Fanaticism – Concept, types and ancient fanaticism

We explain what fanaticism is, what are the oldest fanaticisms. Also, the types of fanaticism that exist today.

Fanaticism - Fanatic
On many occasions fanaticism breaks the barriers of rationality.

What is fanaticism?

Fanaticism is the vehement pursuit and defense of a person, doctrine or religion in an extremely passionate way, thus losing any critical sense about what one is a fanatic.

Suffix ism refers to a doctrine, a particular belief. On the other hand, the term fan refers to a rather enthusiastic follower of a particular person or thing.

Fanaticism, on many occasions, break the barriers of rationality and it leads people to take actions that may even violate common sense. It is important to clarify that the fanatic person is very different from a faithful follower or from those who have a very marked taste for a certain person or thing.

Fanaticism characterized by his vehemence and speech, generally violent, which tends to defend and exacerbate one’s position against any contrary opinion. This is why fanaticisms today are frowned upon by society, as they violate the democratic values ​​of dialogue and tolerance.

To reach the extreme of fanaticism, the person must have an appropriate psychological structure for this; However, the object of which the person becomes fanatic must have certain particular characteristics, in fact it is not possible to be a fan of a work of art or a technological innovation.

Fanaticism requires a doctrine or institution with which it feels totally identified, that transcends the merely individual plane, that penetrates the totality of its essence and feels that the latter revolves around what it ascribes. The classic philosophical expression is often used: «as if he held the key to the world»To describe this feeling. Therefore, fanaticism they are usually religious and political, mainly.

Older fanaticisms

Fanaticism - Muslim
Muslim fanaticism implies the sacrifice of one’s life.

Religious fanaticisms appear as the oldest and most controversial. In them the absolute lack of questioning stands out, since they are orthodox believers, and they accept the dogmas to an extremely dangerous point. From self-flagellation to great massacres, religious fanaticism is today seen as one of the great evils that humanity must face.

Such the case of Muslim fanaticism, which involves the sacrifice of one’s life in pursuit of a life beyond this world. One of the clearest examples of Muslim fanaticism was seen in the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon by the terrorist group Al Qaeda, against the United States of America.

For its part, political fanaticism is a very similar variant in the fanatic’s own structure, but in this case it is in the party (generally under the figure of a charismatic leader) where he finds the total and absolute meaning of his life, where they take the cause as their own and support it until the last consequences.

Types of fanaticism

The different types of fanaticism that exist today can refer to an affinity or disagreement with either a certain person, an ideology, a religion, a hobby or a sport in particular.

  • Religion. A religious fanaticism will be one in which a certain dogma, sacred books or even certain gods are defended.
  • Idealization of a person. A fanaticism towards a particular person occurs when the so-called «fan»Or fanatic admires or feels enthusiasm for that one. Some clear examples are usually when you are a fan of an actor, a musician or even any celebrity for whom you admire your lifestyle or way of thinking and, in some cases, imitate some of its characteristics to be able to resemble the life of this person.
  • Sport. In the case of sports, fanaticism can come in a positive as well as a negative way. If the person is a fan of a certain team, it will almost automatically be against the other teams that compete with it. In this case, fanaticism can have certain negative consequences since, many times, they lead to violent acts of various kinds between them.
  • Anti-religious. In turn, there are fanaticisms that are positioned on the opposite side of the road than religious fanaticism to oppose them. Anti-religious fanatics can also lead to violent consequences because they express their discontent and can lead to confrontations among themselves.