Fundamentalism is a fearful term.
It promotes binary thinking. The conclusion can only be black and white, good and evil, right and wrong, us and them, secular and spiritual, good and bad…
For some, life is simple. The conclusion has already been made. There is nothing wrong with making a conclusion. It is the nature of the conclusion. Once the decision is made, it cannot be changed no matter what, no exception or in between.
The process of reaching the conclusion is also questionable. In order to reach a conclusion, the fundamentalists need a foundation to build their argument.
We all need a foundation or reasoning structure to build any argument. For Fundamentalists, their foundation is a particular interpretation of the Bible. I have no problem with the Bible. In fact, I love the Bible. I believe the Bible the Word of God. Well, this is where the similarity between my belief and the Fundamentalist ends.
This is how I see the process of reasoning of Fundamentalist.
This is the fundamental of the Fundamentalists.
The Bible is authority, ultimate authority. Strictly following the (interpretation of the Fundamentalists) directives of the Bible means the path to heaven. Otherwise, it is a direct path to hell, not good.
This is the ultimate binary thinking, heaven or hell. Hell instills the fear of eternal damnation.
- Hell is final, no way out.
- Hell means continuous brutal torture of the worst kind, and then more.
- Hell is forever, never ending, and permanent.
The fear of hell is an extremely powerful motivating factor. The fear of hell indoctrinates the followers of Fundamentalist to live in the straight and narrow. Narrow it is. There is just no alternative.
Under this pretense, those who accept their narrow interpretation will go to heaven. Those who do not, may be only slightly different interpretation, will definitely go to hell. One does not only have to do the right thing, but they have to believe in the right thing. “Right” as the Fundamentalists define it. Those who believe and do the “right” thing will enjoy the eternal reward of gold pavement in and bliss in heaven. The “non-believers” are forever suffering from eternal torture next door in hell. Can I change t he channel please?
This mentality dictates the worldview of the person. How do they view gender issues, sexuality, science, physical universe, history, arts and literature, national and international politics, cultural issues, etc.
I will try to write more on other beliefs of Fundamentalists in other days.