The Freedom (Inspired by Spinoza's Ethics) Test

  • This test is designed to measure your level of freedom as Baruch Spinoza conceptualized that construct. Even a cursory reading of Spinoza discloses that he anticipated many of the concepts that figure in psychoanalytic thought (such as unconscious information processing). In addition, his insights are increasingly perceived as compatible with modern neuroscientific findings as they pertain to such phenomena as self-control and priming. The core assumption of the test is that one's ethics and the level of one's freedom are cut of the same cloth. The test consists of a series of items the answers to which are expected to correlate, in what may be surprising ways, with facts regarding your psychology that are not directly measured. While there are only 10 items, the fact that there are 4 possible responses to each item suggests that there should be sufficient variation in scores to allow for meaningful analysis of the results. The validity of the test will of course be enhanced if you take a moment to read each question carefully and reflect on your response; this is not a test the accuracy of which depends on eliciting "spontaneous" responses.
  • 1
    When a weighty ethical decision must be made that will affect unknown third parties, it is important to consult others even if one already has command of the relevant facts.

  • 2
    Pity and compassion can be meaningfully distinguished.

  • 3
    Depending on the circumstances, joy and pain can have equivalent ethical value.

  • 4
    There is ultimately no moral difference between addiction to heroin and addiction to shopping.

  • 5
    A person can only be as free as they are healthy.

  • 6
    In an ideal, theoretical sense, one person cannot be fully free unless all are.

  • 7
    I would be willing to sign a piece of paper that says "I hereby consign my soul to the Devil upon my death."

  • 8
    Suppose that there is complete certainty that the world is going to end in 15 minutes but that an execution can be performed in 5 minutes. Then, even if we assume that capital punishment would have been justified in the case at hand, it would be wrong to administer it given that the world is going to end in 15 minutes anyway.

  • 9
    A 1000 year old temple has value simply by virtue of being 1000 years old.

  • 10
    If one is truly in love, then one's duty to the other is greater than the duty to oneself.