What are the differences between dogma and doctrine

Thinking or dogma

Never, not on principle, never

Language is good, but sayings aren't that bad either. There it says: "I don't do that now on principle", in the more popular version: "not about perishing". Both mean the same thing and always come down to the same thing: If you don't adapt your thinking to the circumstances, you will die.

Can I see your posture, please? Everyone has something like that. For example, the popes, who gave Messrs Giordano Bruno or Galileo Galilei and many others the choice of believing what one had to believe or going up in smoke - an attitude. Hitler and Stalin had an attitude, and without a doubt Osama bin Laden also has an attitude. In all of the cases mentioned, we would probably not have had a problem with this, if more or less many had not submitted to their position. When one commands with poise and others don't follow, not much can happen. By and large, it is therefore relatively unimportant for the course of the world who has what attitude. There are weirdos and geniuses, do-gooders and wacky perverts. As long as we believe in what we know and not what we'd like to believe, not much can go wrong. But we prefer to use dogma. Why?

Easy listening or: How to become a follower without putting in too much effort

The textbook says the following about dogma:

"Dogmatism is an inde- pendent way of thinking that is dependent on beliefs - dogmas - in the social-psychological sense an attitude with a strong tendency to strictly reject opinions that contradict one's own, without having the ability to use information from others for oneself."

(Basics of social sciences)

You can pick up a dogma, you have to work out an attitude. You do not have an attitude in and of yourself. Everyone has to bring himself to an attitude - again and again. A dogma, on the other hand, has a long shelf life. Attitudes are products of knowing and understanding, and they are always personal, never anything. Dogmas, on the other hand, are beliefs, simple formulas for coping with reality: Their spectrum ranges from the immaculate conception to the indestructible social state. Both are incredible, and yet millions of people believe in them. Those who do not believe in the teaching of the church march into the fire. Anyone who does not believe in socialism is a dangerous class enemy. Anyone who does not believe in the blessings of shareholder value is a traitor to the market economy. All lie. But true. Dogmas create counter-dogmas. Because everyone who recognizes the hypocrisy fights against it as best he can, that is, regardless of any loss of reality. The only chance not to be ground between the cogs of the dogmatic gearbox lies in pragmatism. The difference is easy to explain.

Giordano Bruno, 1600, before the Inquisition.

Pope: "Revocations, swear off."

Bruno: "Not about perishing."

Said and done. Bruno becomes a martyr.

Galileo Galilei, 1640, before the Inquisition.

Pope: "Revocations, swear off."

Galileo: "Well, all right."

Galileo goes off and thinks about his part. And yet she is moving.

The pragmatist with an attitude, Galileo, was far more dangerous for the Catholic Church than the stubborn counter-dogmatic Bruno. Only in 1992 was Galileo's condemnation lifted by Pope John Paul II. We see; If attitude is based on knowledge and this knowledge is in and of itself strong enough to assert itself against dogmatic powers, it will achieve its goal.

For more than three decades, the fathers of the French Enlightenment and thus of the bourgeois revolutions and democracy compiled their knowledge of the encyclopedia. In the darkest royalism and dull Catholicism of France in the eighteenth century, this was as little a treat as Galileo's walk to the Inquisition. No small thing. Denis Diderot wrote tirelessly on the main work of knowledge, and he tirelessly came to terms with the regime because he wanted to finish this work. In 1762 he wrote to Voltaire: "Our motto is: No pardon for the superstitious, fanatical, ignorant, fool, villain and tyrant - and you will hopefully recognize it in more than one place". That is attitude: to fight against something and not let the opponent kill you because that would damage the cause.

Anyone who claims in this country today that they believe that the new economy will prevail will not be at the stake, but will likely go to the social welfare office. This insight is based on knowledge and not on the dogma that everything will be good just because it has to be good: fewer and fewer employees, less and less industry, more and more knowledge work, more and more clear insights into what can become of it. She's moving. But tell all those who don't want to be robbed of the illusion that their little social idyll will not last forever and that the world, as square and practical as one would like it to be, is full of surprises. Those who live pragmatically in order to maintain their attitude and achieve their goals will twist themselves one time or another to keep themselves straight. Those who follow the dogma will have to live with permanent damage to their posture.

A few years ago, starting in the USA and Great Britain, there was a debate about one of the greatest creeds of the past few decades: the debate about the global destruction caused by a man-made climate catastrophe. For many years there has been a steady increase in the average temperature in the world. It is undisputed that so-called greenhouse gases, above all the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced when burning fossil fuels, cause the earth's natural greenhouse layer to become denser. This has two consequences: On the one hand, the planet is warming. On the other hand, the opposite of all knowledge and all science, namely ideology and dogmatism, can spread in this dense atmosphere. Because as it is correct that driving a car, industrial plants and the burning of entire stretches of forest lead to more CO2 and thus to an increase in greenhouse gases, it is also correct that the trend towards higher temperatures on the planet can be understood since it became uniform worldwide and gives comprehensive, regular measurements of temperature.

