Difference Between Moderate and Extremist

Moderate vs Extremist

The main difference between moderate and extremist is in the degree to which they hold on to their views. In our day to day lives, we meet people who hold extreme views and others who have much milder views. They are moderates and extremists. An extremist is someone who holds extreme views. Such an individual goes beyond what is believed as normal and expected. A moderate, on the other hand, holds much milder views. They are not extreme in their beliefs and actions. In society, we hear of different extremists and moderates. They can be leaders, religious groups, political groups, etc. Through this article, let us examine the differences between moderate and extremist, the two types of people.

Who is a Moderate?

A person with moderate views is called a moderate. Such a person does not possess extreme values, views, or actions. Within politics and religions, such individuals can be identified. They do not engage in radical acts such as bringing about anarchic conditions within the society. In the political arena, moderates bring about social reforms that do not result in radical outcomes. A moderate does not go beyond the norma and the values of a society. He always stays within the framework.

When speaking of religions, in today’s world, activities by religious extremists are quite common. But, in most religions, it is instructed to follow a moderate path. For example, in Buddhism, Lord Buddha has instructed that people should be moderate. Their lifestyle, ideals should be moderate so that the individual can live happily. However, an extremist is quite different from a moderate.

Difference Between Moderate and Extremist

Moderate holds milder views

Who is an Extremist?

A person holding extreme views is called an extremist. Just as moderates, extremists can be seen in politics and religious endeavors. Unlike a moderate, an extremist does not stay within the value system. He usually goes beyond the norms of extreme levels. Some beliefs of extremists can be considered as irrational and incorrect by the majority. However, it is their strong devotion towards the belief system that compels them to engage in such activities.

Even though an extremist behavior such as fighting for the freedom of the people may be viewed as positive by one group, this same act can be viewed as terrorism by another group. In extremist behavior, the clarity and distinction between what is moral and immoral can also become blurred. In most cases, extremists employ violent behavior such as suicide bombing. The motive of the extremist maybe pure, though, it can cause extreme destruction and loss of human life.

Moderate vs Extremist

Extremist holds extreme views

This highlights that there exists a clear difference between a moderate and an extremist.

What is the difference between Moderate and Extremist?

• Definitions of Moderate and Extremist:

• An extremist is someone who holds extreme views.

• A moderate holds much milder views.

• Extreme Views:

• A moderate does not have extreme views, whereas an extremist does.

• Norms:

• An extremist goes beyond the norms.

• A moderate stays within the value system.

• Violence:

• An extremist can use violence.

• A moderate does not use violence.

• Irrational Appearance:

• An extremist may be viewed as irrational.

• No one considers a moderate as irrational.

• Morality and Immorality:

• The line between what is moral and immoral can be blurred in the actions of an extremist.

• A moderate has a clear idea of morality and immorality.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Smiling Latvian Girl in Riga, Latvia by Ricardo Liberato (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Far-right extremist demonstrating against Izrael via Wikicommons (Public Domain)