Dogma

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Dogma is an official system of principles or doctrines of a religion, such as Roman Catholicism, [1] or the positions of a philosopher or of a philosophical school such as Stoicism.

Principle Rule that has to be followed or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature

A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule that has to be or usually is to be followed, or can be desirably followed, or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature or the way that a system is constructed. The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose, and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored. A system may be explicitly based on and implemented from a document of principles as was done in IBM's 360/370 Principles of Operation.

Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or in a belief system. The etymological Greek analogue is "catechism".

Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

Contents

In the pejorative sense, dogma refers to enforced decisions, such as those of aggressive political interests or authorities. [2] [3] More generally, it is applied to some strong belief whose adherents are not willing to discuss it rationally. This attitude is named as a dogmatic one, or as dogmatism; and is often used to refer to matters related to religion, but is not limited to theistic attitudes alone and is often used with respect to political or philosophical dogmas.

A pejorative is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative connotation or a low opinion of someone or something, showing a lack of respect for someone or something. It is also used to express criticism, hostility, or disregard. Sometimes, a term is regarded as pejorative in some social or ethnic groups but not in others, or may be originally pejorative and eventually be adopted in a non-pejorative sense in some or all contexts.

Etymology

The word "dogma" was transliterated in the 17th century from Latin dogma meaning "philosophical tenet" or principle, derived from the Greek dogma (δόγμα) meaning literally "that which one thinks is true" and the verb dokein, "to seem good". [4] [5] The plural, based on the Greek, is "dogmata" (dawg-MAH-tah), though "dogmas" may be more commonly used in English and other languages.

Religion

Formally, the term dogma has been used by some theistic religious groups to describe the body of positions forming the group's most central, foundational, or essential beliefs, though the term may also be used to refer to the entire set of formal beliefs identified by a theistic or non-theistic religious group. In some cases dogma is distinguished from religious opinion and those things in doctrine considered less significant or uncertain. Formal church dogma is often clarified and elaborated upon in its communication.

Buddhism

View or position (Pali diṭṭhi, Sanskrit dṛṣṭi) is a central idea in Buddhism. [6] In Buddhist thought, a view is not a simple, abstract collection of propositions, but a charged interpretation of experience which intensely shapes and affects thought, sensation, and action. [7] Having the proper mental attitude toward views is therefore considered an integral part of the Buddhist path, as sometimes correct views need to be put into practice and incorrect views abandoned, while othertimes all views are seen as obstacles to enlightenment. [8]

View (Buddhism) Buddhist term (Sanskrit dṛṣṭi, Pali diṭṭhi)

View or position is a central idea in Buddhism. In Buddhist thought, a view is not a simple, abstract collection of propositions, but a charged interpretation of experience which intensely shapes and affects thought, sensation, and action. Having the proper mental attitude toward views is therefore considered an integral part of the Buddhist path, as sometimes correct views need to put into practice and incorrect views abandoned, and sometimes all views are seen as obstacles to enlightenment.

Pali Middle Indo-Aryan language native to the Indian subcontinent

Pali or Magadhan is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the Pāli Canon or Tipiṭaka, and is the sacred language of some religious texts of Hinduism and all texts of Theravāda Buddhism. The earliest archaeological evidence of the existence of canonical Pali comes from Pyu city-states inscriptions found in Burma dated to the mid 5th to mid 6th century CE.

Sanskrit language of ancient India

Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a 3,500-year history. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions.

Christianity

Christianity is defined by a set of core beliefs shared by virtually all Christians, though how those core beliefs are implemented and secondary questions vary within Christianity. When formally communicated by the organization, these beliefs are sometimes referred to as 'dogmata.' The organization's formal religious positions may be taught to new members or simply communicated to those who choose to become members. It is rare for agreement with an organization's formal positions to be a requirement for attendance, though membership may be required for some church activities. [9] Protestants to differing degrees are less formal about doctrine, and often rely on denomination-specific beliefs, but seldom refer to these beliefs as dogmata. The first unofficial institution of dogma in the Christian church was by Saint Irenaeus in his Demonstration of Apostolic Teaching, which provides a 'manual of essentials' constituting the 'body of truth'.

Protestantism Division within Christianity, originating with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than also by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

Irenaeus Bishop and saint

Irenaeus was a Greek bishop noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in what is now the south of France and, more widely, for the development of Christian theology by combatting heresy and defining orthodoxy. Originating from Smyrna, now Izmir in Turkey, he had heard the preaching of Polycarp, who in turn was said to have heard John the Evangelist.

