LIMITS OF DOGMA

You don’t have to throw out religion because of the dogma. That’s like throwing out the dishes with the dishwater. Religion is initiated in experience and culminates in a belief system. One man’s dogma is another man’s belief system is another man’s mind control. Those who denigrate belief systems, including religion, seem to need higher than normal levels of drugs and alcohol to attain that enlightened mental state. Admittedly belief systems can get out of control and into politics. It’s an endless temptation and maybe even the ideal system if it’s capable of self-correction. Dogma is usually not. They’re all guilty of it, of course, Buddhism in the Tibetan theocracy, Christianity in the old Holy Roman Empire, Islam in modern Iran among countless others. Communism was guilty of the same thing. It’s called ‘totalitarianism’, the idea that the state can control everything, including thought, or conversely, that religion can run the government. These things require finesse, tolerance, and time. Some concepts are simply irreconcilable, better just to agree to disagree. Taliban women under veils are as repulsive to modern Western sensibilities as Amsterdam whorehouses are to the mullahs. There’s no easy reconciliation, best just to stay on your side of the line.