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    29 Oct '06 04:346 edits
    I have had several discussions about fundamentalism in other threads and thought it best to start a new thread on the matter. It seems as though many people view fundamentalism as the source of evil in the world today. If it is indeed the source of evil then I dare say it deserves its own thread. Someone provided me with this web site about the "evils" of fundamentalism

    http://www.bidstrup.com/religion.htm

    In the article I can agree with some of the points made and can honestly say that there is a dark side to fundamentalism. However, I would argue that there is a dark side to every belief system and/or philosophy and take offense at being categorized among those who have gone to the dark side so to speak. Here are some truths that I find to be self evident. Everyone, no matter their belief system, does not like to be told they are wrong and thinks they are right. As a result, some try to force their beleifs on others to see the light, so to speak, while others respect the beliefs of others even though they deem them to be mislead. I find this attitude in people who profess no faith as well as those who do profess faith. I wonder if such people could be labeled fundamentalists even though they profess atheism? I also wonder if everyone could give a definition of what they deem to be fundamentalism as see where we differ. Must fundamentalism have a dark side?

    Here is the definition of fundamentalism in a dictionary I have handy. "A Protestant movement holding the Bible to be the sole historical and prophetic authority." I don't know as though I agree with this definition, however. One reason I don't agree with this definition is that fundamentalism in no way is relegated to the Christian faith. However, assuming we accept such a definition, is it "evil" to believe the Bible to be inspired of God and therefore the will of God? If so, why? Where such people as the Pilgrims who came to America then evil? After all, they were also fundi's, no?
  2. Melbourne, Australia
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    29 Oct '06 05:22
    Originally posted by whodey
    I have had several discussions about fundamentalism in other threads and thought it best to start a new thread on the matter. It seems as though many people view fundamentalism as the source of evil in the world today. If it is indeed the source of evil then I dare say it deserves its own thread. Someone provided me with this web site about the "evils" of ...[text shortened]... as the Pilgrims who came to America then evil? After all, they were also fundi's, no?
    The general nature of that definition you quoted seems reasonable, but I agree, it should be broadened today to include fundamentalists of any faith.
    I'm not sure if fundamentalism would be right to apply to some hard atheists - dogmatic athiesm might be better.
    I don't believe in the concept of evil, but certainly there is much that is questionable about the application of fundamentalist belief. I don't think the belief itself is wrong - I don't agree with it but people can believe what they like - but how it is used and applied.
    What concersn me in particular, is the application of fundamentalist beliefs to politics - especially in the US and increasingly in Australia. This is where fundamentalist beliefs go wrong - applying systems of mral and ethical and religious faith to politics and the notion of government.
  3. Joined
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    29 Oct '06 05:363 edits
    Originally posted by amannion
    The general nature of that definition you quoted seems reasonable, but I agree, it should be broadened today to include fundamentalists of any faith.
    I'm not sure if fundamentalism would be right to apply to some hard atheists - dogmatic athiesm might be better.
    I don't believe in the concept of evil, but certainly there is much that is questionable about ng systems of mral and ethical and religious faith to politics and the notion of government.
    I agree that politics + religion (should NEVER) = theocracy. I say this even though I am a fundamentalist. I say this because in the world of Christiandom the abuses of theocracies have been well documented in times past. Politics is a dirty business and is best not done in the name of God. Islam has yet to learn this lesson it seems. However, having said that I in no way see myself as being unable to then participate in the political system just because I have religious convictions. This means making my views and needs known to my representatives. This means having the freedom to form lobby groups such as the Christian coalition to lobby our government to represent people of faith. How is it that those people should be heard from any less than those of secular views and such. Lets face it, we all have moral values and such values are reflected by those we vote for come election day. How is it then that my values and morals should be marginalized due to the fact that I am labeled a fundamentalist?

    You say that you are concerned about the fundamentalist influence in politics. What specifically are you concerned about? Is it abortion being banned and such? Please explain.
  4. Melbourne, Australia
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    29 Oct '06 05:51
    Originally posted by whodey
    I agree that politics + religion (should NEVER) = theocracy. I say this even though I am a fundamentalist. However, having said that I in no way see myself as being unable to then participate in the political system just because I have religious convictions. This means making my views and needs known to my representatives. This means having the freedom to ...[text shortened]... my values and morals should be marginalized due to the fact that I am labeled a fundamentalist?
    You (and anyone else) should never be prevented from making your views known. That's of course what demoncracy is all about. But when lobbying comes to the point of essentially forcing political candidates to 'toe a particular moral line', that's where I draw my line in the sand.

