Freedom From Dogmatism. MECHANISMS OF ADOPTING DOGMAS

MECHANISMS OF ADOPTING DOGMAS

I will list the main mechanisms by which people adopt dogmas from each other.

*) “emotional” – it is described in the previous section and is especially active in early childhood, gradually giving leadership to other mechanisms

*) “authoritarian”. If someone “respectable” or “senior” or “smart” important-looking asserts something categorically, then a person accustomed to dogmatism often blindly takes this statement for granted because such a “smart” and “respectable” person cannot talk nonsense.

*) “mimic”. Once in a certain community, a person instinctively tries not to be an outcast, not to cause group neglect or condemnation. Therefore, he often unwittingly makes one concession after another in his views motivating it for himself by considerations of security and expediency. But, surprisingly, even the limited conciliation and even a tacit absence of objections inexorably leads to the fact that a person begins to share the dogmas of this community. It seems to me that the significance of this phenomenon is greatly underestimated, since the false belief is widely spread that if I just did not say anything, did not express my disagreement with the group dogma, the group morality, it means that I still remained of the same mind – I simply do not show my disagreement off. This is completely wrong. Over-compromising and the position of disagreement non-expression very quickly lead to the complete adoption of the group dogmas and the group system of values. In conditions of mass distribution of the position of silent disagreement non-expression, it is extremely important to understand this. Otherwise, at the moments of sincerity awakening you can find yourself in an extremely unpleasant situation discovering that you are committing actions immoral from your point of view and have turned into something very unpleasant to yourself and people you like long time ago.

*) “threatening”. If a person is threatened and insulted, he can adopt the dogmas imposed on him simply in order to facilitate his life, so that the violence against him ceases. This situation often occurs in the communication of parents and children, as well as in communities with a rigid hierarchy and brutal methods of social struggle.

*) “stupid”. A person who does not like and does not want to reason, nonetheless feels the need to have certain assurances about various aspects of the surrounding world, as this either gives him confidence in safety or increases his sense of self-importance and status. In this case, any information he receives immediately forms a dogma. For such person it is enough to read an article about the Earth flying to the celestial axis and he is already firmly convinced in dozens of different absurd things.

*) “defensive-stultifying”. A man strives to defend his dogmas with all his might to maintain his world view but this is often possible only when he displays gross insincerity, forcing out many facts or overinterpreting non-existent ones, accepting new dogmas serving as a “prop” for the available ones. For reasoning, typical of the new dogma creation from such motivation, insane leaps in reasoning are characteristic with the help of the phrases “it is obvious that…”, “everyone knows that…”, “the scientists have long discovered that…” (of course, there are no specific references to concrete statements of scientists, comparisons with other opinions), etc.

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