Quite a bit OT -- was RE: Slightly OT: Pete Ashdown for Utah Senator in 2006

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Mon Jul 11 20:26:02 MDT 2005

On Mon, 2005-07-11 at 19:45 -0600, Josh Coates wrote:
> >Just head over to http://www.politicalcompass.org and take their test.
> michael - thanks for the link and discussion, but it didn't work out for me.
> i started to take the test and decided to quit on the 4th page.  imho, this
> test is asinine (i mostly just look for excuses to use that word in a
> sentence.)  too many of the 'propositions' are too vague and poorly worded
> to be useful lead me to believe that the test is more of a toy than anything
> else.  however, conceptually, it's fascinating - but i wish i were able to
> have more confidence in this particular implementation.  and yes, i read
> their faq.

The questions only seem to work if you do them quickly and pick your
first impression.  The more you think about them (and unconsciously try
to beat the system), the less likely the outcome is to be accurate.  But
for the few that made it all the way through, the results were quite
interesting.  I know that many people have problems when question says
"what would you do or think" and all the choices are things you would
never want to have (which would you rather do, steal or assault
someone?).  The questions are designed to be vague, which makes them
effective (I also hate those personality tests for the same reasons you
state).  Obviously it is simply a toy, but an educational one at that.

> of course, this whole mormon/political/government discussion gets even more
> tricky when you expand the scope of the arena to include various points in
> history (eg. 19th century utah), or the future (eg. millenial or
> post-millennial government.)  more food for thought.

One great example was when Brigham Young tried to get a polygamy case
brought before the US supreme court in an attempt to get a ruling that
the government had no business whatsoever defining marriage in anyway
way as that is a religious matter.  He might have won too, except that
the supreme court judges simply ruled that federal law was supreme in
this case (the anti-bygamy and cohabitation laws) since Utah wasn't a
state.  They wisely sidestepped the whole issue of defining marriage.

Of course had such a ruling been granted, it would have open the way to
allowing marriages of any type, which is something that Utah opposed
(and even amended the state constitution to this end) during the last
election.  Somewhat ironic.

Today, however, Brigham Young would have won since the courts have, and
this I believe is wrong, taken it upon themselves to rule on the
constitutionality of laws rather than rule on the application of law,
and also to bring about legislation of new laws, bypassing basic
democratic principles.  It is up to the legislative branch of government
to decide whether something is constitutional or not.  In other words if
there is a bad law, people should band together and exercise their
democratic rights and see that the law is changed.  Of course there is
an argument that could be made which is that the constitution must be
enforced, but I think that is quite a cynical argument, but possibly

> Josh Coates
> www.jcoates.org

Michael Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu>

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