Monday, July 03, 2006

Dogma, Doctrine, Tenet...

I seem to have come across the word "dogma" a lot recently. According to
  • dogma: a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof.
The same definition is given for 'tenet', which is also defined as:
  • tenet: an opinion, doctrine, or principle held as being true by a person or especially by an organization.
And both of these definitions point to 'doctrine', which is:
  • doctrine: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
Other definitions of doctrine are given as:
  • a principle established through judicial decisions
  • a principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma
  • a rule or principle of law, especially when established by precedent
  • a statement of official government policy, especially in foreign affairs and military strategy
What is the point of me quoting all this? Well, on this blog (and, indeed, in life) I am attempting to be critical of what I believe. As a scientifically minded person I find it really hard to accept some things without proof. Therefore I must be critical of dogma, even Christian dogma.

However, that doesn't mean I need to dismiss all doctrine. If a doctrine is established as reasonable (that is, as through judicial decisions or when established by precedent, as defined above) then it should be accepted, even without proof, until such times as proof is found (either supporting or otherwise) or further judicial decisions are made.

The question for us today is which established doctrines should now be dismissed due to proof or judicial decisions, and which should be maintained?

No comments: