Friday, August 5, 2011

Philosophy Reminder: What does it mean to be Dogmatic?

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Philosophy Reminder by Spiros Kakos [2011-08-05]: Harmonia Philosophica has fighting against dogmatism as its main objective. But what is the definition of being dogmatic? A doctrine is anything which we believe even if it has not been proven 100% and which we have forgotten that it directs our thoughts and our actions. The second part of the definition is very important. Nothing can be proved beyond reasonable doubt - neither religious nor scientific proposals. We have to rely on some principles / axioms for everything we think or say. But this is not being dogmatic. These axioms are converted into dogmas when we silently forget that we use them and, thus, transform them into "obvious truths" even though they were just assumptions in the beginning. For example, we take for granted that a logical proposition is either true or false – this is an axiom on which we have build our Logic. If we forget this and if we think for a moment that this is a "given truth" we will have unwittingly become dogmatic (yes, Dialethism is the other way – see Harmonia Philosophica main article). Question your beliefs (scientific or religious) and always remember that all axioms can be changed… Then change your axioms and question your beliefs again…
It doe not matter if your are in chains. As long as you know it and think like you were not…
PS. And yes, this applies for both theistic and atheistic axioms. For both materialistic and idealistic axioms. For both religious and scientific axioms. The axiom “I am not dogmatic” is the most common of them all…

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