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Dogma

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For the film of the same name, see Dogma.

Dogma is a group's (usually religious group, like a church) official, fundamental set of beliefs or doctrine. Generally, it is so significant to that group's identity it cannot be changed without changing the very ideology of said group. While it is almost always a religious system, dogma can be found anywhere that positions take on actual statements of identity (for example, in political settings, in philosophical writings, or any 'school of thought' about anything from science, to art, to architecture.)

How dogma is used for control[edit]

Dogma is the framework by which authoritarian leaders are able to coerce the plebeian members of their organization into following the rules. Some dogmatic organization not only use ancient texts (scriptures), but also have official interpretations of the ancient texts (catechisms) and official prayer books (because the elders know what God wants to hear you say to Him).

"Dogma" is generally not subject to debate or analysis by its followers. Historically, questioning dogma or abandoning dogma could get you dead - and still can in some societies.

Atheism and agnosticism[edit]

Atheism and agnosticism have no position beyond "there is no evidence for the existence of god" and "I don't know nor do I care if there is a god." While there are many atheist and agnostic philosophers, there is no central authoritative council of non-believers that decides what other non-believers must not believe in to be considered good, upstanding, faithful non-believers.

Humanism[edit]

Humanism is the belief that humans should work together and take care of each other, rather than try to exploit each other for personal enrichment. Like atheism, there is no formal, central authority to define what would or would not be the "way" to not exploit each other.

See also[edit]