TED Conversations

william clegg

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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. .

+2
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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 6 2013: Hi William,
    I have often been called a fundy. Sunday should be funday, hey that's a good slogan. Sorry, I digress.
    I believe that the bible is the inerrant word of god. That doesn't make me right, I am more than willing to consider other viewpoints, but, to date, can find no serious contenders.
    Neither does it make me self-righteous. By the standards of our creator, we are all pretty shoddy. I do admit some of my ilk come across as holier than thou, but I can only speak for myself.
    Nothing in my belief system would tend to violence, & the history of Christianity has many more martyrs than murderers.
    There is a creed that tends to violence. We should not however tar all with the same brush.
    The most dangerous fundy is Apatherianism (I made that up). While we should be discussing with interest the large subjects of who we are, & how we got here; we are much more interested in the drivel of the day on the TV. Give me a good fundy any day; much more interesting.

    :-)
    • thumb
      Dec 6 2013: you might want to examine the over one thousand years of Christianity in which the fundy truth of the Malleus Maleficarum dominated that religion and was used to justify hunting, humiliating, torturing and killing women, often for nothing more than looking at someone the wrong way.

      Fundy Jews harass and castigate young girls on a regular basis for nothing more than being fashionable or for simply being proud of their femininity.

      Fundy Muslims are often in the paper for having been violent towards women. We even had a father and sonr jailed here in Canada for killing the 3 daughters who dared to be modern women in an archaic household.

      Anyone else notice a consistent religion based fundy bias towards the female gender?
      • Dec 6 2013: The Malleus did not dominate Christianity. It was only known to the West and didn't dominate there, either. My own Church didn't know if that nonsense until the 19th or 20th century, and it was never accepted. Contrary to popular propaganda, Western Christianity is not the end-all and be-all of Christianity and it never was.
        • thumb
          Dec 6 2013: Yet it was a fundy ideology and dominate where it thrived just like the sexist fundies of today which I mention above .
      • thumb
        Dec 7 2013: Funnily enough I don't care to ponder over what one group of people did to another group of people. Athiest fundies love to dig up old wounds & find ways to blame god for their atrocities. Personally, I prefer to get on with the daily business of loving God, & my neighbour as myself. This has much more appeal than fertilising any chip that comes to rest on my shoulder.

        :-)
        • thumb
          Dec 7 2013: "Athiest fundies love to dig up old wounds"
          You don't have to go back in time. Every day you find news about atrocities committed in the name of religion.
        • thumb
          Dec 10 2013: Actually the atheists blame the religious beliefs and the believers. They don't believe in any gods so can't blame something that doesn't exist.

          No Problem with the love your neighbour as per Confucian teaching.no problem with people loving this or that god or goddess concept. Its more the hate against gays, other tribes, sexism, slavery and genocidal believes whatever the inspiration
      • Dec 13 2013: The Malleus might have been important in SOME Christian areas, but it is a flat-out lie to claim that it dominated "that religion" as a whole, which is what you claimed. Of course, a non-fundamentalist would simply retract the statement and admit to ignorance. A fundamentalist would insist that he was still right, even in the face of facts to the contrary.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: whoa there fellow. I was quite clear that "it dominated where it thrived" and will also add that it was a fundy thinking that preyed upon the innocent for over 100 years. Splitting hairs of culpability does not absolve the community of its complicity.

          If it helps any, there is hardly a nation, group or population that does not have some fundy skeleton in its closet.
    • thumb
      Dec 10 2013: Hi peter, while you may take the bible literally, you don't seem to be promoting a strict orthodoxy. Not all religious fundamentalists are the same. You seem to display more tolerance than many.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.