Are my VALUES Left or Right?
by Thomas Katsampes


This exam is designed to measure your moral values using political terminology (Liberal, Conservative) by presenting a series of moral choices. You will probably not agree entirely and in all circumstances with each response. Pick the BEST response, i.e. the response that you most agree with, or agree with in the majority of situations, etc.

You must answer ALL of the questions for your exam to be graded correctly.

References to God below are to the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.

Please be sure to answer each question. Have fun and learn something about yourself.







1. Reality consists of
physical things.
physical and non-physical things.

2. God and religious belief are
mostly nonsense.
important for a decent society.

3. Good and evil are mostly
the products of economic equality or inequality.
the products of moral values and self-control.

4. Violent crime is primarily the result of
poverty.
the criminal's defective character or values system.

5. The purpose of a court of law is
to advocate for social justice.
to render a just verdict according to the law.

6. What is more responsible for our actions?
Genes and the environment.
Our free moral choices.

7. America should be
transformed.
improved.

8. In order to improve American education, America should
spend more on facilities, technology, textbooks, teacher pay, etc.
teach values and ethics such as hard work, fair play, competition etc.

9. In school sports it's important to
give awards to all participants, regardless of achievement.
give awards to the winner and others who do well.

10. What determines a person's income?
How much we spend on schools and/or the person's race.
The person's values and willingness to work hard.

11. Solving society's problems mostly depends on
better access to formal education.
the values, character, wisdom, and common sense of the citizenry.

12. Americans should take care of each other via
taxation and redistribution of the taxes collected.
private organizations, churches, charities, and the like.

13. Most young men should
work for themselves - they are not obligated to support anybody.
work hard in order to marry and support a wife and children.

14. The world's great battle is between
rich and poor.
good and evil.

15. It is better to live in
Cuba, where all are materially equal.
America, where there is greater material inequality.

16. Taxation is
a vehicle for society to reduce economic inequality.
necessary to fund a government of limited, enumerated powers.

17. America should strive to increase
economic equality.
economic liberty.

18. Utopian dreams should be
implemented now.
deferred to the afterlife.

19. Marriage should be defined
however the Supreme Court elects to define it.
as between one man and one woman.

20. If there is no God then
we create our own meaning.
life is objectively meaningless.

21. A human fetus
has no worth unless its mother feels that it does.
has objective value and worth.

22. Ideally, children
can be raised by any two parents.
need a mother and a father.

23. Fathers are
largely unnecessary to the raising of children.
rule-giving authorities for boys and young men.

24. School English departments should teach and promote literature that
is racially and culturally diverse.
demonstrates high standards of literary excellence.

25. The Old Testament's "eye for an eye" standard of justice is
an example of Old Testament cruelty.
a moral achievement when compared to contemporary ancient cultures.

26. Christ's Sermon on the Mount was intended to show us how to
govern society, to include punishing criminals.
act in our personal lives towards one another.

27. Good and evil are
relative, i.e. a matter of personal opinion.
objectively defined by a sacred text such as the Bible

28. The purpose of art is to:
celebrate the avant-garde even if deliberately ugly or scatological.
to elevate mankind.

29. In art and music, it is more important to
shock the audience with what has never been done before.
to promote beauty and excellence.

30. War is
not the answer.
often the only answer to great evil.

31. America's defense expenditures are a function of
U.S. militarism and imperialism.
America's recognition of the need to preserve peace.

32. Violence, i.e. wounding or killing another human being, is
always immoral.
sometimes immoral and sometimes moral.

33. American universities would do well to have more
peace studies departments.
military studies departments.

34. The liberation of Kuwait by the United States in 1991 was
wrong, because it was done for oil among other reasons.
right, due to Saddam Hussein's unjust aggression.

35. Lists of top artists and musicians should be determined mostly based on
racial diversity.
artistic and musical excellence.

36. Human nature is
basically good, with a tendency to do what is right.
morally ambiguous, with a propensity toward sin.

