Ego / god... a test.
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09-03-2013, 12:32 AM
Ego / god... a test.
A request for assistant from anyone who is feeling creative...

I was wondering if there was a non-threatening way of highlighting to believers how their god is in fact, themselves.

I'm sure you have all noticed that when you ask a believer to describe their god(s) they will never give a physical description, unless you are asking a small child who might give you the 'old man on a cloud' picture.

Instead you get a description in 'moral' terms.

So, I was thinking of a little game / test that would highlight the self-ness of their gods but in a polite and inquiring way... not an inyaface, you're wrong, kinda way.

I was thinking this:

Step One:
The Set Up.
When with a group of believers, suggest a game that will reveal the true nature of god.

Step Two:
The Personal View.
Ask each person, without showing anyone else, to score their god's morality in the 6 areas* below:

1. Harm / care
(empathy) ..... oooooooooooooooooo
2. Fairness / cheating
(reciprocity) .. oooooooooooooooooo
3. Liberty / oppression
(freedom) ..... oooooooooooooooooo
4. Loyalty / betrayal
(in-group) ..... oooooooooooooooooo
5. Authority / subversion
(respect) ...... oooooooooooooooooo
6. Sanctity / degradation
(purity) ........ oooooooooooooooooo

* Derived from http://www.moralfoundations.org/ (from Jonathan Haidt)

Step Three:
The Group View.

Collect and keep the results from Step Two hidden.
Ask the group to consider what each person would have chosen when describing themselves.

Example:
If you have a group of 5, let's call them A, B, C, D and E, you ask A, B, C and D to score person E's view of what is important to them (red = passionate, green = indifferent, blue = cold)
Then A, B, C and E to score person D's view etc.

The person being assessed is not allowed to comment.

Step Four:
The Reveal.
Show the results of Step Two and witness the gasps as they realise how close they are to the results of Step Three.

Step Five:
Punchline.
Pose the question... If everyone's view of god is really their own view of morality, then how many god's are there?




Here are few areas I need help with...

What are the right words to use in the Step One that will encourage them to engage? I was thinking about, given the punchline in Step Five, saying "I can demonstrate how many gods really exist" but that might be too threatening to monotheists and might put them off participating.

Step Three has got to be fun, not threatening, so I need a ruse to make this enjoyable not uncomfortable for the assessee (maybe alcohol will help but some of my target audience are non-drinkers (on religious grounds)).
Perhaps the person being assessed has to leave the room?

In Step Four, what if the results do not match? It is possible, I suppose, that someone can consider their god to be perfect and themselves to be worthless, sinning scumbags.

Is there a better punchline?

All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Cheers.

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09-03-2013, 12:38 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
The Perfect God / Worthless Sinner mentality is too common for this to work. And most theists will just put all 10/10 for the God morality evaluation.


It's a good idea, but you need a different test. The best way to do this, I think, would be to find out what these people think of the rest of the group, based on their own judgements, then ask them to rate the others based on god's standards. Then compare the different results for different people. Most peoples' conception of god's morality is based on their own, so their rating and their "god" rating should be almost identical. Point that out, then compare between people to demonstrate how each person sees god's morality as being identical to their own. Then show them what the bible actually says to drive the point home.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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09-03-2013, 12:48 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
(09-03-2013 12:38 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  The Perfect God / Worthless Sinner mentality is too common for this to work. And most theists will just put all 10/10 for the God morality evaluation.


It's a good idea, but you need a different test. The best way to do this, I think, would be to find out what these people think of the rest of the group, based on their own judgements, then ask them to rate the others based on god's standards. Then compare the different results for different people. Most peoples' conception of god's morality is based on their own, so their rating and their "god" rating should be almost identical. Point that out, then compare between people to demonstrate how each person sees god's morality as being identical to their own. Then show them what the bible actually says to drive the point home.
Thanks.

That's food for thought.

I that case, the two judgements would have have to be sufficient separated by other activities for them not to realise immediately that they are giving the same scores.

I'll ponder this.

Also, I noticed that HJ was viewing my OP at the same time as you. He/she didn't comment. I wonder why.

Consider

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09-03-2013, 12:50 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
To expand:


Step One:
The Set Up.
When with a group of believers, preferably ones who are relatively naive, who don't go around arguing the bible all the time, so they're unaware of some of the nasty stuff in there, suggest a game that will reveal the true nature of god.

Step Two:
Life stories.
Have everyone chat for a bit, get everyone to know each other and then ask everyone these questions. Go around the group so each person answers one question, then you move on to the next, etc.
Question 1: What is your greatest achievement?
Question 2: What do you consider your best qualities?
Question 3: What do you consider your worst qualities?
Question 4: What is worst sin you've committed (that you are comfortable admitting to)

Step Three:
Random draw
Write everyone's names down on pieces of paper and put them in a hat and shake it. Draw randomly and hand out names to the participants (redraw if it's the same person).

