Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What Kind of Humanist Are You?

You can go see what they think at:
The New Humanist

Which ever way I waggle it, I still come out as a Handholder:

"You go out of your way to build bridges with people of different views and beliefs and have quite a few religious friends. You believe in the essential goodness of people , which means you’re always looking for common ground even if that entails compromises. You would defend Salman Rushdie’s right to criticise Islam but you’re sorry he attacked it so viciously, just as you feel uncomfortable with some of the more outspoken and unkind views of religion in the pages of this magazine.

"You prefer the inclusive approach of writers like Zadie Smith or the radical Christian values of Edward Said. Don’t fall into the same trap as super–na├»ve Lib Dem MP Jenny Tonge who declared it was okay for clerics like Yusuf al–Qaradawi to justify their monstrous prejudices as a legitimate interpretation of the Koran: a perfect example of how the will to understand can mean the sacrifice of fundamental principles. Sometimes, you just have to hold out for what you know is right even if it hurts someone’s feelings.

But like Norm, I have my reservations about the test: I cannot stand Zadie Smith novels, and a good few of the questions did not contain the option I would have chosen.

HT: Norm


Anonymous said...

I rushed through the test and came out with Handholder too. Except, like you, I think Zadie Smith's books are seriously over-rated!

Leo said...

I don't like tests that want to shove people in a labeled drawer.

Anonymous said...

I do agree that tests that intend to pigeon hole you, label you, and somehow limit you as a result of taking them are bad. Sometimes, though, it's just a bit of fun or even a little bit thought provoking.

But perhaps I wouldn't even enjoy light-hearted ones if I hadn't been deeply coerced through tests in the past...and wasn't hankering after them in one form or another!


Carlotta said...

Hi Leo,

Yep, I agree with both you and D. I only take them with the proviso that I don't take them seriously and yet use them to question certain unseen assumptions that I may have.

The bit that got me thinking was the answer that made me face the fact that I think I may still hanker after the transcendental, that I still find it difficult to experience the wonder of the universe and human ability purely for themselves.

Am wondering if the sense of awe that I experience at times such as the recent evening when we walked through the cloisters of our local medieval cathedral town, just as the frost was settling, whether this feeling was a genuine humanist experience...I DO HOPE SO!

Anonymous said...

hi carlotta..have a guess who i am :-)


You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on Earth. Probably what first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy.

You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful, irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way.

Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably open another bottle and say there’s no contest.

Carlotta said...

Got you in one, I think!

Anonymous said...

Ok I own up..were you right ...grin???
jft x