Monday, October 15, 2007

Fundamentalism: Not so fundamental?

A post on my cousin's blog prompted thinking concerning fundamentalism. He reflects, I think, a prevailing attitude that fundamentalism is dangerous...a haven for angry people.

Anthropologist Richard Antoun put forth this idea (quote from Peter Huff's review of his book) that supports this thesis:

According to Antoun, fundamentalists in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, despite their doctrinal and practical differences, are united by a common worldview which anchors all of life in the authority of the sacred and a shared ethos that expresses itself through outrage at the pace and extent of modern secularization (emphasis mine).
Scott Bidstrup says,
In my view, a fundamentalist religion is a religion, any religion, that when confronted with a conflict between love, compassion and caring, and conformity to doctrine, will almost invariably choose the latter regardless of the effect it has on its followers or on the society of which it is a part.
I'm interested in getting some feedback on this question. Leave a comment and let's discuss!


Luke Barnett said...

I really think Scotts phrase does a good job at pointing out the negatives to most aspects of fundamentalism. Im all for strong morals that have been around for years and years, but the idea of always choosing something, no matter if its the lesser good, just because your set in your ways is just ignorant.

Love your blogs man, hope life is good!

Dan said...

The difficulty with his statement is that it ignores the principles that the fundamentalist adheres to. First, where does he get the idea that love, compassion and caring are the standards by which he measures goodness? Wouldn't you say that one ought to adhere to these principles irrespective of what others say...even to the detriment of relationships? My point is that it's not fundamentalism, it's the fundamentals (or principles) that one adheres to. One who doesn't live by fundamentals is an opportunist.

Dan said...

One more point, the problem I have with many Christian fundamentalists is not the same problem I have with Muslim fundamentalists, i.e. I disapprove of many Christian fundies b/c they adhere to a Pharisaical-like interpretation of Scripture, substituting their traditions and teaching for the plain words of Scripture, whereas, I disapprove of many Muslim fundies b/c adhere very closely (as far as I understand it) to the plain words found in the Koran, while the more moderate ones rely heavily on traditional interpretation to explain away much of the violent texts.

Vern said...

You speak like a man wise beyond your years. I agree with everything you're saying (so far). I think YOU'RE the one that should actually consider running for politics someday, brother!