Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Fundamentalism: A Modern Phenomenon

  1. Top | #1
    Contributor AthenaAwakened's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Right behind you so ... BOO!
    Posts
    5,227
    Archived
    15,479
    Total Posts
    20,706
    Rep Power
    69

    Fundamentalism: A Modern Phenomenon

    Someone in the Reza Aslan thread asked about the modernity of fundamentalism, so I thought we could use this thread to discuss it.

    Christian Fundamentalism

    The Fundamentals: A Testimony To The Truth (generally referred to simply as The Fundamentals) is a set of 90 essays published from 1910 to 1915 by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. The Fundamentals were edited by A. C. Dixon and later by Reuben Archer Torrey. The Fundamentals was first published as a 12-volume set, and later as a four-volume set retaining all 90 essays. The 90 essays were written by 64 different authors, representing most of the major Protestant Christian denominations.

    The essays were written to affirm conservative Protestant beliefs, especially those of the Reformed tradition, and defend against ideas deemed inimical to them. They are widely considered to be the foundation of modern Christian fundamentalism.

    The project was initially conceived in 1909 by California businessman Lyman Stewart and his brother Milton.[1] They anonymously provided funds for collecting essays to set out what they believed to be the fundamentals of Christian faith, and for printing and distributing copies of the collected essays.[2] The Fundamentals was sent free to ministers, missionaries, professors of theology, YMCA and YWCA secretaries, Sunday School superintendents, and other Protestant religious workers in every English-speaking country. Over three million volumes (250,000 sets) were sent out.[3]

    The volumes defended orthodox Protestant beliefs and attacked higher criticism, liberal theology, Catholicism (also called Romanism by them), socialism, Modernism, atheism, Christian Science, Mormonism, Millennial Dawn, Spiritualism, and evolutionism.


    Islamic fundamentalism

    The modern Islamic fundamentalist movements have their origins in the late 19th century.[29] The Wahhabi movement, an Arabian fundamentalist movement that began in the 18th century, gained traction and spread during the 19th and 20th centuries.[30] During the Cold War following World War II, some NATO governments, particularly those of the United States and the United Kingdom, launched covert and overt campaigns to encourage and strengthen fundamentalist groups in the Middle East and southern Asia. These groups were seen as a hedge against potential expansion by the atheistic Soviet Union, and as a means to prevent the growth of nationalistic movements that were not necessarily favorable toward the interests of the Western nations.[31] By the 1970s the Islamists had become important allies in supporting governments, such as Egypt, which were friendly to U.S. interests. By the late 1970s, however, some fundamentalist groups had become militaristic leading to threats and changes to existing regimes. The overthrow of the Shah in Iran and rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini was one of the most significant signs of this shift.[32] Subsequently fundamentalist forces in Algeria caused a civil war, caused a near-civil war in Egypt, and caused the downfall of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan.[33] In many cases the military wings of these groups were supplied with money and arms by the U.S. and U.K.




    Fundamentalism, I find, is a reactionary movement against modernity. There have been ebbs and flows throughout history of fundamentalism. This latest one can trace its beginnings to the last part of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th.

    Fundamentalism is never proactive but reactive and always based on turning back the clock. On returning to some golden age of purity and righteousness.

    This is what I have found to be true. Any other thoughts?
    I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

    The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions.

    -- James A. Baldwin

  2. Top | #2
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    22,862
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    33,339
    Rep Power
    88
    Fundamentalism is often seen as the only recourse by the educated, if they wish to deny atheism and/or secularism without rejecting large parts of their holy scriptures. If your holy book says things that mismatch with reality, you can continue to believe, by avoiding reality (ie remain uneducated); you can recognise that the scripture is wrong, and either reject it or set it 'outside' reality (ie become an atheist, or a hypocrite); or you can decide that reality is wrong (ie become a fundamentalist).

    In the last century or so, education has become widespread, and scientific knowledge of the way the universe operates at human scales has become settled - only at the scales of the astronomically large, or the sub-microscopically small, are there any unknowns. This leaves only ignorance, atheism, hypocrisy and fundamentalism on the table. Most people plump for ignorance or hypocrisy, but the former is becoming harder and harder to maintain (home schooling can help, but the Internet is breaking down even that barrier); Hypocrisy is distasteful to most people, but many are able to simply ignore the inconvenient parts of scripture and cherry-pick the bits they like, without recognising the essential hypocrisy of that position*; Atheism is anathema to many people, who have been brainwashed from an early age to consider apostasy as wicked and evil; So all that is left for the educated and principled believer in the modern world is fundamentalism.

    To the fundamentalist, the modern secular world must be destroyed, because it stands as a constant reminder that their scripture is flawed; and this is simply unacceptable. Back in the good old days, there were gaps for their Gods to inhabit; today, the gaps are too small for Him to fit, and the only way out is to restore the blissful ignorance of the pre-scientific era.












