Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why I’m a fundamentalist

Because I think it is a good idea to start with the fundamentals, double check those to get them right then move on without forgetting the fundamentals.

Not too damn complicated!!

Scam artists hate it when people explain the basics to the public in a simple manner they understand; it makes it more difficult to manipulate the public.

A few examples of relatively basic principles of certain subjects, which are often misrepresented to the majority of the public, include the following:

The purpose of the economy is to improve the quality of life for the majority; therefore any job that doesn’t contribute to the improvement of life may be wasteful. Of course this doesn’t apply to the Capitalist economy which is designed to enable the corporations to profit from every transaction whether or not the public receives any benefit.

Gambling winnings come from the money put into the pot; the pot has to pay for expenses and profits for the gambling institution with some of that money therefore they can’t stay solvent unless they rig the odds in their own favor.

Insurance operates on the same principles as gambling only in reverse; the more money they keep for profit or spend on ads, campaign contributions, administration etc. the less they have to pay claims legitimate or not.

Democracy is a government by the people for the people and of the people; in order to implement this people have to understand what is going on and participate in the process. Therefore the quality of democracy is directly related to the quality of education.

The bigger question is why the majority of the public has such a distorted view of fundamentalism. Most people seem to fall into one of two categories generally speaking.

The first is the so called fundamentalists or at least those that call themselves fundamentalists. This apparently started in the nineteenth century when some Protestants decided that the bible is the literal word of God. In fact this is their primary fundamental. The problem with this is their primary fundamental is a broad statement about a very large book. In order to confirm it you have to look at the details of the book and whenever possible confirm them. Even without historical back up this book is full of contradictions which clearly indicates the primary fundamental can’t be true. This concept was later applied to people with other religious beliefs substituting their own divine book. The biggest reason to indicate these people are pseudo-fundamentalist isn’t the fact that their primary fundamental isn’t true; it is the fact that it isn’t a fundamental statement at all. Fundamentals are basics you start with them then work your way up to more complicated ideologies. A broad statement about the whole bible would be a more complicated statement although it can be said in only a few words.

The second category is a little more complicated actually even though they’re usually more rational. They don’t believe in the version of fundamentalism preached by the religious fundamentalists; however be declining to challenge the basic principles they allow the flawed definition to be repeated over and over again until a large percentage of the public accepts this flawed definition and begins to equate fundamentalism with fanaticism which is equally false. There have been a few more rational people that have subtly said something like the “fundamentals according to” so and so “are” yada yada. This clearly implies that they may understand that the fundamental use of the word is flawed yet they don’t make themselves as clear as they could and should nor do they repeat this nearly as often as the pseudo-fundamentalists repeat their definition. Anyone who understands the basics of cult activity knows that allowing statements to be repeated over and over again without scrutiny makes them appear legitimate to those that aren’t accustomed to doing their own fact checking. By declining to address the fundamental flaws of the interpretation of fundamentalism they have given tacit approval of the flawed definition. In some cases they have even gone one step farther and said that the last thing we need is secular or atheist fundamentalists! If secular or atheist fundamentalists actually got the fundamentals right and moved on or allowed debate so that the flaws could be corrected that is exactly what we need.

The result is that for the most part few if any high profile people are using the word fundamental properly! Fixing this would be very easy if not for the fact that the pseudo definition has been drilled into so many people’s heads in fact I already did that with my opening sentence.

It is a good idea to start with the fundamentals, double check those to get them right then move on without forgetting the fundamentals.

This fundamental description of fundamentalism is far more rational that the definition provided by the religious pseudo-fundamentalists; it might not be perfect and someone else might come up with a simple improvement to it which would be fine but accepting their definition just because they repeat it over and over again despite the fact that it makes no sense is foolish.

I could go a little farther and indicate some basic principles that have been repeated by many people in the scientific field although they may not have been phrased quite the way I am phrasing them as often.

1 Accurate facts never change; although the way people perceive them have often changed.

2 Accurate facts never contradict each other.

3 Accurate facts will stand up to thorough accurate scrutiny.

An important runner up might be that accurate facts or principles will hold up to scrutiny on their own merits regardless of who is presenting them. Giving excessive credit to anyone that discovers accurate principles is highly unscientific. They may deserve credit for doing the research and organizing the information but to give them virtual copyrights to a belief system is excessive. For example the appropriate term for “Darwinism” is actually evolution and I suspect Darwin would agree. I can understand why those that want to debunk it so they can maintain their own beliefs would use this term; if they can ridicule Darwin as they often have they may convince a lot of people to doubt him without checking the facts. What I find a little harder to understand is why someone like Richard Dawkins would use this term so often. He should know better the truth is that this belief was developed by many people including Darwin as well as many other researchers that refined it including the Leaky family and Dawkins himself.