Catholicism and Eastern Christianity

For Catholicism and Eastern Christianity, the dogmata are contained in the Nicene Creed and the canon laws of two, three, seven, or twenty ecumenical councils (depending on whether one is Church of the East, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic). These tenets are summarized by John of Damascus in his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, which is the third book of his main work, titled The Fount of Knowledge. In this book he takes a dual approach in explaining each article of the faith: one, directed at Christians, where he uses quotes from the Bible and, occasionally, from works of other Church Fathers, and the second, directed both at members of non-Christian religions and at atheists, for whom he employs Aristotelian logic and dialectics.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Eastern Christianity Christian traditions originating from Greek- and Syriac-speaking populations

Eastern Christianity comprises church families that developed outside the Occident, with major bodies including the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches, and the denominations descended from the Church of the East. The Ukrainian Lutheran Church is also an Eastern Christian church that uses the Byzantine Rite. The term is used in contrast with Western Christianity, although its scope has been one of continual discussion. Eastern Christianity consists of the Christian traditions and churches that developed distinctively over several centuries in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Malabar coast of South India, and parts of the Far East. The term does not describe a single communion or religious denomination. Some Eastern churches have more in common historically and theologically with Western Christianity than with one another. The various Eastern churches do not normally refer to themselves as "Eastern", with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East.

Nicene Creed Statement of belief adopted at the First Ecumenical Council in 325

The Nicene Creed is a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, and the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

The decisions of fourteen later councils that Catholics hold as dogmatic and a small number of decrees promulgated by popes exercising papal infallibility (for examples, see Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary) are considered as being a part of the Church's sacred body of doctrine.

Islam

In Islam the Latin terms dogma and dogmata are used to describe the Quran, Hadith , aqidah .[ citation needed ]

Philosophy

Stoicism

In Stoicism "dogma" (δόγμα) is a principle established by reason and experience. Stoicism has many dogmas, such as the well-known Stoic dogma "the only good is moral good, and the only evil is moral evil." [10]

Pyrrhonism

In Pyrrhonist philosophy "dogma" refers to assent to a proposition about a non-evident matter. [11] The main principle of Pyrrhonism is expressed by the word acatalepsia , which connotes the ability to withhold assent from doctrines regarding the truth of things in their own nature; against every statement its contradiction may be advanced with equal justification. Consequently, Pyrrhonists withhold assent with regard to non-evident propositions, i.e., dogmas. [12] Pyrrhonists argue that dogmatists, such as the Stoics, Epicureans, and Peripatetics, have failed to demonstrate that their doctrines regarding non-evident matters are true.

See also

Related Research Articles

Skepticism or scepticism is generally a questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief or dogma. It is often directed at domains, such as the supernatural, morality, theism, or knowledge. Formally, skepticism as a topic occurs in the context of philosophy, particularly epistemology, although it can be applied to any topic such as politics, religion, and pseudoscience.

Theism belief in the existence of at least one deity

Theism is broadly defined as the belief in the existence of the Supreme Being or deities. In common parlance, or when contrasted with deism, the term often describes the classical conception of God that is found in monotheism – or gods found in polytheistic religions—a belief in God or in gods without the rejection of revelation as is characteristic of deism.

Pyrrho Ancient Greek philosopher

Pyrrho of Elis was a Greek philosopher of Classical antiquity and is credited as being the first Greek skeptic philosopher and founder of Pyrrhonism.

Aenesidemus was a Greek Pyrrhonist philosopher, born in Knossos on the island of Crete. He lived in the 1st century BC, taught in Alexandria and flourished shortly after the life of Cicero. Photius says he was a member of Plato's Academy, but he came to dispute their theories, adopting Pyrrhonism instead. Diogenes Laërtius claims an unbroken lineage of teachers of Pyrrhonism through Aenesidemus, with his teacher being Heraclides. However, little is known about the names between Timon of Phlius and Aenesidemus, so this lineage is suspect. Whether Aenesidemus re-founded the Pyrrhonist school or merely revitalized it is unknown.

Sextus Empiricus ancient Greek philosopher

Sextus Empiricus, was a physician and philosopher, who likely lived in Alexandria, Rome, or Athens. His philosophical work is the most complete surviving account of ancient Greek and Roman Pyrrhonism.

Philosophical skepticism is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge. Skeptic philosophers from different historical periods adopted different principles and arguments, but their ideology can be generalized as either (1) the denial of possibility of all knowledge or (2) the suspension of judgement due to the inadequacy of evidence.

