Wednesday, November 30, 2005

humanist meme

A great quiz via Andrew at Bloggers4Labour; according to the New Humanist magazine's quiz I'm a handholder. Andrew is a hardhat, which sounds much cooler, and has a better image, damn.

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.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Hmm. Not so very far off, I suppose. Depressingly, I'm not sure that I have any religious friends, we're all hard-nosed atheists round our way. I don't believe in an 'essential goodness' in people anymore than an essential badness, but I take the point that I prefer to look at people in a positive rather than negative light, although that doesn't mean I'm not critical. I certainly don't wish that Rushdie had attacked Islam 'less viciously', although I'd very much like to see the passages in The Satanic Verses which are vicious, as Rushdie's attitude towards religion in that novel have been completely misunderstood by most people. I like Zadie Smith and Edward Said, yup. And I don't mind hurting people's feelings every now and again if it's necessary. Oh, OK, I do.


Anonymous said...

I did'nt come out at all well, but then I never do on those online survey things as I think they are somewhat loaded. I can't remember what I was... Hairy something or other.

You can spot religious types a mile off, they have a permanent strange fixed smile on the godly faces.

Anonymous said...

I'm a haymaker. A very well-written quiz! Vic