The challenge for so many of those committed to religious fundamentalism is that they have a difficult time recognizing that they have knowingly locked themselves into what is really a closed room of intellectual fascism.
I observe that this plays out in the simple manner that, if they don’t understand another, different position, they don’t respect it. They have no empathy. Without empathy, they cannot understand a different social position. This plays out in knee jerk, typically hyper-religious judgments that have no factual bearing in the teachings of major Earth-followed prophets.
These fundamentalists are not alone, by a long shot. It is difficult in a violent world to not have immediate judgement without considering the path that brought individuals to that violence.
It’s a timeless adage, one known in every language on the Planet: “without walking a mile in another person’s shoes, you cannot possibly have the benefit of that fellow human being’s experiences.” This results in a conscious, self-imposed (if not celebrated) ignorance which then develops into a crude justification for extremely harsh views (or worse) of others.
Ignorance remains the root cause for reactions to the many frightening aspects of change… like those who still oppose the practical aspects of Darwin’s findings, for example.
The saddest thing inflicted by self limitation and lack of empathy is that one’s life does not become enriched by the experience of the living (and sharing) of life itself. This leads inevitably toward an unhappy death, a death that is feared because it follows a life unrewarded by the conscious filtering of the simple consideration that there might be another experience (experiences) different than our own…and that that experience has equal validity simply because it is.