BELIEVE AND LET BELIEVE

{This article and others like it can be found at http://www.kinyunye.blogspot.com.}
Dogma is similar to folly in so many ways that it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to draw a clear boundary. There are times I am fully convinced there is none; that dogma is merely an aspect of the other multifaceted mind-numbing monster. We all know that any a fool worth their salt has a manifold ways of expressing their foolishness. It is thus only natural that they stumbled upon dogma and integrated it into their art, if it is politically correct to call it art. Nevertheless, an art it is. It takes such finesse to resist logic and thwart all attempts to change one’s opinion. Interestingly, Solomon gave up on only two intellectual matters. His mind was boggled trying to understand the divine. Similarly, arguments with fools proved too frustrating and he decided to abandon all attempts to affect a fool’s opinions. But in his wisdom he saw it fit to speak against foolishness with the vehemence and veracity of a street preacher.
I share those sentiments and believe it to be my divine duty to speak out against folly. However, I refrain from taking myself too seriously and would advise you do the same. Remember I warned that foolishness is diverse. This article is not immune to folly; in fact it might be pure nonsense camouflaged as thoughtful writing. Further, by merely reading this, you run the risk of being misled by my reasoning wherever it may be erroneous. So do not run around quoting me as if I were the oracle at Delphi, but if you must, please do so at your own discretion.
The most common dogmas in mainstream society hide behind religion. Incidentally, every religion has at least one dogma it holds as one of its core principles. Without such dogma’s most religions would collapse under their own weight. Who would want to deny themselves of pleasure without some guarantee of reward? But since no single religion can offer valid proof of the existence of a transcendental deity (idol worshippers can of course show their gods, but like the others cannot proof the metaphysical abilities of said gods), such rewards for piety and righteousness are only guaranteed by reinforcing dogmas. So I’ll not steal, lie, fornicate or kill because I want to spend eternity in heaven. Further, I will endeavour to avoid any small mistake imaginable because I don’t want any such tiny slip to send me hell’s way. Of course not all religions believe in hell per se, but they all have equivalents, similar in that they are all punitive.
By now you have seen that I, like any other bloke, am not devoid of dogmatic tendencies. Some dogmas are arguably important for a society to exist, perhaps even indispensable if there is to be a semblance of order and co-existence. Ironically, it is for this very reason that some moderation is called for when we try to assert our dogmas, however noble they may seem. Intolerances based on difference of opinion are retrogressive, and only aggravate already volatile relations. What makes a Christian more foolish for believing in God and not Allah? Conversely, is belief in Allah what qualifies the Muslim as foolish? And while you are busy criticising the idol worshippers, remember they can see their god unlike you who only suspects His presence. It is important that we don’t forget that the same measure we use against others may be used against us, and that our animosity need not be directed at individuals. Many a time dogma is as a result of experience, so that experience should be considered the source of our acrimony.
It is a good dogma that is limitable to its owner. If it happens that they are other holders of a similar dogma, well and good. However, if you seem to be the only one with the dogmatic view, don’t judge others for not sharing your perspective. God forbid that you should persecute them. It is not hard to trace most civil wars to egotistical dogmas amongst at least one group. With ingrained convictions which can only be shaken by a weapon buried deep in their flesh, they’ve time and again set out to affirm their dogmas. The destruction from such wars is only matched by the folly that instigated them. Dogma or not, a fool is always a source of his own destruction. The way I see it, we can significantly distance ourselves from foolish dogmas if we can just ‘believe and let believe’.
NOTE: Pardon my use of the male gender. I’ve come to realise that some of my readership is still confused whenever ‘their’ is used to achieve gender neutrality while talking about a singular subject.
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