Here we are going to confine our discussion to the fundamentalism espoused by Christian fundamentalists. The essential arguments apply to all fundamentalist interpretations of all religions.
What do we mean by a “fundamentalist”? Google provides a good definition of this term:
“A person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture in a religion.”
So, in other words, a fundamentalist is someone who takes the claims of the official holy books of their religion literally. In this case, we are talking about people who take the word of the Bible (and other canonical texts) as literally true.
These people typically believe that the Bible describes real history, events and people. They believe that since the Bible says God made the universe that God made the universe.
The Old Testament describes how God flooded the world and Noah built an ark. So, they believe a global flood happened. And that Noah loaded a not at all seaworthy ark with an impossible array of animals. And so forth.
Not only do they believe in the alleged events of the Bible, they believe that everything else in the Bible is the inerrant and infallibly true Word of God. They believe that anything God says is literally true. Regardless of how much evidence proves that God is wrong.
We know the Old Testament was written by desert-dwelling savages around 2600 and 3000 years ago. They will never accept that. We know that the New Testament is the result of Roman political propaganda. But they will not accept that either.
No, fundamentalists believe whatever the Bible tells them. Or, more often, whatever their religious leaders tell them the Bible says. Many of them have read little or none of the Bible!
The truth does not matter to these people. As it does not matter to any devoutly religious person. If it mattered to them, they would not be devoutly religious. They would not take everything they read in the Bible or are told by their religious leaders on faith. They would not have faith in anything at all!
Faith is the belief in something for no reason whatsoever and is defended against all reason. It is thus the most dishonest position it is possible to have. And as with any form of dishonesty, there are consequences for holding faith in anything.
Why? Because faith and reality are always in conflict. As is every claim is assumed for no reason and against all reason.
It is not simply that fundamentalists are wrong.
They are, they are wrong about almost everything of any real importance which pertains to their religion. As they must be since what they believe has no basis and blind assumptions are almost always wrong.
Once you have rejected reality and embraced faith, what does that leave you to believe? Whatever you want to believe in, as long as it is assumed blindly. Most often this takes the form of whatever is emotionally satisfying or easy to understand. Or which provides moral guidance with no actual connection to how man should act in order to be happy and thrive.
Every culture seems to posit some kind of spiritual existence after death where the spirit can endure the death of the body. And every religion seems to offer some form of spiritual existence after bodily death usually by obeying the moral teachings of the religion and doing the bidding of the clergy.
Every religion tries to offer its followers moral teachings. This makes sense. We all need moral guidance in order to help choose which actions to take in life. Once you have rejected reality, you must get that moral guidance from somewhere and religions are all happy to offer that. Often with plenty of threats or instructions regarding how to achieve spiritual immortality while doing so.
So it is that most devoutly religious people are heavily emotionally invested in their religion. They believe that their religion is the only means of moral guidance they have and more importantly, the only means by which they can achieve some kind of immortality.
It should come as little surprise that many of these people desperately cling to the teachings of their religion. Reality has little interest to them, unlike their religion. They are strongly incentivized to defend their religion against the facts of reality.
So, it should come as little surprise that since reality conflicts with religions, fundamentalists have little interest in reality.
If science touches on something opined on by their religion, science is always rejected in favour of what their religion tells them.
Fundamentalists are not just wrong; they are hostile to many areas of science. Including biology, evolution, astronomy, taxonomy and more.
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