Zeal vs Fanaticism. What is the difference?

by stuckinarut2 11 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • stuckinarut2

    A good friend of ours and I were chatting the other day about the difference between a Zealous person and Fanatical person.

    What is the difference?

    Why is someone praised for being "Zealous" , but another person is mocked or condemned for being a "Fanatical" person?

    How would JWs be classed?

    They proudly say they are Zealous for their activity. We though would look at their blind allegiance and obedience to the Society, while ignoring facts, as being "Fanatical"


  • scratchme1010

    I looked at the definitions for each, and the terms seem to be somewhat related.

    zeal - great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.
    fanaticism - the quality of being fanatical.
    fanatical - filled with excessive and single-minded zeal

    Seems like becoming fanatical is an unhealthy exaggeration of being zealous. I hope this helps.

  • Whynot

    It seems like they mean the same thing. Except zeal has a more positive ring to it

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    Fanaticism is unhealthily excessive zeal. If zeal means drinking alcohol, then fanaticism means binge-drinking until you're stone drunk, endangering your life and the lives of others.

  • snugglebunny

    Death to fanatics!

  • freddo

    "Zeal" is when you agree with the thing the person is zealous for.

    "Fanatic" is when you don't ...

    Yet "Zealot" has the same connotation as Fanaticism.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    Be very bloody careful, lest “zeal” turn into fanaticism - particularly when either religion or politics get involved.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    i would say a woman who is a born in dub and shuns her own son because he quit the cult is a fanatic.

  • Diogenesister

    I find it interesting that the word Zeal is derived from Zealot, who of course were a group of Israelites who were famous for taking theirs and their families lives farther than surrender to the Romans during the 1sr Roman war. The original "Jonestown".

    Zealots were "Theocratic nationalists" who preached that God alone was ruler ( sound familiar?)and not to pay taxes to the Romans. The burnt down the houses of Jews who did pay taxes and Josephus blames them for the 1st Roman war and the destruction of the temple.

    Some bible translations term Paul a Zealot, rather than zealous, as the original Greek manuscripts were written in all capitals, so a proper noun is not always obvious.

    There have also been books written that suggest Jesus was a zealot, too.

  • Vidiot

    Fanaticism is zeal dialed up to 11.

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