The Balancing Act: Navigating Ideology and Dogma to Foster Open-Mindedness and Growth

The Balancing Act: Navigating Ideology and Dogma to Foster Open-Mindedness and Growth


 Ideology Dogma
Flexible Rigid
Debatable Unquestionable
Collaborative Authoritative


Chart Listing Contrasts Between Ideology and Dogma



     "The world doesn't need new ideologies!"

     Accredited psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson speaks in a chapter of his book "Beyond Order" about abandoning ideology. Peterson spoke with The Post Millennial regarding skills people need in order to properly "boundary" ideologies, and a lack of such skills can suspend the person in an intellectual "possession" of sorts. Intellectual possession happens with an increase of resistance to change, intolerance, and a decrease in critical thinking. Peterson has a longer conversation on abandoning ideology with evolutionary psychologist, Gad Saad, here.

     While an ideology refers to a set of beliefs, ideas, or values, dogma is a set of non-negotiable beliefs, ideas, and values. Instead of considering ideology as a hard and divisive construct, perhaps we might alter our focus to recognize dogma as the fixed rigidity that stifles growth, while understanding ideology as a flexible framework for our ideas and beliefs.


♢ Versatility vs Rigidity

     Ideology can allow for flexibility and adaptation, but rigidity doesn't. Ideology defines a set of thoughts and ideas that are altered when new knowledge is gained or circumstances change. Dogma, on the other hand, is defined by its inflexibility. Dogmatic views are thought to be absolute and unchanging, and critical investigation or adaptation is impassable.

     Ideological frameworks are often susceptible to dispute, discussion, and alternative interpretations. Ideologies can indeed promote critical thinking and the exploration of dissenting opinions and contrasting points of view. Dogma, contrarily, is viewed as unquestionable, absolute, and without debate.



♢ Debatable vs Unquestionable

     Debatable ideologies are distinguished by their openness to scrutiny, interpretation, and inquiry. They include a variety of viewpoints and allow for varied critical evaluations. Ideologies are open to debate, where multiple interpretations and arguments can be provided, and individuals have the opportunity to question and reject the views of the framework.

     Unquestionable dogmas are rigid and inflexible belief systems that demand unshakable loyalty with no opportunity for critical investigation or criticism. Within their unique systems, dogmas are viewed as absolute truths, suppressing questioning and sustaining uncontested authority. They discourage debate and criticism, instead encouraging loyalty to established ideals. The essential distinction is between ideologies' flexibility and openness and dogmas' rigidity and non-negotiability.


♢ Collaborative vs Authoritative

     Collaboration, shared decision-making, and open communication are central to collaborative ideology. This establishes an environment in which people actively participate in collaborative endeavors, working together to achieve common goals while respecting different points of view. Collaborative philosophies promote involvement, group problem solving, and the open exchange of ideas.

     In contrast, authoritative dogmas are distinguished by a centralized authority or collection of unquestionably enforced principles. They place a premium on obedience, uniformity, and devotion to fixed ideas, leaving no opportunity for disagreement or individual interpretation. Authoritarian dogmas sometimes rely on a hierarchical structure with a central authority figure or institution exerting control over individuals' beliefs and conduct. The main distinction is that ideologies are collaborative and inclusive, whereas dogmas are discriminatory, hierarchical, and inflexible.


     People selectively focus on instances in which ideologies resulted in poor outcomes, promoting the idea that all ideologies are destructive and ignoring instances in which ideologies positively benefited society. In today's society, an emphasis on ideological battles may also reinforce an unfavorable impression of ideologies. Ideologies can help people grow personally, form communities, stimulate intellectual conversation and innovation, facilitate social engagement, and promote human expression.

     It can be argued that ideologies are acceptable because they serve as tools for human understanding, cooperation, and adaptation, and that maintaining them as collaborative, debatable, and flexible can be accomplished with critical thinking and an ongoing willingness to reevaluate and adapt ideological beliefs based on evidence, reason, and the needs of individuals and societies.

     It is fair to mention that religious dogma may have a positive impact on people who follow a specific faith. Religious dogma isn't emphasized at Jangled Jester, since this is an agnostic environment that encourages questioning beliefs. It is worth emphasizing, however, that dogma likewise exists outside of religious contexts. For example, scientific dogma can limit open-mindedness to occultism by limiting the examination of alternative theories, whereas atheist dogma can create a closed-minded response to religious ideas. JJ maintains a dedication to challenging personal beliefs and encouraging a fair and balanced examination of other viewpoints by acknowledging and discussing the prevalence of numerous forms of ideology and dogma, even those unconnected to religion.

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