Fundamentalism

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lordpendragon, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Lordpendragon

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    I would welcome people's thoughts on this. It's use appears in many threads in this section and without reducing it to semantics, I think it would be interesting to learn people's takes on its meaning and impact.

    For me, anyone who professes a belief or faith is a fundamentalist. I have this opinion because they are taking an absolute position on something which can not be empirically shown to human reason.

    The Christian Faith for example requires some leap of faith if even only in its most basic tenets - I believe in God the Father The Son and the Holy Spirit, or simply that Jesus Christ was the son of God. Whilst a Muslim begins that there is only one God, Allah, and Muhammad was his last prophet.

    It is not possible for both positions to be true and therefore if you take one positon of belief then the other must be false as will all others.

    For me, the different levels of fundamnetalism stem from the original position.
     
  2. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Pendragon,

    Much as I understand your broad view of fundamentalism -

    in recent American society it's become synoymous with intransigent views of dogmatic absolutism held by many Christians in our midst.

    From the definition the way you describe I'd like to think of myself as fundamental humanist.
     
  3. rawbone8

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    I think the real problem that most people have is opposing the conformity that the Christian, Islamic and New York Yankees fundamentalists seem to always demand of others, a conformity that denies argument, dissent, or thoughtfulness.

    Faith by itself is not a necessarily a bad thing.
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I like this interpretation:
     

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  5. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    The postulated definition is uselessly broad.

    I believe it would be unethical and illegal to mail a letter bomb to you. Even if not illegal, it would still be unethical. This belief has no factual, objective, or verifiable basis. It arises from an intangible belief system with no real anchor in reality. In any useful sense, am I therefore a fundamentalist?
     
  6. Ethyl

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    While the Christian and Muslim faiths differ greatly, there are other faiths that mesh together very well. I have a friend who is a self-professed "Christian Jew", one wiccan friend who periodically darkens the door of a church (she's fascinated by liturgical worship), and i've spoken about my own melting pot of faith ad nauseum in another thread.

    I can't subscribe to fundamentalism because of the principal need to alienate other faiths. I see no reason to completely jettison a particular faith because one might not believe in all the tenants. I like to separate "the wheat from the chaff" if you will. Is is necessary or fair to polarize those who practice a certain faith and insist their choice is to following the letter of the law or none at all?
     
  7. fortiesfun

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    There being no absolute definition that everyone can agree on, I would suggest within the Christian community the dividing line is usually between those who believe the Bible is the actual word of God and therefore to be understood literally, and those who believe it is perhaps inspired by, or eminating from, God but still a human artifact that must be interpreted metaphorically.

    Very different courses of action come from those two positions. As but one example, one camp believe that the prohibition against women holding the priesthood is God's immutable law for all time and the other that it is an historic circumstance that might once have been understandable in an ancient context, but must be reconsidered in our time.
     
  8. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    An excellent definition, or denotation, FF. I would only add that because of the zealousness with which some fundamentalists try to convert others, the word carries many negative connotations as well.
     
  9. JustAsking

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    In her book The Battle For God, Karen Armstrong identifies that religious fundamentalism of all kinds seems to be a pathological reaction against modernism. Not any old modernism, but empirical modernism.

    In the book, The Fundamentalism Project they identify what they think are five ideological characteristics of fundamentalism:
    1. fundamentalists are concerned "first" with the erosion of religion and its proper role in society;
    2. fundamentalism is selective of their tradition and what part of modernity they accept or choose to react against;
    3. they embrace some form of Manicheanism (dualism);
    4. fundamentalists stress absolutism and inerrancy in their sources of revelation; and
    5. they opt for some form of Millennialism or Messianism.
    and nine family resemblances:
    1. religious idealism as basis for personal and communal identity;
    2. fundamentalists understand truth to be revealed and unified;
    3. it is intentionally scandalous, (outsiders cannot understand it);
    4. fundamentalists envision themselves as part of a cosmic struggle;
    5. they seize on historical moments and reinterpret them in light of this cosmic struggle;
    6. they demonize their opposition and are reactionary;
    7. fundamentalists are selective in what parts of their tradition and heritage they stress;
    8. they are led by males;
    9. they envy modernist cultural hegemony and try to overturn the distribution of power.
     
  10. fortiesfun

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    Just want to say that this is the second thread in as many days that JustAsking has contributed extemely insightful posts, which I for one found really helpful. Thanks, guy.
     
  11. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    I echo this thought.
     
  12. Gillette

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    Same here. I find the information and ideas that JustAsking presents to be very clear and informative.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to say the same of you, fortiesfun.
     
