from Banshee - Tuesday, May 13, 2003
accessed 1356 times
I know that most of us don't like the "cut and paste" talent for submitting articles, but I found this on a website called "peopleunitedforreligiousfreedom.org", and I thought it was so funny, I wanted to share it with a group of people who can really, truely appreciate the humor. (If, of course, you are at the point where you can laugh about it...)
I am not sure who is the original author, the page didn't say.
Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit or educational use.
A Rating System for Religious Fundamentalism
In response to the growing number of religious zealots and other general lunatics following fictitious deities around, we have compiled the following test in order to empirically measure the sanity of religious fanatics. This is similar to the Close Encounters test, and uses an identical table for calculating scores.
Scoring: Total up all points based on the table below. Count each infraction separately.
1-- Per valid argument that is not also sound.
1-- Per word in all capital letters, excluding those who type in all caps and people with defective keyboards.
1-- Being a member of a religious order that is generally agreed upon to be mentally out to lunch. Includes any order or sect not recognized as a religion. Double this for Church of Satan members. Triple this for Hare Krishnas.
2-- Confusing logical reasoning with emotional appeals.
2-- Claim that everyone believes in some form of God.
2-- Logical fallacy or inconsistency: Q doesn't necessarily follow P.
2-- Vague, unspecific reference to a person, place, or thing that supports their religious beliefs. Do not cite twice for being an emotional appeal.
2-- Per use of hearsay evidence. Do not cite twice if this involves divine revelations.
3-- Use of circular logic. Do not also count as a logical fallacy or inconsistency.
3-- Per "sign" or miracle that can clearly be explained through secular means. Add one if person already knows the secular explanation(s).
3-- Per claim that clearly violates laws of physics. Triple this if the fundie claims that it is physics, and not his/her story, that is fundamentally flawed. Add six to this total if the fundamentalist has had formal education in physics.
3-- Per claim that a widely accepted scientific procedure is flawed, without good evidence. Includes attacks on Carbon Dating.
3-- Claiming the second law of thermodynamics disproves evolution, or similar misuse of the laws of Physics. Also add three for each misuse of laws or theories pertaining to Chemistry, Biology, or any other scientific field.
3-- Claiming non-existent gaps in the fossil record disprove evolution. Do not count this if the gaps cited are real or reasonably accurate. Add five if Piltdown Man or another forged hominid is mentioned.
4-- Citing education or job held as evidence for sanity. Double this if zealot is a clergyman, Professor of religious studies, or trucker.
4-- Per claim that heavy metal (or any other class of music) is the work of Satan. Count once per cited musical category.
4-- Reversing societal definitions of good and evil to justify one's own stupid belief system. If you aren't sure, consult a dictionary.
4-- Defending clearly evil actions of a deity or his chosen people; claiming they were good or morally right. Include any defenses of murder, especially divine murders in the Old Testament.
4-- Per otherwise unspecified paranormal experience. Include out-of-body experiences and visions of heaven after being hit by lightning. Double this if the fundie has not actually been struck by lightning.
5-- Per claim that God revealed Himself (or Herself) to the person in question. Add five if the fundie claims that God can reveal Himself to you, as well, if only you believe/look for a sign. Add one if the revelation came while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, and/or while clearly mentally ill.
5-- Millenialism; belief that the world will end before the year 2,010. Add ten if the person believes the world will end on January 1, 2000. Add ten if God told them so directly.
5-- Per claim that Dungeons and Dragons (or any other role-playing game) is Satanic or inherently evil.
6-- Citing any natural wonder as evidence for a Great Flood, esp. if it really provides evidence for the contrary. Add two if the Grand Canyon is mentioned.
7-- Claiming that the Devil (or demons) can "get into someone's head" through listening to a specific type of music, through role-playing games, or through any other type of activity.
7-- Claiming that every story in their particular canon is true to the letter.
8-- Someone claims to be a Satanist, but also claims not to worship Satan
8-- Continuing to make such claims after presentation of archaeological evidence to the contrary.
8-- Citing Velikovskian (or similar) research as "valid" evidence for God.
8-- Each claim that heaven is on a planet in another galaxy.
8-- Using one's own religious canon as evidence for their argument, as if it were an accurate historical record.
9-- Each claim that heaven is on a planet orbiting a star that clearly has no planets orbiting it. Add four if this is a binary, multiple star system, or pulsar.
10-- Citing a book one has written - or is writing - as evidence.
10-- Claiming one has actually been possessed by a demon or devil. Add two if the fundamentalist claims to have been possessed by Satan or some other supreme evil.
12-- Each claim to have seen God, Satan (or another supreme evil), Jesus (or a similar messiah), Heaven, or Hell personally.
15-- Claiming to be possessed by a demon, devil, or other supernatural being at the present time.
20-- Claiming to be an angel, demon, or devil.
40-- Claiming that one is God, Satan, or Jesus. Double this if the fundie offers to prove it.
Final Score Meaning and interpretations
0 or less-- Sane. This person may very well have a logical, rational grip on religion, rare though it seems.
1-5-- Reasonably Consistent. It is likely that the person you are evaluating has more rational beliefs than irrational ones. It is best to evaluate each belief separately in this case.
6-10-- Questionable. Some of their claims could be reasonably founded, but the logic of each specific belief is largely unknown.
11-20-- Borderline Fundamentalist. Accepts without question many religions beliefs; probably forces them on others. Dislikes claims that his/her religion may be wrong.
21-30-- Fundamentalist. Expect unintelligible babble, idiotic defenses of ludicrous actions and events, and totally illogical claims.
31-40-- Psychopath. Watch for white sheets and heavily armed pickup trucks. Tell this person to put down their Bible and get some fresh air.
41-59-- Loon. You are dealing with a complete idiot. Ignore anything they say as illogical and blatantly false. Do not expect this person to ever develop an even marginally rational belief system.
60+-- Stop counting at this point. Call the authorities, and report that the patient has escaped.