Based on the Socratic method, we have developed what we call the "Socratic Survey." 

Named after Socrates (469 BC–399 BC), the ancient Greek philosopher, the Socratic method is a form of inquiry where people with opposing viewpoints challenge each other with common sense truths and perceptions by asking and answering questions. It fosters critical thinking and clearer ideas in order to see through the inconsistency of popular opinions and beliefs. This method was particularly useful to combat the relativistic sophistry of 5th century BC Greece.

We attempt to use surveys to draw out what people actually think, by asking questions and proposing answers in a way to break through the "wisdom of this world," to get to the "law written on peoples hearts."

The results of these surveys are surprisingly different from the ones offered in the modern media.


Questions and Answers

How random is the selection of your audience?

This is a good question. The straightforward answer is that no effort was made to randomize the audience. We acknowledge that this survey was not meant not to be a scientific survey,  but an educational one—I call it a Socratic Survey

I sent the survey to 4000 email addresses, collected over the years, and some of these sent it to their friends. The non-Catholic respondents would give us the most accurate feel for what people in general think about the issues raised. That is why I focused so much on them in the report.

--jrw, September 13, 2012

This Poll is not Scientific!

Correct. It is not scientific as it does not use stratified random sampling and factor analysis statistics.  But neither are election polls. Elections only tally those who are motivated to go to the polls and made the decisions about who are the best candidate of the political office.

Effectively, we do the same with Socratic Surveys, using them as a way to help people think out the details regarding fairly complicated issues. Those who take the survey are usually more motivated and interested in the issues than those who don't.

These surveys are meant to be an educational, not a scientific-sociological poll. Yet the number of people responding from across the country give us a pretty good idea of what people think if you give them the chance to think.

Using Parallel Examples

We try to use examples to which people can relate. For example, most people can understand the wife’s or mother's feeling of being imposed upon to do something she finds objectionable. Similarly, many Jews find the imposition forbidding circumcision something objectionable, which is actually now being proposed in Germany, of all places. Then we try to relate the two.

I have no intention of "skewing" the results, but getting people to find parallels between a situation of government and its equivalent in the family.

Although you may disagree with this approach, I hope we can be open to a dialogue about the real issues here. There is no intention to offend anyone's intellectual acumen. 


You must be logged in to add gadgets that are only visible to you