Dogma

The dogma of woman's complete historical subjection to men must be rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human mind.

Darwin broke with a fundamental dogma of Christianity–that God created man in his own image. At the same time he struck at metaphysical concepts of evolution, as they had prevailed from Aristotle to Hegel. He conceived of evolution as a blind sequence of events, in which survival depends upon adaptation to the conditions of life, rather than as the unfolding of organic entities in accordance with their entelechies.

Thus his name has come to represent the idea of man’s domination of nature in terms of common sense. One may even go so far as to say that the concept of the survival of the fittest is merely the translation of the concepts of formalized reason into the vernacular of natural history. In popular Darwinism, reason is purely an organ; spirit or mind, a thing of nature. According to a current interpretation of Darwin, the struggle for life must necessarily, step by step, through natural selection, produce the reasonable out of the unreasonable. In other words, reason, while serving the function of dominating nature, is whittled down to being a part of nature; it is not an independent faculty but something organic, like tentacles or hands, developed through adaptation to natural conditions and surviving because it proves to be an adequate means of mastering them, especially in relation to acquiring food and averting danger. As a part of nature, reason is at the same time set against nature–the competitor and enemy of all life that is not its own.

This pursuit of security in the past, this attempt to find a haven in a fixed dogma and an organizational hierarchy as substitutes for creative thought and praxis is bitter evidence of how little many revolutionaries are capable of ‘revolutionizing themselves and things,’ much less of revolutionizing society as a whole. The deep-rooted conservatism of the People’s Labor Party ‘revolutionaries’ is almost painfully evident; the authoritarian leader and hierarchy replace the patriarch and the school bureaucracy; the discipline of the Movement replaces the discipline of bourgeois society; the authoritarian code of political obedience replaces the state; the credo of ‘proletarian morality’ replaces the mores of puritanism and the work ethic. The old substance of exploitative society reappears in new forms, draped in a red flag, decorated by portraits of Mao (or Castro or Che) and adorned with the little ‘Red Book’ and other sacred litanies.

Is Humanism a religion, perhaps, the next great religion? Yes, it must be so characterized, for the word, religion, has become a symbol for answers to that basic interrogation of human life, the human situation, and the nature of things---which every human being, in some degree and in some fashion, makes. What can I expect from life? What kind of universe is it? Is there, as some say, a friendly Providence in control of it? And, if not, what then? The universe of discourse of religion consists of such questions, and the answers relevant to them. Christian theism and Vedantic mysticism are but historic frameworks in relation to which answers have in the past been given to these poignant and persistent queries. But there is nothing sacrosanct and self-certifying about these frameworks. What Humanism represents is the awareness of another framework, more consonant with wider and deeper knowledge about man and his world. The Humanist movement is engaged in formulating answers, with what wisdom it can achieve, to these basic questions. It would be absurd to expect complete novelty in either framework or answers. Many people throughout the ages have had a shrewd suspicion that established beliefs were insecurely based. Humanism at its best represents a growth and a maturing of its perspective...I fear that the orthodox idea of religion is something static and given---once for all. The Humanist thinks of his answers as responsible ones, that is, responsible to the best thought and knowledge on the subjects involved. He [they are] is always ready for honest debate... I want to contrast the perspective of Humanism with that of traditional rationalism...There is no Humanist who does not appreciate with respect and admiration the moving story of the Gospels. Seen as one of the culminations of Judaism in the setting of the Roman Empire, it speaks to us of nobility of soul, human love, pity, and comradeship; and this among everyday people fired by moral and religious leadership of high quality. The heroic and the earthly touch meet, and mingle; and so it has been ever since... What have the intervening centuries made possible? The gradual disentangling of ethical principle and example from both the early framework of belief and the later ecclesiastical development of power and dogma which supervened. But the notes of love and self-sacrifice remain as perennial chords. This also, is greatly human. The older rationalism was on the defensive. And so it expressed itself too often in negative terms: not this; not that; not God; not revelation; not personal immortality. What Humanism signified was a shift from negation to construction. There came a time when naturalism no longer felt on the defensive. Rather, supernaturalism began, it its eyes, to grow dim and fade out despite all the blustering and rationalizations of its advocates.

The religion of the future will be cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

It is clear according to what we have said that these (doctrines) do not only
lead to dogmatic relativism, but already contain it in act; the contempt of the doctrine
commonly taught and of the terms in which it expressed itself are already too close
to it... .The expressions that, during the course of several centuries, were established
by a common consent of Catholic doctors in order to arrive at some understanding of
dogma surely do not rest on such a fragile foundation. They rest, in fact, on principles
and notions taken from the true knowledge of created things; in the research of these
notions revealed truth enlightened the human mind like a star by means of the Church.
That is why it is not surprising that some of these notions have not only been used
in ecumenical Councils but have received such a sanction that it is not permitted to
distance oneself from them. Thus it is very imprudent to substitute for them fl oating
and vague notions and expressions of a new philosophy that are used today and will
disappear tomorrow like the fl owers of the fi eld; this would be to make dogma itself
a reed shaken by the wind. In fact, unfortunately these lovers of novelty easily pass
from contempt of Scholastic theology to a lack of respect for and even contempt of
the magisterium of the Church which has so strongly supported this theology by its
authority.

What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy?
To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy.
To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy.
To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy.
To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy.
To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy.
To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy.
To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy.
To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy.
The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers.
The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer.
Why should we fear our fellow-men? Why should not each human being have the right, so far as thought and its expression are concerned, of all the world? What harm can come from an honest interchange of thought?

There is some kiss we want with our whole lives, the touch of Spirit on the body. Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell. And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild Darling! At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come and press its face against mine. Breathe into me. Close the language-door, and open the love-window. The moon won't use the door, only the window.

For unless those who travel on the road go forward day by day, shortening their journey - and, on the contrary, should they stand in one place - the road before them will never diminish and they will never arrive at their destination. So it is with us also. If we do not constrain ourselves little by little, we shall never have the strength to abstain from bodily things so as to gaze toward God.

The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before.

It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy - but he who has shown the better temper.

I cannot face with comfort the idea of life without work; work and the free play of the imagination are for me the same thing, I take no pleasure in anything else.

If anyone has put his trust in him as a man without a human mind, he is wholly bereft of mind, and quite unworthy of salvation. For that which he has not assumed he has not healed; but that which is united to his Godhead is also saved.

Our discombobulated lives need to sink some anchors in numerical stability. (I still have not recovered from the rise of a pound of hamburger at the supermarket to more than a buck.)

I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.

It is one of the consolations of philosophy that the benefit of showing how to dispense with a concept does not hinge on dispensing with it.

Voltaire has said if you want to talk to me knew what it says and select your saying. How could shrink and talk turns to if he dared section Almtnaakecon determine their and Jmlhm words, this is the first and the other in logic, and his heart and soul, that the subject is important in an interview to the most serious types of definition, identification and examination. It's a tough way, and exam where there is no mercy for the mind

A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.

Every intellectual effort, be it drama, poem, or romance, must contain three ingredients — what the author has felt, what he has observed, and what he has divined.