JEF: And, for all practical purposese, that term might be applied to any
that has a fixed and unchanging canon of scripture and that does not
believe in any authority outside of that scripture.
JH: I think you nailed the operative word-authority. Even in this
fascinating discussion, some are appealing to an unspoken, *defacto*
authority that suggests that filtering all experience through an
unchangeable set of religious texts-fundamentalism-is wrong, a problem,
or not the best way to think. Where can I find that authority? Reason?
If the answer is reason, could there be such a thing as "fundamentalist
Had Lewis or Chesterton lived longer, or later in the 20th century, I
wonder how they might have addressed that question.
The longer I live it seems to me that all of us embrace various belief
systems (or non-belief systems) for complex, competing, and often
non-rational (not irrational) reasons. Humans are far more complicated
than the systems of belief they (including me) embrace. That stopped
bothering me a long time ago.
Perhaps listening to others-including fundamentalists-is the best way
through all of this. But then, I guess that I am appealing to some
authority to believe that listening to others-including
fundamentalists-is a good thing. Life is full of irony, no?
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