Journal of Social Sciences

Religious Dogma without Religious Fundamentalism

Erik Daniel Baldwin

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.85.90

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 1

Pages 85-90

Abstract

Problem statement: New Atheists and Anti-Theists (such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hutchins) affirm that there is a strong connection between being a traditional theist and being a religious fundamentalist who advocates violence, terrorism, and war. They are especially critical of Islam. On the contrary, I argue that, when correctly understood, religious dogmatic belief, present in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is progressive and open to internal and external criticism and revision. Moreover, acknowledging that human knowledge is finite and that humans are fallible and have much to learn, dogmatic religious believers accept that they ought to value and seek to acquire moral and intellectual virtues, including the virtues of temperance and reasonability. Conclusion/Recommendations: While some Muslims advocate violence, terrorism, and war, others accept the concept of dogma articulated here and even speak out against the very things that Dawkins et al abhor. The contentious claims of the New Atheists and Anti-Theists to the contrary, therefore, while popular and rhetorically forceful, are false and do not withstand careful scrutiny.

Copyright

© 2012 Erik Daniel Baldwin. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.