Dogmatism

Have you ever been minding your own business, doing something mundane, when somebody corrects you about it? If you haven’t or can’t remember a time, imagine this: you are wiping a table clean at a restaurant when someone comes along and says to hold the rag in your hand differently.

Dogmatism Dogmatism

Create learning materials about Dogmatism with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account
Contents
Table of contents

    This is an example of the other person being dogmatic. They believe their way is the correct way, even when there are many ways to accomplish something. Such a person treats their opinion as fact and is guilty of the logical fallacy of dogmatism.

    Dogmatism Meaning

    Dogmatism does not allow for meaningful debate.

    Dogmatism is treating something as true without question or allowance for conversation.

    For something to be logical or reasonable, however, it must be able to withstand debate. Thus no action, statement, or conclusion based on dogmatism is logically validated. There’s a name for this: an opinion, which is a statement of personal belief or choice.

    As such, this is the dogmatic argument at its core.

    A dogmatic argument presents an opinion as a fact to support a stance.

    Here’s how that looks in simple terms.

    Don't cut the celery that way. You must cut it this way.

    Although there is no absolute way to cut a vegetable, someone might act like there is. This is an example of someone treating their opinion as an indisputable fact.

    Pragmatism is the opposite of dogmatism. Pragmatism favors what is reasonable and is more fluid.

    Why Dogmatism is a Logical Fallacy

    Treating something as a fact when it is an opinion is a problem because opinions can be anything.

    John thinks he should rule the world.

    Well, that's great, John, but there's no logical reason to believe that.

    If John uses his belief as a reason to enact change, that is fundamentally no different than anybody using their belief as a reason to enact change.

    Thus, any use of an opinion as fact is a logical fallacy.

    Logic demands facts and evidence; opinions never suffice.

    Identifying Dogmatism

    To identify dogmatism, you have a great tool at your disposal, and it's one word. "Why?"

    Dogmatism, A man wonders "Why?", StudySmarterAsking "Why?" is always smart.

    "Why" is the best question you have to uncover dogmatism. Dogmatic individuals will not be able to explain their positions logically. They will either resort to further logical fallacies or eventually admit that their reasons are faith- or belief-based.

    If you are doing a close reading looking for dogmatism, see how well the writer responds to hypothetical opponents who ask "why." If a writer doesn't explain the logical basis for their argument and takes its validity as a given, then you are looking at a dogmatic writer.

    Look for dogmatism in political and religious arguments.

    Types of Dogmatism

    Here are some of the varieties of dogmatism that exist in argumentation.

    Political Dogmatism

    If someone bases their views on the "foundational belief" of a political party, then that someone subscribes to political dogmatism.

    This is what we believe in the X Party. These are our foundational values!

    To believe that any party, state, or country stands for something unchanging or unquestionable is to believe in dogma. To argue based on this dogma is to enlist a logical fallacy.

    Racist Dogmatism

    Racist dogmatism arises as a result of stereotyping, ignorance, and hatred.

    Our race is the best race.

    Those who subscribe to this variety of dogmatism do not seriously question this belief. If they did, they would eliminate terms like "superior" and "best" because there is no logical way to define a race or individual as superior to another. The term "superior" only functions logically in narrow, tested instances of one function against another.

    This is an example of a logical use of "superior."

    After scientific testing, we have determined that kettle #1 is superior to kettle #2 at boiling water quickly.

    No test can determine the superiority of a race because a race is comprised of individuals with trillions of functional differences.

    Faith-Based Dogmatism

    Dogmatism frequently arises in faith-based religions, where unvalidated thoughts are treated as the truth.

    It says in my holy book this is wrong. The creator of the universe mandated this book.

    To use this text in a logical argument, this person would need to explain the ontological origins of that creator and also connect that creator to the text beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    This has never been done, however, which means that all creator-faith-based arguments are some form of dogmatism. Unlike logicians, scientists, and philosophers, whose opinions are malleable and up for debate and further research, faith-based dogmatism treats the unverifiable basis for their opinion as utter fact.

    Dogmatism Fallacy Essay Example

    Here's how dogmatism might appear in an unexpected place.