This has been the case since the 1880s. How many cars were there in the 1880s? And like many a few centuries before, when the island of Greenland, which was still called "Green Land" in the High Middle Ages and populated by Europeans, gradually became colder, as a result of what the world has in itself: a changing climate. There are plenty of reasons not to be in favor of everyone being in the car. The fuels used for this are actually much too good to be burned. There are good reasons. But dogmatists do not need reasons, they believe, and they always do this with a mixture of misanthropy and presumption: it is your own fault if you perish, if you do not believe what we believe in.

When the pesticide poison nitrofen was discovered in organic products a few weeks ago, dogmatic ecology, which in this order is simply believed by the media, the ministry and the consuming masses, could not avoid citing an important characteristic of all dogmatists: the conspiracy theory. The media, the minister and the Federal Office suspected without any reason that sabotage could have played a role in the contamination of wheat with nitrofen. We do not need to know who or what might be interested in mixing poison into the wheat for German organic farmers and then hushing up all this in insidious collaboration with offices and authorities, organic shops and farms. The main thing is that nobody doubts that the organic sector is neither morally nor chemically cleaner than the frowned upon conventional agriculture. You have to want to know something like that.

Of course, you can also block the transport of nuclear waste because you have the correct attitude that nuclear power poses too high a risk. Unfortunately, this means that the nuclear waste accumulated in the nuclear power plants is no longer disposed of and is bobbing around under far more dangerous conditions than in repositories. The opponents of nuclear power know that too, of course, but the dogma is stronger than the stance.

You can make a stock corporation out of every junk and go straight to the stock exchange because you just do it that way. The fact that the attitudes and principles that everyone once had when they bought their first desk to become an entrepreneur is usually not noticed until later.

Is globalization really man's greatest enemy? Is it correct that the first world lives at the expense of the third world? Is it true that the poor keep getting poorer?

No, it’s not true.

The proportion of the world's population living on less than two dollars a day has fallen from 24 percent to 20 percent since 1987. A few years ago it would have been inconceivable that a rich industrial country like Germany would line up on the Indian labor market to get specialists from there. That should and cannot hide unjust conditions, but the dogma that we - the first world - harm the third world everywhere and at all times is simply wrong.

An enormous amount of corruption and political nepotism plundered many African states, whose citizens sometimes, as in Sierra Leone, find conditions under the so-called "autonomy" so enormous that they long for their colonial masters. It is no coincidence that the dogmatists of the right and left unite at a questionable seam on the globalization issue. Because the dogmas of both apparently separate worlds work according to one and the same mechanism: what is good is good. That is not pragmatic, but dangerous - because this attitude is constantly getting out of hand. The more nationalistic opponents of globalization agitate against a united Europe and immigration, the more affirmed the left's opponents of globalization feel. Here you can see what globalization is leading to: nationalism, fascism, radicalization or, in short, everything that we have always said. Dogma and counter dogma keep themselves splendidly alive by looking for an object that is supposed to be at stake. For some Americans are cultureless subhumans, for others filthy imperialists, but never what they were primarily for the democratic development of this country after 1945: the midwives of a democracy that also allows the free exercise of dogmas.

Does it always stay that way - is there no progress? It seems that dogmatism is becoming less and less a useful model for success for fundamentalists and orthodox who construct the simplest possible world in order to avoid the troubles of argumentation. In a more complex world, dogmas are still bought, but they are also much more often and more strongly questioned - which always leads to their end. Knowledge becomes power, and dogma is at stake. The contradictions due to the amount of available knowledge become so strong that the old and rigid, the natural architecture of dogma, can no longer hold together.

The Christian democratic parties, for example, have a rather pronounced problem in reconciling their fundamentally business-friendly stance with one of the most important key technologies of the 21st century, genetic engineering. This is not just about populism, which is intended to demonstrate vigilance towards unknown - and thus all too often equated with uncontrollable - new technologies among the citizens who are always concerned. Christian principles are difficult to reconcile with technology that can create life. This attacked one of the central dogmas of Christian doctrine, the divine creation itself. Understandable that in the basic values ​​commissions of the Christian-democratic parties, heads are smoking about how to reconcile belief and knowledge.

The Social Democrats, in turn, are allowed to tear their hair out over their full employment dogma. Even party-affiliated institutions have long since established that the favorite doctrine of social democratic dogmatics, without work, there is no state, can no longer be adhered to. When the pioneer of the new social democratic politics, the British sociologist and Blair advisor Anthony Giddens, raises the contradiction between the most important democratic goal, the self-determination and autonomy of the individual and his social responsibility, and the brazenly incapacitating welfare state dictatorship, then he will called heretics and traitors to good old Labor comrades. Sure: the end of the old work is not the end of the story, but the end of the caste of functionaries. Inquisitions were carried out for minor reasons.

