I find fundamentalism in its most all-purpose form, is subject to a form of demonic possession / mental illness factor:
“strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.”
Now and again, it’s fine to go “back to basics”. But when people KEEP going back to basics over and over and over again… structure their way of thinking around back-to-basics… no wiggle room… no room for concessions to… I dunno, realities that don’t fit into the schema…
…it’s a form of mental illness.
I hold this candle of criticism to not only religious fundamentalism but to any.
It comes down to taking “by the book” (or “sticking to definitions” – or “sticking to the glossary” – whatever – too far… and not taking a moment and going:
“Ok, now that we’ve done THAT: Let’s look at the real world for a minute. What are we missing here?”
I’ll give an example: Did you ever talk to somebody who was obsessed with The Rules?
Let’s say you’re kids playing a game. You’re having fun. But one of the members always insists on stopping EVERYTHING and having a fit because a rule was broken? Or everybody agrees to change the rules into house rules but that person won’t? They leave with folded arms because they’re not playing it right?
Or somebody who is obsessed with Logic and rules their life by it, no matter what the consequences or how much it differs from visible reality?
Or a person who has a few favorite people they’re always quoting as authorities but rarely seems to have a free thought of their own? [academia unfortunately trains us to do that.. .but I see a lot of academia as a form of institutionalized mental illness but I digress….]
I mean, there’s borderline. There’s nerds/geeks that are just particular. They know a lot (I’m one of them – know-it-all type) and love pointing things out because they think it’s interesting. I think that’s a little different. Likely still in the spectrum I’m sure… but that’s probably more on the autistic-scale.
Even look at people who commit acts of terrorism, to get back to the OP.
How many ACTUALLY willingly let themselves die compared to the size of their militias? A few guys here and there.
Look how much training is required in the various world militaries until they reach a point where they’re willing to die for a “greater cause”? It takes a lot.
Even within militias, there’s few that go forward with guns-blazing and those that do… well… yeah. We’ve all known ppl like that, whether with guns or whatever.
So, yeah. Whether a non-moving rule-follower who continually returns to the book without diversion, or the guns-blazing “fuck it all” type… it amounts to the same thing to me: