[Turing 2012] Christian Answer #3

This is the third entry in the Christian round of the 2012 Ideological Turing Test for Religion. In this round, the honest answers of Christians are mixed in with atheists’ best efforts to talk like Christians. It’s your job to see if you can spot the difference. The voting link appears at the end of the entry, and you can look at all entries in this round here.


When (if ever) have you deferred to your philosophical or theological system over your intuitions?

I deferred to my theological system when I first went to seminary, based on what other people saw in my as a call to ministry. My intuition was to apply to grad schools for International Relations. I am very happy that I heeded the theology of call laid out for me by people I know and trust because I would not have the amazing career and opportunities I have now, nor would I have met the people who have made my life so meaningful since that decision.


Are there people whose opinions on morality you trust more than your own? How do you recognize them? How is trusting them different than trusting someone’s opinion on physics?

My theological moral anchor is to love self and love neighbor/do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I tend to seek out the moral visions of those who have “walked a mile” in the particular situation if I am in need of guidance to help me discern the most loving action to perform or to advise.


Can you name any works of art (interpreted pretty broadly: books, music, plays, poetry, mathematical proofs, etc) which really capture the way you see life/fill you with a sense of awe and wonder? You can give a short explanation or just list a few pieces.

Handel’s Messiah; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (final movement); Mozart’s Alleluia; the Song of Solomon (not as an allegory of the church as the Bride of Christ!); Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.


Click here to judge this entry, and, once you’ve voted, feel free to speculate and trade theories in the comments or look at other entries in this round.

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  • Rade Hagedorn

    This reminded me of Atheist Answer #6 in that the answers were so short as to make it impossible to really judge as more than an uniformed guess. If a third version comes out there should be a minimum word count for answers.

  • math_geek

    If this person is an Atheist lying to look like a Christian, he’s picked a very good strategy. The short answers and simple focuses paint a very simple view of a Christian minister who like me found these questions a bit challenging to answer.

    However, I do agree that the shortness is quite frustrating overall. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and with more to read it would have been easier to slip up.

  • deiseach

    The Christian round is shaping up to be very interesting; I wonder what the rest will be like?

    I don’t necessarily agree with a minimum word-count because it would be just as easy to pad out an answer with fluff (if you’re trying to conceal your real affiliation) and if someone genuinely doesn’t have anything more to say than they’ve already said, it won’t shed any further light on their answer.

    • Rade Hagedorn

      To an extent I agree with you, but unless there is a “Insufficient Information” option some of these responses elicit little more than wild guesses. The Turing test that I am familiar with allows for a level of interaction where here you can’t question any premises or statements but can only judge based off of the whole response — and when those are extremely short then you really have nothing to base a decision off of.

  • Aaron

    Definitely Christian. Shows clear signs of not only being in the Christian culture, but also what seems to be a little bit of self critique with the Song of Songs comment.

  • I guess I’m against the grain – I think this was very likely an atheist considering that there wasn’t a single mention of Christ or the Church in any of the answers. In my (admittedly limited) experience an evangelical can’t resist making some reference to Christ and a Catholic can’t resist making some reference to the Church.

    I agree about the short answers however.

  • Very likely atheist. A Christian would want to talk about his or her faith, while an atheist just wants to simulate and make a few mistakes as possible.