dogma

Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce. What it should produce is a belief that knowledge is attainable in a measure, though with difficulty; that much of what passes for knowledge at any given time is likely to be more or less mistaken, but that the mistakes can be rectified by care and industry... Knowledge, like other good things, is difficult, but not impossible; the dogmatist forgets the difficulty, the skeptic denies the possibility. Both are mistaken, and their errors, when widespread, produce social disaster.

Truth turn into dogma the moment they are disputed.

To ask for overt renunciation of a cherished doctrine is to expect too much of human nature. Men do not repudiate the doctrines and dogma to which they have sworn their loyalty. Instead they rationalize, revise, and reinterpret them to meet new needs and new circumstances, all the while protesting that their heresy is the purest orthodoxy.

Organized religion obviously prevents the understanding of a problem because the mind is conditioned by dogma and belief.

Everybody is a bit right; nobody is completely right or completely wrong. The prevalence of this point of view among all decent people nearly always has the same dreadful result for, according to their doctrine, every time a contemporary is quite right, he must be crucified. They can never forgive him because he denies their dogma; worst still, he reveals that they hold another dogma which they conceal.

Every dogma has its day.

It is the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma or want of dogma that danger lies.

The dogma that “mental diseases are diseases of the brain” is a hangover from the materialism of the 1870s. It has become a prejudice which hinders all progress, with nothing to justify it.

Today’s dogma holds that matter is eternal. The dogma comes from the intuitive belief of people who don’t want to accept the observational evidence that the universe was created – despite the fact that the creation of the universe is supported by all the observable data astronomy has produced so far. As a result, the people who reject the data can arguably be described as having a religious belief that matter must be eternal… Since scientists prefer to operate in the belief that the universe must be meaningless – that reality consists of nothing more than the sum of the world’s tangible constituents – they cannot confront the idea of creation easily, or take it lightly.

What is the dogma of original sin but a means of making the things of the flesh enter a spiritual system?

Thinking for oneself is always arduous and is sometimes painful. The temptation to stop thinking and to take dogma on faith is strong. Yet, since the intellect does possess the capacity to think for itself, it also has the impulse and feels the obligation. We may therefore feel sure that the intellect will always refuse, sooner or later, to take traditional doctrines on trust.

Mystery is in reality only a theological term for religious allegory. All religions have their mysteries. Properly speaking, a mystery is a dogma which is plainly absurd, but which, nevertheless conceals in itself a lofty truth.

The dogma of the Ghost in the machine… maintains that there exists both bodies and minds; that there are mechanical causes of corporeal movements and mental causes of corporeal movements.

The death of dogma is the birth of morality.

Every dogma has its day, but ideals are eternal.

The future of poetry is immense, because in poetry, where it is worthy of its high destinies, our race, as time goes on, will find an ever surer and surer stay. There is not a creed which is not shaken, not an accredited dogma which is not shown to be questionable, not a received tradition which does not threaten to dissolve. Our religion has materialized itself in the fact, in the supposed fact; it has attached its emotion to the fact, and now the fact is failing it. But for poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry... More and more mankind will discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us. Without poetry, our science will appear incomplete; and most of what now passes with us for religion and philosophy will be replaced by poetry.

Natural religion supplies still all the facts which are disguised under the dogma of popular creeds. The progress of religion is steadily to its identity with morals.

The peril of every fine faculty is the delight of playing with it for pride. Talent is commonly developed at the expense of character, and the greater it grows, the more is the mischief. Talent is mistaken for genius, a dogma or system for truth, ambition for greatest, ingenuity for poetry, sensuality for art.

Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce. What it should produce is a belief that knowledge is attainable in a measure, though with difficulty; that much of what passes for knowledge at any given time is likely to be more or less mistaken, but that the mistakes can be rectified by care and industry... Knowledge, like other good things, is difficult, but not impossible; the dogmatist forgets the difficulty, the skeptic denies the possibility. Both are mistaken, and their errors, when widespread, produce social disaster.

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. The media exaggerate their numbers and importance. The media rarely mention the fact that the great majority of religious people belong to moderate denominations that treat science with respect, or the fact that the great majority of scientists treat religion with respect so long as religion does not claim jurisdiction over scientific questions.