The The New Unitarian took the Beliefnet Belief-O-Matic test and posted his results, which inspired patter pensée to do the same. I've done this before, but decided to do it with commentary this time, as I have some questions about how they get their results. In any kind of sorting program, the choice of criteria and how heavily to weight them is crucial- in Cladistics , for example, if you count bipedal locomotion too highly, you'll have humans more closely related to ostriches than orangutans. Here are the results:
1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (94%)
Not surprising that these two are on the top; I claim them both- but I think the order should be reversed. There are two reasons why; the first is abortion. Pagans and NeoPagans tend to be as split as the general public on abortion, but I have never met, nor heard of, nor even met anyone who has heard of a pro-life Unitarian- except me. It should be noted however that I am pro-life in the moral and religious sense, but not in the political sense- I have come to believe that it is not possible to craft legislation that will not be abused by one side or the other. But I am unaware of any other UU anywhere who believes that life begins at conception.
The other dividing issue is God. Belief in a divinity is completely optional for a UU, but other than the Satanists, I have never heard of a Pagan atheist. They may argue about how many gods there are, but every Pagan I know agrees on at least one. Were I writing the test, I would weight these questions much higher in separating UUs from Pagans.
3. Liberal Quakers (91%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (86%)
I can't argue with numbers 3 and 4; I get along well with Quakers and liberal Protestants. Mainline Protestans are a little more problematical- there's this "Trinity" thing...
5. New Age (85%)
6. Secular Humanism (84%)
I find it hilarious that these two are rated so closely together. While there are tolerant religious humanists, everyone I've ever known who self-describes as Secular Humanist has nothing but contempt for anything New Age- or "Woo-Woo" as they prefer to call it.
7. Mahayana Buddhism (77%)
8. Theravada Buddhism (72%)
These two look better on paper to liberal eyes than they do in practice, especially in terms of social justice.
9. Reform Judaism (70%)
10. Baha'i Faith (68%)
11. Orthodox Quaker (67%)
12. Sikhism (67%)
13. Taoism (66%)
14. Nontheist (65%)
I have no real comment for most of 9-13, but Nontheist? Personally, I'd have put that at the very bottom!
15. New Thought (64%)
16. Scientology (60%)
17. Jainism (59%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (53%)
19. Orthodox Judaism (52%)
20. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (46%)
21. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (46%)
22. Islam (45%)
23. Hinduism (38%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (36%)
25. Roman Catholic (36%)
26. Seventh Day Adventist (27%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (16%)
No real arguments on these, either. How about you? any surprises on your matches?