Indoctrination: When Religious Dogmas or Belief masquerade as Knowledge
Mar 17, 2009 11:48 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
Dear friends and all
My views are:
Just as few would site the family as a seat of indoctrination as such, so few people who claims to be religious would consider that organised religions, such as for instance Christianity or Judaism, operate by indoctrination either. Questioning is not prevented by any active means. It might seemingly be encouraged, in order to further understanding. But the understanding that is achieved as a result is not Knowledge itself but the understanding that BELIEF alone can lead to Knowledge.
Belief systems in active mass movements rely most often on united action and what they call self-sacrifice.
Self-sacrifice is often viewed among ordinary men in belief systems as an unreasonable act. It cannot be the end product of a process of probing and deliberating. All active belief based mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrines (holy and infallible writ etc.) and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it.
The facts on which the true Believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from Holy Writ. (Self-confidence is being put down.)
Such Doctrines of Belief cannot be verified, they must be believed, and of course inability to accept this is what - in a number of cases - lead to atheism. However the power of early religious learning or indoctrination doesn't disappear like magic if the doctrine itself is rejected. In the West, for instance, Christian (belief) ideas of right and wrong permeate most of daily life.
As psychologists have pointed out several times, participation in and repetition of an action several times help to comfirm ones BELIEF in its validity. But Conviction or Belief is not FACT. Belief is not the same as Knowledge.
Almost like when a Child through its upbringing by "religious" parents comes to Believe certain things because he or she doesn't see anything else. Whereas the adult prevents himself or herself in seeing anything else in order to carry on believeing. In other words indoctrination or Beliefs when once established are constantly reinforced by what psychologists call perpetual set: we tend to pick up only information that we are 'set' to receive.
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Reinforced one-sided learning of various text-books and non-comparative study could lead in the directions mentioned in the above. Saying that for instance Krishnamurtian's are avoiding this trap, is something I at least would hesitate in promoting.
H. P. Blavatsky wrote:
"First of all to inculcate certain great moral truths upon its disciples, and all those who were "lovers of the truth." Hence the motto adopted by the Theosophical Society: "There is no religion higher than truth." â The chief aim of the Founder of the Eclectic Theosophical School was one of the three objects of its modern successor, the Theosophical Society, namely, to reconcile all religions, sects and nations under a common system of ethics, based on eternal verities." ( The Key to Theosophy, p. 2-3 - http://www.phx-ult-lodge.org/aKEY.htm )
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