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Ideological Extremism

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by The Hammer, May 24, 2019.

  1. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Extremism is defined as: the holding of extreme political or religious views; fanaticism.

    And/or "the quality or state of being extreme" or "the advocacy of extreme measures or views". The term is primarily used in a political or religious sense, to refer to an ideology that is considered to be far outside the mainstream attitudes of society.

    And the definition of Extreme: furthest from the center or a given point; outermost. These definitions have been taken from Google dictionary.

    My question or topic of discussion is this: Is extremism inherently bad or negative? Most often you see extremism, fanaticism and zealotry being discussed and it is always painted as being a bad thing, or causing harm upon society as a whole. Are extreme views only demonized because it questions the status quo (society), or is there some inherent pull with extreme views that causes one to go towards achieving goals through drastic measures?
     
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  2. dingdao

    dingdao The eternal Tao cannot be told - Tao Te Ching

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    Historically, the extremists tried setting up utopian societies, Shakers, Anabaptists, Hippies, Jim Jones.
    In modern times, the extremists have been trying to bring about a religiuosly foretold time, usually by violence.
    They have earned their demonization, lately.
     
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  3. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    Within the American culture I grew up in we held certain views, that now that I am old, have lived, and have studied, and now understand that we were deceived about what really happened in our past. Perhaps beginning to voice the Historical truth will get one branded as an extremist?
     
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  4. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    I associate fanaticism with arrogance. I imagine someone so sure that their opinion is superior to others that they can't bear to even listen to opposing views. But the zealot isn't necessarily a bad person. Mother Teresa was probably a zealot.
     
    #4 joe1776, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  5. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Extremism is a socially constructed concept usually used as a way to paint a political opponent in a negative light. Since it's socially constructed, it's also a moving target over time. What is considered extreme in one generation can become mainstream in the next.

    Depending on the issue, those who hold extreme views are likely to view more drastic means as viable or necessary to make their views mainstream. This might mean violence, or civil disobedience, or simply protest and public debate.
     
  6. usfan

    usfan Active Member

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    Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue. ~Barry Goldwater
     
  7. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    OR, perhaps simply obsessive compulsive about an idea? An adjustment disorder?
     
  8. The Hammer

    The Hammer Well-Known Member

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    So it sounds to me from the responses that ideological extremism, by and large, isn't a bad or negative thing, it's people that are bad (twisted motives).
     
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