But is that really different in business? Not really. Dogmas give security, and they create a familiar atmosphere, even where there is new, harmony even where there can be none.

At the end of the eighties, when the Soviet Union got into serious trouble and was preparing to do away with the old Marxist-Leninist dogmatism, a supposedly immensely progressive capitalist branch, the computer industry, discovered the discreet charm of dogma. You have to take into account that the emerging industry at that time basically had no self-esteem and no ideal home. Engineers built computers and they did what the blueprint said. Very few computer developers had come up with something like a master plan of ideas, and these people, like Apple's Steven Jobs, quickly became famous. One may judge the changeable history of Apple differently, but it is certain that this only company in the computer industry has used the pragmatism to create its own, unmistakable line in a desolate monotony of industrial standards.

Müller's law: ten are dumber than five or: dogmas need masses

In the rest of the computer economy, the deficit in the history of ideas was tackled with a technical principle, a doctrine, i.e. a dogma. Gordon Moore, one of the co-founders of the semiconductor manufacturer Intel, had formulated his "Moore's Law" in the sixties: The performance of semiconductors doubles every 18 months while halving production costs. In the up-and-coming personal computer industry, the simple arithmetic example, which has to be applied to a very special circle of chips for a certain period of time, became a dogma that was also used in calculations. Practically all computer companies embarked - without need - in a murderous price war, the dogma of Moore's law in mind, a lonely piece of misunderstood guideline.

After all, in the early 1990s the industry had its first collective experience, an identity: Almost all corporations were in the red, and quite a few went bankrupt.Anyone who fights dogmas with dogmas finds the limits of what is feasible faster and faster. Group experiences of this kind, which are the consequences of dogmas in the economy, await the purchasers of the German UMTS licenses, who stubbornly rid themselves of the billions in reserves they had acquired in just a few years regardless of any simple but true calculation. Dogmas are beliefs, and belief and group are inseparable allies. It was not entirely by chance that the late playwright Heiner Müller, when asked whether he believed that old prejudices and dogmas could be overcome more quickly through the reunification of Germany, was relatively cautious: "Ten Germans are naturally dumber than five Germans" - a sentence that is of course not only valid in this country.

Based on Müller's law, many basic ideas of the 21st century are suspected of being debilitating - and quite a few, rightly so, as things stand today. Dogma teaches us that the easiest way is always the best - you don't have to think a lot, you imitate it. And what comes across as unorthodox can be dogmatic through and through. Let's take the typical start-up of the first web generation: The main thing here was to accept the dogma of the miracle network, which inexplicably brings money into the coffers. The team, which can do everything and does everything better than the individual, is another dogma of the new times.

It has often been written that this is a totalitarian approach that values ​​the attitudes of the masses more highly than the acceptance of a process based on knowledge and understanding, but that does little to change the dogma itself. We feel more comfortable when others share the nonsense we believe in with us.

The Internet generation, for example, a relatively diffuse mass of web users, has elevated the idea of ​​the network to the rank of dogma. Most networkers don't even know where they are. The increasing mass of literature on the subject leaves the Internet seeker mostly at a loss: Sometimes there is a struggle for new words and rules for an old thing, cooperation, and always garnished with fancy words and often confused thoughts. So far, at least, the working assumption that, thanks to the Internet, everyone will soon do some kind of business with everyone, the business-to-business idea, has not really prevailed - the technology is not completely revolutionary after all, but replaces older and complicated ways to get together to find. The search for models in a confusing time turns out to be a scavenger hunt for bogus of all kinds. The fact that thousands of programmers developed Linux without finding a legal or hierarchical framework gave rise to a new dogma called Open Source. The future of the knowledge society therefore lies in the fact that the basics of all knowledge are accessible to everyone free of charge. This works quite well within the programming scene, but in most other areas the dogma of a good, grassroots, egalitarian and fee-free future fails simply because only a few revolutionaries want to let the butter off their bread.

But the thing may have a happy ending after all. The more knowledge becomes a normal thing for many, the more enlightenment comes into the world, sometimes through niches and corners from which it cannot be assumed. Be patient With the children of the dogmatists of the 68 generation, for example, who, like some green youth functionaries on their website Joschkas-nachwuchs.de, go to court with their parents' generation. Well, a lot of what they are selling as visions for the 21st century depends on the dogmatic drip, but they have already understood the most important thing: "Only those who change remain true to themselves!"

And: "Only idiots don't change."

For the rest of the time, the law of dogmatic convenience applies: the shortest possible connection between two points is stupidity.