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Παρασκευή, 15 Απριλίου 2011

Philosophy and Dogmatism


PHILOSOPHY AND DOGMATISM

Philosophy is not ready-made knowledge that is revealed to one by a superior power. Philosophers of Ancient Greece used to prove their ideas using reason, oftentimes with a scientific precision. Nowadays, those able or inclined to do the same are usually discouraged by the fact that judgement and logical analysis have been largely degraded as tools of thought.


Nowadays, the procedure of proving a theory has been replaced to a large degree by persuasion techniques, and the reader is usually limited to agree or disagree. He often bases such agreement or disagreement on his intuition or, in other words, his "inner sense of truth". If we postulate that knowledge of truth exists within any person, then intuition could never err and, consequently, all those using their intuition as a reason why they accept or reject a certain theory should be in agreement with one another, which is obviously not the case. We must assume, therefore, that it is not necessarily their intuition speaking, but their existent beliefs, their preferences, the appeal of a theory, the personality of the person expressing it and many other factors. Modern man is used to take their voice as "intuition" without second thought. And dogmatism finds fertile ground to expand.

Authoritative statement or acceptance of beliefs and theories has no place in the search for wisdom. It starts with a marginalization of critical thought and leads gradually to its elimination. Beliefs that are based on the foundation of dogmatism are rigid, resulting to a further rigidity of thinking which brought them about in the first place. The greatest obstacle to knowledge is the conviction that we already know.

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