A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or no it is permanent, it claims permanence, like a dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
It is a dogma of the Roman Church that the existence of God can be proved by natural reason. Now this dogma would make it impossible for me to be a Roman Catholic. If I thought of God as another being like myself, outside myself, only infinitely more powerful, then I would regard it as my duty to defy him.
What chiefly concerns and alarms many of us are the problems arising from religious fanaticism. As long as large numbers of militant enthusiasts are persuaded that they alone have access to the truth, and that the rest of us are infidels, we remain under threat. Lord Acton's famous phrase about power can be used of another danger. Dogma tends to corrupt, and absolute dogma corrupts absolutely.
For unnumbered centuries of human history the wilderness has given way. The priority of industry has become dogma. Are we as yet sufficiently enlightened to realize that we must now challenge that dogma, or do without our wilderness? Do we realize that industry, which has been our good servant, might make a poor master?
DOGMA: a political belief one is unreasonably committed to, such as the notion that freedom is good and slavery is bad. BIAS: predeliction for a particular dogma. For example, the feminist bias is that women are equal to men and the male chauvinist bias is that women are inferior. The unbiased view is that the truth lies somewhere in between. (an early comment on backlash, from "Glossary for the Eighties")
As soon as we cease to pry about at random, we shall come to rely upon accredited bodies of authoritative dogma; and as soon as we come to rely upon accredited bodies of authoritative dogma, not only are the days of our liberty over, but we have lost the password that has hitherto opened to us the gates of success as well.
Trouble arises when either science or religion claims universal jurisdiction, when either religious dogma or scientific dogma claims to be infallible. Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute.
Those who say they dislike dogma, or 'certainty', tend to be liars, hypocrites, or simply wrong. What they really dislike is the dogma of those they disagree with. A society that was certain, certain beyond all certainty, that putting its citizens in death camps was wrong, would never put people in death camps. Such things are only possible when you're open to new ideas.
Our creationist detractors charge that evolution is an unproved and unprovable charade-a secular religion masquerading as science. They claim, above all, that evolution generates no predictions, never exposes itself to test, and therefore stands as dogma rather than disprovable science. This claim is nonsense. We make and test risky predictions all the time; our success is not dogma, but a highly probable indication of evolution's basic truth.
Stephen Jay Gould
The most effective way to close down the human mind and to manipulate its sense of self is to program into it some form of dogma. A dogma will always vehemently defend itself from other information and repel any alternative opinion which contradicts its narrow, solidified view. Dogmas become a person's sense of security and means of retaining power, and humanity tends to cling to both until its knuckles turn white. Dogmas take endless forms, and when you can persuade different people to hold opposing dogmas, the manipulation of conflict and control through "divide and rule" becomes easy.
If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything is tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?" Joseph Knect said to his Music Master "there is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend rather, you should long for perfection in yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived not taught
Perfect definition of atheist dogma. Your mind has been subjected to subtle mental conditioning year after year. Now the atheist lie has become the truth to you. A lie that can be blown away with the real truth. It just takes time to unwind the atheist mental conditioning. The truth is out there. Outside of atheist dogma lies the truth!
We do not need definite beliefs because their objects are necessarily true. We need them because they enable us to stand on steady spots from which the truth may be glimpsed. And not simply glimpsed-because certainly revelation is available outside of dogma; indeed all dogma, if it's alive at all, is the result of revelation at one time or another-but gathered in. Definite beliefs are what make the radical mystery-those moments when we suddenly know there is a God, about whom we 'know' absolutely nothing-accessible to us and our ordinary, unmysterious lives. And more crucially: definite beliefs enable us to withstand the storms of suffering that come into every life, and that tend to destroy any spiritual disposition that does not have deep roots.
Then, what is sacrelige [sic]? If it is nothing more than a rebellion against dogma, it is eventually as meaningless as the dogma it defies, and they are both become hounds ranting in the high grass, never see the boar in the thicket. Only a religious person can perpetrate sacrelige: and if its blasphemy reaches the heart of the question; if it investigates deeply enough to unfold, not the pattern, but the materials of the pattern, and the necessity of a pattern; if it questions so deeply that the doubt it arouses is frightening and cannot be dismissed; then it has done its true sacreligious [sic] work, in the service of its adversary: the only service that nihilism can ever perform. (unused 1949 prefatory note to The Recognitions)
Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding, ' Joseph exclaimed. 'If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn't there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?' The master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: 'There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun.