TED Conversations

william clegg

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

Can we ever be free of the caustic influences of fundamentalism?

The fundamentalist is one who is fixated upon the rigid, strict and literal interpretations of a particular belief or practice. The fundamentalists use circular reasoning to support their rightness by believing themselves to be morally right and they are righteous in the belief of being right.

As a consequence, their righteousness of 'being morally right' then allows them to see all those who disagree as heretics and potential enemies deserving of their scorn, contempt and even violence in the most extreme cases.

Most are familiar with the religious fundamentalists that can be found in every religion ever devised and who have been behind so many of the atrocities perpetrated in the name of religion and religious rightness. .

But few people are aware of the political fundamentalists found on both the left and right of the political spectrum who keep fanning the flames of conflict in society and who, once in office go out of their way to destroy whatever good the other party might have accomplished..

The economic woes besetting the planet today are a direct result of the adherents of Milton Friedman's economic philosophy which has been summed up as "greed is good' while ignoring all the criminal and corrupt adherents that have exploited this particular belief system.

Of course, the majority of people would rather seek common ground and compromise over conflict and strife. But invariably it is the fundamentalists that want to incite conflict and who seek to inflict their narrow-minded rigidity upon the rest of us, making them no less dangerous to human populatons than any other infectious disease. .

Share:

Closing Statement from william clegg

I think Frank Bierbrauer put it best "I believe that fundamentalists of all forms will be around as long as people believe themselves either be superior or possess superior knowledge to that of others". In other words, humanity's inherent arrogance may well be its greatest failing.

  • thumb
    Dec 17 2013: I try to base my views on evidence and reason.

    I'm human and subject to all the weaknesses that implies, but I have changed my views on many things when presented with compelling evidence and logic.

    I don't assert there are no gods or goddeses. There could be a billion gods in every atom. Just I'm not aware of sufficient evidence.

    I'm not committed to atheism in the way that some theists are committed to the bible or Koran being literally true.

    I'm open to the universe being surprising and counter intuitive.

    I lost my Christian beliefs when I realised the core tenants were no more supported than other religions. I wanted to believe but couldn't in the face of a growing understanding there was no good reason to assume it was different to any other man-made religion. It just happened to be the one I was culturally indoctrinated in.

    if I faced with reasonable evidence of gods even nasty ones I couldn't help but believe. It's not a choice really.
    • thumb
      Dec 17 2013: Thanks for putting so much thought and time into your responses and the excellent points you make regarding objectivity and belief.
    • thumb
      Dec 17 2013: Hi Obey,
      It seems we are on the same page with this issue, and I am with you and the idea to be open to the surprises of the universe. Although I have practiced, studied, researched different religious and philosophical beliefs, I do not believe there is a god, and respect others who choose to believe in a god or specific practice, as long as the practices and beliefs do not adversely impact other people. I think it IS a choice Obey, to be open to information and evaluate it...or not.

      You sometimes remind us of the atrocities in the holy books, and how that is not consistent with some of the teachings... I'd like to share a story...

      I sat next to a young man on a plane recently, who was studying to be a video game designer/programmer. He was telling me about the business and mentioned the violence in a lot of video games. He realized that violence sells the games, and said he knew of a way to incorporate goodness with violence. Since he is a good Christian (he told me), he wants to create video games based on biblical stories, because in that way, the violence would be more acceptable, because it is in the name of religion/god. Fundamentalists, seem to think it is ok to violate others (kill, maim, torture, rape, etc) when it is in the name of a religion or god?

      That is the kind of illogical, unreasonable thinking that caused me to question the religion I was born into. Even as a young child, I perceived the teachings to be inconsistent, hypocritical and contradictory. My devout christian mother, taught me to explore, and live a life of integrity, whether that included aligning with a particular belief.....or not.....and I am very grateful for her guidance as she truly lived her life walking her talk.

      All my life, I have interacted with people of many different religious and philosophical beliefs, and I feel that it has broadened my worldview immensely. I fail to see how the righteousness of fundamentalists has ever contributed positively to our global society.
      • Dec 17 2013: Colleen,

        There certainly are quite a bunch of confused souls that think/believe violence would be more acceptable given this or that 'consideration' and who ought to reconsider what they cultivate with their stories/thoughts/feelings/actions. I wonder what is meant by 'the righteousness of fundamentalists"? Here I differentiate between the fundamentalists that happen to be right and the ones that just think they are right! I understand that most just think of only the second ones which sort of makes me wonder why individuals seem to have a bias towards 'the negatives'. I would rather everyone had a bias towards the positives!

        That is each have specific practice, as long as the practices and beliefs do have a positive impact on themselves and other people. At least we agree that it IS a choice to be open to information and evaluate it...or not.
        • thumb
          Dec 17 2013: Esteban,
          The meaning of fundamentalism is...
          "a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles".

          If a person is attached to a strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles, to the exclusion of, or failure to accept other's basic principles, I believe that is a person who simply thinks he/she is right. In my humble perception, anyone who needs to claim to be "right", only thinks s/he is right.

          If a person chooses to believe s/he is right with his/her practice for him/herself, that seems very logical and acceptable. It is the practice of imposing one's beliefs on others that is not very useful.

          Regarding your statement..."That is each have specific practice, as long as the practices and beliefs do have a positive impact on themselves and other people".

          I suggest that fundamentalists may genuinely believe they are having a positive effect on others, because they are not exploring, or accepting anything outside their chosen beliefs. This practice can sometimes reinforce the need to try to convince everyone else that they are "right". Actually, when a person needs to try to convince me that s/he is "right", I perceive insecurity on the part of that person.
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: So which religious fundamentalists have it right?

          How do we separate the man-made beliefs and incorrect interpretations from the one correct god or goddess concept and dogma and correct interpretation. We don't even know any gods exist let alone their nature, instructions,and implications for humans.

          seems like the religious approach of relying on personal revelation, authority, and scriptures is all very subjective.

          I'm with colleen. If all religionists accepted they are human and may not have it right, that society did not respect fundamentalism, we might ask be better off.

          we have enough dividing us, enough challenges getting along with each other in a competitive world without people believing they have the absolute truth. That their god gave them a certain piece of land, that they know how best to live based on their interpretation of their cultural religion.

          extremism is problematic, but even more so when people believe they have the creator of the universe on their side. Often these are beliefs with little supporting evidence or logic.
      • Dec 17 2013: Colleen,

        It seems to me that the fundamental point regarding fundamentalists I put forth seems to have been overlooked; succinctly put, the set of basic principles the fundamentalists holds can produce caustic influences or produce something desirable. That is "stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles" can be a good thing or something else depending on the set of basic principles involved!

        On a similar tone, I suggest that the underlying beliefs one holds determine whether resorting to the practice of imposing one's beliefs on others be useful or not. Ideally each ought to freely choose to do what ought to be done and just choose to do it; in practice sometimes individuals have to be 'pushed' to behave appropriately. Of course there is the whole issue of determining appropriate behaviors independent of individual biases and that is a whole different conversation.

        BTW I do not see much of a difference between "a person chooses to believe s/he is right with his/her practice for him/herself" and an individual who chooses to stress strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles. Evidently someone may genuinely believe they are having a positive effect on others, because of what they think/feels/consider without this making it be so; the key resides in what actually be happening.

        FWIIW seeking to show someone what is 'right' may be seen as a caring kind gift somebody seek to give to someone.
        • thumb
          Dec 17 2013: I agree that those who work hard to convince others of what they are confident is true often mean well by it. .
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: I agree fritzie. Some mean well.

          I guess they burnt witches for the good of society.

          Vigorous debate is one thing. Violence is another.
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: Esteban,
          I have not "overlooked" anything you put forth. As I told you in a previous conversation, I read your comments, and understand most of what you are expressing. Again, I say to you....there is a difference between understanding and agreeing.

          I agree that stressing some basic principles can be a good thing depending on the principles that are involved. Stressing the golden rule, for example, seems to be a beneficial principle to stress. Fundamentalists often go beyond simply "stressing" a principal, and try to demand, intimidate, judge their particular principle to be "right", and often use verbal, emotional and physical intimidation to "stress" what they believe to be right.

          A common argument of fundamentalists is telling people that they "know" what is right....they "know" what is truth, and if we do not follow their beliefs, we are lost....going to hell.....etc. That perception is not at all helpful or useful in our world, and has caused a great deal of unrest and killing throughout the history of our world.

          Imposing one's beliefs on others, in my perception, is NEVER useful. Your desire to "push" people to think, feel and behave as you wish, is simply an effort to get people to agree with your beliefs.

          I agree with your statement Estaban....
          " Evidently someone may genuinely believe they are having a positive effect on others, because of what they think/feels/consider without this making it be so; the key resides in what actually be happening."

          Absolutely! "The key resides in what actually be happening".

          And what actually is happening, may be perceived very differently by different people because it is subjective.

          Yes, in some cases, to show someone what is "right" (in your perception) may be seen as a caring kind gift ON THE PART OF THE GIVER. It may also feel like an imposition on the part of the receiver. When one tells you clearly, that it is an imposition, perhaps it is time to listen, if your intent is truly to be caring and kind.
      • thumb
        Dec 18 2013: I have heard conversations where smart people state the believe that their prophet flew to heaven on a winged horse.

        as a Christian I was supposed to believe Jesus was born of a virgin, walked on water, resurrected (then disappeared - how convenient), the Tombs of Jerusalem, opened up, the sun stopped in the sky, a donkey spoke, that good sent bears to eat unruly teenagers, and flooded the entire world, the creator of the universe made a deal with a small tribe in the middle east, etc etc.

        tired to all this was teachings about the role of women, on homosexuality etc.

        it's amazing how religion makes smart people believe crazy unsubstantiated things, often at odds with the evidence.

        what is it about religion that can do this? Or is it just the weaknesses of humans who assume agency to easily, and want to belong, and believe what our parents tell us, can be indoctrinated, over rely on intuition etc
        • Dec 18 2013: Obey,

          Its not the religion its the humans... What is it about humans that can lead to all this?
      • Dec 18 2013: Colleen,

        I am curious why you seem to see that there is a difference between understanding the truth and agreeing with the truth. I do realize that some will understand the truth and then choose to reject it; for whatever reasons they may have to do so. Still I am curious to ask them why they choose to do what they do. Right now I am sort of taking the role of a caring fundamentalists that happens to be right and insists on pushing a valid point (without going pass the point of demanding nor intimidation). Telling people that one "know" what is right....(when one actually does knows the right way) is just a factual statement. Evidently to those who "know" what is truth, is the fact that if someone does not follow the true beliefs, well its evident to those who 'know' the truth the destination of someone... unless someone changes ... the way they head will lead them to a particular destiny...

        My desire to "push" people to think, feel and behave , is simply an effort to get people to see and agree with the truth... (do note I am NOT saying my truth ... I am saying the truth). That some may perceive it this way or that way is a component of what actually be happening, still what actually be happening can well transcend individual subjectivities. Again notice how I seek to focus on the objective reality rather than stay constrained to some individuals notions... for example consider: when somebody gives a caring gift that is perceived as an imposition by the receiver and a caring gift by the giver. The fact someone claims its an imposition reflects a key omission of the facts involved and seeks to make the caring gift into something else in line with someone's perception. Should we listen to someone? should we listen to somebody? should we just recognize the truth of the matter? Do note that the example has three premises "1- when somebody gives a caring gift 2- that is perceived as an imposition by the receiver and 3- (perceived as ) a caring gift by the giver".
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: There is a point that I think you are consistently missing in what Colleen is saying.

          I hope I might try to clarify in different words.

          She is saying there is a difference between understanding "what you are expressing" and agreeing with "what you are expressing."

          In your reply to her you substitute "the truth" for "what you are expressing."

          You may believe "what you are expressing" and "the truth" are the same thing because you are confident you know the truth. Others do not automatically believe what you say is always true. Elsewhere you have conceded, I think, that even you recognize your fallibility.

          Thoughtful people tend not to accept simply on faith proclamations of truth from those they happen to meet on the internet.

          Please think about this. Colleen, please excuse my interjection.
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Good observation Fritzie....there is a point that Estaban is consistently missing.

          Estaban consistently substitutes "the truth" for what he is trying to express, continuously sending the message that what he says is the one and only "truth". It appears that in his perception, his truth is the one and only truth.

          I also agree Fritzie that thoughtful people tend not to accept simply on faith. I believe humans are evolving beyond the point of blindly accepting proclamations of truth presented as the one and only "truth".
      • Dec 18 2013: Fritzie,

        Please note how I consistently seek to shift the conversation towards 'the truth'. Its not about what others you me think to be, its about what happens to be. Also note that some consistently seek to shift the conversation away from 'the truth'; and make it about someone's notions. Yes in my reply to Colleen I substituted and used the term "the truth" seeking to move the conversation to that point. For some reason 'some individuals' want to associate that to an individual and shift the conversation into what each individuals holds to be, rather than just focus on the truth of the matter. The curious thing is that 'them who seek to make it about someone's truth' accuse me of seeking to make it about my truth when what I consistently seek be to recognize that the point be about The Truth. Arguing about individual preference likes and dislikes is a bit futile, conversing about what happens to be appropriate seems more productive. The thing is that when focused on the truth of the matter one basically accepts what be or rejects it... where as when talking about preferences one can get into all sort of stories...

        Please note that focusing on what I may believe to be or what you and others may believe to be tends to distracts us from focusing on what actually happens to be. The thing here is Colleen insists we embrace her stand on focusing on what individuals think to be rather than just accepting to focus on what be. I insist we embrace the stand on focusing on what be ( do note I am not saying focusing on what I think to be, I am saying focusing on what happens to be). Curiously thoughtful people tend to accept simply on faith their own proclamations of truth while questioning truthful proclamations made by others.

        Please think about this. Anyone and everyone is welcomed to interject.
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: Most people in most circumstances, I believe, would be happy to embrace "the truth" if they knew what it was. Perhaps people are not interested in discussing that idea because it isn't controversial.

