Most of us are familiar with the concept of dogma. In his 1999 film, Kevin Smith showed us just how absurd some Catholic Church dogma can be. Religion, however, doesn’t have a monopoly on ridiculous articles of faith or absurd beliefs. There is plenty of dogmatic thinking to be found everywhere from business and politics to fashion and sports.
Dogma starts innocently enough as a plausible, widely accepted belief with little or no basis in fact, like “cold weather causes colds.” If it’s enough to make you (or your six-year-old) wear that warm scarf, it probably can’t hurt, true or not. A harmless myth, misinformed opinion or even misinformation doesn’t become dogma until someone takes ownership of it and promotes it as truth to support their own agenda. “We live on a flat earth at the center of the universe.” “Vaccines cause autism.” “The Yankees are the greatest franchise in the history of professional sports.”
Dogma really becomes dangerous when people began to push back against it. Questioning dogma means questioning the authority that’s adopted it. Pushing back against dogmatic beliefs means pushing back against the leaders, organizations, and groups that have built up a vested interest in those beliefs.
The best time to attack dogma is before it becomes entrenched. Questioning harmless myths and beliefs – no matter how widely accepted they are – is much easier before they’ve been embraced by the powerful. That is the point of this blog. Simply to question the basis of some common beliefs and axioms that might have the potential to become dogma. No dogma? Know dogma.