Fundamentalism is Immaturity

Fundamentalism is Immaturity November 4, 2015

Inerrantists of course aren't necessarily stupid

This is from a post with the title “Inerrancy as developmental disability.” See also Bernier’s post on one of the ironies about inerrancy.

Here is the larger context of the quote above:

[T]he doctrine of inerrancy…is an attempt, vainly, to resist adopting the language of development in order to explain entities that have clearly resulted from development. The vanity of it is obvious when you consider the lengths to which inerrantists must go to support their views (consider Ken Ham’s recent dabbling in a ridiculously accelerated rate of evolution in order to account for the diversity of animals that issues from the very small population that would have been on the ark; in order to exclude a reasonable account of biological development he must resort to an utterly insane account of biological development). It is a disability in the capacity to recognize the reality of development staring one in the face. It is moreover a developmental disability in a really quite literal sense: it reflects the failure of certain forms of religion to develop as did others through the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Such disability is probably not biological in origin but rather cultural, the product of beliefs that make affirmation of the obvious an impossible.

Inerrantists of course aren’t necessarily stupid. The problem is that they use their intelligence to resist the irresistible, to deny that which cannot be denied. Instead of maturing they revel in their immaturity, wearing it as a badge of honour, and like many an adolescent before them mistake their naivete for wisdom profound. They cannot fathom that those who seek to correct them do so not out of malice but rather out of genuine concern for their intellectual well-being. Ironically, the very thing that they deny will eventually select against them: development does not care whether you believe in it or not, but will simply leave you in the dust if you are unable to come to terms with reality as adequately as possible in your time and place. In denying what is obvious about the past they also deny themselves a place in the future.

Click through to read the whole thing.


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  • John MacDonald

    Following Howard Gardner’s work on “Multiple Intelligences,” we now believe that “intelligence” isn’t just a blanket description of someone’s mind, but is provincial. So, someone may have “bodily-kinesthetic intelligence,” but not have “musical intelligence.” And this is also true for scholars. A professor of philosophy can be an expert in “analytic philosophy” without being an expert in “ancient Greek philosophy.” Further, a professor who is an expert in ancient Greek philosophy can be an expert in Plato without being an expert in Aristotle. Similarly, a religion professor can be an expert in “New Testament” without being an expert in “Systematic Theology.” Likewise, someone can be a proponent of inerrancy without submitting his/her views to a formal/informal analogical analysis to see whether his/her position is fundamentally flawed. They’re not being stupid so much as failure to submitting their viewpoint to a complete and careful enough analysis. They know their position, but not the logical implications of holding their position.

    • charlesburchfield

      they know not what they do!
      the disconnect is so profound because it challenges one’s motivation to maintain the status quo IMO. in order to mature one must face the reality and consequences of paychecks, family values, rancid assumptions, festering prejudices, being based on
      False
      Evidence
      Appearing
      Real!
      if one’s identity is invested in such one will literally fight to the death to
      ‘maintain supply’.

  • In my experience most of the academics who claim to hold to inerrancy have included so many caveats in their belief systems, it’s nothing at all like the inerrancy insisted upon by laypersons. Which leads me to believe they’ve embraced the label solely to keep their jobs. ‘Cause it sure ain’t about academic credibility.

    • charlesburchfield

      yes I would like to be part of and contribute to the discussion
      about some of the underlying structural lies that continue to keep the status quo as is.
      in my opinion capitalism, sexism, racism, cronyism, plutocracy, colonialism & family values are some of the main pillars in the Cathedral of Antichrist and inerrancy of the Bible is the core doctrine that must not be challenged on pain of death: actual physical death, social death or both.