          People try to figure out what is true and what is not. One cannot do this by comparing against the truth, because in looking for the truth, one doesn't already know what it is. Several story lines tend to fit the facts. One has no truth (perfect knowledge of "what be.") to compare against. That is precisely what one is looking for!

          For many people, coming to a conclusion as to what is true is not done by taking someone else's word for it. This is your sticking point. You are confident, I believe, that you know the ACTUAL truth. Others are not confident that you do.

          They are not confident that they do either, but this does not make them simply accept as true what someone on the internet tells them confidently is true.

          I think you could have a major and productive breakthrough in your thinking, and would encounter less frustration in your exchanges with people, if you could be reflective in this area.

          I think those who continue to respond to you are trying to help you look at your thinking more self-critically.
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Esteban,
          You write...
          "The thing here is Colleen insists we embrace her stand on focusing on what individuals think to be rather than just accepting to focus on what be. I insist we embrace the stand on focusing on what be ( do note I am not saying focusing on what I think to be, I am saying focusing on what happens to be)."

          The ONLY thing I have offered to you Esteban, over and over again, is the idea that individuals have their own thoughts, feelings, preferences, ideas, opinions and beliefs.

          The apparent challenge for you Esteban, is that you do not seem to understand the difference between what you "think to be" and "what happens to be".
      • Dec 18 2013: Fritzie,

        Thanks. Some who respond are trying to help me think more self-critically and some who respond are just doing it as a reflex to defend their ways of thinking... rather than actually considering what someone on the internet tells them, especially because of the underlying implications. I realize now that many of my comments are like cold water buckets thrown over the sleeping dreamer... rather than a nice wake up call.... I need to design a better experience to help each see what it is that I desire to share with them. As you say its not done by taking someone word for it... its a bit more along having the same experiences oneself... as you say I will have to reflect on how to accomplish this... I hope other also see what it is that I am seeking to share...

        I sense you perceive more confidence in me than what I hold, something that I have accepted is that assessing what is true and what is not can be a daunting point and there might be a different way out of the conundrum. I like to say that figuring out the problem may be unnecessary when one figures out what to do with the situation in such a way that the problems simply vanish. In other words it's not about who made the error its about what to do with the situation and establishing better practices to keep that from repeating itself...
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: This sounds productive. I think valid, useful messages can get lost in the thick of what a person presents.

          For example, I think the idea that one can often take actions that are either clearly or almost certainly advantageous even without understanding a situation thoroughly is a good and vital one. Some people find it difficult to act without understanding a situation thoroughly and therefore do not act. But not acting can have a consequence more serious than taking a best guess.

          If one is on train tracks and a train is coming, one may not know whether it is better to run right or left but not running is disaster.

          I think too that people prefer to engage with those who impress them as open to learn rather than only to express themselves. This might be a consideration in designing a better experience for yourself and others.
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Esteban,
          You write...
          ".... I need to design a better experience to help each see what it is that I desire to share with them. As you say its not done by taking someone word for it... its a bit more along having the same experiences oneself... as you say I will have to reflect on how to accomplish this... I hope other also see what it is that I am seeking to share..."

          What you are seeking to share Esteban is apparent. How about designing a better experience to help YOURSELF, as Fritzie insightfully suggests.

          Fritzie is absolutely right! People prefer to engage with those who are open to possibilities, rather than simply trying to convince us that you are right.
      • Dec 18 2013: Fritzie,

        I like the metaphor of the train... especially if we add the idea of considering entering a tunnel ... note that here one can't move to the right or the left ... depending on one's velocity and the trains velocity one may or may not make it to the other side in time... and by the time one realizes the truth of the matter it may be difficult to escape what will happen... sometimes it just better to be safe than sorry :-) The thing with impressions is that they are rather subjective and ultimately what really counts is the truth of the matter. Though you are right I need to consider the impressions within the design of better experiences. At the very least warn them what to expect :-)
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: You are absolutely right Esteban...."the thing with impressions is that they are rather subjective...."

          You are trying to express YOUR subjective impression as the "right" "truth".

          How about simply trying to relax and have a good, open conversation rather than trying to "warn them" of something!!!
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        "You are trying to express YOUR subjective impression as the 'right' 'truth'".

        I am relaxed and having a good open conversation which includes all sort of points being made...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: No Esteban. I have never said my subjective impression is "right" or absolute "truth". I continually present it as an idea, thought, feeling, perception, perspective....
    • Dec 17 2013: Obey,

      I too seek to base my views on evidence and reason and have changed my views on many things when presented with compelling evidence and logic AND even when no compelling evidence exists thought logic points to it. beliefs are interesting notions for they form the underlying coordinate language individuals choose to use to reason, feel and act. Some believe they can't change what they believe then some believe they can change what they believe. fact is individuals can choose what they believe, think, feel, do (of course sometimes it takes work and determination and practice and a bit more). The thing with 'the words' is that individuals require to know how to properly decipher them to know what the words mean; and the absolute meaning of a word is set once and for all when used. each time the words is is used a new absolute meaning is set. which may correspond to preceding meanings or not. This bounded freedom is akin to what takes place in reality and what individuals think of reality. thinking what be corresponding to what be enables one to perceive what be through what one thinks!

      I too am open to the universe (and beyond) being surprising and counter intuitive!

      Fortunately for me I kept my Religious beliefs while achieving a level-3 consciousness mind -in other words a life
      experience that invalidates and shatters previous world view was unnecessary - http://www.memecentral.com/mu/mu0004.htm In a way I was able to eat and keep the cake by the ability to flex the meme-space on the fly with great capacity to hold 'dissonant', 'contradictory' beliefs while transcending the dualistic notions (by integrating them within a singularity that moves beyond a location and time while remaining still in time and a location).

      Succinctly put what I hold to believe is as valid if not more so than others choose to believe. In the face of a growing understanding there was good reason to keep certain beliefs I was introduced to hold; really base on a personal choice!
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: No problem et. I'm very happy for people to have different peaceful religious beliefs.

        you asked whether I am really own to changing my beliefs. I believe I am.
      • thumb
        Dec 18 2013: I get what you are saying in that we can shake out beliefs to some extent. You can self indoctrinate yourself.

        but there are limits to this.

        I wanted to be a Christian. But over time I unconsciously did not believe what I was arguing for. It was unbearable. I lost a lot of friends but when I really put the claims to the test they failed.

        I've prayed in tongues(still can), cast out demons, had amazing rapturous moments, just like special folk in many religions. These days I explore consciousness via meditation without the religious overlay.

        I would only council that we can have amazing mind experiences, but need to be careful how you interpret these.

        we can see people's brains at work when paying to Jesus or Allah or in communion with Vishnu. Something is happening in their brain. but we can not tell if they are really connecting to some supernatural entity. Hence I withhold belief.

        I've seen ghosts, had an out of body experience, and amazing dreams. As far as we know this was just going on in my head.

        one comment of yours that jars is your ability to hold contradictory beliefs. Im wary of messing with the law of contradiction. complexity, ambiguity, uncertainty fine. Two contradictory beliefs. both can not be correct imo
        • Dec 18 2013: Obey,

          I once had an interesting dialogue with someone... the curious thing was that we basically agreed 100% while holding slightly different beliefs... we sort of disagreed with each other... while actually in essence agreeing with each other... we both held one was right and the other was wrong... we both held me was right and the other was wrong... after a while I realized that when someone who is wrong tells somebody who is right that somebody be wrong someone is actually just being congruent with being in the wrong stance... I realized that the belief one was right and the other was wrong could be wrong... for in practice both could be right... the curious thing was that at such an instant we in essence disagreed because I no longer held that one was right and one was wrong...unfortunately the other was unable to consider the alternative I put froth and choose to terminate the dialogue... I learned quite a bit in that interchange... something I been working on for quite some time involves transcending dualistic contradictory systems while still recognizing them. in other words two different beliefs systems need not be contradictory...
  • thumb
    Dec 29 2013: Agreed, that sense of superiority may well haunt us far into the future.

    However, as for revolution, it is a failed premise. All revolutions have ever done is replace one bunch of thugs with another bunch of thugs, simply because they generally retain the same sort of top down hierarchy of power and control. I much prefer evolution to revolution because evolving means an advancement, an improvement.
  • thumb
    Dec 26 2013: Since this is a debate, it may be useful for us to remember that the arguments offered and refuted here should not be “quibbles” or trivial objections. It is interesting to note that there are several comments in this debate that may, if seen critically, fall into that category.

    For example refuting anybody’s statement/comment as ‘that is what you think’ and arguing on the basis that it does not therefore qualify as a valid argument (either openly or tacitly) is logically unproductive and is a ‘quibble’. This is so because the basis of refutation is also founded on what the refuter THINKS. It is pointless trying to refute saying ‘that is what you think’ and implying a greater, deeper and more correct ‘truth’ without convincing everyone of the perspective of that truth in meaningful ways.

    It is another folly in a debate to assume a position of greater understanding of a subject (unless it is technical and you are an expert) simply because a debate is intended for critically discussing a subject from opposing perspectives and if the opposition is discredited with lack of understanding, the debate turns into a ‘preaching’.

    It is also very uninteresting, at least for me, to argue when objections fail to confront the main argument under consideration. It is fallacious to oppose a point on the basis of minor and incidental aspects, rather than responding to the main claim.

    The main claim here seems to be that fundamentalism has caustic influences. The author is seeking ways how we can be free of those caustic influences. There are widely accepted ideas from literature and records about what is ‘fundamentalism’ and what are its ‘caustic effects.’ I think the author fashions the debate on that accepted premises. If one has to argue against it meaningfully, that premises needs to be accepted. One cannot win a football match by playing rugby.
    • Dec 26 2013: Pabitra,

      As you sort of of imply the debate ought to focus on what happens to be, rather than what this or that individuals thinks to be. For this interchange I have chosen to take the stand of a fundamentalists ideology based on someone who happens to be right (not just based on the fact that they belie it so, but based on the fact that they just happen to be right). This isn't a trivial 'quibble' its a fundamental one. The main point I want to make is that the implicit notion "the caustic influences of fundamentalism" happens to be erroneous and that 'fundamentalists can have positive influences'. Of course and for the record I am not debating pro fundamentalist that happen to be wrong (though they believe to be right) I am debating pro fundamentalists that happen to be right. Claiming that all swans are white under the premise that we will only focus on white swans would ignore the fact that there are black swans. Just as the statement all swans are white happens to be wrong because there are black swans the statement 'the caustic influences of fundamentalism' happens to be wrong because there exists positive influences of fundamentalism (in the cases where the fundamentalists happens to be right...

      Pointing out "that is what you think" is sort of a red flag to the other that they are not considering what be and are focused on something they think (which is derailing the rational interchange) As you stated it is pointless trying to refute what they think to be for after all that is what they think to be. As I have sort of said, there is quite a difference between pointing out the truth of the matter and getting down into trying to convince those who refuse to accept such truth. If someone was truly interested in understanding and exploring the point and I would most likely seek to help them in such adventure.

      I sort of pointed elsewhere that we can't be free of influences though we can certainly choose the particular influences that predominate.
      • thumb
        Dec 27 2013: Esteban,

        In my opinion there are two ways debates follow interestingly. In one, commenters contribute insights on the basic idea on which the debate is founded, without arguing for or against it. But if one wants to argue against it, which is the second interesting type, one simply has to accept some ground rules or else everything is lost in confusion.

        Ground rule one: The refutation is towards the idea, not its proposer.
        Ground rule two: To use examples, logic and records (evidences) to challenge the idea, not the semantics or cognizance of the idea.

        It’s fine if you refute the notion that fundamentalism’s effects are necessarily caustic. However, one would expect you to forward examples, logic and records from history in support of your stand. If as support you fall back on the moral right-wrong dichotomy, you are in effect pushing the debate into another foundation, which, I am afraid, the author might not have wanted in the first place.

        Next, you and the author both have to come to a common understanding of the idea of fundamentalism. Wikipedia reference may be good one. You and the author also need to come to a common understanding of caustic effects. Remember by common understanding I do not mean agreement – just referring the same thing.

        Most of us here may not think fundamentalism can produce any ‘soothing effect’ or anything good for society. If you refute that kindly provide us with examples, logic and records from history in support of your stand.
        • Dec 27 2013: Pabitra,

          First, thank you for your words. I agree with what you stated and hope others do too and that we each and all embrace them.

          I think that considering " fundamentalism’s effects are necessarily caustic" falls back on the wrong dichotomy and ignores the fact that there can be fundamentalism’s effects which are positive. I considered self-evident that everyone would just see the benefits of someone who is right insisting on being right because they just happen to be right. Given that the original assertion was not proven, I followed in kind and did not prove 'the countering' positions. I realize that to prove the original assertion we would involve showing that every instance of a fundamentalist effects would have to be caustic; where as to prove the secondary assertion we would involve showing that a single instance of a fundamentalist effect would have to be beneficial (not caustic). I considered that everyone could find the required case considering the notion that the fundamentalists beliefs happens to correspond to the actual truth. Note that it is not that as support I fall back on the moral right-wrong dichotomy; it is that I simply refuse to stand with only considering the wrong notion.

          You are right that we need to have a common understanding say of what constitutes fundamentalism. If we consider it as 'an unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs' then we could see whether the beliefs happen to be this or that; and the effects this or that creates; and if such be caustic or something else.

          You are also correct in pointing out that "Most of us here may not think fundamentalism can produce any ‘soothing effect’ or anything good for society". I think you and others can find many examples of how someone how had an unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs and stood by their convictions changed society for good. Look at Gandhi, or King, or Mother theresa or any who changed the course of history thanks to their good beliefs.
  • thumb
    Dec 7 2013: It is good to have some belief to live for and to die for. The great Nelson Mandela stood for a belief.
    But any belief that has to be forced or enforced on people, by manipulation or by violence, such belief is not good for its believers or for humanity.

