Dogmatism implies a stubborn holding of beliefs and opinion and refusal to subject them to scrutiny. Russell is opponent of all kind dogmatism either in religious sphere, or in philosophical sphere. Unpopular essays provide a fine example that Russell is opponent to dogmatism and in favor of liberalism.
Russell’s opposition to dogmatism in sphere of politics and religious sphere can be seen through his essay “Philosophy and Politics”. Here he says that Catholic church is associated to philosophy of Aquinas, Soviet government is connected to the philosophy of Karl and Nazis believed in idealism.
The Need of Tentativeness and Tolerance
Russell condemns dictatorships camps and world wars and mentions the brutal treatment of Jews at Auschwitz as an example of persecution resulting from dogmatic beliefs. Russell advocates a nation outlook or scientific attitude.
“Science is empirical, tentative and undogmatic; the immutable dogma is scientific”.
The advantage of dogmatism is purely illusory
In war between liberals and dogmatism (or fanatics) dogmatisms were sure to win but they failed again and again because they were too unscientific to adopt the right even their aims were good. Russell does not agree with the point that Marxism and fascism (having dogmatic system) are capable of producing a greater degree of social unity. He closes the essay with a conclusion that dogma s demand authority rather than intelligent thought a source of pinion, that dogma requires persecution of those who disagree with empiricist liberalism is only philosophy that can serve the purpose in the modern world.
In the essays “Future of mankind” Russell condemns political dogmas which holds in field of soviet Russia and countries under the control of Soviet. Russell believes in freedom of through, freedom of discussion, freedom of inquiry and he advocates all these kind of freedom. Russian victory would be disaster because he with many examples says that Russian government is trying to control the minds of people.
Russell is against religious dogmas. In his essay “An outline of intellectual rubbish” he condemns the dogmatism of pries pious and religiously superior people. He criticizes the ideas of priests who says that man’s sins are cause of floods, earthquakes, pestilence etc. Women were burnt with the accusation of witches. People were so dogmatic about their concepts that they were fighting with the theories of science which later on proved a man good way to spend life, made life comfortable for their generations. They also oppose the theories of psychology and education. He states that some knowledge about astronomy and science is being taught to people since their childhood yet they don’t believe it to wrong. He ridicules the concept that priests are allowed to do everything (even sinful) because they don’t have bad intention while doing so. He then ridicules the philosophy of Mahatama, Manichaen Tolstoy that harmed society with their ambiguous concepts.
Other Dogmas and their Consequences
Russell also mentions the dogmas of race, blood in the same essays. He also condemned the idea that human nature cannot be change which caused wars in the past and mischief’s. He concludes that this is authority rather than nature, intelligent thought as a source of opinion, that dogmas require persecution of those who disagree that empiricists liberalism is only philosophy than can serve the purpose in the modern world.
The Dangers of Dogmatism
the function of teacher is another essay in which Russell appears as a foe of dogmatism. Here he deplores that still at the present time universities, institution are in the grip of dogmatism. He states it is state education which is producing fanatical bigots, they are ignorant of the world outside their countries who are unaccustomed to free discussion. The inculcation of different dogmatic belief in different dogmatic beliefs in different countries can only lead to another world war because all people having beliefs in all kind of dogmatisms themselves right and all other to be wrong. Russell pleased for complete freedom for a teacher to teach his own creative impulses.