37. Who should determine a school's academic curriculum?
students, with input from their academic counselors.
professors with knowledge and experience in the subjects taught.

38. Has an American 12-year-old child earned the right to publicly mock the Vice President of the United States?
Yes, she is a citizen and has the right to free speech.
No, because she lacks life experience and wisdom.

39. Which is a greater threat to world peace?
Climate change
Radical Islamic terrorism

40. Which two countries are greater threats to world peace?
America and Israel
Iran and North Korea

41. America has done
probably more bad than good over the course of its history.
more good for more people than many other countries in history.

42. The U.S. ousted Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq in 2003 largely
for oil and to make it easier for U.S. companies such as Halliburton to make money.
because credible allied intelligence indicated at that time that Iraq produced or intended to produce a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon.

43. People with whom I politically mostly disagree
are probably bad people.
are probably good people, sincere in their beliefs.

44. It is more important
to feel good about the policies we implement.
to ensure that we implement policies which do good.

45. American values are better represented by which three values?
Secularism, Equality, Multiculturalism
In God We Trust, Liberty, E Pluribus Unum i.e. out of many, one

46. Today, black progress in America is primarily impeded by
white racism.
the breakdown of marriage and family, the absence of religious norms, a degraded popular culture, and other issues that concern values.

47. People commit crime mostly because of
external forces over which they have little control.
bad moral choices stemming from defective value systems.

48. In order for America to reduce its reliance on imported oil from often hostile countries, America should
switch over to windmills, solar panels, and other renewable energy sources.
increase the supply of oil reserves through North American and international exploration.

49. Which is an example of evil?
Obscene profits of multi-national corporations.
Communism.

50. Which is a greater threat to American national security?
Climate change.
Radical Islamic terrorism.

51. Men and women generally have
similar natures and want similar things.
different natures and want different things.

52. Free markets are
bad, because they create winners and losers.
good, because they spur innovation and competition.

53. Should all children who participate in a sporting event receive a trophy?
Yes — if only the winners receive trophies, the players who didn't win may experience pain.
No — awarding trophies to all participants unfairly diminishes the accomplishments of the winners.

54. Those who claim that black males commit a disproportionate amount of crime
are probably racist.
may be correct according to some statistics.

55. In forming social policy, which matters more?
Good intentions.
Good results.

56. I largely get my values from
my feelings and/or my heart.
a sacred text such as the Bible.

57. I revere
youth.
wisdom.

58. In solving society's problems, I look to
my feelings regarding specific issues.
the accumulated wisdom of the ages.

59. The United States Constitution was written by
slaveholding white males who could not have understood nor anticipated the diverse and complex world of the 21st century.
visionaries employing their profound insight into human nature to create our remarkable system of checks and balances.

60. When presented views with which I irreconciliably differ, I more often
feel offended.
agree to disagree.

61. The statement, "the female brain may not be as wired for math and science as the male brain,"
does not merit further investigation because it is deemed by some to be offensive to women and girls.
is a hypothesis that would need to be further tested to be validated.

62. It is morally permitted to take the life of a convicted murderer whose guilt is beyond doubt.
False.
True.

63. Israel's execution of the Nazi architect of the Holocaust Adolf Eichmann was
morally unacceptable.
morally acceptable.

64. Because a woman has the right to her own body, she should have an unfettered right to
an abortion, but not a silicone breast implant.
a silicone breast implant, but not an abortion.

65. The popular bumper sticker, "COEXIST," with each letter representing a different religion, is
needed more in America than in most other countries.
a pointless message in America; it would be like telling the French to "enjoy wine."

66. To label those who desire to keep the man-woman definition of marriage as "hateful"
is praiseworthy: opponents of same sex marriage are likely to be motivated by hate.
is child-like: "if you don't give me what I want, you hate me."

67. A vocal artist agrees to sing the U.S. national anthem. Without notifying the event organizers beforehand, she instead sings lyrics to another song.
She should not apologize for this; it goes with the risky territory of being an artist.
She has engaged in deception and should apologize to the event organizers.

