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Showing posts from July, 2008

Fundamentalism

What comes to mind when you hear that word?I think of rules, religion, zealots, exclusivity.One thing I didn’t think about until recently was the role fundamentalism in other spheres of intellectual life.I’m of course talking about the pejorative way the word has evolved, not the dictionary definition about a 19th century Christian movement.I’m talking about narrow-mindedness.An unwillingness to consider points of view that fall outside of one’s comfort zone.And most of all, a dehumanizing of those who hold contrary positions.The religious fundamentalists call their opponents heathen.The political fundamentalists call their opponents ignorant.Or worse, as I found out recently on a normally friendly forum I frequent.Our little cyber community has a pretty wide range of backgrounds.The only ostensible connection being an appreciation for a particular metal band.We’ve got our stoners, preppies, left wing, right wing, Christians, agnostics, atheists, etc.A political discussion about the I…