there is a higher power, then you also have to believe that there should be a structure underneath that power as well.

This is, of course, purely speculative, as there are always exceptions. Many of my thirst friends scored libertarian, and one of the worst totalitarians in history (Stalin) was an atheist.

I guess it would be more accurate to say that endorsing theism makes it easier to accept authoritarianism.

Certainly. That has been my experience as well, exceptions aside. I'm probably stating the obvious with this point, but I'm sure you'd also agree that the level of authoritarianism in the religion itself is generally proportional to political acceptance or leanings in the same manner. I guess it mostly depends on what sort of deity we're talking about. Again, an example from the social circle of my family, quite a few who are extreme fundamentalist Calvinists (and directly involved with people like Douglas Wilson), have taken the political and philosophical stance of people like Rousas John Rushdoony and associated writers and figures. It still shocks me that I made it out alive and with my sanity, being steeped in this environment. My mom still has a posed picture of me being held by Rushdoony when I was about 5 years old. It's rather disturbing to me it exists. Great discussion with you, BTW.

Also, it might be more interesting to see it with the dot, but also with a web graph, where one could see the extent of where all their answers fall. But you'd probably need more agree/disagree points in the answer gradient to make that more interesting.

This is really fascinating. As I suspected, most atheists tend to be left leaning, and we agree on many social issues. One of my daughters, who is 21 and agnostic, took the test, too, where I posted it on facebook. Her graph was almost a bulls eye as to where my spot landed! My sister was more in the upper left from me, and she's a muslim convert. My graph is, I think, the first one done here.

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Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 13 Comments

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