Posted by: CJ | August 18, 2010


I keep finding myself wishing fundamentalists of various stripes–christian, atheist, liberal, conservative, whatever–had more nuanced worldviews. Not just about whatever issue gets their goat, but about everything. But then I remember that if they could do that, they probably wouldn’t be fundamentalists.

Which leaves me with the obvious follow-up question. Why do so many people insist on black-and-white thinking? Is it a choice? Or are they incapable of nuance?



  1. I believe it is a choice. When i go over good and evil in philosophy class here at school its hard to get them to see the shades of gray and once they do they really don’t want to view the world without the bookends of good and evil. Its easier to believe the serial killer is evil then to allow that in his/her viewpoint their response would be justified. The instant you take good and evil off a continuum and apply them to a mobius (sic? I’m too lazy) strip……. yeah religion and structures like laws start to crumble…

    I’m ok with that tho

  2. Yeah, I’m pretty ok with chucking extreme positions overboard since they’re usually more trouble than they’re worth.

    I’m curious how you get them to start seeing the areas of gray. Just start pointing out possibilities they haven’t thought of before?

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