Dogma is the official system of belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It serves as part of the primary basis of an ideology or belief system, and it can not be changed or discarded without affecting the very system's paradigm, or the ideology itself. Although it generally refers to religious beliefs that are accepted regardless of evidence, they can refer to acceptable opinions of philosophers or philosophical schools, public decrees, or issued decisions of political authorities.
The term derives from Greek δόγμα "that which seems to one, opinion or belief" and that from δοκέω (dokeo), "to think, to suppose, to imagine". Dogma came to signify laws or ordinances adjudged and imposed upon others by the First Century. The plural is either dogmas or dogmata, from Greek δόγματα. The term "dogmatics" is used as a synonym for systematic theology, as in Karl Barth's defining textbook of neo-orthodoxy, the 14-volume Church Dogmatics.
Famous quotes containing the word dogma:
“... woman was made first for her own happiness, with the absolute right to herself ... we deny that dogma of the centuries, incorporated in the codes of all nationsthat woman was made for man ...”
—National Woman Suffrage Association. As quoted in The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 3, ch. 27, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage (1886)
“The free, independent spirit who commits himself to no dogma and will not decide in favor of any party has no homestead on earth.”
—Stefan Zweig (18811942)
“Nothing can save us from a perpetual headlong fall into a bottomless abyss but a solid footing of dogma; and we no sooner agree to that than we find that the only trustworthy dogma is that there is no dogma.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)