    We dont need terrorists, fundamentalists and extremists. We need words of truth and love, and acts of these.
  • thumb
    Dec 5 2013: William, you can add more than the current nine hours to this. I really don't mind people with strong feelings as long as they're not violent. I don't think you can assume that a person with strong feelings is in the wrong, I think a person with strong feelings could be in the right, they would certainly deserve to be listened to to see what their valid ideas are. I also think a person with strong feelings should be willing to listen to other points of view, and if the other points are better, to change. Some do listen, and are willing to change.

    William, if you want more time on this, click "edit" and add more. Right now you have nine hours.
    • thumb
      Dec 5 2013: thanks Greg, that was an over - or was it an under - sight on my part.

      Of course your right that there is nothing wrong with being passionate about a subject, I often find myself experiencing that malady on occasion. However, the fundy invariably goes beyond just being passionate into self-righteousness where conflicts are inevitable, and when arrogance raises its ugly head discrimination and violence can soon become their tools of choice. . . .
      • thumb
        Dec 5 2013: well, in any statement of position anyone gives, it's best to separate the ideas the person is giving from the way they are giving them. A fundy could have excellent ideas, but present them in a way that sounds ornery, or dogmatic. So I can't categorically write off fundies.
      • Dec 6 2013: William,

        From where I stand the righteous happen to be morally right and virtuous. Why ask them to step down from 'their' position rather than everyone step up to the truth of the matter and embrace whatever actually happens to be the truth of the matter? Do note that by the righteous and the truth of the matter I am referring to 'the righteous' and the truth that actually happen to be righteous and true. I realize that there are many a charlatan who make all sort of claims to confuse and obfuscate the matters, though why listen to the charlatans notions rather than the righteous notions?

        Do note that when the righteous assert what they know to be true (and which happens to be true) as being true they are basically bearing witness to the truth of the matter. To be arrogant involves "having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities", so for the righteous to actually be arrogant they would have to be involved with such a sense. Which is highly unlikely because they subordinate what they think to be to what happens to be. It seems to me that generally arrogance comes from the other way around, that is the unrighteous who want to be like the righteous without actually embracing the righteous ways (a slight variant of this involves seeking to make the righteous like the unrighteous, claiming that there are no right and wrong ways, or that all ways lead to the same place). It seems to me that some beings refuse to subordinate what they think of reality to reality and would rather consider that what they think of reality is reality regardless of what the actual reality happens to be. I think that the more healthy stand involves recognizing what be for what be while still choosing to cultivate the better ways.
        • Dec 13 2013: I know several people who are quite "righteous" in their hatred of anyone who would have a name like yours. Does that mean they are morally right and virtuous, too?
      • Dec 13 2013: Bryan,

        Are you asking if someone who chooses hatred mean they are morally right and virtuous?
  • Dec 29 2013: I believe that fundamentalists of all forms will be around as long as people believe themselves to either be superior or possess superior knowledge to that of others. In this way their egos are boosted. In addition it is common for there to be people who say recognise a great injustice or social problem within their world and believe wholeheartedly that they know the solution to it. This often takes the form of some sort of social revolution usually justified by some sort of ideal. The problem here is that the ideal, once imposed by the revolution, creates just as many problems as it is designed to resolve. It does this if it becomes in any way stagnant or rigidified as many religious, philosophical or political beliefs have done in the past.
  • thumb
    Dec 27 2013: I think this quote from Gandhi lays out our problem with those who base their lives in the fundamental elements of a belief: "All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take."

    Too many believe that straying from their "fundamental" beliefs is surrender. Surrender is usually only attained after a good whipping of some sort. So, the battle rages on.
    • Dec 27 2013: Jim,

      Actually there can be a give and take on fundamentals... somebody can give the fundamentals and someone can take them to learn what to do and what ought to be done! When someone surrenders to 'the fundamental truths that happen to be', someone gains knowledge and wisdom that cedes without condoning ones freedoms.

      I know of loving surrendering into a caring relationship which frees and enriches the individuals ... in other words is not attained after a good whipping... as the dance rages on...
    • thumb
      Dec 27 2013: Thank you Jim, an excellent reference and from an honoured visionary whose fundy belief in freedom was exemplified by his leading by example, peacefully and persistently and without the desire to resort to force. Some might say authoritative - which is where I suspect Esteban's interests lie - rather than authoritarian which is the caustic fundy and problematic. .
      • Dec 27 2013: William,

        Liked the sublet distinction you put forth between authoritative and authoritarian...

        Indeed
        authoritarian is the caustic fundy and problematic
        where as authoritative is just an accurate and true assertive determination...

        Kind of also liked how you 'cunningly':
        - supported the idea that fundys can be good
        - provided an example that resorted to peace (rather than a whipping of sorts)

        I wonder how many will see the underlying implications!

        Indeed "fundy belief in freedom was exemplified by his leading by example, peacefully and persistently and without the desire to resort to force..." while certainly determined to attain a transformation that had but one option.
  • thumb
    Dec 26 2013: Human’s behavior is function of our perceptions, interpretations, cultural values and our attitudes and beliefs. Our perceptions, interpretations, cultural values and our attitudes and beliefs in which factors are fundamentally shaped by "our relationships to others”, that are extremely important aspects for human.

    Respect Other’s beliefs are explained how people compare themselves to others to learn what characteristics make them unique, this point is not allowed to be dismissed.

    When individuals ( one-group ) hold power over another and begin to dominate them, negative stereotypes shade into dehumanization, ( eg. genocide issue in Rwanda in 1994 ) and moral exclusion of the individuals (out-group) are not far behind. The other example, as we are pushing one’s beliefs onto others is not a good thing, and it is a practice that has caused a great deal of unrest in our world. (Colleen Steen, 2013).

    In Peace & In Joy
    • thumb
      Dec 26 2013: Well said Lamb Lamb.
      I agree that when an individual, or group, holds power over another individual or group in an effort to dominate with their own personal beliefs and practices, it can oppress and dehumanize an individual or group of people. As you insightfully reinforce, we have seen that throughout history.

      I also agree with your other comment about active listening being a gift....both to the one who is listening, and everyone else involved in the conversation. Unfortunately, fundamentalists seem to want only to express their own beliefs, which they label "right" or the one and only "truth". In an attempt to get everyone to agree, they are not usually genuinely listening to any other perspective, which is what creates a caustic influence in our world.
    • Dec 26 2013: Lamb Lamb,

      I see that "When individuals ( one-group ) hold power over another and begin to dominate them," it can lead to many possibilities and realities, some which are much better than what has been put forth. I can also see examples of pushing one’s beliefs onto others being a good thing, and it is a practice that can bring about a great deal of peace and collaboration in our world. Of course there will be the opposers who seek to oppose this rather than seek to understand it. Some will even seek to justify their oppositions with a diverse set of rationalities most of which will ignore the fact the opposers cultivate opposition while collaborators cultivate collaboration.

      BTW I liked what you said in your fist paragraph. Indeed "Human’s behavior is function of our perceptions, interpretations, cultural values and our attitudes and beliefs. Our perceptions, interpretations, cultural values and our attitudes and beliefs in which factors are fundamentally shaped by "our relationships to others”, that are extremely important aspects for human". I would just like to add that factors are also fundamentally shaped by what each chooses to cultivate/think/feel/say/do.
      • thumb
        Dec 27 2013: I believe I understand the position you promote that some people prefer having decisions and judgments made for them, as, for example, the willing members of cults often do in following their leaders, than to come to their own conclusions and to determine their own actions. I don't know whether they consider it "soothing," but it may be preferable to them than taking responsibility for making their own decisions. The leader of the cult may be able to maintain peaceful order among followers who adhere to the prescribed course. The followers in the cult may find the arrangement beneficial to them, as might the leader who imposes his judgment and will upon them.

        I offer this as a possible example to support your stand.
        • thumb
          Dec 27 2013: Fritzie, I am curious....
          Do you have any examples of cult leadership that has been "peaceful'?
        • Dec 27 2013: Fritzie

          Of course you could had offered the example of the civil system that ensures and keeps in lines 'criminals' by dominating them to behave nicely and/or atone for their deeds. I am sure 'the criminals' wouldn't consider it "soothing," though it may be preferable to take away their responsibility for making their own decisions given the decisions they have taken than allowing them to continue to criminalize and prey on society and its members. You could had also used the example of non-smokers holding power over smokers and dominating the rules of where the smokers can smoke. Even the example of joyful optimists holding power over the other attendees and dominating the mood of the party! As I said : many possibilities and realities, some which are much better than what has been put forth.

          BTW my position didn't consider what you said "that some people prefer having decisions and judgments made for them"... though I do see how some people need others to make decisions and judgements for them...
      • thumb
        Dec 27 2013: Colleen, there are peaceful little religious communities with a very top down structure in which leaders' interpretations are held as the final word. I do not know enough about the subject to be certain, but I believe some communities of the Amish are one example. The Shakers were another.

        Esteban, I offered an example in which those who follow the leader find that beneficial to them because I interpreted other people's posts as asking you for examples, and I thought I saw one that helped me understand your position.
        • thumb
          Dec 27 2013: Oh I agree Fritzie, that there are some peaceful religious communities. I have lots of friends and family who participate in peaceful little communities which have set goals. I did not think of the Amish and Shakers as a cult, but you're right, technically, by definition they are. Although these communities have clear beliefs, I do not hear very much about the groups you mentioned trying to push their beliefs onto other people.
        • Dec 27 2013: Fritzie,

          I am glad you found that example useful and sought to help others understand my position. I sort of associated the example related to cults with something rather negative and wanted to distance myself from such notions especially in light of seeing better alternatives. Now that you frame it as " those who follow the leader find that beneficial to them" I see a much better notion for all to consider.

          The framing " those who follow the leader find that beneficial to them" seems to be much more neutral. I am sure there will be those who see good leaders and those who see bad leaders and then those who see leaders as leaders... Likewise I am sure there will be those who will see cults as good or neutral though I think most will see cults as bad, as something negative. Its also related to the point I am making about fundamentalists mostly being associate with something negative. I wonder: why individuals can't see nor consider that following 'a good leader' 'a good dictator' 'whomever tells the truth' can be beneficial?

          I think you would agree with me that cults, dictators, fundamentalists tend to be associated to negative stuff, and how individuals tend to project the examples characteristic used unto the point being made. In theory we should consider the points independently though in practice they blend and are difficult to disassociate one from the other... thats why I prefer to use positive examples...

          Again thanks for clarifying the point you sought to make and how you didn't intend to put a negative association to it...
  • thumb
    Dec 25 2013: Active listening is a “ Gift “. " ? "

    “ It is not what our message does to the listener, but, what the listener does with our message, that determines our success as communicator or not ” (Mackay 1998).

    warm regards to All,
    • Dec 25 2013: Lamb Lamb

      Yes listening is a Gift! To me active listening involves the listener guiding the speaker towards the realizations the listener knows.

      Defining the success of our communication based on what the others choose to do; presently seems to me to cede, shift and give to the other a power than doesn't belong to them. In other word: It is what our message does to the listener, AND, what the listener does with our message, that determines our success as communicator! The failure to communicate may reside in us or in them or in a combination of the two or even in other stuff! Like wise the success to communicate may reside in: a) what we do, b) what they do c) what they do and what we do d) some other stuff e) a combination of all of them.

      determines our success as communicator is determined by actually commenting!

      Thanks
    • thumb
      Dec 25 2013: Too bad those responsible for funding schools and developing curriculums seem to be so desperately lacking in that active listening skill themselves.
  • thumb
    Dec 23 2013: Mr

    Any form of fixation is not intelligent, and this is the problem of belief, on which fundamentalism is based.
    A mind that is rigid, is not free. A mind that is not free, spreads the same energies onto others. It does not matter if the mind does good deeds or not; the loss of freedom is the loss of goodness.

    Attitude of willingness can be born of passion, which is different from fundamentalism, of discipline and determination. Passion is the greatest motivator: you either have it or you don't.
    • Dec 23 2013: Indeed Attitude of willingness can be born of passion, just as it can be born of fundamentalism, or discipline or a determination or a bunch of other stuff. The greatest motivator is love: each and everyone get it though some choose to reject it and some choose to embrace it...

      BTW The fixation that "Any form of fixation is not intelligent" aside from resulting in an unintelligent self-contraditory assertion can lead to infectious spreading of erroneous matters. It does matter if the mind does good deeds or not... it does matter if the mind freely chooses to do what ought to be done or is coerced into doing what ought to be done. Freely choosing to bind oneself to do what ought to be done may seem like a loss of freedom or an assertion of it... it all depends on the underlying storyline one chooses to follow... Some minds that are rigidly set on the truth, hope, faith, love can be free while bound to them ideals!
      • thumb
        Dec 24 2013: Read what you have just written and see what you discover...if your lights are switched on....
        • Dec 24 2013: Johnny,

          If you want me to consider something you consider then you are going to have to ensure that what I considered corresponds to what you considered... of course I may have a better grasp of what you had in mind if you expressed it first then validated that what I got corresponds to what you intended (or expressed how I need to modify what I got to correspond to what you intended)... As Is I may read what I have just written and see/discover myriads of insights that while useful may have little to do with what you had in mind...

          As I mentioned, " it all depends on the underlying storyline one chooses to follow... Some minds that are rigidly set on the truth, hope, faith, love can be free while bound to them ideals"!

          BTW note that even if one chooses to fully embrace just one of them, say love... the others just eventually follow...
    • thumb
      Dec 23 2013: I wonder if fixation is similar to addiction in that the fixation becomes central to the users existence just as things such as drugs, food, sex, hoarding and the countless other things we become dysfunctionally attached to?

      I really like the reference to a free mind being an open mind, especially since "freedom" is a popular theme in this 21st century despite all the contradictions to the concept in both human practice and human beliefs.

      However I have seen and heard some fundys express tremendous passion when expounding upon what is right and what is wrong or even evil. While I can relate to the passion for a subject has great significance to me, I cannot abide with anyone using that passion to then justify their violence - verbal, physical or psychological - towards those they deem to fall into the later two categories.

