Secret Mojo Dumbs It Down for You

July 12, 2006

Bill Moyers delivers again: “Faith & Reason”

Filed under: religion,television,terrorism — secretmojo @ 5:07 am

Bill Moyers does it again with a provocative series on Faith & Reason, lending a fresh breeze to the currently stale “debate” by giving those capable of rational thought a shot at it.

He interviews the religious and the atheistic. Agnostics and religious critics. Addresses myth, the psychological importance (and pitfalls) of belief, and a treasure chest of other issues that seem to get kicked in the pants in favor of bias manipulation techniques in today’s discourse.

One fascinating episode was this one. (click on the “full hour interview” link) Both interviewees, philosopher Colin McGinn and writer Mary Gordon, briefly addressed the phenomena of fundamentalism, or more specifically, the kind of person who will die and kill others in service of their beliefs.

Gordon attested that a fundamentalist martyrs himself because he becomes disgusted with the way the world is turning out. I agree with her.

McGinn asserted that fundamentalism arises from the drudgery of life and the need to avoid it. I agree with him, too.

However, after some thought, I determined what bothered me about these explanations. Gordon and McGinn gave the fundamentalist a human texture. Drudgery, disgust. This revealed their hope, as humanists, that everyone functions under the momentum of passion.

But I believe that a fundamentalist, convinced of the worthlessness of the life he’s currently experiencing (for whatever reason), annihilates himself, his own fallibility, and the painful experience of humanness in exchange for becoming a venerated instrument of God.

It’s a significant upgrade.

I have many thoughts on the emergence (and inadvertent creation) of fundamentalism, radical patriotism, and terrorism, all of which I’ve drafted, but have yet to flesh out. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll have finished that essay I’ve been harboring in the back of my mind for so long. But for now, I’ll watch a little more of Faith & Reason; perhaps someone else has already said it better than I ever could.


1 Comment »

  1. Bill Moyers Interviews Mary Gordon

    On a very interesting series on PBS, Bill Moyers interviews Mary Gordon.

    Author Mary Gordon is widely regarded as one of the leading chroniclers of contemporary Catholic life in America. Her literary oeuvre – novels, short stories, essays, and persona…

    Trackback by what is nailchipper? — July 14, 2006 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

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