HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Belief Standards - Dogmas

Dogma

Dogma is a required belief. You are ordered to believe it because it is the truth.

Every human association has dogmas. Even saying your religion should have no dogma is a dogma. Non-dogmatic systems have rules and practices. Their claiming to be non-dogmatic is based on their forgetting that actions speak louder than words. Their actions show they do in fact have dogmas.

Nevertheless the danger with dogma is that we could be required to believe in something that is not fact at all. Dogma can blind you to the facts. Would the pope admit the truth if he found Jesus' corpse? No he would still speak of the bodily resurrected Jesus. Also, trouble ensues when one faith says its dogmas are true and another one with dogmas that contradict them says the same thing. For example, look at the vitriol between faith groups that differ from one another on abortion.

Doctrines about God are said to be only partial understandings of God. Some faiths say that we sense there is a divine infinite mystery but all we can do is sense it not define it or understand it. They say God is unknowable. All religions say that the divine is largely incomprehensible to our puny minds. Doctrines about the divine are seen not as accurate but as an alternative to saying nothing. If God is bigger than our minds why are we so dogmatic about him? The dogmatism is about trying to control and restrict people's experience of "God" and their beliefs. It is cynical and dishonest.

Some faiths have many gods. Some faiths adore one God only. The more the divine is invested with power and glory and love the bigger a mystery it becomes. The ultimate mystery is the infinite ground of all being worshipped by Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The more mystery the more need it seems, in many peoples mind, for dogma.

Dogma then should be kept to a minimum if possible. Religion only gives you more stuff to be dogmatic about.
 
More...


A doctrine is a teaching. Some doctrines are called dogmas. Dogma is an objective truth. Because it is the truth we are obligated to accept it. And we will be deprived of certain benefits if we refuse. Religion has dogmas that are merely unproven beliefs. But unless something is proven it should not be considered to be objectively true. It could be objectively true but we cannot know that for sure.

While it is true that the truth is the truth no matter what we think of it, this is not the same thing as declaring that your religion or belief cannot be refuted. To believe that your belief cannot be refuted is arrogance. A belief can be wrong so refutation is a possibility no matter how remote. Believers set up assumptions and guesses as truths and beliefs and facts. But they are idols. It is lying when you present a guess as a belief or fact. Dogma-makers often ensure that they state the doctrine in such a way that no refutation seems to be any good. For example, take the doctrine that prayer always works. When you pray for a baby to recover and instead it dies, the believer reasons that its death was its recovery for God sees it is better off dead. Not only is the dogma-maker arrogant, he is plainly guessing and pretending he is not. And he is trying to get others into a mind trap. The mind trap he has put himself in will have an impact on how he views and treats others and that is not good. It seeks the alienation of those who would see through the facade or who have radically different dogmas.
 
Does religion have standards of belief?

Yes - without them a religion would not be a religion but only a cultural entity or a social club. Every faith has a list of beliefs that a member of a group or religion is obligated to accept as fact in order to be a true member.
 
Is having a standard of belief a bad thing?

Not necessarily. People must agree to disagree and live in peace. Many people need dogma and like it.
 
What should a religion do if confronted with proof that its beliefs are wrong?

Disband and join a religion that fits the truth better. But through human dishonesty that never happens.
 
Is a standard unavoidable?

Yes. Even if you say you have no beliefs, you do for you believe that you have no beliefs. If you say morality or truth are relative, you are saying this is a non-relative statement.
 
What is dogma?

A fact. 1+1=2 is a dogma. You will not be allowed to work or marry if you deny it. You are expected to believe it and will suffer if you don't.
 
What is dogma in religion?

It is a belief that a member of a group or religion is obligated to accept as fact in order to be a true member. A code of belief is made up of dogmas. Every person on earth has their own dogmas. Religion is a collection of individuals who believe the same dogmas.
 
Is religious dogma just about setting a standard of belief?

No. It claims to be about setting a standard of true belief. Its not just a about a standard of belief.
 