Step Four:
Their morality
Have each person anonymously write down their opinion of the person they drew based on their personal feelings, keeping in mind what they've learned about the person

Step Five:
God's morality
Have each person anonymously write down how they think god would judge this person, (setting aside that it's god's place to judge, not man's)

Step Six:
The Opinions
Collect the opinion papers and shuffle them. Then read each one aloud (not revealing whose it is) and compare and contrast the personal and god opinions.

Step Seven:
The Reveal
Have a bible prepared in advance with bookmarks at quotes regarding common sins and vanities (pride, lust, theft, anger/wrathfulness, etc.) and read what the bible actually has to say about those qualities. Keep in mind what the people said earlier about their faults. Show what the bible actually says about how these people should be punished and how wicked they are, and what things matter more to god than things people might normally consider wicked, and how much this differs from peoples' conception of god.

Step Eight:
The Punchline
Explain how their god is not the god of the bible, but the god of themselves, and how their concept of god is a reflection of what they consider good and righteous, not something external. Leave the possibility of a god existing open, but try to make it clear that their claims to know god's wishes or morality is only a reflection of their own wishes and morality, not that of any actual god.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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09-03-2013, 01:14 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
Phaedrus,

Excellent response. Thank you, I am grateful.

The warm-up questions in your Step Two are a very good idea. The group I have in mind for this game already know each other well but that will not always be the case so, yes, I like this amendment.

To clarify, for your Steps Four and Five, can I assume that the same 'morality scale' is being used as per my Steps Two and Three. I want to have something visual and consistent and a bit sciency. This also avoids the risk of getting too personal.

To avoid the too early realisation that god = self, i.e. to avoid spoiling The Reveal (my Step Four) would it be interesting to have two Step Threes (your Step Three) so that your Step Four and your Step Five are assessments of different people?

I have a bit of a problem with your Steps Seven and Eight... I don't think any of the group I have in mind are christians (maybe one is but I will have fired her by the time I get this organised) so the Bible bit is irrelevant.

If you want to try it your way with a christian group, I would be very interested in the results.

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09-03-2013, 01:21 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
Good points in there. I assumed you were talking to Christians, so I threw in the Bible bit on that assumption.

Using your scale is definitely a good idea, I thought about that after posting my response. It definitely makes it less personal and more consistent and easy to compare.

Splitting step three between two people makes it harder to compare, since people will have different judgements of different people.

We might also ask questions about what they think god is like. Is he compassionate? Is he kind? Is he merciful? But after the morality scoring card bit is done, so it doesn't influence results.



You mentioned you will have fired one of these people. Is this related to your work at all? Because if so I question the ethics of the situation...

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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09-03-2013, 01:41 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
(09-03-2013 01:21 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  ...
You mentioned you will have fired one of these people. Is this related to your work at all? Because if so I question the ethics of the situation...

It's a close team and we've been friends for years and have had loads of deep discussions before. We've done Myers-Briggs, Belbin and loads of other things... for the fun of it, not for any official assessments. I've slept will all bar one of them... it's that intimate.

The one and only christian has isolated herself and is becoming a 'whipping-boy'... not healthy for anyone. I won't fire her but I am no longer trying to fix the damage she is doing to the team as it has become too time consuming. She'll soon get the message that I have stopped defending her and correcting her mistakes and have stopped mentoring her. There is no point mentoring someone who is not prepared to listen and adapt and always thinks she is right.

Dodgy

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09-03-2013, 02:21 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
Ok. Odd situation, I obviously don't have enough info to judge it, so I'll roll with it.


I'd love to do a test like this myself, but of my seven good friends here, six of them are atheists and the other is a not particularly devout Catholic. And I'm moving in literally a week to someplace where I currently have no friends... So, prolly be a while before I conduct something like this. Smile

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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09-03-2013, 10:42 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
(09-03-2013 02:21 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Ok. Odd situation, I obviously don't have enough info to judge it, so I'll roll with it.


I'd love to do a test like this myself, but of my seven good friends here, six of them are atheists and the other is a not particularly devout Catholic. And I'm moving in literally a week to someplace where I currently have no friends... So, prolly be a while before I conduct something like this. Smile

In that case, what about devising a TTA version that we can offer to passing theists, next time a new one strolls by?

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09-03-2013, 11:13 AM
RE: Ego / god... a test.
This seems like a pretty interesting test. I hope someone gets the chance to put it in practice. Data gathered will further be able to hone this. Thumbsup

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