      Fortunately not all fundys are as openly passionate about their beliefs as others choosing, instead, to live a contented life secure in the knowledge they were Right and find no need to impose their rightness on anyone else. . But the passionate fundy who then insists 'things be done their way' or ' we are right your wrong' is a truly caustic influence. And it is in this context that i draw the line and see that example of passion as simply a power and control high which can become quite addictive to some and very destructive to a community. .
      • thumb
        Dec 24 2013: Passion, purely understood, does away with all that....like Esteban, people that do not understant the words they use -in action- they merely talk from mental meaning which is head jobbing.
        The sad state is that people do not understand what they say and just say it to score points, as if this arena is a political arena. Where honesty lacks, darkness descends.....
      • Dec 24 2013: William,

        expounding upon what is right and asserting that those who are wrong are wrong may be perceived by those who are wrong as verbal, physical or psychological 'violence' or as simply a statement of facts. Note that one can deem certain individuals to fall into a particular category because the individual happens to be into that particular category. Also note that the righteous passionate fundy who insists 'things be done their way' or more appropriately who insists 'things be done the right way' hardly is a truly caustic influence, in actuality they just may be a truly soothing influence . Those who are right can assert ' we are right your wrong' to those who are wrong as a statement of fact; and those who are wrong may recognize what be right and embrace what be right in peacefully joyful ways.

        I noticed how you pushed the idea of justifying violence within the context of how you cannot abide with anyone using their passion to then do 'something'... I hope that this particular reframing of what you shared with us leads to a reconsideration as to what it be you cultivated. I also see other notions you chooses to cultivate in your post that I doubt you would consciously want to cultivate.

        As Johnny Atman sort of said : The state is that people hardly understand what they say and just say it to score points... often under the influence of the notions they serve which become central to their existence.

        Where honesty dawns, understanding lightness descends.

        Individuals ought to understant the words they use -in action- and -in theory- and -in content- ideally prior to using them; individuals ought to also recognize that each be responsible for the words they use and how they choose to employ them entities.

        Personally I like to use head jobbing as a way to get into why individuals choose to cultivate this or that.

        I find often individuals are under the influence of their ideas/feelings/desires unaware of what it is 'they' do. (Ideas/Indivuduals)
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Esteban,
          People who insist that other people do things their way (the right way as you like to insist) are caustic. Insisting that others do things your way is not in any way a "soothing influence". You can tell yourself that as many times as you like.....that is not truth.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        People who insist that everyone do things the right way DO in a way have a "soothing influence"... of course they also can lead to a caustic influence in those who desire to do things in the wrong way... we would have to see if the insistence to do it right or wrong is what causes the caustic influence to persists...

        As you sort of said - You can tell yourself that (what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong) as many times as you like.....you may even believe it to be so... still that is not truth; for what is right is what is right!
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: No Esteban, people who insist that everyone do things in a way that THEY think is right are not at all a "soothing influence". They are controlling, domineering people, which is caustic in our world.

          I HAVE NOT SAID ANYTHING IS RIGHT OR WRONG ESTEBAN. I continually offer to you the idea that individuals have their own thoughts, feelings, ideas, preferences, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs.

          You can tell yourself whatever you like Esteban, and you apparently believe everything you say to yourself is the one and only truth. How is that working for you?
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: Esteban, you are most definitely wrong and seem to be labouring under an extremely disturbing belief system.. I know this to be true and I can prove it because you disagree with my assessment of the Self-Righteous. Since my assessment is Right and you insist upon asserting otherwise you must be wrong since there can only be one Rightness.

          However, when you realize and then freely admit the truth of my assessment you too can expect to be embraced by the Rightness of this wisdom yourself.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        Well that's what you think...

        Why do you insist of shifting from :
        - People who insist that everyone do things the right way DO in a way have a "soothing influence"...
        - people who insist that everyone do things in a way that THEY think is right...

        Note that with your 'NO Esteban' you have said something is wrong and thus your capitalized claim is certainly evidently false. Yea you "continually offer to you the idea that individuals have their own thoughts, feelings, ideas, preferences, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs" and I continually tell you that said stuff may be right or wrong depending on what actually happens to be.

        As you sort of said: one can tell oneself (and others) whatever they like, and may even apparently believe everything one claims to be... still what happens to be will determine the actual validity of the claims... some will recognize the truth of the matter and some will make up all sort of stories to tell and seek to deny what be... still what be remains being what be ...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I am not shifting anything Esteban. I continually offer to you the idea that individuals have their own thoughts, feelings, ideas, preferences, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs.

          People who insist that their way is "right" for everyone do not provide a "soothing influence" Esteban. That seems to be your justification for insisting that your way is right. As you insightfully say Esteban, "some will make up all sort of stories to tell and seek to deny what be".
      • Dec 24 2013: Well that's what you think...
        The evidence shows the truth of the matter... you are insisting on shifting from one to the other... even in your last post you continue to do it while denying it...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I have not "shifted" anything Esteban. I continually offer to you the idea that individuals have their own thoughts, feelings, ideas, preferences, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs.

          I also remind you that what you think is truth, is YOUR personal subjective truth. You are correct....the evidence shows the truth of the matter. That's all anyone has to do to discover the truth of our conversation is read through the comments.
      • Dec 24 2013: Indeed anyone can discover the truth of our conversation by reading through the comments and making the appropriate considerations. They will see if your claim that you have not 'shifted' anything corresponds to the truth or to something else... its rather easy to see who seek to focus on the truth of the matter and who seek to focus on what some think.
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I have not "shifted" anything Esteban. Yes, it is easy to see what we, as individuals focus on.
      • Dec 24 2013: That's what you claim... just look at the comments and see the truth of matter... as you conceded " it is easy to see what we, as individuals focus on".
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I agree Esteban, that it is easy to see what we, as individuals focus on.
      • Dec 25 2013: william

        Why do you claim that I happen to be most definitely wrong?

        In particular what disagreements and agreements do you see between your assessment of the Self-Righteous and my position on it. How do we determine that someones individual assessment of the matter actually corresponds to the actual valid assessment of the matter. If you do know something to be true and happen to be right about it certainly those who disagree with you would be wrong. The question is how does one know who is right on the matter...

        BTW the belief system I operate under holds that whomever realizes and then freely admit the truth of the matter gets to be right and enters into the Rightness of the wisdom of getting it right. Why do you seem to consider that as "labouring under an extremely disturbing belief system'?
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: Esteban,
          You just stated that you were no longer going to try to convince anyone that you are right!!! You said you were moving on to better stuff!!!

          EDIT regarding comment below:
          William,
          I was pretty sure he wouldn't "get it"
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: I apologize for the provocative comment. It was only meant to illustrate where the caustic influence invariably ends up and does not reflect the inquiring mind I seek to maintain
      • Dec 25 2013: Colleen,

        You apparently didn't understand what I said and have distorted it accordingly to what you think I said...

        Edited to add:
        As I sort of said:
        - You didn't understand what I said
        - you have distorted it accordingly to what you think I said
        - your response below only reaffirms the veracity of what I claimed and have restated with this edited addition
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: Perhaps you forgot what you wrote Esteban...

          "Esteban Trevino
          25 minutes ago:
          Its been fun interacting and now will focus on better stuff... so you will likely not see me responding as I had been in the past... "
      • Dec 25 2013: William,

        First - You might have been getting notified about responses mainly intended for Colleen. I am sorry about that. it just seemed the better way to respond below colleens comments given the existing functionality of the enabling conversational system.

        Second- This response is meant to you, related to a post where you apologized.

        If you look closely at my response you will see reflected ' the inquiring mind" behind my response to your post that stared " Esteban, you are most definitely ...". In a way I now see that my response illustrates how each can determine how things end up by what they choose to do. In other words without intending it I have illustrated that 'provocative comment' and 'their caustic influence' can lead into inquiry, exploration and better understanding OR away from these. I am glad that was only meant to illustrate where the caustic influence invariantly ends up served to illustrate that we can choose a better road. I sort of want to say I am sorry to have taken out the foundation of your illustration and making it untenable while at the same time happy to have illustrated how the inquiring mind can lead into inquiry, exploration and better understanding.

        BTW for the record; I saw your comment as just a comment; in other words did't judge it as being a ''provocative comment', to me it was what it was and I sought to seek to understand what you said. Now that you explained that " It was only meant to illustrate (something)" I think to understand what you intended to show and am glad to have shown that what individuals seek/choose can and does determine the flow of interactions.

        Of course some individuals will make all sort of hindsight remarks and claims as to their understandings and the understanding of others; when the truth of the matter eludes them before during and after the fact (though they claim to get it and that others don't get it). Those who know the truth and embrace it get it right! I think you do understand this.
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: Esteban, there is no doubt in my mind that you are a thinking person who is actively seeking to understand the words and the meanings of others and, in that regard, I see no caustic influence in your perspectives.

          So let me take this moment to wish you all the best over the holidays and my thanks for being so engaged in this discussion.

          Namaste
      • Dec 26 2013: Thanks for the kind words... I too take this moment to wish you all the best over the holidays and may the new year bring understandings and positive influences...
  • thumb
    Dec 18 2013: Fundamentalism is a fear to live with alternatives, questions and opposites. It is an ancient remnant of human instinct that colors even the evolved mind in the name of ideals, absolute right and presumed superiority as a defense mechanism of mind. I have heard crap like 'Marxism is infallible' etc and I think it creates 'otherness' in an unproductive way.
    We can be free from caustic effects of fundamentalism by no less than a moral revolution and a truly meaningful education in societies. But before that we have to sincerely want it to go away.
    • thumb
      Dec 18 2013: Agreed Pabitra. Unfortunately it is the ongoing mean-spiritedness and violent retaliations that the self-righteous and the arrogant allow themselves that silences many. And so-called Justice systems around the world will only respond once the violence is perpetrated which is far too late for those so victimized.
    • thumb
      Dec 19 2013: I agree it seems to be part of our nature. Instinct not reason.

      What to do about it.

      suggest you can focus on the most excessive behaviours or you can focus on the poor thinking processes that go into religious beliefs. You can point out that the foundations of most religions are unsubstantiated claims.
      • thumb
        Dec 19 2013: For fundys faith trumps reason and belief is absolute while that of others is irrelevant. In other words, sadly there is no room for discourse.
        • Dec 19 2013: William,

          Note that 'The Truth' trumps reason and belief is absolute while that of others is irrelevant. In other words, 'the truth' is accepted or rejected ... sadly there is no room for discourse; what is true is true and what isn't true isn't true... still there may be room to dialogue converse reason and discourse about beliefs individuals truths and their correspondences with each other and amongst each other in relation to the truth...
  • thumb
    Dec 16 2013: On morality, my point is theists claim there is no objective morality without a creator.

    I'm not claiming there is an absolute morality.

    my counter to the theists is that either an absolute morality exists independent of any gods and the god is just highlighting it or you have divine command where whatever the god says should be done is the objective morality.

    just because a god commands something doesn't mean the commandments are good or bad. You have to assessthese on some other basis unless you assume whatever a god says is good. So if a god supports slavery and commands genocide and murder and sends it's creations to eternal torture that is good by definition. What nonsense.

    which to me is just as arbitrary a moral framework as every other god concepts moral framework or human frameworks.

    my view is there is no absolute morality. We develop moral frameworks and within these can be objective.

    Mine is based on reducing suffering and improving the human condition.

    this may overlap with some aspects of theist beliefs but I'm not stuck with the harmful or unnecessary rules such as killing adulterers, unruly children, homosexuals, and acceptance of slavery.
    • Dec 17 2013: Obey,

      Well as a theists who claims there is an objective morality independent of a creator I would have to point out that some theists do claim that there is an objective morality :-) Indeed an absolute morality exists independent of any gods and God is just setting and highlighting it ... Do note that just because someone claims God commands it does not mean God commands it. By the same token if someone chooses to reject what be right well that hardly changes what be right. A while back I came to the realization that God just created one eternal destination the thing is that some see it as it is and some see it as it is not... the irony of being in eternal joy while eternally suffering dew to the fact of rejecting the truth of the matter...

      My morality is based on the wellbeing of each and everyone. Of course those who choose to do bad stuff end up binding themselves within the bad stuff. The thing is that many a time they get others, even innocent bystanders involved in their stuff... Kind of like a sick child sickening the whole school... it seems we need better ways to promote healthy coexistence...
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: You write to Obey that you "came to the realization that God just created one eternal destination..."

        Is that an example of what you consider to be "right" or "true" or "what be?"
        • Dec 17 2013: Fritzie

          ' the realization that God just created one eternal destination..." is an example of a belief that I hold to be true... evidently just as it might be true, it just might be false... I suppose in dew time each will find out... still the reasonable thing to do at least from a rational expected probability stand is to believe... see Pascal's Wager... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager ) I wonder if Obey will find this sufficient to change beliefs :-)
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: I'm interested in how you came to the conclusion there is an absolute morality.. what is it.

        If a god does command something is it good by definition..

        or could gods be as fickle as humans?

        I guess it depends on your god concept.

        How do you determine what this absolute morality. is and whether it exists?
        • Dec 17 2013: Obey,

          The construct a god seems to imply many gods, personally I consider that there is only One God and from what I know God's way is one and the same with the Highway... if it boiled down to my way or His way I would rather it be His way...and fortunately it can be both my way and His way at the same time...

          As I said I consider the sustainable-desirable-congruent with life ways as the absolute morality
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: I expect that Obey is quite familiar with Pascal's Wager.

        I understand now that you hold that belief to be true (as you likely hold a variety of other beliefs to be true) but that you DO recognize they could be true or they could be false.