Is dogma in religion bad?

It depends on if the religion is the right religion. Most religions order you to accept their dogmas as facts. But they all contradict one another. Buddhism says there can be no God and Christianity says there is a God. Believing something is true does not mean you should treat it as a fact and as proven. That is going too far and is pure arrogance.
 
Is it healthy for different groups to have dogmas provided people agree to disagree and live in peace?

But how can they? Religious belief is arrogant and arrogance looks down on others. It is at least veiled contempt for others.
 
Is dogma unavoidable?

Yes. If you say you have no dogma it is your dogma that you have none. You are dogmatically asserting there should be no such thing as dogma!
 
Do we need and want dogma?

We like a certain amount of it. We cannot function if there is no structure in life.
 
Should our dogma be Humanist in nature?

Yes. We must go back to the basics and follow them. Humanism is what we need for it is the only thing we can agree on. Eg, its a human quality to want to help a sick child. Even for the religious it is a human quality.
 
Should we ask people to believe what we say?

No - we inform them. People will believe not because we ask but because we give them reasons so that they can make up their own minds.
 
What do you say to the members of the religions who say they teach facts not dogma?

You remind them that the reason we know certain things are facts is because of the overwhelming evidence in their favour. Those who say that Jesus existed if the evidence is poor should not be making a dogma of it. It may be a fact but we cannot recognise it as such without the evidence.
 
Criticism
 
Anybody that believes you are wrong is criticising you. They will strenuously say they are not but they are. They are saying your thinking is dangerous for falls short of reality. They are saying you are dangerous. We don’t like criticism simply because it tells us that we are bad. Therefore if we are going to have dogma (opinions that we are not allowed to abandon) and want it then we have to restrict dogma to what will nurture self-esteem for the positive person never does wrong. Dogma then should not be trying to make us believe in nonsense like Adam and Eve causing original sin which we all inherit at the first moment of our existence, that baptism wipes away a baby’s original sin, that the body of Jesus is the communion wafer, that the pope cannot err and that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. That kind of dogma is an abuse of human rights as the point that there are many who do not believe in this stuff who have mature self-esteem reveals. It is trying to make things harder for people who are already struggling enough. The gospel of self-esteem is simple but it is not easy and the Church contorts it and says it should be a gospel of God-esteem for if we love ourselves we should do it all because we love God so God is the real concern. This distorting is harmful so the Church is to blame even when its believing people do what it forbids for negativity and fear pervert self-esteem and lead to evildoing. There is no bones about it: the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church is as much of a cult as the Moonies. The only difference is that the Moonies have the integrity to be more obvious.
 
Finally
 
Have some dogmas but not too many. Having dogmas is decent but that does not mean we should be dogmatic. Even if your religion says there is no dogma it is lying. There is. Even saying a religion must not have dogma even if the people want it is dogmatism.


Many say that the nice believers are into spiritual religion while the nasty ones are into dogmatic religion.

But spiritual religion is dogmatic - it simply changes dogmas more often.

We spurn dogma as a necessary evil. Dogma is based on the idea that there are certain doctrines we have to accept which amounts to pressuring people to believe. In one sense we don't have dogmas. What we have is ideas that will speak to you. You will make those ideas your own. It is up to you. Remember, those who enrol you into religion and tell you about God are affirming to you that what God thinks matters. It does not. Don't listen to them at all. Don't even hear them. Why worry about God or other people? They have no right to control your life. You do.
 
Some people refuse to admit that their unfounded and crazy beliefs are wrong because they don’t want to look foolish. They may keep defending the nonsense for they reason, “I will be a fool if I admit it and if I don’t so it makes no difference. I will just dig my heels in.” Doing that stops you growing in wisdom. It puts people off your company. Who wants to talk to a committed dogmatic bigot? You deny your own right to get it wrong. You have a right to be wrong as long as you are open to truth. You have to make mistakes to learn.

THE PROBLEMS WITH BELIEFS www.nobeliefs.com/beliefs.htm