    Here's an example: abortion.
    I'm assuming that given your stated fundamentalist position, that you're probably against any sort of abortion.
    Likewise, given my secular atheist position you can probably guess that I'm not against abortion. (Not that atheism dictates such a position of course, but such a position would be typical of many atheists I would guess.)
    Now I don't think that government should actually get involved in debates like this - so I don't think abortion should be politicised as it is. You believe what you believe. I believe what I believe. But what people actually do - mothers and women and parents who I don't know and will never meet - shouldn't be dictated by my moral/ethical position, whatever that might be.
    That of course, doesn;t stop me from voting for people who agree with my position, but it shouldn't be a position I want to see forced on others - that would be a theocracy. (Which I think the US is very much in danger of becoming.)
  5. Joined
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    29 Oct '06 06:063 edits
    Originally posted by amannion
    You (and anyone else) should never be prevented from making your views known. That's of course what demoncracy is all about. But when lobbying comes to the point of essentially forcing political candidates to 'toe a particular moral line', that's where I draw my line in the sand.

    Here's an example: abortion.
    I'm assuming that given your stated fundament ould[/i] be a theocracy. (Which I think the US is very much in danger of becoming.)
    It would be a theocracy if my position on abortion was such that I used the Bible as a basis for my position. For example, if I said I opposed abortion because the Bible says it is wrong, then you would need a theocracy to make it unlawful based upon Biblical teaching. However, the Bible makes no such claims specifically about abortion. My position on abortion stems from the fact that medically and scientifcally there is are ethical questions as to when and if an unborn child become a human being and should warrant the same rights as you and I. The state is responsible for making moral judgements such as this based on protecting the rights of its citizens. In fact, it used to be that abortion was outlawed not so long ago. Does this then mean that we had a theocracy at that time?

    Moral delimmas such as this are common in the world of politics. It used to be that slaves in the US in the 1800's were not seen as people either just as unborn children today are not seen as people. If I were objecting to the notion that slaves were not people back then just as I am objecting that the unborn are not seen as people today, could you use the same arguement that I am using the Bible to come to such conclusions?

    BTW if you don't want abortion to be a political issue it would help if our tax dollars did not go to fund such activity. Just some food for thought. Also if you think the US is in danger of becoming a theocracy I have some news for you. All of our laws are based on a secular documents. Therefore the very Consititution itself would need to be replaced if a theocracy were to be put in place. Do you think this possible? If so, you may want to consider that we can no longer display the Ten Commandments in our court rooms nor can our children pray in our public schools as they used to. As you can see, our government is drifting the other direction in terms of secularism veses fundamentalism.
  6. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Oct '06 06:17
    Originally posted by whodey
    It would be a theocracy if my position on abortion was such that I used the Bible as a basis for my position. For example, if I said I opposed abortion because the Bible says it is wrong, then you would need a theocracy to make it unlawful based upon Biblical teaching. However, the Bible makes no such claims specifically about abortion. My position on abor ...[text shortened]... e, our government is drifting the other direction in terms of secularism veses fundamentalism.
    whodey: It used to be that slaves in the US in the 1800's were not seen as people either just as unborn children today are not seen as people. If I were objecting to the notion that slaves were not people back then just as I am objecting that the unborn are not seen as people today, could you use the same arguement that I am using the Bible to come to such conclusions?

    No matter how many times you make this claim i.e. that "slaves were not considered people" in the 1800's, it remains absolutely untrue. This is typical of a fundamentalist, once you have an idea forced into your head you refuse to let go of it no matter how counter it is to fact.
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    29 Oct '06 06:201 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    whodey: It used to be that slaves in the US in the 1800's were not seen as people either just as unborn children today are not seen as people. If I were objecting to the notion that slaves were not people back then just as I am objecting that the unborn are not seen as people today, could you use the same arguement that I am using the Bible to come to su n idea forced into your head you refuse to let go of it no matter how counter it is to fact.
    So you are saying that the slaves were seen as equals to their white counterparts? Please tell my you don't believe this. If they are not equals then they are then marginalized as being beneath them. They were treated as though they were cattle.
  8. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Oct '06 06:241 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    So you are saying that the slaves were seen as equals to their white counterparts? Please tell my you don't believe this. If they are not equals then they are then marginalized as being beneath them. They were treated as though they were cattle.
    A non sequitur as usual. Which claim are you making; the claim that slaves weren't considered persons or the claim that slaves weren't seen as equals or the claim that they were treated as cattle? Make up your "mind".