In the scientific community it is too hard to keep track of all the different facts so they organize them into fields of study; however they may not explain this too many members of the public as well as they could and perhaps should. People with an adequate education usually understand this fairly well but more could be done to explain it to many other members of the public. This is why I came up with what I call seven easy steps to create a theory for everything. Actually this isn’t really my idea since they have been working on it for hundreds of years in the academic community; but you get the idea.

1. Create list of all scientific fields of study

2. Create list of all basic principles of each subject

3. Cross check all basic principles to make sure there are no contradictions

4. Create list of all intermediate principles of each subject

5. Cross check all intermediate principles to make sure there are no contradictions

6. Create list of all advanced principles of each subject

7. Cross check all advanced principles to make sure there are no contradictions

OK maybe it's not quite so easy however it will be a lot easier to do it this way than to do it in an unorganized way.

Assuming that the way that people have always done things is right is a major mistake people make when they go on going back to basics attempts. One example of how people have had the basics wrong in the past on a major subject includes chemistry.

I hate chemistry!

The basics of chemistry might be something like the table of elements or the way protons and electrons revolve around the nucleus or something like that. However this isn’t the way they perceived it a thousand years ago. They used to consider it elementary that there were only four elements, Earth, water, wind and fire. Now we think of it as solids liquids and air which is separate from the elements and fire is the cat of transformation when elements are burnt and turned into ashes and smoke. The point is that they didn’t start out with the facts right. They had to go through a lot of research and reevaluate things to get to the truth. I can’t guarantee that they got the facts right but if they went through the work and showed it they should be able to back up their conclusions with a good argument that will stand up to scrutiny. In fact the basics of chemistry might actually be a different subject like math; they don’t teach chemistry until the students have an adequate background in math and perhaps some other scientific subjects which is the way they teach the fundamentals in the academic community. The only thing is that they don’t refer to it as fundamentalism although perhaps they should. They seem to have taken the easy way out and let the religious fundamentalists distort this simple ideology into an irrational belief system.

There is a similar problem with the prevention of violence and psychology. For thousands of years there was no field of psychology for the most part instead this was essentially dealt with by religious theologians. Freud is considered the father of psychology by many people but it appears that he has made a few mistakes and allowed pressure from the majority to influence his work, or perhaps he based some of his work on prejudicial beliefs from those before him, and it is only relatively recently that some people have attempted to correct his mistakes; and these corrections still haven’t been presented to the majority of the public. Researchers that have attempted to address these mistakes and correct them include Philip Greven, author of “Spare the Child” and Alice Miller author of “For Your Own Good.” Alice Miller wrote about how Freud first came out with a childhood trauma theory but then revised it under pressure from the academic community at that time; and Greven and several sources he cites write about how Freud called Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber, one of the most influential writers on child-rearing and discipline in Germany, “an excellent father.” He goes on to describe some of the techniques that Schreber recommended and used to discipline children in the nineteenth century. Few rational people would need any advanced education to realize that the strict disciplinarian methods Schreber reco9mmended would now be considered serious child abuse; although there are still a lot of religious people today that still recommend these methods. Greven goes on to argue that the methods that Schreber recommended led to escalating violence, paranoia, authoritarianism and other psychological problems. This may not be entirely fundamental but with some work they could come to the relatively simple conclusion that violence starts young and if it goes unchecked it escalates and leads to much more extreme violence later in life and they have provided a lot of work in their books to back up this fundamental psychological principle which is still not recognized by a large percentage of the population. Ironically despite their good work exploring the true fundamentals of psychology they repeat the term fundamentalist without correcting the misuse of the word giving tacit support to the pseudo-definition of this word.

By declining to address the basics of any given subject or even to use the word properly the public misses an opportunity to correct many minor mistakes about many other most important subjects that effect our lives and this allows authority figure to present themselves as experts even when they don’t get the fundamental facts about a simple subject right. Instead they discuss a complicated beliefs system which the public doesn’t understand and present their beliefs in a distorted way which they wouldn’t be able to get away with if the public were properly educated about the fundamentals of that subject. This is also common in many other words that are being misused like Intelligence instead of espionage or selective use of ideological words like Communism, Anarchy, and Socialism etc. By repeating the word intelligence over and over again they manage to give many people the impression that it is smart to withhold information the public needs to participate in the decision making process when it comes to important subjects like war. The improper defining of many ideologies leads to a situation where people who call themselves Communists, Socialists, Anarchists etc. apply one definition to their beliefs but the Mass Media and the most powerful political institutions apply another which is often badly distorted. In many cases they succeed in burying good ideas that are in the best interest of the public when they aren’t in the best interest of those in power this way and the powerful receive benefits at the expense of the majority because the majority is never taught the fundamentals properly and when the so-called experts present ideas that blatantly contradict fundamental facts many people don’t see it.

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