The Good Person Test: A Critique

The Dishonest and Immoral Good Person Test

Over recent years we’ve seen the rise of a particularly pernicious form of propaganda among evangelical preachers. The so-called “Good Person Test” which has received little visible criticism. With a little bit of rational thinking and actual empathy for other human beings we can quickly see why this religious sales pitch is immoral.

“The Good Person Test” is an immoral psychological device designed by Ray Comfort and employed by Way of the Master evangelicals as a tool of conversion. It is a poorly constructed syllogism that uses emotional blackmail, disrespectful treatment, moral conflation, and outright condescension in order to abuse the credulous and social.

I am going to approach it in segments because this is the way it is presented.

Anger is murder

One lie, always a liar, aka lying cannot be moral

One theft, always a thief

Attraction is sex, aka attraction is cheating, aka sex is bad

• The vanity of a name, aka do you have a point? (I am not doing this one because it has no relation with reality)

• All roads lead to eternal torture

The script itself is a better litmus test for the so-called “goodness”, or at least moral intelligence, of the interviewer than it is for the audience. By far the worst aspect of this script happens to be the unspoken dialogue steeped in Christian mythology that whosever breaks a single of the unsubstantiated rules will suffer a horrible punishment. This is especially repulsive when the script starts to use thought crime as a reason to lay blame rather than personal integrity, character, or action.

I find this particular form of evangelism to be repellent. These people manipulate the good graces of their audience, beat them with emotional blackmail, false entitlement, false intimacy, and use other con game tactics that are all frauds of social human interaction. The double-standard that is portrayed by this test has never been above-board. I hope that if only those who use it would examine the technique, they would choose to abandon this unhealthy, disgusting behavior.

Perhaps if they do, they can become more like the good people the so-called “Good Person Test” claims to detect.

4 thoughts on “The Good Person Test: A Critique

  1. I am. I practice morality on a daily basis; and that’s the only way any of us are skilled at being good at anything.

  2. The Truth is that we preach an offensive message. For the unsaved person who refuses to accept that they will be judged for unrighteousness, why wouldn’t it be objectionable to be told what the Law says? That is, unless they receive the good news because they understand the role the Lord Jesus plays in their redemption. I pray that the writer of this article can come to know the amazing love and grace of the God who offered them grace and mercy.

  3. I too can generate fake significance by randomly capitalizing Gibberish and make unfounded future claims; then I’ll predict that people will not accept my unfounded claims and use that as proof that my Gibberish must be true.

    I get it, the poster above—Mike—is speaking using a cult jargon that doesn’t belong to the culture of this website (or even N. America in general). Only a small segment of society will understand why “Truth” or “Law” must to be capitalized to convey a special meaning and what that meaning is. Mike was speaking to this other audience, not to me, or to anyone from contemporary American culture. The evidence is in the last line where Mike writes as if I’m not expected to read his comment by not even addressing me.

    Of course, poster, if you’d like to come back and explain why “Law” or “Truth” should authorize the presence of sociopathic immorality evident in Ray Comfort’s Good Person Test you’re welcome to elaborate. Just, try to do so without showing that “Truth” and “Law” are equally sociopathic and immoral; unless you want to explain why you haven’t jettisoned them alongside every other moral failure and bad behavior.

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