Dogma is an ideology that claims to be objectively true without justification.
It is a set of beliefs that claim:
- The beliefs it proposes are objectively true.
- They are generally not open to interpretation, and they are never wrong.
- You must not question the beliefs.
- Not believing in the ideology is often considered a crime. Doubting the beliefs is not allowed. Sometimes even asking questions about it is not allowed. You are expected to blindly believe in everything they say.
What this means is that dogma is a system in which one can make others believe anything. With a dogmatic system in place, those who control it also control what their followers think. Under normal circumstances most people realise things on their own, like that rain comes from clouds, or that it is warmer during the summer part of the year. People who live under dogma could be convinced that rain comes only a god wills it, or that summer is a punishment from god. They could make you think that you’re ugly because you don’t have the right cosmetics or plastic surgery. They can convince you to kill people you’ve never met, or hate people you know very little about. Dogma is therefore an ingenious tool to control what people think, and therefore what they do.
Normally people use reason to determine things. They have evidence, such as visual and audio observation, feelings, memory, etc., and use logic and intuition to determine what conclusions they can make. With dogma, this whole system of reason is bypassed. There is no evidence or logic, or any procedure at all. They are told what is supposedly correct, instead of figuring it out themselves.
Not only do they skip the reasoning process, but there is no room to question the result. Normal people might come up with a conclusion and later realise they made a mistake. In dogma, the followers do not believe that mistakes are possible. If their beliefs are wrong, they will never know, and they will keep thinking and/or acting wrongly.
As far I know, any belief that is true has a reason for being true, even if that reason is simply that god made it so. There would be evidence to show that god made it so and it would still work in a certain way. Any dogmatic truth would have no need to be dogmatic, since there would be an explanation if it really is true. An exception to this might be in the extreme where we are not capable of finding that evidence, or in the unlikely case where it can be shown that something has no reason.
This is a vicious cycle, because as soon as someone is indoctrinated into a dogmatic belief system they make themselves able to turn off their reasoning. Their beliefs may be controlled to become anything so long as they think it comes from their dogma. Normal people are not capable of believing -anything- because not all things are necessarily true. If something has no evidence to support it and instead has counter evidence suggesting it is false, then it should be at the very least doubted. A person who ignores evidence can be told to believe anything then no matter how questionable or false it may really be.
The main issue with dogma is that it is inherently close minded. If it ever turned out that they misinterpreted their dogma, or if their leader realised there was a mistaken belief or an issue with how it was said, or that it was not meant to be as broad as it seemed and maybe an exception, their followers might not be open to this change since they have been conditioned to be close minded. Closed mindedness is never good because it means you might refuse the truth. Open mindedness however may make you be wrong at times but will allow you to correct mistakes, unlike close mindedness.
If you can choose when to use your reasoning, then you can choose when to use your faith instead. This is not supposed to be a choice, as that won’t help you find the truth. This would allow people to believe lies when it is more convenient to them in the short term, which is simply delusion. Believing lies can lead you to come to false conclusions and make mistakes, acting against your own self interest.
This makes them slaves to an ideology, instead of being free thinking human beings. Dogma denies people’s right to chose what they act and do by choosing for them. They no longer get to choose what they think is right or wrong, or what sounds questionable. They also do not get to really learn and figure things out for themselves. This also severely limits their creativity and mental growth.
That brings up an important point though: if the dogmatic beliefs are correct, is there any need to use reason or doubt?
If the dogmatic ideology is in fact objectively true, then there is no practical need for reasoning and doubt, as they would simply be inefficient and a waste of time to figure out something you already were told. However, that is dependent on -if- the beliefs are true. The question then becomes: how do we know if a dogmatic system is as true as it claims to be?
The answer is that we do not know. Furthermore, those in charge of the dogmatic beliefs likely do not know either. While they may claim to have divine knowledge that no other person has access to, there is no way for others to check that. Not only that, but the ones in charge may wrongly believe their knowledge to be divine. They may be deluded or psychotic, and either put themselves into a dogmatic system, or are incapable of differentiating reality from fantasy. This ultimately means that without any sort of demonstrable proof, we cannot know if dogma is true. Following that, if there were some sort of proof that the dogmatic beliefs came from a divine source, it might no longer be dogmatic, as there would be evidence for the beliefs. This could then be verified with science, meaning that there would be no need to blindly believe it anymore.
Dogma uses faith to make sure no one doubts what it claims. Without faith, dogma cannot function.
