Black and White thinking; The Either/Or mindset.

I used to see this in different religious groups where people would become disatisfied with one group and then join another....but the only real difference in perspective was the change of allegiences, the 'mindset' was exactly the same. They would claim great change....but they really hadn't...not very much.

I've seen this with fundamentalist christians who quit christianity, join another religion and bring their fundy mindset right along with them. Everything is interpreted through a 'literal-minded-(fundy)-matrix.

Unfortunately I see this with some atheists too. Sure they no longer accept a god but their interpretive matrix is almost exactly the same as when they were firm believers. They 'believe' the skeptics instead of the church and accept their word by faith without any investigation of their own. Instead of becoming a skeptic and exercising their critical thinking abilities they put their faith in those who do instead..and then call themselves skeptics because they have done so. The problem with this is the same as with those in religion...you have ceded control of your mind to another.

It is the 'authoritarian mindset'. Bob Altemeyer outlines it here..

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Altemeyer has his own problems and I don't think the book is perfect......but its a 'thrust' in the right direction. We need a MUCH deeper and broader study that covers the spectrum. Yet for all that its a pretty good book and will convey the point I'm getting at.

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