Table of Contents
The case for Fundamentalism and Authoritarianism.
Although Fundamentalism is a popular doctrine, it is comparatively young. Obviously, literacy is prerequisite for Fundamentalism. In Europe, Fundamentalism arrived only with Christianity; possibly only with Protestantism. The material successes of science and technology have put Fundamentalism on the defense. Still, it seems to hold its ground in the USA; witness the creationism debate. Outside the USA, a darker Fundamentalism is on the rise. Fundamentalism can not be a solitary source, since all holy scriptures are incomplete. The bible, for example, states nothing about abortion per se. So a fundamentalist's stance has to be deduced from relevant parts of the bible. This deduction is done by Rationalism.
Fundamentalism appears to be the exception to this rule. Twice the Bible states that it is to be regarded as a source of truth, as listed in appendix B.
1.- Here, we encounter the first weakness of the Fundamentalism, it fails the requirement of consistency (see appendix B), but it can not do without Rationalism itself.
2.- The second weakness is that the incompleteness of Fundamentalism also requires Empiricism, at least in mundane matters. An interesting dilemma is the division between Empiricism and Fundamentalism. What is the thin line where Empiricism ceases to be a source of truth, and Fundamentalism begins? If our senses can be trusted to open a can of soup or to read the bible, why can they not be trusted to review the scientific evidence of the evolution theory? 3.- A third point is that Fundamentalism is equivocal and nominal. A comparison between the Bible and other classical texts suggests that the Bible was in fact written to obscure single, univocal interpretation. “For the wisdom of God is spoken in a mystery.” 1Corinthians 2:7 Ironically, it is precisely this equivocality that has made the bible a contemporary and relevant text throughout the ages. This has even been quoted as proof of its divine origins. On moral matters, however, the answer seems clear. Neither Empiricism, nor Rationalism has anything to offer. Fundamentalism and Authoritarianism provide us with a moral compass. religion Religion is often a mixture of Fundamentalism and Authoritarianism.1 The Catholic doctrine is a notable exception. It is grounded on Rationalism and Authoritarianism; see appendix A. So is the Catholic doctrine more tenable than fundamentalist religions? It would appear so. The only weakness in the Catholic doctrine is that the division between Empiricism on one hand and Authoritarianism on the other hand, is unclear. Authoritarianism It is hard to say whether Authoritarianism meets any demand in general. Some authorities may be useful, consistent, objective and univocal. Others are none of the above. In general, it seems that Authoritarianism is quite useful. Evolution has selected it as the primary source of information for children. They have an innate tendency to look at their parents as authorities.