68. Graffiti is
public artistic expression.
vandalism.

69. America should seek to be
loved by the world.
respected by the world.

70. Beyond one's peers, e.g. one's spouse and one's friends, one should first seek to be
loved.
respected.

71. The worth of the human fetus is determined by
the mother's feelings.
an objective moral code.

72. Rewriting history textbooks in order to include more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, even if their accomplishments are not historically significant, is
right — after all, "history should be honest" (California Gov. Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2011)
wrong — it is historical revisionism.

73. A person who attended only secular liberal schools from kindergarten through graduate school, watched and listened to only Left-of-center television, movies, and music and had no exposure to religious or conservative ideas is likely
not to be brainwashed.
to be brainwashed.

74. Israel's pre-emptive military strike on the nuclear reactor at Osirak, Iraq in 1981 was
an unjustifiable aggression against a sovereign state.
morally acceptable given the existential threat against Israel posed by a nuclear weapon.

75. America's war in Vietnam was largely
an unnecessary expenditure of American blood and treasure that accomplished little.
a noble, albeit flawed, effort to prevent South Vietnam from falling to Soviet-style Communism.

76. In the arts and literature,
beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
there are objective standards of beauty and literary excellence.

77. Which side of a contentious international issue to support is often best determined by
looking to world opinion.
looking to world opinion, then taking the opposite position.

78. America's influence around the world should be
weakened.
strengthened.

79. The purpose of a college education is to
question your father's values.
to search for and teach truth.

80. The reason that universities in the past taught Shakespeare, Michaelangelo, and Bach, rather than, let's say, Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians, and Native American storytellers is
Eurocentrism.
because the works of Shakespeare, Michaelangelo, and Bach are objectively greater than those of Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians, and Native American storytellers.

81. Israel is mostly
a racist state, morally no different from apartheid South Africa.
a beacon of freedom, decency, and tolerance in the middle east.

82. As human beings, the most important battle we fight can best be described as
collective and external, against society's ills such as racism, sexism, homophobia, to improve society.
individual and internal, against our own flawed human natures, as we struggle to be better people.

83. I would rather my sixteen-year-old child
cheat on an exam at school.
smoke a cigarette.

84. If both were drowning and I could only save one, I would rescue
my dog of 10 years that I love.
the human stranger.

85. Good and evil are derived
by human reason, the human heart, the state, majority rule, or some combination of these.
from God and a sacred text such as the Bible.

86. Without a God who rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked,
objective morality exists.
what is good and what is bad are matters of personal opinion.

87. President Ronald Reagan's labeling the Soviet Union an "evil empire"
smacks of religious values and wrongly asserts American moral superiority.
is consistent with the American tradition of being comfortable with notions of good and evil, and of right and wrong.

88. The decision regarding abortion rests ultimately
between a woman and her doctor.
between society and God.

89. What is a better source for values to live by?
Human reason.
The Old or New Testament.

90. A woman's house is on fire and she shouts to the firemen to save her three babies. The firemen risk their lives to go back into the fire to look for the babies. They then discover that the "babies" were in fact the woman's three cats. What the woman did was
right because animals are people too.
wrong because the firefighters unknowingly risked their lives to save cats.

91. I make moral decisions largely based on
how I feel.
an objective moral code, e.g. the Ten Commandments.

92. When the two conflict,
how I feel takes precedence over the teachings of my religion.
the teachings of my religion take precedence over how I feel.

93. Killing a pig to obtain a heart valve to save a human life is
morally wrong because animal life is as precious as human life.
morally right because human life is more valuable than animal life.

94. Robin Hood steals money from the rich and gives it to the poor. Robin Hood is
right, because the poor need the money, but the rich don't.
wrong, because it is wrong to steal.

95. Some say that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
I agree.
I disagree.

96. Should we redefine marriage?
Yes, because empathy and compassion for homosexuals is important.
No, because we don't understand the effects on society of such a radical change.