    *And a healthy dose of ignorance helps here; Many people take great pains to avoid learning any science at school, or subsequently, usually with the excuse that it is 'too hard', or that they 'don't like science', which is akin to saying you 'don't like art' - too all encompassing to be true for almost anybody. Perhaps everyone who says they 'don't like science' should be prohibited from using a cellphone - after all, that is purely a product of science.

  3. Top | #3
    Contributor AthenaAwakened's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Right behind you so ... BOO!
    Posts
    5,227
    Archived
    15,479
    Total Posts
    20,706
    Rep Power
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Fundamentalism is often seen as the only recourse by the educated, if they wish to deny atheism and/or secularism without rejecting large parts of their holy scriptures. If your holy book says things that mismatch with reality, you can continue to believe, by avoiding reality (ie remain uneducated); you can recognise that the scripture is wrong, and either reject it or set it 'outside' reality (ie become an atheist, or a hypocrite); or you can decide that reality is wrong (ie become a fundamentalist).

    In the last century or so, education has become widespread, and scientific knowledge of the way the universe operates at human scales has become settled - only at the scales of the astronomically large, or the sub-microscopically small, are there any unknowns. This leaves only ignorance, atheism, hypocrisy and fundamentalism on the table. Most people plump for ignorance or hypocrisy, but the former is becoming harder and harder to maintain (home schooling can help, but the Internet is breaking down even that barrier); Hypocrisy is distasteful to most people, but many are able to simply ignore the inconvenient parts of scripture and cherry-pick the bits they like, without recognising the essential hypocrisy of that position; Atheism is anathema to many people, who have been brainwashed from an early age to consider apostasy as wicked and evil; So all that is left for the educated and principled believer in the modern world is fundamentalism.

    To the fundamentalist, the modern secular world must be destroyed, because it stands as a constant reminder that their scripture is flawed; and this is simply unacceptable. Back in the good old days, there were gaps for their Gods to inhabit; today, the gaps are too small for Him to fit, and the only way out is to restore the blissful ignorance of the pre-scientific era.
    Well fundamentalism is also the "religion of the book"

    God actually is not nearly as important as what god said in the book. If there were some divine entity and it came to earth today, did all kinds of miracles, and then said I didnt say the stuff you have in those books. that entity would then get pelted to death with bibles, korans and torahs
    I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

    The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions.

    -- James A. Baldwin

  4. Top | #4
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    22,862
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    33,339
    Rep Power
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by AthenaAwakened View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Fundamentalism is often seen as the only recourse by the educated, if they wish to deny atheism and/or secularism without rejecting large parts of their holy scriptures. If your holy book says things that mismatch with reality, you can continue to believe, by avoiding reality (ie remain uneducated); you can recognise that the scripture is wrong, and either reject it or set it 'outside' reality (ie become an atheist, or a hypocrite); or you can decide that reality is wrong (ie become a fundamentalist).

    In the last century or so, education has become widespread, and scientific knowledge of the way the universe operates at human scales has become settled - only at the scales of the astronomically large, or the sub-microscopically small, are there any unknowns. This leaves only ignorance, atheism, hypocrisy and fundamentalism on the table. Most people plump for ignorance or hypocrisy, but the former is becoming harder and harder to maintain (home schooling can help, but the Internet is breaking down even that barrier); Hypocrisy is distasteful to most people, but many are able to simply ignore the inconvenient parts of scripture and cherry-pick the bits they like, without recognising the essential hypocrisy of that position; Atheism is anathema to many people, who have been brainwashed from an early age to consider apostasy as wicked and evil; So all that is left for the educated and principled believer in the modern world is fundamentalism.

    To the fundamentalist, the modern secular world must be destroyed, because it stands as a constant reminder that their scripture is flawed; and this is simply unacceptable. Back in the good old days, there were gaps for their Gods to inhabit; today, the gaps are too small for Him to fit, and the only way out is to restore the blissful ignorance of the pre-scientific era.
    Well fundamentalism is also the "religion of the book"

    God actually is not nearly as important as what god said in the book. If there were some divine entity and it came to earth today, did all kinds of miracles, and then said I didnt say the stuff you have in those books. that entity would then get pelted to death with bibles, korans and torahs
    Oh absolutely. God is irrelevant, except as the lead character in the book. If Harry Potter turned up and told everyone that there is no such game as Quidditch, and Rowling just made the game up to liven up the story, the Potter fans wouldn't all just meekly accept his word and stop talking about the game. The story is important; the characters themselves are better remaining fictional, because the reality could only disappoint.

    Like in the TV show The Big Bang Theory, when Amy ruins Raiders of the Lost Ark by pointing out:

    Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. If he weren't in the film it would turn out exactly the same.

    [...]

    If he weren't in the movie the Nazis would have still found the Ark, taken it to the island, opened it up and all died... just like they did.
    Scripture is everything to fundamentalists. God can no more be allowed to stand in the way of their faith in scripture than can reality.