  13. tripod

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    Abraham had two sons (he had several), Ishmael and Jacob. Jacob received the blessing that he would inherit the kingdom of God. Jacob had a jewish mother. Ishmael was Abraham's illegitimate son with his Egyptian sex slave. Abraham's wife hated Hagar and had her banished. Before they left, Abraham bestowed THE SAME PROMISE TO ISHMAEL THAT HE GAVE TO JACOB. Jacob would later be known as Isreal and his offspring are the semites. Ishmael's offspring became the Muslim people. Christians do not give any creedance to Mohammad (praise be upon him), but the Muslim faith holds Jesus in very high faith as one of the greatest prophets they have ever known. And since we know that the Abrahamic religions worship the same God, it would seem that the Muslims are more inclusive than the Jews or Christians. So the Muslims recognize Jesus, the jews do not recognize Jesus or Mohammad (praise be upon him), and the Christians recognize Judaism but not Mohammad (PBUH). The Torah, the Bible, and the Koran were written by men, and are largely works of political and military agency. Fundamentalism means defering your personal conscious opinion in favor of the orthodoxy. The tribe has always discouraged individual thinking. Fundamentalism is the opposite of enlightenment. Everything fucked up in the world can be attributed to deffering one's unique thoughts in favor of someone elses. Fundamentalism is SLAVERY, it is the complete lack of Autonomy. It is PURE EVIL!
     
  14. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    That was superb tripod.
     
  15. JustAsking

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    I come here because I feel the same way about you guys. The discussions on etc,etc. are always interesting and invigorating because of your thoughtful contributions.

    Also, I have to confess to have only read the first book I mentioned. The second one is a 5 part set and it is way down on my list. However the editor, Martin Marty is brilliant, so thats what keeps it on my list.
     
  16. dreamer20

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    The sons that you mentioned were Ishmael and Isaac. Both were legitimate sons. Hagar fled from Sarah of her own accord, taking her son Ishmael with her, but Hagar was told to return to Abraham by an angel. Abraham's third wife, Keturah, bore him 6 sons. He had concubines that also bore children for him but both were eventually abandoned by him, see Genesis Chapt. 25 :6.

    Re: the "Jewish mother" quote Both Abraham and his sister/wife Sarah were Chaldeans.

    I mentioned the reason for circumcision here:
    47
     
  17. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

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    I prefer Greek Gods. It's interesting that a lot of gods were transposed from the Greek to Roman era. eg there was a Greek god of healing 'Asclepion' but when the Romans took over, he was 'Asklepius'.

    I'm of the belief that no religion is actually 'the one true', and that they all stem from an ancient idea, or belief system and have all been slightly changed. Basically, all the (modern day) religious fables and stories, gods and demons are fictional. No one believes that Theseus slayed the minotaur or that the minotaur actually existed so why do people believe in equally unbelievable stories?

    Greek myths are entertaining, but that's as far as I take it.

    I still accept people though, even if they are hardcore fundies...its their choice. Although a lot of people are RAISED into religion and don't have a say.
     
  18. tripod

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    Yeah, I wracked my brain to come up with Ishmael and Hagar, I almost called Isaac Joshua, that would've been even worse. Clearly there were no actual Jewish people yet at that time, but there was some problem between Sarah and Hagar (was she not Egyptian?), and Sarah seemed superior... thought Hagar was a concubine. Thanx for the update, it takes sooo much brainpower to make sense of Genesis and actually retain it, you my friend, should get an honorary doctorate in theology. :smile:
     
  19. dreamer20

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    Thanks. You're making me blush Tripod.:hug:

    It always galls me to hear theologians speak of Abram in such glowing terms and claim that he that he showed that man should have but one wife. God had no problem with him having 3 wives. Abram, with the help of God/Yahweh used fraudulent methods to obtain slaves and other wealth and was even asked to sacrifice his child by this deity. I mentioned that the OT shows God as a very bizarre, insane, immoral, cruel and unpredictable deity in these posts:

    http://www.lpsg.org/481517-post65.html

    121

    http://www.lpsg.org/487160-post130.html

    As you can see I had a hard time getting the fundamentalist to go to this link and read what was discussed there:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/imm_bibl1.htm
     
  20. Lordpendragon

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    Thank you everyone - what a lot we can learn when we remain as objective as possible.

    I understand that fundamentalism was originally coined for some late nineteenth century US protestants, and JA's post describes them very well from what I have read.

    I have taken a very broad definition because fundamental ideologies, Mao/Stalin/Pol Pot etc, can be just as dangerous (IMO) as fundamentalist theologies. I therefore go to the fundamental root as I see this as the first step to holding an intransigent belief. Of course this belief can take you down different paths as 40's:biggrin1: describes.

    An opinion however, is something that can be changed. A fundamental opinion, I would think of rather as a belief.

    If you are lucky enough to visit Luxor, you will see thousands of cut off genitals on the walls of Karnak depicting those enemies killed in various campaigns. The whole place is completely phallic, and the Pharoah was ritually masterbated at dawn each new day. Why did Moses leave that bit out?
     
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