        I did not know until now whether you recognized that what you personally are convinced is true might, in fact, be false. It is useful for you to recognize that you (or anyone) cannot necessarily discern with accuracy what is right or true. This recognition might make it easier for you to come to understand why people do not always agree with your conclusion about what is true. It is not that they want to have been right in a different belief, as you often claim, but only that they, on the basis of reasoning probably as legitimate and rigorous as yours have come to a different conclusion or recognize that an airtight conclusion cannot be drawn on the basis of what is known.
        • Dec 17 2013: Fritzie,

          Indeed it is useful to recognize that the certainty evidence some seek to be convinced could simply be inexistent at this stage and each is left to choose to believe or disbelieve within uncertainty. Personally I try to hedge my stand so that 'I win in every case' :-) Please note that while I seek to share as best as I can and provide evidence to support my claims that I have on many an occasions told others about the fallacy behind getting into convincing them with particular cases. It is not that there aren't any cases, its that 'they' tend to reject any case put forth. It is true that we cannot necessarily discern with accuracy what is right or true, still we can discern with accuracy what is the right to do... there is a story I like: ( at the bifurcation there is an angel and a devil... one always tells the truth one always lies... no one knows which is which... there is a sign that states: asks either one of us a yes or no question an be on your way... there are two ways to go... one leads to heaven one to hell... this has a logical solution and one may know with certainty the way to go even if forever uncertain who was the good angel and who was the bad angel...)

          In a way it is that some want to figure out which be this or that angel rather than focus on figuring out the certain way to go... even if forever ignoring certain stuff...

          The thing about many is that they seem to put forth an airtight conclusion to be drawn on their basis of what is known without recognizing the possibilities...
        • thumb
          Dec 17 2013: Esteban,
          You write..."Personally I try to hedge my stand so that 'I win in every case' :-) "

          Perhaps THAT is why your comments seem so contradictory! That explains a LOT!!!
          I certainly perceived that you are always trying to "win in every case".....now it is more clear...THANK YOU!


          EDIT regarding comment below.
          Esteban,
          This is the first statement of yours that I truly believe is your truth, because it appears to be so apparent...
          " Personally I try to hedge my stand so that 'I win in every case' :-)
        • Dec 18 2013: Colleen,

          Wether others choose win-win or win-lose is up to them... that is weather they choose to see it as I do or choose to see contradictions is up to each... Maybe my comments seem one way to you and another to someone else. Glad that you perceived that I am always seeking to win in every case... that includes helping others win too!
        • thumb
          Dec 18 2013: Yes I know about pascals wager and it is easily refuted many ways.

          given there is no evidence supporting any dogma purporting to avoid hell, there is just as much chance that you will go to hell for following that doctrine as you are of avoiding hell.
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: Hi et,, your post highlights a key issue. How do you tell which god claims are actually from a god

        seems like personal revelation is unreliable.

        I note there is not really a compelling argument or evidence for the existence of any gods, let alone a reasonable method for sorting through the conflicting messages people claim are from various god concepts.
        • Dec 18 2013: Obey,

          Indeed how does one tell which claims are actually true be a key issue... especially with the existence of unreliable ways abundance everywhere! As you sort of said "... there is not really a compelling argument or evidence for the existence of ..." this or that "...let alone a reasonable method for sorting through the conflicting messages people claim ...".

          In a way it boils down to what individuals choose to believe. Hope you get it right!
      • thumb
        Dec 18 2013: I suggest we don't know if there is one, many or none.
        • Dec 18 2013: Obey,

          I raise your suggestion into an assertion: we don't know if there is one, many or none.
          I suggest there is one. From what I have read you state I think you suggest there are none and from what I know there are others that suggest there are many. The thing is that with the notion that there is one one sort of seeks to find that one. In a way asserting that there is an absolute truth sets us into a quest to discover such truth; where as the assertion that there isn't an absolute truth leaves us spinning our weals ... as we sort of agreed :

          a key issue involves how does one tell which claims are actually true be a key issue... especially with the existence of unreliable ways abundance everywhere! As you sort of said "... there is not really a compelling argument or evidence for the existence of ..." this or that "...let alone a reasonable method for sorting through the conflicting messages people claim ...".

          In a way it boils down to what individuals choose to believe. Hope you get it right!
    • thumb
      Dec 17 2013: Obey, you might be interested in the Edge symposium of 2010 called The New Science of Morality. The speakers are Jonathan Haidt, Paul Bloom, David Pizarro, Josh Green, Josh Knobe, Sam Harris, and others.

      The proceedings, which are available on the Edge website, are particularly interesting, I think, for the experimental work several are doing to establish whether even babies seem to have a consistent morality of any kind. The early work appears to lead to an answer of yes.
  • Dec 14 2013: We can rise above it... One only need look at acts Nelson Mandela and Gandhi. And even that both these people are dead, one even murdered, the question remains ... just because they are gone, do you give up?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzCUjFNqenQ
  • Sarah T

    • +1
    Dec 7 2013: Fundamentalism has been on my mind a lot lately. Somewhat in politics, but mostly as it pertains to atheism and scientism. In some respects, I think this reflects on your examples of non-religious fundamentalism. I personally Identify as atheist/buddhist and have been intrigued/disturbed but what seems to be an increasing trend in these ideologies which were once fairly free of fundamental ideology becoming dogmatic.
    It's my opinion that some people need dogma. I believe it is mostly the result of individual psychological needs, as opposed to any hardwired, biological predisposition to it. Just as I have witnessed people become fundamentalist Christians after a personal tragedy, I have seen other people become fundamentalist atheists following personal hardship, or even, develop very dogmatic political views. Or both. Dogma is comforting to some people (for a variety of reasons) and I think the rise of dogma in science, atheism, and politics, as there is a decrease in people identifying as religious is an interesting trend.
    I personally find any sort of dogma incredibly frustrating. Dogma, or fundamentalism, is intellectually dishonest.
    • thumb
      Dec 7 2013: I find your objectivity refreshing and appreciate the insight shown by expanding upon the extent of fundy influences. I would concur that buying completely into any ideology, belief or practice is a slight against our inherent intelligence. However, it seems that intelligence isn't as valuable as our bodies when it comes to how we employ many of the world's workers. .

      Scientific ideology classifies us as homo sapien or wise man honouring our minds, our intelligence as a species. But do we employ those 6 billion minds our species is blessed with? No. Instead the majority of occupations are repetitive, often boring, and utilize only a fraction of that intelligence while hundreds of millions of equally 'wise men' are abandoned to subsistence existences simply because their bodies are unemployable.
      • Dec 7 2013: I think human biology is largely to blame. There have been a number of studies that show that the brain is hardwired to entrench itself when confronted with opposing information. Our brains aren't designed to change easily - but that doesn't make it impossible. I can admit that when confronted with information that opposed a belief I have recognized my initial repulsion from the idea, but I consciously check that feeling and then accept that I need to reevaluate or just change my opinion. I also think social factors play a huge psychological role in why people refuse to accept new information. A person's social circles often circle around their core beliefs. It used to be primarily religion, but today it is often politics, religion, lack of religion, etc. Whether consciously, or subconsciously, I think often times people realize that accepting new information will destabilize their lives. Especially for more fundamentalist groups where any variation might lead to harsh rejection.
        As for not using our brains optimally. I agree. I was saying to someone recently that, people today (at least here in the US) just want to be entertained. 24/7. Video games, mindless TV, sports, etc. In the past people passed their free time with enriching hobbies like studying a certain subject, writing, languages, learning news skills, or making things. The idea of spending one's time on "serious" pursuits is cast in a negative light, whereas watching reality TV and sitcoms is the expected norm.
        • thumb
          Dec 8 2013: It is odd that we resist change so fervently at times when all we have to do is look around us to see that everything is in transition, that nothing is static, including the universe itself.

          I like the idea of optimizing our minds so much that I started another chat :)
    • thumb
      Dec 10 2013: Hi Sarah, I'm also a nontheist but also more of A humanist than Buddhist.

      I guess not having theist beliefs is dogma free. Being an atheist is aposition on a single question, are there gods and goddeses.

      So fundamentalist atheists probably implies additional beliefs or positions.

      Suggest it would be better for all atheists if the fundamentalist tag was attached to whatever docks or ideology or position is leading to the so called fundamentalist behaviour.

      Strongly not having any god beliefs is not really much to attach fundamentalism to. Secularists, anti theists, communists may perhaps be more fundamentalist.

      I'm strongly pro the separation of church and state and freedom of and from religion. maybe I'm a fundamentalist but not in the same way as religious fundamentalists adhering to strict orthodoxies.
    • thumb
      Dec 10 2013: Can you expand or describe what you mean by atheist fundamentalism.
      • Dec 10 2013: Certainly. It is not true, first off that, fundamentalism require an expanded set of religious principles. Fundamentalism is defined as: "Fundamentalism is the demand for a strict adherence to orthodox theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology, primarily to promote continuity and accuracy." Now perhaps atheists have fewer doctrines, but regardless, there seems to be an increasing number who demand strict adherence to certain issues and dismiss anyone not in agreement as "not atheist". I've encountered plenty of atheists in recent years who are more than willing to assess my own beliefs and decide they are not "atheist" enough to be considered one. Some even go so far as to inform me what I actually am. And it is not offered as opinion, but certain fact. Many of these people believe that the only right thing, in fact the best thing, for people to do is to "convert" to their way of thinking. That is very fundamentalist. It's one thing to believe you're right - most of us probably do. It's another to vocally espouse the idea that it is necessary to "convert" others to your thinking in order for the world to be right.
        And to some degree I believe science has been dogmatized by these individuals. Among some groups there is definitely some bits of science which have become sacrosanct and unquestionable. Don't get me wrong, I believe in evolution, global warming, etc. But I also recognize that science only gives us the best answer available at the moment - it is always subject to change (or tweaking). And Science is rarely, if ever, absolute. And, it doesn't always have the answer at the moment - though it might later. But I have encountered a number of people (at least here in the states) who have developed very dogmatic ideas about science. If you do not accept their exact opinion - you are scientifically illiterate, or worse. That to me is worrisome, because science doesn't do it's job if it's dogmatic.
        • thumb
          Dec 10 2013: Thanks Sarah. I suggest you do need more than a position on whether there are gods or goddesses to be a fundamentalist. If someone believes in A deistic god concept with no other dogma, there is no orthodox doctrine to be fundamentalist about. Same with not believing in gods.

          I agree you can take an extreme view about a single belief whether it be the existence of gods or which ice cream flavour is best, but suggest it is a misuse of the word fundamentalist even as you define it. There may be vehement antagonism, but their is no orthodoxy, unless an orthodoxy can be based on a single point.

          I just think atheism or favourite sports teams are too narrow to be on a par with religious fundamentalism. But I get your point. Some non believers may regard believers, and hold that single view as fundamentalists hold their religious orthodoxy.

          Most the atheists I know hold the more subtle understanding of science you do, although I work in a research organisation and those on ted are not generally the loud YouTube kids.
        • thumb
          Dec 11 2013: Thanks Sarah,. I guess it's partially semantics.

          It's fair to point out the dogmatic approach of some non theists regardless of what it is called.

          But it prickles theists call non theism a religion, or science a religion. It's a sneaky way of equating the two when they are very different. You might as well call every human endeavour a religion - politics, sport, ios versus android, not believing in the tooth fairy etc. While the all involve humans they aren't all the same thing.
        • Dec 11 2013: Obey,

          as you said "It's fair to point out the dogmatic approach of some non theists regardless of what it is called".

          Claiming they are very different is a sneaky way of differentiating the two when in fact they are very similar! Just make sure to judge each as each ought to be judged.
        • thumb
          Dec 12 2013: Hi Dt,

          I agree each assessed fairly. I half agree they are very similar. The levels of tolerance or intolerance may or may not be similar depending on the situation and individuals.

          there are similarities and their are differences.

          However not having a belief in gods and goddesses or ghosts or demons is very different to literally believing in comprensive writings with moral instructions and far fetched claims like donkeys talked, global floods, the sun stopped in the sky, and the tombs of Jerusalem opened up in some zombie apocolapse.

          Atheism does not come with dogma supporting slavery, instructions for genocide, killing homosexuals, adulters, and disrespectful children, or even to ridicule or despise theism.

          Atheism is a position on a single question. While some may be just as vocal and vehement about this position as theists, there's big differences in scope.

          I'm just highlighting there are differences as well as similarities. The human behavior may be similar, but there is no doctrine or scripture telling atheists to evangelize, or be vocal opponents to theists. The scope is very different

          I'd also suggest to consider atheism or science a religion just massacaring the English language. People might as well call all human activity a religion. Nonsense.

          still intolerance and bigotry is not reserved for religious fundamentalists. However being a vocal opponent of religion is not in the same league as flying planes into buildings or genital mutilation of children or any other violence.

          I'd suggest on average atheists are open to evidence whereas religious fundamentalists are stuck with whatever their orthodox interpretation of scripture states whether it be what to eat or the rights of women, what to wear.

          not that many atheists claim to have the absolute truth and explicit directions from the gods. this is what makes religious fundamentalists particularly dangerous.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: I guess atheists don't believe they are divinely commanded to follow particular instructions or what to believe. If they are sexist or bigoted it's their choice rather than inspired by scripture.
  • Dec 6 2013: No. We are hard-wired to be fundamentalist. We can learn to not be fundamentalist. Most people never learn this because they never had to. I used to believe that fundamentalism was the property of conservatives. Then I attended Earlham college and learned that it is evenly spread all over. We will never eliminate fundamentalism because it's the base-line human mindset of "I know what's right and what's wrong, and anyone who disagrees with me is evil." Specific beliefs are irrelevant. In psychological research, it is similar to "mindlessness" (as opposite of "mindfulness", not "being stupid") and "incompetent and unaware of it" (those who know a tiny bit usually greatly overrate their knowledge and ability). These seem to be the default for human behavior.
    • thumb
      Dec 6 2013: I would agree that we are hard wired to be opinionated and arrogant but that does not mean all such personalities are fundies. In fact, all kinds of people have strong opinions but do not attempt to foist them on others.
      • Dec 13 2013: Such people have learned to not be fundamentalist. There are also the passive-aggressive fundamentalists, who insist that anyone merely expressing an opinion in strong terms is "foisting"--but only when the opinion doesn't agree with their own. Such people are still fundamentalists. I've seen it for decades. Not only do most people never rise above "My beliefs are always right", they also are happy to have those beliefs imposed upon others--so long as it's not done in a way that raises uncomfortable questions. Most people believe they are right and anyone who disagrees with them is not merely incorrect but is evil and act accordingly, even if they claim to not believe it. Otherwise, we could not have political parties that work the way they currently do.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: Thanks for clarifying those thoughts for me. I agree that few of us are very good at dealing with disagreement. I have long been an advocate of inserting effective communication and listening skills into every school's core curriculum.

