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william clegg

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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. .

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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.

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    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
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      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.
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        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.
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          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...
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        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.
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          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...

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