Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fundamentalism is a set of theological doctrines, a term of abuse, and an intellectual vice

I did some posts on fundamentalism a year ago. In addition to the link below, you can look here
and here

The intellectual vice of fundamentalism is one that Christians, Muslims, and even atheists can partake in.

1 comment:

Edward T. Babinski said...

"Characteristic of all fundamentalism is that it has found absolute certainty the certainty of class warfare, the certainty of science, or the literal certainty of the Bible--a certainty of the person who has finally found a solid rock to stand upon which, unlike other rocks, is 'solid all the way down.' Fundamentalism, however, is a terminal form of human consciousness in which development is stopped, eliminating the uncertainty and risk that real growth entails."

[Above quotation is from the late Heinz Pagels, author, and wife of Elaine Pagels, scholar of religion, and author of the bestseller, The Gnostic Gospels)]

I would add that there's a sliding scale. And people can be "fundamentalistic" about some of their beliefs and less so about other beliefs they hold.

"Fundamentalism" in religion also appears connected with holding a legalistic attitude toward certain holy duties or dress; such as short hair on men, not listening to contemporary Christian music; teaching women to serve their husbands; only reading the King James Bible; handling snakes or drinking poison in obedience to Mark 16; condemning homosexuality unreservedly and harshly; condemning abortion unreservedly and harshly; the necessity of being baptized; or the necessity of "speaking in tongues" in order to ensure to others in your congregation that you indeed have rec'd the "baptism of the holy spirit."

But generally speaking, "fundamentalists" display at least two major characteristics:

(1) absolute certainty, and

(2) an unwillingness to recognize all the cleverness employed in keeping their "absolute certainty" afloat.

There is also a third characteristic, namely, grabbing the oars of the "U.S.S. Absolute Certainty" and using them to beat the heads of landlubbers who refuse repeated invitations to join the crew. *smile*