          As for the fundamentalism, there is one school of thought - Paulo Friere Pedagogy of the Oppressed - which suggests if you have only know oppression then you will only have the tools of the oppressor available to you and, are at significant risk of becoming that which you dislike.

          Likewise, if we grow up in a culture - or a home - where arrogance and self-righteousness is common then this will become your "normal" understanding and will colour all your life experiences. I would take it even futher to suggest that some experience this more intensely than others. Hence your fundamentalist.

          It takes a great deal of courage to break free of such inculcated influences but some do and they are probably the ones who are constantly challenging the status quo.
        • Dec 13 2013: In a way everyone has access to the toolbox and can create new tools, it's just that some choose to use what they have got... rather than wonder about creating better ways...
    • Dec 6 2013: Bryan,

      -Even though some DO NOT know what's right and what's wrong, they certainly know which path to take; anyone who disagrees with the truth is wrong just as anyone who agrees with the truth is right... of course some will agree with this and some will not!
      • Dec 13 2013: And if the "right" and "wrong" differ between people? Start shooting?
  • Dec 6 2013: regarding your statement........."Of course, the majority of people would rather seek common ground and compromise over conflict and strife."

    .........If this majority would rather seek peaceful lives, they seem to remain painfully silent in this world of violence and fundamental adherence to Tradition. I wonder if OUR SILENCE is more of a disease than the rowdy fundamentalists at the fringes. Violence plays in the fertile field of Silence. If the Majority were seeking this, would the conditions of the world exist as they exist today?

    I'm afraid the blame rests with Us.........We are permissive.
    • Dec 6 2013: Scott

      In a way its the ways of the bully ¿'juxtaposed'? to the ways of playing nice with a bit of each minding their own business. When 'weaklings' fears intervening and getting the blunt of the aggression 'the predator' prey freely on them 'weaklings' BUT when 'weaklings' intervene and collaborate with each other 'the predator' can become the prey or caged pets.

      It seems that society is moving into a more collaborative shared stand (else the system will collapse)
      • Dec 6 2013: I dig yer thoughts. I dig the word collaborate.
    • thumb
      Dec 6 2013: There were plenty of people who spoke out against the Milton Friedman fundys for years before the financial chaos occurred that left the U.S. with trillions and others with billions of debt. But the fundys had their way right to the end and even today are chattering in the background that old Milty's theory is still 'the truth'.

      The Tea Party in the U.S. and the Harper Conservatives in Canada are just a couple of the political parties in the world that have been dominatedr by political fundys who know their "truths" are right and who are dismissive of and demeaning towards any who challenge them or who might attempt to point out the small-mindedness of their "truths".
      Political fundys who only represent a minority of their citizenry but because of gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries have maneuvered themselves into office and who willfully ignore the outcries of the rest of population.
      • Dec 6 2013: If Miltonianism prevails, then clearly the 'plenty' who objected was insufficient. To change the societal situation, or to tip the balance of power, or to alter significantly the collective consciousness, One would not play the political game in the various power centers of the world. One would not become a politician. One would not join ANY political party. It's been tried over and over again.

        Fundamentalist Fanatics are like Bullies. When they pop up we try in vain to understand their insanity. We never ask why everyone else is standing around in a hypnotic shock while the idiocy ensues. Of course, we OURSELVES are THE Most fanatically fundamental in our belief of our seemingly unique individualism and separateness from one another.

        Can we be free of it? Yes, when it no longer exists in US.
        • thumb
          Dec 6 2013: I agree, the bullies invariably attempt to dominate the stage which is why I have long been an advocate for real democracy, not this sham so-called representative system that only represents those who successfully game the system.

          Sexism has long dominated Western nations but that ism does not represent a majority of the voices.
        • thumb

          . . 100+

          • 0
          Dec 7 2013: Yes on " collaborative shared stand "….yes on " collaboration and wisdom in action ".... Especially today remembering Nelson Mandela....Here are approaches worth hearing:
          http://www.ted.com/talks/scilla_elworthy_fighting_with_non_violence.html
  • Jan 4 2014: As a final comment from me to this conversation I would like to add that we each choose the influences that predominate in a given situation, conversation, experience based on what we choose to consider, so it's up to each to be free from certain stuff and under the influence of a particular ideas. Even more important may involve the kind of influences that particular ideas will have on each of us. Like I said to a friend: one can make a complement to someone and they will choose to see it as one intended it, as they perceived it, or based on an infinite of other possibilities; some of which ought to remain as possibilities for ever, for only the better possibilities ought to become realities. I certainly believe we can be free of particular influences IF one does what needs to be done to be free of such influences. At the very least one can have some influence over the influences involved to guide them towards better outcomes.
  • Dec 29 2013: I was responding to the question ask and the you would be anyone appropriate to the question asked. Is this answer sensitive to the post?
    • Dec 29 2013: Jude

      Thanks... now I know you where responding to the original question rather than to some response within this conversation (I originally thought that you where responding to someone in particular and could not determine who you meant, now based on what you said I adjusted what I consider).
  • Dec 28 2013: I did two seminars of NLP to get my Masters certificate and they were both worth the money. If you get an opportunity to go on a NLP seminar it's very worth it because if you have any hang ups they will be gone at the end of the seminar. It's very intensive and if you possess a milligram of BS they will find it and show you a path into your life you had no idea existed.
  • Dec 28 2013: You sound like a good candidate to read about Nero- linguistic- Programming, for short call it NLP, which is like a
    operational manual for your brain. Belief systems is covered within the reading along with many other explanations as to the why of things we lack the title too. John Grinder and Richard Bandler are heroes of this way of thinking that answers many of the questions of life. I have studied their work and worked with Richard on the NLP program.
    • Dec 28 2013: Jude,

      When you state 'You' who where you refering to?
    • thumb
      Dec 28 2013: I have had some contact with NLP and liked what I saw but have not yet delved into it. Thanks for the suggestion. I did do a search on the subject and found it is still rather controversial as to its effectiveness.
  • thumb
    Dec 28 2013: If the rule of the game is to break the ground rules, I am no less game :) But with it we lose the 'win-lose' objectivity too!
    In the normal and popular understanding, Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa were not fundamentalists, they were change agents - just opposite to fundamentalism. If you read about their lives, you will see how profoundly they changed their own lives, beliefs and therefore there actions.
    In the normal and popular understanding fundamentalism is way more than being unwaveringly attached to a set of irreducible beliefs, in fact it is the unwavering urge to propound and spread those beliefs at any cost. Since there is no moral/reason based control mechanism to that unwavering urge, it is only statistically probable that at some stage its influences will be caustic.

    When the social definition of fundamentalism is lifted, I am half fundamentalist. I have this unwavering attachment to the irreducible belief that that there is NO, I repeat NO, absolute and common standard of good or bad / right or wrong for eternity. All we have are the choice and action with sincerity to seek the good and right for now and for me, us or all. The unwavering attachment to one other irreducible belief is that my core is too precious to live with the bondage to one single idea.

    Since I have no unwavering urge to propound or spread this irreducible belief to you, I am only half fundamentalist.
    • thumb
      Dec 28 2013: I apologize if I was not clear. The only fundamentalism I attributed to Ghandi was that of "freedom" an existence that is undeniable important and which requires a rigid adherence and constant vigilance for those who seek to limit certain human freedoms. A vigilance all those you mention would have been on. Yes, even freedom has to have compromise, but if it is not voluntary and consensual then conflict is inevitable.
      • thumb
        Dec 28 2013: No apology is necessary William. No hard feeling here.
        I have a question. If A devises a system that is good but need constant strict vigilance to be functional and B devises a system that is comparatively less good but does not work under strict vigilance rather self learns and readjusts on its own, which system will you choose?
        • Dec 28 2013: Seems to me that in order to learn the self requires strict vigilance between what they think to know to be corresponding to what happens to be in order to readjusts what they think to be according to what happens to be... I know some individuals that work the other way around... they seek to readjust what happens to be to correspond to what they think to be... I even know some individuals who manage to do both to bring about graceful divine transformation in both what they think to be and what happens to be as they cultivate beautiful well beings...
        • thumb
          Dec 28 2013: Pabitra, I confess I have no idea since I cannot compare either the content or the context of either system. Nor am I sure that a systems approach fits a discussion about ideologies and the self-righteous who seek to impose their ideologies on others.

          Esteban, I have actually heard people say 'looking good is more important than feeling good'., suggesting image is preferable to reality, a premise I find extremely disturbing.
        • Dec 28 2013: William,

          I find feeling good and looking good preferable :-)
          By the same token I find preferable to experience think, feel and be... rich/right/happy/ good/knowledgable ...
          In a slight different context if I had to choose between looks and being:
          I would prefer to look poor while being rich than looking rich while being poor

          I too know some who would prefer it the other way around... for some image is preferable to reality...they judge the book by the cover and think to know what the book contains... and that's not even getting into the subtleties related to the book contents! Especially when these may vary depending on the readers attitudes feelings beliefs values and expectations! I once read a book only to discover halfway through it that it dealt with a completely different subject matter than the one I was expecting and thinking off; that is the physical arrangement provided by the author lead me to envision a completely different book than the authors conceived and I preferred much more the one I conceived thanks to what the author had provided... it would be akin to booking a safari to shoot animals and half way through the expedition realizing that one had sought to shoot at the animals with a camera to capture them rather than a gun to kill them... I would enjoy more an expedition shooting the photos rather than the guns.

          For me reality is preferable to what one thinks of it... Of course what one thinks of it is part of the reality itself... and may be the only way one has of knowing reality ... thus my stand to ensure that what one thinks to be corresponds with what happens to be...
      • thumb
        Dec 29 2013: William,
        A system approach fits the discussion because the main claim of your question is rooted in belief. Belief can be seen as a system. It has a boundary, it interacts with the environment, there is transfer of mass, energy and information across the boundary and depending on the interaction either the system grows or dies.
        Interestingly, at the point f life I am in, I have heard more people preferring feeling good than looking good. Image and objects are both parts of reality and this reality is how we perceive it.
    • Dec 28 2013: Pabitra,

      Even with the notion that you put forth where" fundamentalism is way more than being unwaveringly attached to a set of irreducible beliefs, in fact it is the unwavering urge to propound and spread those beliefs at any cost". The three individuals mentioned still fit the description of what constitutes a fundamentalist. They each where willing and did give their life to spread what they believed!

      I realize that you hold the belief that "there is no moral/reason based control mechanism"... personally I hold the belief that "there is moral/reason based control mechanism". indeed based on some issues you would fit the description of what constitutes a fundamentals. Me too for that matter :-) and many others here too! It's kind of humorous to me to see you state " If the rule of the game is to break the ground rules" especially when I basically used and followed the ground rules you sort of set up. I took the general definition of what is meant by fundamentalism from wikipedia and removed the religious connotations.

      I think that when we take this general definition of what constitutes a fundamentalist and apply it to certain individuals individuals will be surprised to realize that who fits within the description . I am sure that to some it will be unthinkable to consider themselves (or some individuals) as fundamentalists for the cognitive dissonance it generates. Its even possible individuals will resort to relabel some fundamentalists as 'change agents' to work around the cognitive dissonance.

      I realize some reject the truth of the matter because they do not want to know and be bonded to the truth of the matter ... and prefer the illusion/delusion of ignorance. The choice is kind of humorous : 1) Be bound to the truth that enables one to do much 2) be free from the truth while being enslaved into the delusion. In other words we be bond either way while free to choose the truth or the delusion. In one we can do stuff in the other we just think we can
      • thumb
        Dec 28 2013: "The three individuals mentioned still fit the description of what constitutes a fundamentalist. They each where willing and did give their life to spread what they believed!"
        Oh they sure did. But you may notice that they never wanted or made others to give lives to spread what they (these three persons) believed.
        • thumb
          Dec 28 2013: That, in my perception Pabitra, is the big difference. The people you mentioned (Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Mother Teresa) changed their own lives, their beliefs, and therefore their actions. They wholeheartedly participated in change, and in that way encouraged many others to have hope for change. So people embraced their beliefs and practices.

          That, to me is a big difference from someone insisting they are right and everyone MUST follow their beliefs and practices.
        • Dec 28 2013: Pabritra,

          It's sort of humorous to me to see you keep changing the bar/line of what constitutes fundamentalism ... rather than conceding the point. In regards to them wanting something, I take it we would be on speculative territories unless we could directly ask them.... and even then we would have to believe their responses as veridic and corresponding to what actually be ... In regards to 'them' making others to give lives to spread what they believed, I am pretty sure some of them did made others give into giving their lives to spread what they believed... of course rather than through imposing forces through exemplary and convincing forces.

          BTW when one happens to be right insisting one be right and that anyone who disagrees is wrong differs from holding that anyone can be right because someone thinks there isn't a right and wrong. Note one is mostly based on what happens to be; while the other is based mostly on the subjective musing someone happens to think to be. I hold that in theory you seek to belong to the former while in practice do observe you belong to the latter. If you want me to elaborate on why this is so I will.

          FWIIW anyone can get it right if they wholeheartedly participate and embrace what happens to be right. My position is to encourage each to not only have hope for change and being right but to change what ought to be changed when doings so will get them to get it right and be all right!

