The Catholic Church, like many other organized religions, requires that its followers sometimes abandon their personal opinions and philosophies and accept unproven dogmas, which are based primarily on faith and tradition. A dogma is an article of faith that has been revealed by God alone and the Catholic Church magisterium indicates this as a basic truth. An example of a Christian or Catholic dogma would be the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The church, as a community, disregards the intellectual and his autonomy by requiring that all individuals accept these ‘Truths’ without question and do not reevaluate the values and traditions of the past. Concepts and principles which conflict with these dogmatic assertions are considered to be heresy, no matter how rational, philosophical or scientific, and must be abandoned by all those who wish to join the Catholic community and church.
It is difficult to know what exactly constitutes as a dogma. A simple method with which to discover these creeds is by evaluating all assertions and seeing whether they are rational or filled with misconceptions and religious doctrines. Example of dogmas in the religious sense are: the belief that the world is only six thousand years old, that God loves humanity, that miracles are a supernatural possibility, that angels exist, and many other numerous creeds embedded in the Catholic and Christian faith which have no scientific proof. Many of these beliefs have no historical, scientific, or rational proof; however, they are widely accepted doctrines in these religious circles. They are not deemed as credible doctrines or accepted truths in many scholarly or academic communities having scientific backgrounds.
The church does not differentiate between personal opinions, intellectual philosophies and emotional or other desires. It asserts that these dogmas, which they believe were given by God, are fundamental beliefs that, because of the fallibility of men, should never be questioned. The Catholic Church believes that faith, not reason, should be implemented within society and one must believe, without considering the authentication of his beliefs, that these dogmas represent reality. The authority of the church, which has a monopoly over this religious and theological knowledge, cannot be reevaluated or questioned but rather it requires its members to accept this dogma with complete faith.
Rational or skeptical individuals, who only endorse knowledge that can be proven though the observation of evidence and reasonable inquiry, very rarely accept these dogmas; however, through repeated education, this organized religion imposes dogmas on young minds, ones who cannot question their validity. Education at a young age is essential to the church and its followers. They recognize that without repeated education of religious doctrine, it would cause many individuals to reject their fundamental beliefs and disregard their values.
In the modern world, in which they cannot impose their beliefs through physical punishment and because their authority has been diminishing, the church recognizes that it is even more essential for them to teach and educate children and young adults to follow their ways before young individuals have the capacity to question these teachings. Some academics have been belittling the church, claiming that they are to some degree, brainwashing their followers. This is not a new concept.
From the beginning of the Enlightenment philosophers like Benedict Spinoza and others (many of whom were burnt and killed by the Catholic Church), they have urged the public to question the authority of the church and undermine its monopoly of knowledge. In the modern world secularist and academics are once again introducing this argument, and consequently, disagreements arise between these two cultures. While many Catholic Christians still believe in these dogmas and accept them as accurate and literal facts, some moderate Christians have been constructing new interpretations to these dogmas.
In the end, it doesn’t matter which methodology (the religious order or the more secularist view) you choose to go with because modern society gives us the tools to choose more freely; most notably in the western hemisphere of the world. To believe in the Dogma of a particular organization, be it religious or not, is a matter of choice and selection that feeds your individuality and essence.