Many political debates here have included references to The Political Compass, which uses a set of 61 questions to assess one’s political orientation in terms of economic left/right and social libertarianism/authoritarianism (rather like the “Libertarian diamond” popular in the US).
And so, every so often I will begin a thread in which the premise for debate is one of the 61 questions. I will give which answer I chose and provide my justification and reasoning. Others are, of course, invited to do the same including those who wish to “question the question”, as it were.
It would also be useful when posting in these threads to give your own “compass reading” in your first post, by convention giving the Economic value first. My own is
SentientMeat: Economic: -5.12, Social: -7.28, and so by the above convention my co-ordinates are (-5.12, -7.28). Please also indicate which option you ticked. I might suggest what I think is the “weighting” given to the various answers in terms of calculating the final orientation, but seeing for yourself what kind of answers are given by those with a certain score might be more useful than second-guessing the test’s scoring system.
Now, I appreciate that there is often dissent regarding whether the assessment the test provides is valid, notably by US conservative posters, either because it is “left-biased” (??) or because some propositions are clearly slanted, ambiguous or self-contradictory. The site itself provides answers to these and other Frequently Asked Questions, and there is also a separate thread: Does The Political Compass give an accurate reading? [size=2]Read these first and then, if you have an objection to the test in general, please post it there. If your objection is solely to the proposition in hand, post here. If your objection is to other propositions, please wait until I open a thread on them. (And for heaven’s sake, please don’t quote this entire Opening Post when replying like this sufferer of bandwidth diarrhea.)
The above will be pasted in every new thread in order to introduce it properly, and I’ll try to let each one exhaust itself of useful input before starting the next. Without wanting to “hog the idea”, I would be grateful if others could refrain from starting similar threads. Finally, I advise you to read the full proposition below, not just the thread title (which is necessarily abbreviated), and request that you debate my entire OP rather than simply respond, “IMHO”-like, to the proposition itself.
To date, the threads are:
Does The Political Compass give an accurate reading?
Political Compass #1: Globalisation, Humanity and OmniCorp.
#2: My country, right or wrong
#3: Pride in one’s country is foolish.
#4: Superior racial qualities.
#5: My enemy’s enemy is my friend.
#6: Justifying illegal military action.
#7: “Info-tainment” is a worrying trend.
#8: Class division vs. international division. (+ SentientMeat’s economic worldview)
#9: Inflation vs. unemployment.
#10: Corporate respect of the environment.
#11: From each according to his ability, to each according to need.
#12: Sad reflections in branded drinking water.
#13: Land should not be bought and sold.
#14: Many personal fortunes contribute nothing to society.
#15: Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.
#16: Shareholder profit is a company’s only responsibility.
#17: The rich are too highly taxed.
#18: Better healthcare for those who can pay for it.
#19: Penalising businesses which mislead the public.
#20: The freer the market, the freer the people.
#21: Abortion should be illegal.
#22: All authority must be questioned.
#23: An eye for an eye.
#24: Taxpayers should not prop up theatres or museums.
#25: Schools shouldn’t make attendance compulsory.
#26: Different kinds of people should keep to their own.
#27: Good parents sometimes have to spank their children.
#28: It’s natural for children to keep secrets.
#29: Marijuana should be legalised.
#30: School’s prime function is equipping kids to find jobs.
#31: Seriously disabled people should not reproduce.
#32: Learning discipline is the most important thing.
#33: ‘Savage peoples’ vs. ‘different culture’
#34: Society should not support those who refuse to work.
#35: Keep cheerfully busy when troubled.
#36: First generation immigrants can never be fully integrated.
#37: What’s good for corporations is always good for everyone.
#38: No broadcasting institution should receive public funding.
#39: Our civil rights are being excessively curbed re. terrorism.
#40: One party states avoid delays to progress.
#41: Only wrongdoers need worry about official surveillance.
#42: The death penalty should be an option for serious crimes.
#43: Society must have people above to be obeyed.
#44: Abstract art that doesn’t represent anything isn’t art at all.
#45: Punishment is more important than rehabilitation.
#46: It is a waste of time to try to rehabilitate some criminals.
#47: Businessmen are more important than writers and artists.
#48: A mother’s first duty is to be a homemaker.
#49: Companies exploit the Third World’s plant genetic resources.
#50: Mature people make peace with the establishment.
#51: Astrology accurately explains many things.
#52: You cannot be moral without being religious.
#53: Charity is better than social secuity.
#54: Some people are naturally unlucky
#55: Schools and religious values.
**Proposition #56: Sex outside of marriage is usually immoral.
SentientMeat** (-5.12, -7.28) ticks Strongly Disagree.
The last few questions in the Compass relate to one’s view of sex (again, presumably a solely vertical-axis issue IMO).
I’m afraid I can only laugh at the absurdity inherent in the proposition that human beings should, having spent millions of years evolving to the point where they were amongst the only animals with the ability to enjoy sex, suddenly forego doing so because it is a “sin”. I imagine our ancestors, scraping to meet the high energy requirements of their complex brains, taking one look at what some of their progeny do with their wondrous legacy and sloping off muttering about what a bunch of hairless little ingrates we are.
And “usually immoral” - what a phrase that is! It’s not immoral for me, oh no. I’m a responsible adult who knows what I’m doing: it’s those other people who are sinning so badly.
Where did this Luddite and intellectually immature position come from? Throughout history, it seems that the release of serotonin in one’s neurotransmitters upon orgasm was considered too powerful and pleasant for common people to be allowed to experience: the extant power structures had to control that pleasure by associating guilt with it, which could only be lifted from the act by their explicit say so, just as a gullible peasant might ask a witch to remove the imaginary curse which he blames for his joyless and luckless year. State-sanctioned sex, with horrific retribution for violation thereof, was how those power structures kept us in our place.
“But the children!” comes the plea. “Sex causes children. Sex outside marriage causes unwanted children. Therefore sex outside marriage should be minimised.” Thankfully, progress has bestowed upon us the gift of contraception, and abstinence is thus no more necessary than castration. Even when that contraception is imperfect, there are contraceptive measures available after that utterly arbitrary point of initiation of cellular meiosis and mitosis. The removal of a blastocyst, embryo or early foetus is “contraception” in terms of functional equivalence if not in name.
The status of consensual sex outside of explicit state/church sanction is one of the clearest indicators of whether a state is authoritarian or socially liberal, and speaks volumes about who has the power. If the people are to have power, then having sex without explicit state or church sanction is no more immoral than democracy itself.