Questionable Questions

The Smedley Log links to a political compass test. It’s based on the Libertarian Party’s "World’s Smallest Political Quiz". I promised a while back to not link to any quizzes for a while, so you might be scratching your heads at this post. Well, I’m not going suggest that everyone go take the test. I’m writing about it because I don’t like the way some of the questions are worded. There are a lot of instances of assumption, innuendo, and leading.

"I’d always support my country, whether it was right or wrong."

"Support" is a rather vague word in this context. A parent should always support his child, right or wrong. That doesn’t mean children should never be punished. Patriotism does not have to mean turning a blind eye to mistakes made by our country and those who represent it.

"The rich are too highly taxed."

Agreeing with this statement would seem to indicate that one favors the rich, ala the Republican Party. That may not be the case. For instance, I think the tax shelters and loopholes should be closed so that the rich wouldn’t have to be in a higher bracket to be taxed more. If there were fewer tax exemptions, a flat tax could easily replaced the revenue our current system generates.

"Abortion, when the woman’s life is not threatened, should always be illegal."

The wording of this question implies that only pro-choice folks will disagree. However, a staunch pro-lifer might disagree on the basis that there is no good reason for abortion.

"All authority must be questioned."

Questioning need not imply disobedience. In matters lacking obvious moral implications, one should understand why leaders do what they do before rejecting their authority. Serious breaches of morality, however, may require immediate disobedience.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Most people take this to mean retributive justice. However, scriptural context reveals it be referring to proportionate justice. In other words, the focus is not on taking no less than equivalent action, but rather on taking no more.

"Schools should not make classroom attendance compulsory."

Is this about home schooling? What’s the context?

"Good parents sometimes have to spank their children, to teach them right from wrong."

"Have to" is a bit strong. Better: "Spanking is an acceptable means for teaching right and wrong to children."

"A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system."

At a strictly factual level, this may indeed be true. I think the best possible form of government is a benevolent monarchy. Since human nature makes that impossible, representative democracy is the best we can do. Also, progress is not always a good thing. Our legislative process was designed to be slow so wide swings of the pendulum and/or rash decisions might be avoided. Agreement with this statement would seem to be tacit support for either communism or fascism, which it need not.

"In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded."

I don’t think human nature would allow to be any other way. Someone must have final authority, if for no other reason than to break ties.

"Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged."

People volunteering to help the disadvantaged would be ideal, but since most people won’t, they must be helped by some other means. That doesn’t mean I think social security should be abolished.

"No one can feel naturally homosexual."

Disagreeing with this statement should not be the same as approving of homosexual behavior.