Dogma attempts (or claims) to promote the truth over lies. However, it does this by using faith instead of reason. This makes it the opposite of science, where the truth is not first given, and it is never absolute. Scientific method uses rigourous experimentation to make sure it doesn’t make a mistake in its reasoning or method, whereas dogma doesn’t even assume that it doesn’t make mistakes, because it doesn’t have a process to make mistakes in in the first place. This is because dogma does not need any process to determine the truth as it doesn’t determine truth, it simply knows it to begin with. Science does not assume it knows things without first testing it, and it will then determine what the most likely truth is based on what it finds. If it turns out later that a mistake had been made or if new evidence is found, it can change its conclusions about the truth.
Dogma assumes the truth (unless it really has access to divine knowledge), and as such does not have any process to determine the truth. Alternatively one could say the process is in how it accesses that divine knowledge. Again though, if not everyone is allowed access to this source of knowledge then they require faith it believe it without evidence. As such dogma exists only as a belief system but is useless for anyone who really cares about the truth.
So when someone makes dogmatic claims, they might be right or at least think they are right, and claim that others must simply trust them. But that’s exactly what a liar would say, too. For anyone who is trying to manipulate others, dogma is a very powerful tool. Cults abuse faith to create a dogmatic environment where they can tell others to give the leaders what they want, and make sure that the followers do it. The reasons why they should give up their things are considered irrelevant because no one is allowed to ask why. Convincing people to give you their things otherwise can be much harder. One would have to set up and give the person convincing reasons to do so, but with dogma there is no need to do any of that. All it takes is to essentially brainwash a person into believing everything you say, after which you have very little work to do.
Since dogma is such a powerful tool for people trying to abuse or control you, it is difficult to tell when a person promoting dogma truly believes it or not. Even if the person promoting it might believe it, the person who convinced them may have simply been manipulating them.
This too is dangerous as it gives people almost absolute power over others, and their followers might submit themselves totally to their leader, needlessly sacrificing everything they own, their lives, their humanity, their freedom, for a lie.
Some religious denominations are dogmatic, either because of their religious texts or because of those who preach the religion in their own way. Some violently impose their dogma on others, which makes sense (but is not good) because they think it is universally true, or because they are using it as an excuse for their own ends. Some do not impose their beliefs, but look down on those who do not agree.
Companies do this as well. There is an idea called “functional stupidity” in which employees are expected to conform to the rules and suppress any curiosity or intelligence that may cause them to question their orders. Compartmentalisation also does this to some extent as no one involved except the one in charge really know how or why they are doing their part of the job. Business marketing often makes products and services look more appealing than they really are. While this is not directly dogmatic, their goal is to make you believe these things without you asking questions.
Nations also ask or expect their citizens to blindly trust them. This is especially true for politicians running campaigns, as they make many promises that they cannot justify yet. Governments make choices without much transparency and claim that they are acting for a good cause. The military and intelligence agencies hide what they do from the people and claim that it is to defend the country and because of operational security. OpSec is important, but not all wars and operations are justified. Soldiers follow orders because an army would not function well if not, and because they trust their commanders to act in the best interest of the nation.
These are the more offensive uses of dogma. Religious zealots torture and kill those who are non-believers, companies influence and condition people to act in the ways that give the company the most money, governments abuse trust to act selfishly for the self interest of individuals while hurting others. People are hurt and killed because those in charge have the undying trust of those with power.
When discussing something that is a new, revised, or corrected idea with someone, that person has to determine what to do with that new information. An argument by definition involves presenting the reasoning behind your point, so a point given without reasons is not justified. People who are closed minded and reject new ideas are difficult, if not impossible, to have discussions with. Even people who are not religious fanatics can be dogmatic about certain subjects, or just certain ideas, even without realising it. People often think something is true, or at least more reliably true than what someone else is claiming, and insist that someone else believe them. This is common with scientific facts, as some people blindly trust them, or trust them far more than someone who they think isn’t aware of the fact. But the scientific “fact” might be either proven incorrect or might not have been properly determined. While science tends to give the correct answers, it is entirely possible that someone might have a valid counter example. They might have an exception or it might not even be relevant to the scientific fact you’re thinking of. When discussing with someone, it is vital to be open minded not jump to conclusions. Without that, argument and discussion are not really people, and it just devolves into preaching without listening.
While dogma tries to give people the truth, it is not open minded and therefore is not a reliable way to determine truth. In reality it only makes people more stagnant and less open.
Peace must be obtained through mutual understanding, not through force. This means that a peace created through strict control cannot be called true peace, and neither can a peace that people have been tricked into or forced to want.
One of the most common and feasible ways to achieve peace is to eliminate all of one’s rivals to avoid armed conflict. This is however not resolving disputes between multiple parties, it is avoiding them altogether and enforcing your own will on others. This is selfish and inefficient. Unless conflicts are resolved peacefully and logically, then such issues will only come back to cause more conflicts. An example is when revolutionary forces try to overthrow an oppressive government. This is usually done since the government abuses it’s power and tries to maintain peace through control and oppression, not allowing people to start conflicts. If one side is doing something wrong and does not listen to reason, then it is sometimes justified for others to force them to stop. This will naturally result in a war, however this should only be done if the oppressors will not stop unless forced to.
