early this morning and took an interesting test: Battleground God. The basic idea is that it tests the consistency of your beliefs in god and such. As a long-time atheist, but one who has studied religion in various forms, I was particularly interested in seeing this thing in action.
I ended up being judged to be very consistent with my views, but I got one “direct hit” – meaning that I was badly inconsistent in one opinion. The site said,
Earlier you said that it is justifiable to base one’s beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction even when there is no external evidence for the truth of this conviction. But now you do not accept that the rapist Peter Sutcliffe was justified in doing just that. The example of the rapist has exposed that you do not in fact agree that any belief is justified just because one is convinced of its truth. So you need to revise your opinion here. The intellectual sniper has scored a bull’s-eye!
This is wrong – similar to what Tom found, the site has judged something inconsistent incorrectly. In saying that it is justifiable to base beliefs on a firm inner conviction, it does not follow that any firm inner conviction is therefore justifiable or acceptible. I base my beliefs about the world on firm inner convictions but also upon other things, such what I feel “society” or my community finds acceptible. For me, it is the constant dialogue between my existing inner convictions and the demands of the wider world that determines my morality, not only firm inner convictions, unconnected to anything else.