          Now for the record its up to each to choose what to embrace and what to reject; those who choose what be right get it right; those who don't get it, well, they don't get it (until something happens where they do get it and they they are no longer within the group of those who don't get it). Of course the group of 'those who think they get it' holds A) the ones that do actually get it thinking they get it and B) the ones who just think they get it. It can be difficult for some to differentiate them apart.

          everyone OUGHT follow what be right to do.
      • thumb
        Dec 28 2013: Oh Esteban humor is good. :)
        We have every right to change, though that doesn't mean I keep changing the barline. I am where I am but am kind enough and flexible enough to examine your changes to the popularly and widely understood meaning of fundamentalism. I hope you won't deny that you changed it by removing the religious context.
        Everyone ought to follow what everyone feels is right. If people see him right they will follow, if they don't they won't.
        • Dec 28 2013: Pabitra,

          I hope you saw how I did recognized the removal of the religious context. It was within one of my other responses. I hope you see how I also sought to remove the pejorative negative connotations normally applied to the term and how I used the popularly and widely understood meaning of fundamentalism, sure in a bit broader sense that extends to include some fundamentalists that bring about good ways to society. Holding that all fundys are caustic ignores the fact that some fundys are actually ok and beneficial change agents.

          You said "Everyone ought to follow what everyone feels is right".
          I say : Everyone ought to follow what is right.

          Wether one sees right as right or wrong as right is irrelevant when one follows what is right. I realize that this begs the question of what is right and maybe even the question of what is wrong... still thats a whole different matter to dialogue about... the point here is ought we do what we feel/think/believe/hold/want/dream to be right or do what happens to be right. Seems to me that the rational/logical answer is self evidently clear towards doing what happens to be right! If we agree with that then we can move on to the issue of determining what happens to be right...

          BTW people may follow/not follow someone even when they see him one way or the other way...
  • thumb
    Dec 28 2013: " But invariably it is the fundamentalists that want to incite conflict and who seek to inflict their narrow-minded rigidity upon the rest of us, making them no less dangerous to human populatons than any other infectious disease."

    Wow ... Blonds have more fun .... red heads love to fight ... etc ....

    Perhaps the CDC can develop a vaccine and eradicate all of the "infected" vermin. Then only the super race would survive.
  • thumb
    Dec 28 2013: Good one, Esteban, t'is the season for indulgencies of all kind :)

    I suspect I will have to wait until I shuffle off this mortal coil and discover that truth, whatever it may be, before I can ever contemplate such certainty about anything.
    • Dec 28 2013: Now that you frame it like that I see a bit more into the indulgences ... glad you enjoyed it
  • thumb
    Dec 27 2013: This conversation only seems to work if we accept the definition of fundamentalists as offered. Although, I will admit that there are fanatical fundamentalist out there as described, but they are so few in our world society.... but they are vocal and destructive to make their numbers appear far greater then they are... And there are too many criminal and corrupt people out there, who will sell their grandmothers if it gave them a gain... so, as my old professor says, "that leaves the two of us"...

    I have no problems with exploring new ideas and ways of advancing the human race. I came from a generation whose culture was to leave our descendants better off then we were. I am not sure we were all that successful, but that is another discussion. What I do believe is that our human race is capable of much more, however, there are dangers out there and we should go forward prepared to meet the unknown.
    Now there are some of us that are really fearful of the unknown. They will call out to us... "don't go there",
    " the old understandings are the only understandings"....

    Should we say that these "fundamentalists are caustic? or should we say that maybe some of these warnings on moving forward "be a valid concern" and should we be prepared to meet these concerns...
    • thumb
      Dec 27 2013: I agree Mike, that it is important for us to consider information and "be prepared to meet these concerns..."

      Is being concerned and prepared the same as having a person push their own personal beliefs onto people and perhaps oppress and abuse other people because of their beliefs?

      I agree with you that there probably are not as many fundamentalists as it seems. However, a few of them tend to cause a great deal of damage....suicide bombers for example. If they have their own personal beliefs and act on them, that is one thing. If they want to end their own life, that is a choice they make for themselves. When they kill a lot of innocent bystanders, however, that is something very different, don't you think?
      • thumb
        Dec 27 2013: Absolutely, there are suicidal fanatics that take others with them... I am also including those that take other's wealth, take their sense of security... anyone who reduces another's humanity.
        But this conversation is most directed to those who are "caustic" in their beliefs and "use circular reasoning to support their rightness by believing themselves to be morally right and they are righteous in the belief of being right." I am understanding that we are discussing those who say things and convince other people to do things and insist on being correct.
        I am from the old school, I have heard most all of it and I am not bothered by most "fundys"
        who are so evidently lacking in any awareness of the situation, they spout irrational nonsense. However, those who should know better but spout irrational nonsense... they sometimes get my goat.... OK, I am not up for sainthood.
        • thumb
          Dec 28 2013: Mike,
          I think/feel that the only thing "fundys" are aware of, is a need to convince everyone that they are right, and as you say...spout irrational arguments to try to support their beliefs and actions.

          We can often ignore them until/unless they become caustic, by adversely impacting other people. As I said in another comment, as long as a person has a certain belief and practice that does not adversely impact other people, that is their right and their choice. Many fundamentalists, however, are not content practicing a belief on their own, and tend to insist that others embrace their beliefs as well.....that, in my perception, is when it becomes caustic in our world.
        • thumb
          Dec 29 2013: Mike,

          Might I ask why you deleted all your comments on my UBI Conversation?

          I hope that you're not being erased from TED for some strange reason.
      • thumb
        Dec 28 2013: Colleen,
        I see fundamentalism as something diminishing or destroying liberty. A fundamentalist gives one no choice. He may offer good food on a plate but hold a gun to your head to make you eat it instead of wishing compassionately that you will like and accept it.
        • thumb
          Dec 28 2013: That is my belief as well Pabitra, which is why I do not embrace the idea that what fundamentalists do is sometimes good or helpful in our world. One can accept a belief and practice for him/herself, but when one starts to insist that everyone needs to believe and practice the same thing, it adversely impacts other people.
        • Dec 28 2013: I see fundamentalism as something that gives one a choice with the alternative being a no choice. He may offer good food on a plate and say it you eat it you will live but if you refuse to eat it you will die... it's not that they hold a gun to your head to make you eat it or will kill you if you refuse to eat it.... it is that unless you eat the good food you will be unable to live... for some strange reason some choose to refuse to eat hoping to live without the good food.

          Of course a similar situation could be created using the inverse set up; where someone offers bad food telling you that it is uncertain if you will die from the food on the table... of course they omit the part that lets you know that if you refuse to eat it you will live but if you choose to eat it you will die. Note that it sure is uncertain if you will die from the food on the table... for it is unsure if you will eat it or not... for some strange reason some will eat it wishing to live only to discover they made the wrong choice...

          BTW I embrace the idea that what SOME fundamentalists do is sometimes good or helpful in our world where as some here choose to embrace the fixed idea that ALL fundamentalists actions are outside what be considered good or helpful in our world. Curious thing is that rather than my absolute subjectivists stand being accepted some insist on their fixed ideas being the way for everyone to believe and practice... and to top it off projecting unto me what more appropriately applies to themselves... Some have a closed mindset while claiming they are open. Personally I would prefer an open mindset towards what be good with a closed mindset towards what be bad... though in practice the mindset that always ensures and transforms for good beneficial experiences seems a simpler way to go. Considering its difficult to distinguish win-lose apart it's simpler to just play to win and win every time...
    • Dec 27 2013: Mike,

      When they call out "don't go there"... one needs to know where 'there' be .-)...
      if it be a good place then do go there...
      if it be a bad place then don't go there...

      One also need to know who 'they' be... and what they actually know...

      As you sort of pointed : proceed prepared to meet the what's out there in such a way as to always ensure moving forward towards being better off.

      BTW sometimes the way to proceed forward involves (heeding the warnings) turning around and actually going the right way... yea sometimes we better heed the statement and "don't go there" where as sometimes we better ignorer the statement and do go there...

      If you asked me I would say don't go down the suicide bomber ways... some choices, as some possibilities, are meant to remain forever as mere options never to be acted upon. BTW note that every choice one makes for themselves affects those around ... so make good choices and have positive effects on those around!
    • thumb
      Dec 27 2013: Please, let us not fixate upon the religious fundys because I believe the economic and political fundys do far, far more damage and are far more pernicious to community and nation these days.

      In any event I am pretty sure the Christian fundys who perpetrated their vile prejudices and sanctified tortures on whole populations for over a thousand years make today's look bombers look pretty tame in comparison.

      The most Seductive Oppression Merit Award - SOMA, I just made it up :) - may very well go the fundy economists/priests of far more recent history. Markets are no more free than human beings. Both are oppressed and controlled by "those who believe they know better" and "those who believe they ARE better" on a daily basis. But we have to take our hats off to them for being able to herd us up into such nice tidy - and mostly civil - market and labour divisions all competing with each other for the shiny baubles and ever more carrots as we are lead through the deep dark valleys of recessions and up over the fleeting peaks of light and prosperity time and time again. .

      But for the Lifetime Achievement Universally Granted Historically _ LAUGH, I know I am being silly but its the holidays - has to go to the political fundys - once again who believe they know better" and "those who believe they ARE better" - and who have, throughout the history of humanity, consistently been able to establish and impose their top-down hierarchies of Machiavellian power and control over whole populations for eons. From God bestowed Monarchies and their associated aristocracies to modern day political parties and the god-complexed corporate elite, only the names and faces have changed, but the agendas and the controls have remained the same. Namely using the carrot of "useful" employment and comfortable lifestyle, tempered with the stick of being destitute to then draw down our labour with only a modicum of grumbling resistance to worry about.
      • Dec 27 2013: William,

        SOMA LAUGH INDULGENCE has to go to the Individuals Needing Direction Under Loving Guidance Enforcement Now Commencing Education... (I know I am playing along with the silliness you put into the pot)...

        Indeed lets keep and open mind regarding the fundys extending and reaching into all sort of professions that have traditionally operated behind the scenes.

        Initially I was going to point out that the way to transcend the dualistic carrot-stick involves an individual's 'commitment'. That is an unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs, attitudes, and values which serve to guide individual determinations, desires and actions along the fulfillment of a purposeful existence in collaboration with others. Then I sort of got sidetracked with playing along the silliness while also seeking something useful... one thing lead to another and voila voila ... now days individuals are relying more and more on self-employment...
  • thumb
    Dec 27 2013: In this Topic:
    We found a way to pull together, we “All experience” more open to discussing, interacting, arguing, teaching, learning and sharing - Data, Statement and Insight, together.
  • Dec 25 2013: Yes it is possible but only when people get educated in the true sense , ie develop from inside and get enlightened and start living a simple life.The current education system is purely technical and grammatical and work oriented.

    The target of fundamentalists are gullible people who are both technically educated and uneducated.

    There are many scientists,engineers,doctors and professionally qualified people who claim to have scientific temperament are the followers of many phoney religious saints , and are also superstitious.

    Why people are afraid of number 13 in America ?
    • thumb
      Dec 25 2013: Agreed Santokh, I would suggest that a real education would involve placing the student at the front of the process and then working with each and every student on an individual basis to first determine where their passions and interests lie and then ensuring that all the resources available for the student's exploration of those passions and interests.

      In other words, if we invested as much into the education of students as we do into prolonging the lives of the elderly a few more lingering years, what wonders might we see? .Conversely, what superstitions might disappear forever?
  • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

    You seem to insists that I seek to focus on what I think is right rather than what happens to be right. I do understand the difference between what one "think to be" and "what happens to be".. and constantly invite to focus on what happens to be ...you seem to insist that its about what I think to be... rather than just focusing on what happens to be. As I said elsewhere you seem set on defending the notion that whatever the individual thinks/feels/prefers/holds/believes its fine because that is what the individual thinks/feels/prefers/holds/believes... where as I assert the notion that whatever be right is what be right and whomever embraces what be right get it right....

    Of course though there still exists a difference between what one "think to be" and "what happens to be" when there is a perfect correspondence between what one thinks to be and what happens to be it can be difficult for some to distinguish talking about one thing rather than the other... Some still hold the idea that identical copies are impossible while to me its quite evident that identical copies can and do exist.
    • thumb
      Dec 24 2013: Esteban,
      What YOU think is right, is YOUR PERCEPTION of what is right, and you are trying to pass that off as absolute right or truth.

      I am offering you the idea.....again......that each individual has his/her own thoughts, feelings, perceptions, perspectives, ideas, opinions and beliefs.

      Just because you say something is "right" Esteban, or the "truth", does not make it so. I am very clear with what you are saying over and over again about "RIGHT". It is clear what you think is RIGHT Esteban.
      • Dec 24 2013: Yes, What I think is right, is MY PERCEPTION of what is right, and you are still insisting to focus on what I think is right rather than what happens to be right.

        Just because I say something is "right", or the "truth", does not make it so... there has to be a correspondence between the claim and what happens to be...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I agree Esteban....just because you say something is "right, or the "truth" does not make it so.
      • Dec 24 2013: I hope that you also agree that it is the appropriate correspondence between the claim and what happens to be... that determines what is right or the truth...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: The challenge for you Esteban, seems to be that you think your claim, and what is right or the truth are one and the same.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        Thats what you think the challenge for me be...maybe you are just projecting onto me what you most need to learn... in fact it would be nice for everyone to focus on the truth of the matter based on the truth of the matter... and see if what they think to be corresponds to what happens to be...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: The challenge for you Esteban, seems to be that you think your claim, and what is right or the truth are one and the same.
  • Dec 24 2013: Colleen

    Too crowded below...

    Yes I consistently seek to substitutes and focus on "the truth" rather than what someone claims to be the truth
    the message that 'the truth' is the one and only "truth"
    is quite different from
    the message that what he/she/I/you/they says is the one and only "truth"

    It appears that you consistently seek to make this about someone claims to the truth rather than make it about the truth.

    If you wanted to make a valid claim according to my perception I implore that you first validate with me if what you think I think actually corresponds to what I think ... BTW thoughtful people tend to accept the truth as the truth ... I too believe humans are evolving beyond the point of blindly accepting proclamations of truth as simply being valid... regardless of the actual validity of the proclamations presented... in other words humans are evolving to accept the truth of the matter as the truth of the matter regardless of who that makes be right and who that makes be wrong... of course the one who are wrong are the most concerned with this move taking place...
    • thumb
      Dec 24 2013: The challenge for you Esteban, appears to be that you do not seem to understand that what you are focusing on as truth, is YOUR PERSONAL PERCEPTION of truth.