As a result of this war, the oppressive government will try to eliminate it’s opposition to ensure peace and control. If they succeed in doing this, they will have attained peace, but it is not true peace and will only result in more rebellions. If the rebels however win, then it allows them a chance to establish a more open minded government which can lead to true peace.
Another less common way of attaining peace is by tricking people. This can range from the Nazi policies of brainwashing their youth and populace into believing lies to promote the government’s control, or in the future, by consolidating people’s wishes and thoughts to conform to an arbitrary idea that does not allow people to fight. Forcing others to think in a certain way or to not think at all will stop them from fighting and create peace, but it completely disrespects their freedom, individuality, thoughts, and intelligence. This is not true peace, it is one of the worst possible outcomes for humanity.
Living peacefully is not worth it if no one can live freely. Freedom, in both a political sense and the freedom to think and act without external forces changing or liming you, is equally as important as living in peace. Those who live in war will often yearn for peace so much that they will neglect freedom, and those who lack freedom will often neglect the notion of peace for what they consider is a greater good. These are the actions of extremist acting on misguided emotions or ignorant logic. While either peace or freedom might sometimes be more important in certain situations, and while one or the other might need to be temporarily and partially sacrificed, the only valid form of civilisation is one with both peace and freedom.
True peace is where multiple parties can discuss issues and come to resolutions without having to resort to war or control. Naturally when more than one party is involved there will be different opinions and goals. This does not mean that to attain peace one should eliminate the other parties, or combine all parties into one. Mankind must learn to co-exist with the great diversity we have. We must accept and encourage our diversity, not try to eliminate it. Diversity grants us strength, the open minded will learn from one another and be able to come to more sound and justified conclusions than those who disrespect each other.
Through education, not force or brainwashing, we can solve the world’s problems by working together and understanding each other. It is only one a global framework of understanding and empathy has been established that future generations will reject immorality, selfishness, abuse of power, control, superiority, and war. If you think this is naïve and inefficient, then consider that forcing peace is similarly inefficient. Do not be so cynical that you dismiss mankind as being inherently incapable of being good, or unable to change their ways. While there have been countless wars in the bloodstained history of the Earth, consider also the reasons for these wars and who fought them. The vast majority of humankind has not taken part in a war. Few people unless directly threatened and justifiably defended themselves, or brainwashed by the lies of their leaders, have ever fought in a war. The average person does not want to kill and does not want to fight. This is not out of cowardice or inability, this is because they are not made to fight. Animals do not fight either, they hunt when needed as dictated by their instinct. One could then assume that humans fight because our intelligence allows us to attain our goals through more clever means such as war, but this is a lie that one would tell themselves to justify their cynicism. Wars are started by those who are selfish and lack empathy, those who are close minded and refuse to be logical. Wars have been decreasing in recent history, and areas of the world have not seen armed conflict in decades if not centuries, and some civilisations have never had wars.
This all leads to one conclusion: that fighting is not a part of human nature. At the very least, war is not a part of human nature. War is an illogical consequence of close minded, selfish people, and them alone. While an open minded and selfless person may start a war, the majority of the blame lies with those who perpetrate crimes against humanity and force good men to start wars.
By educating everyone in the world, at least starting with some countries, to understand, empathise, and work and discuss issues with each other, true world peace is attainable. Once that has been attained. we can make even greater progress to solve the rest of the world’s problems by working together. This will be a long process that will show little progress until a whole generation of people have been taught the foolishness of war. Hopefully we can even teach the current generations to be understanding.
Humanity, and the world, must change. My greatest hope, my life’s goal is true world peace. This is not due to any selfish or misguided reasons, it is not a consequence merely of being exposed to these ideas or having them been glorified. This is not the misguided conclusion as a result of a traumatic experience, or a hasty decision made for some naïve reason.
My greatest hope is that everyone will live together happily, of their own will. I want to make this happen.
Fighting is when two parties disagree on something and attempt to force the other to change or submit to what they believe. Obviously many people will disagree on many things, but fighting should be avoided when discussion is possible. People however tend to assume that discussion is not possible, and so they go for the easier option of fighting each other, either with words or physically. The fact is though, that discussion is in almost every case not only possible but a better option. Discussion might be harder, take longer, and require a lot of thought, but it is the most logical solution to a conflict. Fighting is illogical because it forces the other person to submit to your way of thinking, which is arogant and close minded.
