A series of possibly loaded questions


What follows is a set of sometimes loaded questions*, but at the very least it should help clarify your positions on a number of issues. I specifically didn’t want to insert a bunch of definitions and explanations. I think the reader knows what is meant by certain phrases in general. Plus, readers can answer, “Yes” or “No”, or they can qualify their answers on their own.

* For the sake of honesty, here is Wikipedia’s definition of a loaded question: “A loaded question or complex question is a question that contains a controversial assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt). Such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to those that serve the questioner’s agenda.”

Question 1. Do you believe long-term lockdowns to be an appropriate countermeasure against SARS-CoV-2, or do you believe lockdowns to be governmental overreach and the start of a slippery slope to long-term authoritarian control of populations?

Question 2. Do you believe lockdowns will save more lives that would otherwise be ended by Covid-19 than would be ended because of economic costs, increased mental stress, increased domestic abuse, increased substance abuse, and postponed or cancelled medical tests, procedures, or treatment? In other words, do you believe lockdowns will save more people than they would kill?

Question 3. Do you believe climate change to be a natural occurrence, or an unnatural phenomenon driven by human activity?

Question 4. Do you believe unmitigated climate change will end human life on Earth in the next hundred years?

Question 5. Which solution do you believe would be cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient at solving our energy needs in the future: a) renewable energy like wind and solar, or b) Generation IV nuclear?

Question 6. Which country do you consider to be a greater threat to Western-style democracy (for example, political leaders who can be voted in and out of office or be recalled, and media that are responsible to the public for exposing the misdeeds of political leaders): 1) China, b) Russia, c) the USA, or d) the European Union?

Question 7. Do you believe Donald Trump to be a) a fascist tyrant that aims to turn America into a white supremacist stronghold, or b) a political outsider that fundamentally threatens the political and bureaucratic establishment in Washington DC?

Question 8. Do you believe the organisation Back Lives Matter (BLM) to be a) truly concerned for all black people and the quality of their lives (at least in the US), or b) a radical political organisation that aims at disrupting a free-market economy and altering the basic principles of liberal democracy (at least in the US)?

Question 9. Do you believe NATO to be a) a necessary counterweight against Vladimir Putin’s expansionist ambitions, or b) an organisation that provides military muscle for the expansionist aims of the European Union?

Question 10. Do you believe actions launched by the Democratic Party in the United States and by affiliated officials in the intelligence community since 2016, and especially since 2017, amounted to a) an attempted coup against the Trump administration, with the goal of protecting the political and bureaucratic establishment in Washington DC, or b) honest and legitimate attempts at protecting the United States against foreign forces, or c) “black ops”, including the deliberate spread of false and misleading information, aimed at protecting the United States?

Question 11. Do you believe that a) it is appropriate treatment to give certain children (younger than twelve) puberty blockers to prevent them from developing into a gender they feel is not correct for them, or that b) it is irresponsible and even cruel to subject children to such treatment if the children are not mature enough to make decisions about their own bodies (or their identity) that could adversely affect their health for decades to come?

Question 12. Do you believe racism to mean a) prejudice plus power, or b) when someone makes assumptions – often negative – about another person purely based on their skin colour or ethnicity?

Question 13. Is it appropriate in a country with a tradition of free speech and freedom or thought for someone to be prevented from expressing their ideas or arguing their positions, or having their views challenged on a public platform because other people or groups do not condone their ideas or views, or are offended by them?