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The Tenacity of Unreasonable BeliefsFundamentalism and the Fear of Truth$
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Solomon Schimmel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195188264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188264.001.0001

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 On “Defundamentalizing” Fundamentalists

 On “Defundamentalizing” Fundamentalists

(p.221) Chapter Seven On “Defundamentalizing” Fundamentalists
The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs

Solomon Schimmel (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter points out some of the negative consequences of scriptural fundamentalisms such as homophobia, gender inequality; religious intolerance; self‐righteousness; intellectual dishonesty; deprivation of children from important scientific knowledge, and in some cases, advocacy of violence against ‘non‐believers.’ It also discusses positive aspects of fundamentalist communities, and their legitimate criticism of and disdain for certain vapid or decadent aspects of American and Western culture, values, and behaviors. The chapter discusses the ethics of undermining the religious beliefs of scriptural fundamentalists. When, why, and where is it appropriate or even obligatory to attempt to do so, and when is it wrong to do so? It concludes that there are times when combating fundamentalism and defending freedom of speech and of thought is essential for the good and welfare of American society and notes his intention to develop a detailed plan for how to ‘defundamentalize fundamentalists.’

Keywords:   defundamentalizing fundamentalists, scriptural fundamentalisms, homophobia, gender inequality, intolerance, self‐righteousness, violence, non‐believers, decadent Western culture, undermining beliefs, freedom of speech, ethics of undermining belief

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