What is Dogmatism
Dogmatism is a term that derives from the word dogma. Dogma is any idea, doctrine, premise, thought considered indisputable, accepted as correct and right, about which there is no doubt and about which no questioning is accepted. Thus, dogmatism is the intellectual attitude of following, defending or accepting some dogma.
Dogmatism then can be found in any area of knowledge and even in everyday discussions of common sense, however the term is more properly employed and recognized in the field of philosophy and religion.
We will then see dogmatism as an intellectual attitude of conceiving that there is some truth that is absolute, and as such it is beyond questioning. In the field of philosophy, we will see this as a challenge to the skeptical attitude that sees in man the inability to reach a truth, an idea that is free from error, immune to criticism. Philosophical dogmatism argues that there are questions for which man is capable of rationally finding an argument to express them so that they can be considered absolute truths.
In the field of philosophy, dogmatism is something very rare today, more found in philosophers of antiquity and the Middle Ages. Today, with postmodern theories, ideas are understood as historical truths, constructed in time and culturally, capable of being deconstructed and that always hide interests of power, so there is no room for dogmatism in philosophy today.
However, in the religious field, dogmatism is very present and is the foundation of all religion. Every religion is based on a dogma, an indisputable and absolute truth that justifies all its discourse and practices. Christianity, for example, is based on the dogma that Jesus is God. From a historical and philosophical point of view this is questionable, however, from a religious point of view, this is a sacred and untouchable truth.
Dogmatism, therefore, has two facets: one authoritarian and the other submissive. When a person accepts a dogma, he is subject to it. Some religious groups take advantage of the force of dogma to impose their will on their faithful. In the name of dogmas, absolute truths, the faithful surrender their goods, flagellate themselves, commit attacks, go to war. And on the opposite side we see that dogmatism is used by power. By imposing its interests on the faithful, a privileged group uses dogma to use its followers for its own benefit, in an authoritarian attitude it forces them to give them money or goods, to submit to material and spiritual deprivation, to commit crimes, etc. .
Critical and Naive Dogmatism
We can also identify in dogmatism two different intellectual postures, naive dogmatism and critical dogmatism. In naive dogmatism, that of being common, a person accepts something as a truth without contesting it. Something that you see in the media or that a person you give authority says the person accepts as true, and goes on to follow or defend the idea.
Critical dogmatism is already an attitude of seeking through a rational and scientific method, with intellectual rigor and theoretical basis, the foundations of what is defended as truth. It is the attitude of the one who accepts the dogma and equips himself with cognitive tools to prove that what he understands as true in fact is.
Legal dogmatism is a way of looking at legislation in order to make the application of laws valid. For laws to be applied and cases to be judged, they must be based on incorruptible, untouchable, uncontested assumptions and theories. Thus, legal practices reach consensus. Ethical and moral aspects are considered dogmatically, as truths on which all legal practice will be based. These truths determined by culture and jurisprudence are taken dogmatically, and thus we have legal dogmatism.
A legal dogma, for example, is one that says that life is the most important value there is. Thus, in a murder, this dogma is taken into account to judge the fate of a murderer as well as to create laws around this type of crime.