  5. Top | #5
    Cyborg with a Tiara
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Recluse
    Posts
    9,479
    Archived
    9,040
    Total Posts
    18,519
    Rep Power
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    To the fundamentalist, the modern secular world must be destroyed, because it stands as a constant reminder that their scripture is flawed; and this is simply unacceptable. Back in the good old days, there were gaps for their Gods to inhabit; today, the gaps are too small for Him to fit, and the only way out is to restore the blissful ignorance of the pre-scientific era.
    Quote Originally Posted by AthenaAwakened View Post

    Well fundamentalism is also the "religion of the book"

    God actually is not nearly as important as what god said in the book. If there were some divine entity and it came to earth today, did all kinds of miracles, and then said I didnt say the stuff you have in those books. that entity would then get pelted to death with bibles, korans and torahs

    well put.

  6. Top | #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    208
    Archived
    16,024
    Total Posts
    16,232
    Rep Power
    64
    Modernity has definitely improved billions of peoples' standards of living. OK, there are huge problems, inequality, global warming, but maybe these are symptoms that we are not yet very good at modernism, and fundamentalism is another symptom.

    The reality is that poor uneducated people are very often fundamental. There is probably a real issue that the imam or preacher is a logical career choice, like drug runner, mafioso, terrorist and prostitute.

    The poor are also a very good source for a few to become rich, so fundamentalist ideas make sense to be inculcated to embed power relationships and distract.

    Maybe then, the issue should be to improve modernism and let fundamentalism wither away?

  7. Top | #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Napa County, California
    Posts
    53
    Rep Power
    21
    Fundamentalist Christianity and the Religion of the Slave Owners - The evidence presented in this article shows that modern Christian fundamentalism evolved from the religion practiced by the slave owners of the American South prior to the Civil War, and that it still exhibits many of the same basic beliefs and attitudes.

    The above found at Atheist Websites Directory, in the section titled Atheism vs. Religion.

  8. Top | #8
    Contributor AthenaAwakened's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Right behind you so ... BOO!
    Posts
    5,227
    Archived
    15,479
    Total Posts
    20,706
    Rep Power
    69
    From the PBS' God in America

    Charles Briggs was a scholar and Presbyterian minister whose journey illustrates the struggle over modernity and the fracturing of Protestantism into liberal and conservative camps.

    The son of a successful New York barrel maker, Briggs converted to evangelical Christianity during a series of revivals that took place in 1857 and 1858 while he was a student at the University of Virginia. Pursuing theological studies, he attended Union Theological Seminary before traveling to Germany, where he eagerly embraced Historismus, a new, critical way of thinking about history and studying the Bible.

    Historismus postulated that all historical phenomena were the products of the culture -- the time and the place in which they were created. They could therefore be subject to critical study and analysis. These methods of critical study also applied to sacred texts, including the Bible. Biblical texts were no longer seen as the immutable word of God, but instead the product of the times, places and cultures in which they were composed. Moreover, these texts contained errors and inconsistencies.

    Briggs' critical readings of the Bible illustrated a broader modernist trend in American Protestant theological circles. Modernists taught that if Christianity were to survive, it would have to adapt to modern intellectual currents. The modernist faith in human progress -- a faith rooted in the belief that God was at work in and through developments in human culture -- allowed them to justify this adaptation. Modernists remained confident that advances in science and other areas of knowledge are the manifestation of God's truth.
    This led to Briggs' trial for heresy and his excommunication from the church. It is watershed moment in religion in America and a major rallying point for the burgeoning fundamentalist movement against modernity.
    I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

    The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions.

    -- James A. Baldwin

  9. Top | #9
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    7,008
    Archived
    7,568
    Total Posts
    14,576
    Rep Power
    43
    Fundamentalism is an natural process of any belief system which survives more than one generation. The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox church were both fundamentalist reactions to the early Christian church development. Protestantism was the fundamentalist reaction to the Roman Catholics. Protestantism has spawned hundreds(no exaggeration) of fundamentalist reactions, many of which became large enough to have their own fundamentalist reactions.

    In any successful society, each generation is becomes more prosperous than the one before. That is the standard of success. Prosperity means an easier life, which naturally leads to accusations of decadence, because comfort is easily mistaken for decadence. There will always be someone who thinks all of the current problems are caused by the loss of the old ideals.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-10-2019, 06:03 AM
  2. The Day Christian Fundamentalism was Born
    By southernhybrid in forum General Religion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-03-2019, 01:48 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-10-2018, 04:00 PM
  4. No Profit Left Behind: The Pearson Phenomenon in American Education
    By AthenaAwakened in forum Political Discussions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-06-2015, 05:59 PM
  5. Noumenon and Phenomenon
    By ontological_realist in forum Logic and Epistemology
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 10-28-2014, 05:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •