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Fanaticism, Absolute Truth, And Compromise

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posted on Mar, 25 2003 @ 03:52 PM
This morning at my local coffee shop, I was discussing conflict resolution and how having an "absolute truth" position when entering negotiations prevents peaceful coexistent resolutions to conflict. I even used Bush as an example of the "absolute truth" position in dealing with Iraq.

I have long been a believer that peaceful coexistent conflict resolution can only occur when neither party has an "absolute truth" position. "Absolute truth" implies intransigence for compromise, because compromise goes against the absoluteness of the held truth. Once such a position is established, the only resolution is that the non-believer be converted or destroyed; otherwise, the very existence compromises the "absolute truth". This is what religion in politics does because "religious beliefs" are "absolute truths." Those who have the mindset to hold such deep beliefs ("fanatics" as they are called) tend towards narrow focus in all aspects of life.

Fanaticism is the extreme case where no compromise can be made and most individuals do not reside. For most, there is a tacit admittance that "absolute truth" does not exist in their demonstration of a willingness to compromise and hold to the decision. This is not the case driving the current administration when considering what to do about Iraq, and many other Bush policies, for that matter. Examples of appearing to compromise can be given towards showing the non-fanaticism of Bush, going to the UN under pressure being one of them; however, his underlying sabotage on the road to UN success belies his actual willingness to compromise. A willingness to go against principal in order to accomplish a task belies the absoluteness of the fanatic's faith, something a true believer cannot see.

Bush is a religious fanatic being guided by conservative fanatics leading us on a road to war. The tunnel vision aspect which comes with fanaticism does not allow for a comprehensive expansion of the consequences of his actions.

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