Before we delve into the dogmatism fallacy, picture this:
You are cleaning a restaurant table when someone tells you to hold the rag in a different position. Do you wonder why that person felt the need to correct you when you were just performing a routine task?
The person correcting you is being dogmatic in this case. Even though there are numerous ways to complete a task, they are convinced that their method is the best one. Such a person commits the dogmatism fallacy by treating their opinion as fact.
What Is Dogmatism?
Dogma is a Greek word that refers to a personal belief or idea. Dogmatism is the exercise of accepting something as true without inquiry or room for debate. People who are open-minded and accepting of new ideas are not dogmatic, while those who are closed-minded exhibit dogmatism.
However, something has to be debatable in order to be logical or reasonable. Therefore, no decision based on dogmatism can be supported logically. It is known as an opinion, which is a declaration of a personal belief or preference.
What Is A Dogmatic Argument?
A dogmatic argument presents an opinion as a fact to back its position. An example of what a dogmatic argument looks like: ‘Don’t cut the cake that way. You must cut it this way.’
It is a fine instance of someone treating their opinion as a fact because there’s no one correct way to cut a cake.
What Is A Dogmatism Fallacy?
Dogmatism fallacy occurs when one doctrine is aggressively promoted as the only reasonable conclusion and as being unchallengeable. Dogmatists believe they are so right that they can’t even look at the evidence to the contrary and are unwilling to even consider an opposing argument. Some people even contend that it is incorrect to even consider challenging the position. Anyone who rejects the argument is either stupid or evil.
It is a fallacy for various reasons. It not only prevents future communication but also shifts the burden of proof to the audience by implying that the truth is obvious without providing evidence to back it up, which is a type of fallacy in and of itself.
Dogmatic people interpret the world through their beliefs, ignoring all other explanations or possibilities. They argue that anyone who disagrees with them is biased. Whereas they are the only ones who are objective. They frequently tell you not only what to think, but also how to think.
When someone refuses to debate a topic or, in their attempts to debate, they are unwilling to actually examine positions that they are taking, even if they believe they are debating it, be suspicious. Whether or not what they are saying is true, if they insist on it being the only possible solution, it is a dogmatism fallacy.
How Can You Identify Dogmatism?
The best way to uncover dogmatism is to ask ‘why?’ Dogmatic individuals fail to answer to explain their stance logically, and resort to additional logical fallacies or admit that their viewpoint is faith blind.
Types of Dogmatism
Here are the most common dogmatic fallacies:
If a person drives their viewpoints from the foundational beliefs of a political party, then that person exercises political dogmatism.
Here’s an example: In the X Party, this is what we stand for. We use these principles for guidance.
You believe in dogma when you think that a party, state, or nation stands for something unchanging or unquestionable. This dogma is a logical fallacy, which is what it is to argue from it.
Stereotyping, ignorance, and hatred give rise to racist dogmatism.
An example of racist dogmatism: Ours is the best race.
Dogmatists who hold this kind of belief do not question it in any way. If they did, they would do away with words like “best” and “superior,” since it is illogical to define one race or person as superior to another. Only specific, tried-and-true comparisons of one function to another allow the term “superior” to make logical sense.
Dogmatism is a common occurrence in faith-based religions, where unproven ideas are accepted as fact.
For instance: My holy book states that this is incorrect. This book was required by the universe’s creator.
Such as a dogmatic individual would need to provide evidence linking the creator of the text to the ontological origins of that creator in order to use the text in a logical argument.
But since this has never happened, all arguments based on creator-faith are dogmatic in some way. Faith-based dogmatism treats the unverifiable basis for their opinion as absolute fact, in contrast to logicians, scientists, and philosophers, whose opinions are malleable and open to discussion and additional research.
Examples of Dogmatism Fallacy
- Believing that capitalism’s economic theory explains moral decisions.
- Even if you attend a public university, you assume that socialism is morally wrong.
- Assuming that welfare is wrong and that all recipients are lazy, even though you accept federal financial aid or would accept state aid in the case of a catastrophic accident or injury.
- Arguing drugs are morally wrong and that all drug addicts should be imprisoned or even executed, even though you drink alcohol and coffee and take Ritalin and your grandmother uses anti-depressants and you are grateful your alcoholic uncle was cured via AA.
- You believe all animals should be treated with compassion even though you respect indigenous cultures that subsist on seal meat.
- When someone believes that nature is sacred, and all logging is morally wrong.
- Assuming democratic republics are the most effective form of government for all people.
- Arguing that abortion is nothing but murder.
- Believing that there is no way a man or a woman could ever love another man or another woman as much as a man and a woman can love each other.
- When a zealous priest preaches that all truth which is in Bible and that no other truth exists. It implies that there is no other truth in the world. However, gravity is a natural law that the Bible does not address. Your existence is true, but your name does not appear in the Bible.
The Ending Note
Dogmatism is the practice of accepting something as fact without evaluating it or allowing for discussion. It is a fallacy in logic because facts and evidence are what logic requires, and opinions can never replace them. Be sure to understand the basis for your beliefs to avoid dogmatism. Be logical and keep going until you have a justifiable response.