ideological approach of
this Model is predominantly
the Book of Instruments,
predominantly fundamentalistic in
the Book of Fundamentals
and predominantly symbolistic in
the Book of Symbols.
By instrumentalism we then understand the doctrine that
certain ideas and theories are instruments of action —also of
further theorizing— and that their usefulness determines their
truth, or their theoretical value.
The Model of
Neutral-Inclusivity is by no
means instrumentalistic in that it would
consider true what would be ultimately useful or satisfying to
believe: it does not espouse such a 'pragmatic' theory of truth.
It is only instrumentalistic with respect to the instruments
which are useful to arrive at the ideological foundation laid in
the Book of Fundamentals. These instruments are concepts and
theories which do not have to be entirely adequate and true, or
the sole feasible ones. What is important is that they are
(believed to be) the most helpful instruments to explain the
source and scope of the theories and objectives put forward in
the Book of Fundamentals. Obviously, none of the instrumental
theories or ideas ought to be false in the sense of being
contrary to established fact, or of being incoherent, or more
incoherent (and implausible) than any alternative theory or idea.
The Book of Fundamentals determines our ultimate
denominational objectives, and
whatever reasonable theoretical means are best to attain these have been
adopted in the Book of Instruments, or may be adopted instead.
The theories and ideas in that book have no independent value.
The importance of the Book of Instruments is therefore mostly relative in
that there may be other, better or more correct means to arrive at the
Model's central destination.
By fundamentalism (in a
normistic sense) we shall
understand the doctrine that certain theories and ideas must be
interpreted literally and that they are true or correct and/or
useful by themselves. The Model of Neutral-Inclusivity is
fundamentalistic with regard to the
catenical interpretation of
nonpropositional reality and the
of the principle of
truth, and with regard to
the norm of neutrality and
the norm of inclusivity.
The catenical theory may be looked at in an instrumentalistic way
tho insofar as a
different theoretical approach would not affect the substance of
neutralism or neutral-inclusivism. This substance is to be found
in the Book of Fundamentals, the heart of the Model.
It is in this book that our body of
disciplinary thought is
established as a
paradigm or paradigm-to-be.
The Book of Fundamentals supplies the minimum constituents without which
the DNI would not be a
denominational doctrine and part of
By symbolism we shall understand the use of symbols,
particularly when expressing the invisible or intangible by
means of visible or tangible or different linguistic representations.
From the theoretical denominational point of view these
symbols are neither instrumental nor fundamental to the development
of the doctrine, however great their import may be from
the artistic or practical standpoint. The Model is symbolistic
with regard to the generation and use of symbols, precisely
because it does not consider symbols instrumentally necessary or
Whereas in religious,
'fundamentalism' is characterized by a strict and obligatory, unrelenting
adherence to, and literal interpretation of, denominational systems of
symbols —as non-supernaturalists would call it—, in the DNI
fundamentalism stands for what is fundamental to the doctrine as
distinct from what is ('merely') symbolic.
Such does not mean that neutral-inclusivistic fundamentalism would
be antisymbolic or literalistic: the symbolism of the DNI itself
could then never have come into being. Our doctrine as a whole
is presentationally inclusive.
That is, it allows the expression of neutral-inclusive thoughts and
thru symbols, but
no more than that: it does not command the use of such symbols (nor does
it let others command the use of their symbols).
While the present book will supply some generative principles of the DNI's
symbolism, such symbolism is not required for the individual adherent to be
able to live under the neutral-inclusive
Yet, it is required for the doctrine itself in order to be, and
to function as, a denominational doctrine.
It was argued in
section 2.2.1 of the Book of Fundamentals
that both literal communication and communication by means
of nonliteral or nonlinguistic symbols should be treated in
their own right. But it was also argued there that
denominational symbols can only acquire a proper meaning in
combination with a more or less literal system of communication.
That is why symbolism with respect to the DNI or the Ananorm is
not a choice for Ananormative symbols instead of what is
fundamental to the doctrine but in addition to what is
fundamental to it.
practises are not
only symbolic (or supernaturalistic) but also formalized, people speak of
"rituals" and "ritual symbolism".
This formalization is a matter of concern, for in the ritual
symbolism of religious ideologies processes of disintegration and
degeneration have not been uncommon in which the nonsymbolic and the
symbolic components of the denominational system in question
developed into two separate systems. The reason for this was
that the ritual and other symbols did not reflect the same
values as those of the nonsymbolic original anymore.
The adherents of such ideologies did thus, in the course of history, become
more and more sidetracked into a completely meaningless observance of a
dotty and dusty ritualism formulated by the priests and deviating from what
the author(s) of the doctrine or its early
The influence of those priests and the caste, religious organization or
temple society they belonged to led to decay more than once.
New denominational doctrines were developed in the past for the sole
purpose of restoring the original norms and values with which an antiquated
ritualism and a fusty religious hierarchy had lost all contact.
There is no or little danger that the symbols to be presented
in this book will be similarly responsible for an alienation
from the fundamental values of neutral and inclusive thought.
There would be such a risk in the use of ritual symbols, if they
were part of obligatory ceremonial acts. Those giving themselves
up to the formalized observance of such rituals would then
probably start losing sight of the essentials of the
weltanschauung. In the DNI such obligatory ritualism is not only
nonexistent, in this veridicalistic doctrine rituals or other
forms of symbolism cannot be substituted for fundamental thought
and action or nonaction in the first place.
activating neutralism must
include everything of
nonactivating neutralism but not
(necessarily) the other way round, so symbolistic neutralism must include
everything of fundamentalistic neutralism but not (necessarily) the other
When considering both the distinction between fundamentalistic and
symbolistic neutralism, and between nonactivating and activating
neutralism, the activating-symbolistic variant is clearly the 'strongest'
or most far-reaching one of the DNI, whereas the
nonactivating-fundamentalistic variant is the 'weakest' or least exacting
The activating-fundamentalistic and nonactivating-symbolistic variants lie
somewhere in between.