Unquestioned dogma seems to bring people together into collective failure.  It is the fluid individual—(s)he who adjusts their strategy according to the evidence and bounds their actions with a sensible, functional code of ethics—who will resurrect timeless spiritual principles through results and application.  

Ironically, it seems that people will tout these individuals as unquestionable, faultless bastions—bastions on which to build new dogma, which those same people will be (of course) loathe to question.


8 thoughts on “Musings

  1. Although I’m a (very strange) Christian, I tend to like the Jewish approach to study where questions and dynamic uncertainty are tolerated and even encouraged, rather than Evangelical and Fundamentalist who are all about having a concrete answer and then never examining it again for the rest of their lives.

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    • I like that. To me it demonstrates humility, as if there is an underlying order, one doesn’t presume to know what it is, and instead is happy to have faith in and work with the clues that are readily apparent.


  2. When dogma is culture, it can help to create stability for the group and social contracts to maintain order and codify taboos. One sign of dogma is language. Some languages have terms that others do not have. Some do not have similar terms because their society does not experience those events or have no need to distinguish them. The strongest of these “beliefs” are made into “laws”

    Until recent centuries, religion and government were one. The king was chosen by God to enforce God’s will, as prescribed in the gospels of that religion. It did not matter whether you believed in God, the laws were enforced on everyone. This is the reason people were required/forced to adopt the religion of a conquering king; it was establishing the “law of the land.”

    “Cult” is misinterpreted as something strange and evil. When you think, Christianity is a cult; Boy Scouts are a cult; sports are cults. Any group with rules and agreements is probably a cult. The word “culture” is derived from it. Human civilization did not happen until “society” established the frameworks for acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

    In the USA, our culture allows free thought and expression, North Korea does not. We allow a wide range of voluntary religions and associations that have their own rules, inside our cultural norms.

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    • I use dogma in this context: “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.” In that context, I believe the inherent danger is in resisting all outside evidence, as the assumption that knowledge of the incontrovertible truth must be maintained by all means necessary. What you’re referring to, I believe, is tradition, which I treat as an established knowledge base from which to propagate functional action. I am all for tradition. 🙂


  3. we’re all trying to defer responsibility, essentially, to a superior entity, you’re saying, I think, and most of us are coming up against an irresistible ceiling, a prophet, but those prophets keep talking to, and learning from, if indeed they are prophets, the ones that came before, and move of us, thus, all collectively forward – what you’re telling us is that we should all be prophets, I agree, but most of us won’t take the time, so where, Kent, does that leave you and I – cheers, R ! chard

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    • Here’s where it leaves us: to do our best to not just quote and theorize principles, but to continually embody them, and do our best to make them contextually relevant. Over the span of time, results and examples our the best arguments one cane make, or so I believe.


  4. I once suggested to the college-age daughter of a friend, that she could take what she thought was best out of every religion and philosophy, and make her own ethos. She has done this, and I think that gives her strength in her convictions, and the permission to change, add, delete any part of her belief system for the better.

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