      Yes Esteban I validate your statement and belief as you have stated it..."what you think I think actually corresponds to what I think". You have been very clear about what you think Esteban. How is that working for you?
      • Dec 24 2013: Well that's what you think... and I can tell you based on what you claim and what I think that you are far off field in what you think I think... (or are deliberately misrepresenting what I think)
      • Dec 24 2013: Yes Colleen I am repeating myself to make a point that you seem stedfast on denying... BTW you may think that you validated my statements and beliefs as I have stated them... unfortunately you only have accessed what you think I said rather than sought to validate if your perception of it corresponds with my perception of it by asking me. Even when I made a point that should had gotten you to seek and validate your notions your response was an assertion that you had validated it... as I have said Well that's what you think... and I can tell you based on what you claim and what I think that you are far off field in what you think I think... (or are deliberately misrepresenting what I think)
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I validated your statement as written, and as you requested Esteban. You are representing yourself by way of your comments. Your thoughts and the expression of those thoughts are your own Esteban.
      • Dec 24 2013: Well you validated what you thought of my statements corresponded to what you thought of my statements... even when I presented you with clear and evident statements to the contrary you insisted on your ways.

        Yes I am representing what I think by way of my comments IF others decode my comments 'correctly' they get what I think, IF others butcher and decode my statements accordingly to what they think they get something else. The things is that few take full responsibility for what they do and tend to blame others for what they themselves are responsible. As you stated " Your thoughts and the expression of those thoughts are your own..." and to validly claim that your thoughts of what I think actually correspond to what I think what you think ought to ensure correspondence to what I think... As I have sort of said " I can tell you based on what you claim (or more precisely what I perceive that you claim) and what I think that you are far off field in what you think I think... (or are deliberately misrepresenting what I think)"...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I validated your statement as written by you Esteban, and as you requested Esteban. You are representing yourself by way of your comments. Your thoughts and the expression of those thoughts are your own Esteban.

          It is not up to others to "decode" your comments. You seem to be very clear with your beliefs, which are YOUR beliefs.

          What you think, you have clearly expressed, and I do not agree Esteban.
  • Dec 23 2013: Would like to generalize what has been said lately and shift into a bit more positive frame... hope others find this appropriate... (especially the 'disappropriation' of words :-)

    Obviously we be people with beliefs... we can embrace each belief in a way that's beneficial !

    How is that going to be done?
    Well , by embracing what's good in it -----

    For example: one of the things that striked me as good (from fundamentalism) was that attitude of willingness of doing everything it takes to reach the objective . That can be something very hard to achieve , it takes lots of discipline and determination . Common people have much to learn from the fundamentalists at this chapter! Of course the fundamentalists have much to learn from common people attitudes TOO! Say the willingness to embrace what's good by doing everything it takes to embrace what's actually good (even if it means letting go of past ideas/beliefs/understandings/expectations).

    Remember to embrace what's good in each belief/idea/statement/post.
    • thumb
      Dec 24 2013: Esteban,
      Your example of something that is good:
      "one of the things that striked me as good (from fundamentalism) was that attitude of willingness of doing everything it takes to reach the objective".

      You apparently feel that "doing everything it takes to reach the objective" is good Esteban.

      It is this belief that has caused disrespect, distress, abuse, death, torture, and other violations of human rights throughout history.

      The meaning of fundamentalism is...
      "a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles".

      If an individual chooses to adopt an attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles FOR HIMSELF OR HERSELF, that is perfectly acceptable.

      It is when a fundamentalist believes his/her beliefs are the one and only "right" "truth", and everyone "ought" to follow the same strict and literal set of basic principles, that the beliefs adversely impact other people.

      When the fundamentalist uses controlling methods to convince everyone that s/he is "right", and everyone should follow those beliefs, the fundamentalist's practice moves from a belief in something for him/herself, to an attempt to control and dominate others.

      Who are the "common people" in your perception Esteban?

      Remember Esteban, to embrace what's good in each belief/idea/statement/post. You Esteban, have not embraced ANYTHING that ANYONE has said to you throughout many conversations! You seem to be stuck
      with your own attitude, stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        Know that you are projecting unto me (and others) what you think ...
        . IF what you said I apparently feel was in line with what I happened to feel
        . THEN it would be appropriate to explore what it is you said I apparently feel
        . ELSE I find you are basically seeking to shift and derail this conversation

        It's quite apparent to me that you have a fixation on defending that any set of basic principles FOR HIMSELF OR HERSELF, being perfectly acceptable... For whatever reason you demonstrate hostility towards a set of basic principles applicable to everyone. From where I stand what you claim is contradicted with what happens to be...

        Note that "doing everything it takes to reach the objective" hardly is what causes the stuff you claim it causes. Its the objective that some individuals peruse that causes much of the stuff you claim, especially when the means seem secondary to the ends. From my perspective, the means, the ends, and other stuff each play a vital part of "doing everything it takes to reach the objective". In other words if one reaches the objective without following the proper actions one isn't able to perceive nor appreciate the sight ... Of course in order to truly appreciate the sight its important who accompanies the individual.

        Colleen the common people in my perception involves everyone ... BTW I do Remember, to embrace what's good in each belief/idea/statement/post and have embraced valuable stuff that some individuals have said. I do have to agree that I may seem stuck with my own attitude, stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles which stem from recognizing what be the truth as being the truth. To use a better framing what be the better way as being the better way... some seem to believe that any way is the better way... personally I believe that only the better way be the better way...

        I recognize the fundamentalists who is right as being right regardless of them being a fundy...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Your projections and comments are your own Esteban.

          You believe it is right and good for a fundamentalist to do "everything it takes to reach the objective". That is YOUR statement. It is in no way a projection of anyone else.

          It is this belief that has caused disrespect, distress, abuse, death, torture, and other violations of human rights throughout history.

          If a person chooses to accept principles for him/herself, that is an individual choice. If people are verbally coerced, threatened, oppressed, abused or experience any other violation of human rights, it is not acceptable. Your belief that it is ok for a fundamentalist to do "everything it takes to reach the objective" encourages and advocates violation of human rights.

          I'm glad you understand that you "may seem stuck" with your "own attitude, stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles..."

          It is unfortunate that you believe your attitude "stems from recognizing what be the truth as being the truth". It is what YOU THINK is the truth Esteban.

          I am well aware of what you "recognize", because you have clearly stated it many times.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        What I said was " one of the things that striked me as good (from fundamentalism) was that attitude of willingness of doing everything it takes to reach the objective "

        From that to your claim that I believe it is right and good for a fundamentalist to do "everything it takes to reach the objective" is quite a stretch.

        Why do you insist on making this about "what YOU THINK is the truth" rather than 'what is the truth'...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I am very aware of what you wrote Esteban and I do not agree that "doing everything it takes to reach the objective" is productive, and in fact, can be very destructive, as we have seen so many times in our world.
      • Dec 24 2013: Of course "doing everything it takes to reach the objective" can be productive or be inappropriate... much depends on the objective, what is done, why and a couple of other particularities ... still the attitude and willingness to followthrough doing what is appropriate to be done is one of the things that strike me as good... Yea some fundamentalists are blinded by their erroneous notions and ought to change and correct them notions to ensure they are actually righteous... (not based on what they think to be but based on what happens to be).
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Yes Esteban, "doing everything it takes to reach the objective" might be productive or be inappropriate, and much depends on the objective.

          Unfortunately, fundamentalists often want to convince people that they are "right", and they know the only "truth". They often try to push their own beliefs onto others, whether other people want to accept those beliefs or not.

          Fundamentalist generally do not have very open minds or hearts, which might allow them to at least listen, and/or accept the fact that people have different preferences, perspectives, thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and beliefs. Fundamentalists generally do not want to listen to another perspective.

          I'm sorry to hear that you still believe that the "attitude and willingness to follow through doing what is appropriate to be done" is one of the things that strike you as good.

          What is appropriate for one person, may not be appropriate or acceptable to another person....it is subjective Esteban.

          I agree...."some fundamentalists are blinded by their erroneous notions".
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen

        When fundamentalists happen to be "right"... push their own beliefs onto others, whether other people want to accept those beliefs or not.. can be a good thing! Notice that the focus here is on pushing what happens to be right...

        I agree with you that Fundamentalist (and others) generally do not have very open minds or hearts, which might allow them to at least listen, and/or accept the fact that people have different preferences, perspectives, thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and beliefs. (Individuals) generally do not want to listen to another perspective, especially when such perspective exposes them as being wrong and holding an erroneous stand. I am curious why you are sorry to hear that I still believe individuals ought to have the attitude and willingness to follow through doing what is appropriate to be done to get it right. Yea I know that what is appropriate for one person may not be appropriate or acceptable to another person. Notice that the statement "what is appropriate to be done" just stated what is appropriate to be done... without getting into the details of what it is that is appropriate for each to do...

        My stand in this conversation has sought to put forth the consideration that we should push what happens to be right... independent of it being something a fundamentalists happens to believe and hold... Many individuals want simplistic oversimplifications rather than to pay close attention to what to keep and what to change... Hope this clarifies a bit more what it is I have been stating
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: Esteban,
          Pushing one's beliefs onto others is not a good thing, and it is a practice that has caused a great deal of unrest in our world.

          Your focus Esteban is pushing what YOU think is right.

          You say...."whether other people want to accept those beliefs or not...can be a good thing".

          Pushing YOUR beliefs onto others is not a good thing. You are curious as to why I am "sorry to hear that you still believe individuals ought to have the attitude and willingness to follow through doing what is appropriate to be done to get it right"?

          I've already told you this several times......here we go again.

          What is "right" for you Esteban is your personal perception and choice. What is right for you may not be right for everyone, and people have the right to decide for themselves what information they will and will not accept.

          I understand very well your stand in this conversation, and I do not agree with you.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        I suppose you didn't read "Notice that the focus here is on pushing what happens to be right..." for whatever reason you insist on shifting and making this about " pushing what YOU think is right".

        In essence what I said : pushing what happen to be "right" independent of whether other people want to accept those beliefs or not.. can be a good thing! IN other words the righteous quest for what is right can be a good thing even if there are those who want to obfuscate and reject the truth of the matter and do not agree with the truth of the matter.
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I read your comment carefully Esteban, as I have read all of your other comments.

          I do not agree Esteban that "the righteous quest for what is right can be a good thing", because what one person believes to be right, may not be "right" for another person. I do not agree with pushing YOUR beliefs onto others.
      • Dec 24 2013: Colleen,

        I suppose based on what you have posted that you agree with pushing YOUR beliefs onto others and seeking to shift the subject away from "the righteous quest for what be right "... to be something you want to do... BTW I noticed some of your other responses became repetitive and I have considered to only respond to some ...
        • thumb
          Dec 24 2013: I do NOT agree with anyone pushing beliefs onto another person Esteban....I have made that very clear.
      • Dec 25 2013: Yes you said that many times and have demonstrated something else with your actions... as we have sort of been dancing around ... it isn't what someone thinks/claims to be; it is what actually happens to be... and each ought to look at what actually happens to be going on...
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: I have demonstrated EXACTLY what I say Esteban....I say what I do.....do what I say.....walk my talk.
      • Dec 25 2013: If you say so... you might even believe it so... question is : is it really so?
        let me reiterate:
        - it isn't what someone thinks/claims to be;
        - it is what actually happens to be.
        each ought to look at what actually happens to be going on.

        Of course some will embrace the truth of the matter and some will claim that there isn't such truth to be embraced because it depends on what one thinks/claims to be true.

        FWIIW I was providing you feedback regarding what I observe happening... I could go into the specific examples that would substantiate the claims I have put forth if need be... though as you have said elsewhere its up to each to accept or reject the information. From what I see its evident who recognizes the evidence and who brushes it aside. By now its a bit humorous to me to observe how certain individuals will say, just give me one reason to believe/accept the assertion's validity... only to see them make up reasons to reject the provided reason... and ask just for another reason... I used to get entangled in such interactions seeking the way to convince the other but now follow a rather different road... if they are truly interested I will do my best though if they aren't interested I will just let them know something and move on... That way I did what I had to do...and its now up to them to do what corresponds to them to do...

        I am sure based on your statements that from your perspective you hold that you have demonstrated EXACTLY what you say... from my perspective if we look at what actually happens to be going on its quite evident the correlation (or lack there of) that happens to exists between your claims and your actions. For one example look into the insistent shift towards what someone thinks to be and away from what happens to be.

        Its been fun interacting and now will focus on better stuff... so you will likely not see me responding as I had been in the past...

        Would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas...
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: Dear Esteban,
          You are humorous because you write...
          "I used to get entangled in such interactions seeking the way to convince the other but now follow a rather different road... if they are truly interested I will do my best though if they aren't interested I will just let them know something and move on... That way I did what I had to do...and its now up to them to do what corresponds to them to do..."

          I am not at all interested in your perception, and have told you many times that I do not agree......and yet you keep trying to convince me that you are right!!! LOL

          Thank goodness if you will not be responding in an attempt to try to convince me and others that you are right! Good luck with your "better stuff":>)
      • Dec 25 2013: Colleen,

        Indeed it's a bit humorous how someone can claim not to be interested while evidently demonstrating their interest through their responses... for the record I am not trying to convince you, i was basically pointing to the truth of the matter for those interested in such matters...

        Thanks for the good luck wishes... may you come to the better stuff yourself...
        • thumb
          Dec 25 2013: I'm glad you agree that it is humorous Esteban. Oh....I see....you were simply "pointing to the truth of the matter".......right!!! YOUR truth...LOL:>)
      • Dec 25 2013: Colleen

        you said: Oh....I see....you were simply "pointing to the truth of the matter".......right!!! YOUR truth...

        your insistent shift towards what someone thinks to be and away from what happens to be reveals itself again... and based on what you have done in the past you will deny you are shifting the conversation.