97. If a woman resents a swimsuit calendar on a co-worker's desk, sexual harassment laws exist to
protect her from a hostile work environment.
protect her from having uncomfortable feelings.

98. Affirmative action at universities is
needed because of historic racism African-Americans have endured.
more hurtful than helpful to blacks.

99. Which is more important to oppose?
war, corporations, pollution, economic inequality, big tobacco.
mass murder, rape, torture, human slavery, totalitarianism.

100. What must humanity fight against?
Climate change and America's use of armed force.
Islamic terrorism, human slavery, mass murder, and totalitarianism.

101. Regarding slavery in America, it's more important to remember that
The United States held slaves for a significant part of its history.
The United States effectively ended slavery in the civilized world.

102. Should we call an office Christmas Party a "Holiday Party?"
Yes, because otherwise non-Christian partygoers may feel bad.
No, because the vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas.

103. I tend to view the celebration of America, e.g. Fourth of July fireworks displays, singing the national anthem before a sports game, as an expression of
jingoism.
patriotism.

104. I mostly base my positions on the issues on
how I feel.
what is right.

105. What better defines moral norms?
Cultural concepts such as "face," shame, conformity, or personal honor.
Objective standards of good and evil.

106. For Christians, which two are the greater sins?
Unbelief and sexual sin.
Slavery and Communism.

107. When a person is severely brain damaged, in a vegetative state, and on feeding tubes, we should
Pull the tubes and let the person die because there is no longer quality of life.
Continue to feed and care for the person, to preserve life, not destroy it.

108. Abortion should be
available at nearly any time during a woman's pregnancy — anything less violates a "woman's right to choose."
prohibited except if medically necessary to save the life of the mother.

109. A minor under the age of 18 seeking an abortion should
not be required to notify her parents.
should be required to obtain her parents' consent.

110. An abortion is
a medical procedure, no different from removing an unwanted cyst or decayed tooth.
the deliberate taking of the life of an unborn child.

111. Regarding God and man,
even if some believe God exists, each man is the source of values, the measure of all things, and unaccountable to any God.
God is God and man is man. There is an infinite gulf between God and man. God is infinitely higher than man.

112. Distinctions between men and women
should be abolished. There is essentially no difference between men and women.
are largely necessary to the preservation of human order.

113. Humans are
much like animals.
created in the image of God, unlike animals.

114. Children should be taught to ask the question
"How do I feel about it?"
"Is it right or wrong?"

115. The Ten Commandments should be
removed from the public square due to separation of church and state.
revered as a set of God-given moral laws and principles necessary for a decent society.

116. In order to determine right and wrong we should ask,
How do I and my society feel about it?
How would God judge this action?

117. The person more likely to have ultimate meaning and purpose in his life is
the successful neurosurgeon who does not believe in God.
the poor peasant who believes in God.

118. It is far easier to be
religious but not spiritual.
spiritual but not religious.

119. If you were in an American city that you were not familiar with, alone, late at night, and you couldn't find your car, in a bad neighborhood, and you saw ten men walking toward you, would you or would you not be relieved to know that they had just attended a Bible class?
I would not be relieved.
I would be relieved.

120. During the Second World War, Irene Opdyke, a Polish Catholic woman, became the mistress of a married Nazi officer in order to save the lives of 12 Jews. What Opdyke did was
wrong, because she sinned by becoming the mistress of a married man.
right, because she saved the lives of 12 people.

121. I identify first as
a citizen of the world.
a citizen of my country.

122. Which better explains human behavior?
Economics.
Moral values.

123. Which is a better measure of a child's character?
Whether the child has marched for breast cancer, walked for AIDS, or worked on environmental issues.
The child's behavior toward less popular students in school.

124. Which is more important to teach children?
Self-esteem.
Self-control.




The intent of the exam is to present the questions in such a way that causes you to perhaps think a second time about some of your responses. It is not intended to predict your position on any specific policy issue.

I add questions periodically so check back often!

Home