    EDIT: Consider this from the US Constitution as regards your original claim:


    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.2

    Artile I, sec. 3
  9. Joined
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    29 Oct '06 06:30
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    A non sequitur as usual. Which claim are you making; the claim that slaves weren't considered persons or the claim that slaves weren't seen as equals or the claim that they were treated as cattle? Make up your "mind".
    I suppose you could make the arguement that they viewed "Blacks" in much the same way we view Neanderthals of yesterday. Technically they are human but in reality they are no more than half-human and thus dehumanized as a result. This dehumanizing is and was imperitive in order to justify abusing them or killing them upon whim just as we do with the unborn. After all, it would be immoral to abuse or kill someone who is your equal. This was done with the Jews during the Holocaust and is being done today in the Islamic world as people are referred to as infidels. This "dehumanisation" is nothing more than a liscence to kill.
  10. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Oct '06 06:33
    Originally posted by whodey
    I suppose you could make the arguement that they viewed "Blacks" in much the same way we view Neanderthals of yesterday. Technically they are human but in reality they are no more than half-human and thus dehumanized as a result. This dehumanizing is and was imperitive in order to justify abusing them or killing them upon whim just as we do with the unborn. ...[text shortened]... are referred to as infidels. This "dehumanisation" is nothing more than a liscence to kill.
    Typical fundamentalist; go right to the pre-programmed rant. This is why you and your brainwashed brethren are so dangerous; you can't think for yourself at all.
  11. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Oct '06 06:351 edit
    Or this also from the US Constitution regarding the slave trade:

    The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight,

    Article I, sec. 9
  12. Melbourne, Australia
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    29 Oct '06 06:36
    Originally posted by whodey
    It would be a theocracy if my position on abortion was such that I used the Bible as a basis for my position. For example, if I said I opposed abortion because the Bible says it is wrong, then you would need a theocracy to make it unlawful based upon Biblical teaching. However, the Bible makes no such claims specifically about abortion. My position on abor ...[text shortened]... e, our government is drifting the other direction in terms of secularism veses fundamentalism.
    Okay, call it a theocracy by stealth.
    Remember why the framers of the US constitution separated church from state? They wanted to avoid the situation they were in whereby absolute authority was vested in any one person or institution.

    Yes, I agree, moral dilemmas abound in our societies, and governments must make some sort of sense out of these. What I object to is decisions being made for all based on the moral/ethical positions of some - whatever they might be.
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    29 Oct '06 06:39
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Typical fundamentalist; go right to the pre-programmed rant. This is why you and your brainwashed brethren are so dangerous; you can't think for yourself at all.
    I say this is a typical pre-programmed rant against fundamentalists who can think for themselves. You disengage the debate to label me brainwashed. Just for your own personal information, I have come to these conclusions all by my lonesome. No fundi has indoctrinated me with these ideas, rather, it is nothing more than observation via historical knowledge and insight into human psychology.
  14. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Oct '06 06:42
    Originally posted by whodey
    I say this is a typical pre-programmed rant against fundamentalists who can think for themselves. You disengage the debate to label me brainwashed. Just for your own personal information, I have come to these conclusions all by my lonesome. No fundi has indoctrinated me with these ideas, rather, it is nothing more than observation via historical knowledge and insight into human psychology.
    Your historical knowledge is zip as I've already shown.
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    29 Oct '06 07:01
    Originally posted by amannion
    Okay, call it a theocracy by stealth.
    Remember why the framers of the US constitution separated church from state? They wanted to avoid the situation they were in whereby absolute authority was vested in any one person or institution.

    Yes, I agree, moral dilemmas abound in our societies, and governments must make some sort of sense out of these. What I ...[text shortened]... isions being made for all based on the moral/ethical positions of some - whatever they might be.
    ALL laws are based upon a moral code of some kind. Is it "good" to murder or not to murder. Is it "good" to speed or not to speed etc. I base my moral code on my religious beliefs and you base yours soley on what only seems right to you. It then comes down to who's moral code do you go by to decide what is best for society. I say the majority rules whether that majority be secular or religious. You are able to give your input and I am able to give mine. Who is to say which moral code is superior or inferior? You may think yours is superior because your moral code is a based upon secular ideals, however, I would disagree and vice versa. You see, both sides tends to have an air of superiority and/or self-righteousness. This is what I stated in my opening statement when I said that no one likes to be told they are wrong and everyong thinks they are right.

    As far as your assertion that the Framers desired seperation of church and state consider the following. References to God were made in the Declaration of Independence. A Bible verse was inscripted on the Liberty Bell. Members of Congress till this day open with prayer. In 1844 a man by the name of Girard proposes to teach morals in public schools without the use of the Bible. The Supreme Court rules that American schools are to use the Bible to teach morals. The case is argued and won by Daniel Webster in Videl vs. Girard. So tell me, which direction are we headed? Are we headed back to the blatant disregard of the so-called "seperation of church and state" by our Framers or are we on a different coarse that was foreign to our founding fathers? My thought is that their main concern was to prevent a theocracy. They in no way wanted a state sponsered religion/church to control the masses.
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