When you decde to fight instead of trying to discuss something with someone, you are first of all disregarding the fact that that person, in your opinion, is mistaken in their beliefs. If you are correct, then the correct course of action would be to explain to them why they are mistaken so that they can benefit from that knowledge. The premise of this though should not be that you think that they are objectively wrong while you are objectively right, but that either one of you may be wrong. In this way, discussion is helpful to everyone because it’s not a lecture to tell other people that they are wrong, it’s a two way conversation to determine who is correct, not for the sake of winning, but to educate. Therefore when you discuss something with someone, you should not be focused on who is correct but instead what is correct.
When you do not do this, and instead choose to fight, you are being selfish or misguided. If however you are fighting with someone who will not listen to your arguments, then fighting might be the only option left and then you might be justified in fighting, if you have reasons to do so after thoroughly verifying them. Fighting might also be needed if time is limited, but again you should verify your own arguments as thouroughly as possible.
Another option is to choose not to fight or discuss, but instead ignore the issue. Some people refer to this as “being the greater man”, however this is simply avoidance, and is similarly as bad as fighting. For the same reasons I stated above to discuss things with people, discussion is a better option than avoidance. Sometimes avoidance is better than fighting because it will result in fewer casualties, but this must be weighed carefully. Appeasement has shown to not always be a good policy, since the person being appeased might take that for granted and just tsak more. Avoidance is also arrogant if you indeed think that you are better than the other person because you are avoiding “pointless” conflict. The point of dicussing, and sometimes justified fighting, is a just resolution to the conflict, even if it is just a disagreement between two friends. The point is to explain each person’s points of view to find out if either person is incorrect, and then to resolve the issue. Avoiding the problem does not resolve or fix it, it just leaves it there causing more problems.
When a person will not listen to others, or won’t accept that they might be wrong, or simply wants to fight for twisted reasons, then it is justified to fight back since it is the only choice available to you that will not result in a worse outcome. Wars and revolutions in such cases might be justified, but all peaceful options must be attempted first unless doing so would lead to an irreversible worse outcome, for example if attempting to hold peacetalks would waste time and allow the enemy to grow stronger to the point where they will have enough power to defeast you and not care about resolution.
Such a situation where someone starts a fight without consideration of the other person or of others in general is selfish, close minded, self deceptive and twisted. When a country wants to start a war to spread their rule or expand their empire, or simply conquer or take other’s resources without any consideration of the lives or their soldiers or the people they are conquering, they are being selfish and inconsiderate. This is a form of self deception that disregards others because it is easier for the to do so than to actually listen to their consciences.
Wars and fighting in general are therefore sometimes neccessary, but more often than not uneccessary and avoidable since they are a worse option that hurt a lot of people. Avoiding conflict and avoiding dicussions is also a bad thing because it can be arrogant and avoids the problem which can make it worse. If you are going to fight, then you you should make sure, as much as possible, that the fight is justified, and you should always try to end the fight as soon as possible with as few casualties as possible and making sure that you follow your morality as much as possible. Dicussing things reasonably with others requires open mindedness and logic, and even though it is often hard to do it is almost always worth it.
My view on how you should treat other people is based on appreciation. We can prove that we exist and that we think, and we should appreciate that because it is so unique. I don’t know if you can prove that anything else exists, but I still feel that despite that, the fact that we exist is unique and special. We can extend this to life, if you consider all the things in the universe, most of them are not alive. This also means that, assuming free will exists, most of these things are deterministic. There are very few things that exist that are able to act on their own other than by simple physical reactions. Life is unique, it can be considered as a free, organised system, when the rest of the universe seems to be the opposite. Even existence itself, the fact that things around us exist and have the properties that they do is worth appreciating. You, existence, and life are worth appreciating, and so are other people. This is why you should not want to destroy or hurt any of these things. If someone were to damage any of these things, the things that we appreciate about them would be lost.
I don’t believe that wanting to hurt people is justified, because it requires that you would also want to hurt the good things about the person or that those things are worth hurting. When someone wants to hurt someone else, they generally tend to dehumanise that person to make it easier to justify it. This is because if you do not dehumanise them, then you see them for what they truely are, human, and you would know that they do not deserve to be hurt but instead helped the same way that you want to improve things for yourself. When you realise that someone else is not only a living human being, but is a person with sentience and consciousness that makes decisions and has a history and memories and parents and wishes, just like you, then you can empathise with them. This is true appreciation and understanding that other people are, and because of this you should not want them to be hurt. This also means that you know that other people do not want to be hurt, and that they deserve the same freedoms that we want and have. This is why we should all try to empathise with them. Fighting against other people is a result of a lack of understanding, and I am quite sure that we can avoid it if we learn to truely empathise with others, by understanding and appreciating them as people like us. We should instead try to help people, and empathising with them will make us all happier since that is how we make true connections with people. I believe tha this is not only neccessary morally, but is essential to true happiness. By taking the time and effort and understand and appreciate other people, we will make our lives better, truer, and happier.