Ataraxia is a Greek term first used in Ancient Greek philosophy by Pyrrho and subsequently Epicurus and the Stoics for a lucid state of robust equanimity characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry. In non-philosophical usage, the term was used to describe the ideal mental state for soldiers entering battle.

Apologetics is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse. Early Christian writers who defended their beliefs against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called Christian apologists. In 21st-century usage, apologetics is often identified with debates over religion and theology.

Adiaphoron.

Pyrrhonism is a school of philosophical skepticism founded by Pyrrho in the fourth century BCE. It is best known through the surviving works of Sextus Empiricus, writing in the late second century or early third century CE.

Transtheism refers to a system of thought or religious philosophy which is neither theistic nor atheistic, but is beyond them. The word was coined by either philosopher Paul Tillich or Indologist Heinrich Zimmer.

Catholic Mariology study of Mary as the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, and the Mother of the Church in Roman Catholoic theology

Catholic Mariology refers to Mariology—the systematic study of the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, and of her place in the Economy of Salvation—within Catholic theology. Mary is seen as having a singular dignity above the saints. The Catholic Church teaches that she was conceived without original sin, therefore receiving a higher level of veneration than all other saints. Catholic Mariology thus studies not only her life but also the veneration of her in daily life, prayer, hymns, art, music, and architecture in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.

Epoché is an ancient Greek term typically translated as "suspension of judgment" but also as "withholding of assent". The term is used in slightly different ways among the various schools of Hellenistic philosophy.

Dogmatic theology is that part of theology dealing with the theoretical truths of faith concerning God and God's works, especially the official theology recognized by an organized Church body, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Dutch Reformed Church, etc. At times, apologetics or fundamental theology is called "general dogmatic theology", dogmatic theology proper being distinguished from it as "special dogmatic theology". In present-day use, however, apologetics is no longer treated as part of dogmatic theology but has attained the rank of an independent science, being generally regarded as the introduction to and foundation of dogmatic theology.

The tetralemma is a figure that features prominently in the logic of India. It states that with reference to any a logical proposition X, there are four possibilities:

Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or standard. Religious views on truth vary between religions.

Dogma in the Catholic Church definitive articles of faith (de fide) according to the Roman Catholic Church

A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as "a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding." The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The Church's Magisterium asserts that it exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging Catholics to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.

The term dogmatic fact is employed in the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, in a wide sense, to mean any fact connected with a dogma, and on which the application of the dogma to a particular case depends.

The Empiric school of medicine was an ancient school of medicine in ancient Greece and Rome. They were so called from the word empeiria because they professed to derive their knowledge from experiences only, and in doing so set themselves in opposition to the Dogmatic school. Serapion of Alexandria, and Philinus of Cos, are regarded as the founders of this school in the 3rd century BC. Other physicians who belonged to this sect were: Apollonius of Citium, Glaucias, Heraclides, Bacchius, Zeuxis, Menodotus, Theodas, Herodotus of Tarsus, Aeschrion, Sextus Empiricus, and Marcellus Empiricus. The sect survived a long time, as Marcellus lived in the 4th century. The doctrines of this school are described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus in the introduction to his De Medicina.

In the Roman Catholic Church, heresy has a very specific meaning. There are four elements which constitute formal heresy; a valid Christian baptism; a profession of still being a Christian; outright denial or positive doubt regarding a truth that the Catholic Church regards as revealed by God; and lastly, the disbelief must be morally culpable, that is, there must be a refusal to accept what is known to be a doctrinal imperative. Therefore, to become a heretic in the strict canonical sense and be excommunicated, one must deny or question a truth that is taught as the word of God, and at the same time recognize one's obligation to believe it. If the person is believed to have acted in good faith, as one might out of ignorance, then the heresy is only material and implies neither guilt nor sin against faith.

References

  1. "Dogma". New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  2. [1], "dogma." Merriam-Webster.com | An Encyclopædia Britannica Company, Inc. 1831 | <www.merriam-webster.com/about-us/faq> http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dogma>.
  3. "Dogma". dictionary.com. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. "Dogma (n)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper. 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5. "Dogma". The Free Encyclopedia by Farlex. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  6. Fuller 2005, p. 1.
  7. Lusthaus, Dan (2002). Buddhist Phenomenology (PDF). Routledge. p. 242, n. 46.
  8. Fuller 2005, pp. 1–2.
  9. , "dogma" The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press, 2011 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t98.e978>.
  10. http://www.ptypes.com/fundamental_dogmas.html
  11. Sextus Empiricus, 'Outlines of Pyrrhonism', I. 13
  12. Sextus Empiricus, 'Outlines of Pyrrhonism', I. 14