    To supercharge your food, look to add vitamins to all three meals and any snack foods. For breakfast, add protein or supplement powder to your milk, eat 3-4 servings of fruit and vegetables, and take any daily vitamins. For lunch, focus on "condensed" vitamins in the form of lean shakes and power smoothies. Snack on trail mixes (which should include nuts) and bars with added vitamins. Pack your dinner with fish, dark leafy greens, avocado, and lamb. Remember, the more vitamins you have, the better off you are. Don't let anyone fool you. So keep adding them to your diet, and you will be stronger, healthier, and happier."

    This passage is based on the steadfast belief that the more vitamins you have, the better. Discouraging their readers from questioning if there's a limit to the effectiveness of vitamins, this writer dogmatically assures the reader to keep adding vitamins to their diet to be "stronger, healthier, and happier."

    A less dogmatic writer would spend more time explaining their recommendations and less time dispensing their recommendations.

    You will find this kind of dogmatism in advertising. If advertisers can make you believe you need something, they can sell it to you.

    To avoid using dogmatism, be sure to know why you believe something. Be logical, and do not stop until you have a reasonable answer.

    Dogmatism, A bottle of vitamins, StudySmarterDogmatism can come in unexpected bottles.

    Synonyms for Dogmatism

    There are no exact synonyms for dogmatism. However, here are some similar words.

    Intolerance is not allowing for individual choice and freedom of expression.

    Narrow-mindedness is stopping short of asking questions. It is belief in one thing to the exclusion of all other ideas.

    Being partisan is strongly supporting one side or one party.

    Dogmatism is related to several other logical fallacies, including circular reasoning, scare tactics, and the appeal to tradition.

    Circular reasoning concludes that an argument is justified by itself.

    Returning to faith-based dogmatism, an arguer might attempt to justify their creator with their holy text and the holy text with the creator. Circular reasoning is a quick and tidy way to answer "why," albeit it is yet another fallacy.

    Scare tactics use fear without evidence to influence someone's conclusion.

    Someone might use scare tactics to convince you of their dogmatic belief. For instance, to persuade you to buy their vitamin product, someone might scare you into thinking that you put yourself at greater risk for disease without these enormous levels of vitamins.

    An appeal to tradition attempts to persuade someone based on what has been the case before.

    An elder member of your family might appeal to tradition to argue their point. However, just because something has been around a while does not mean it is correct. People have believed in all kinds of bogus things over the years, so something's age has nothing to do with its validity. An appeal to tradition is a kind of argument from authority.

    Circular reasons, scare tactics, and appeals to tradition fail to argue something at a logical level.

    Dogmatism - Key Takeaways

    • Dogmatism is treating something as true without question or allowance for conversation. A dogmatic argument presents an opinion as a fact to support a stance.
    • Logic demands facts and evidence, and opinions never suffice. Thus a dogmatic argument is a logical fallacy.
    • Some types of dogmatism include political dogmatism, racist dogmatism, and faith-based dogmatism.
    • To avoid using dogmatism, be sure to know why you believe something. Be logical, and do not stop until you have a reasonable answer.

    • Dogmatic arguments might be used in conjunction with circular reasoning, scare tactics, and appeals to tradition.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Dogmatism

    What does it mean to be dogmatic?

    Dogmatism is treating something as true without question or allowance for conversation.

    What is an example of dogmatism?

    "Don’t cut the celery that way. You must cut it this way." Although there is no absolute way to cut a vegetable, someone might act like there is. This is an example of someone treating their opinion as an indisputable fact.

    Is dogmatic the opposite of pragmatic?

    Pragmatism is the opposite of dogmatism. Pragmatism favors what is reasonable and is more fluid.

    What are the characteristics of a dogmatic writer?

    If you are doing a close reading looking for dogmatism, see how well the writer responds to hypothetical opponents who ask “why.” If a writer doesn’t explain the logical basis for their argument and takes its validity as a given, then you are looking at a dogmatic writer.

    Why is dogmatism a logical fallacy?

    A dogmatic argument presents an opinion as a fact to support a stance. However, treating something as a fact when it is an opinion is a problem because opinions can be anything. Logic demands facts and evidence, and opinions never suffice.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    A dogmatic argument presents a(n) ____ as a fact to support a stance.

    If someone bases their views on the “foundational belief” of a political party, then that someone subscribes to _____. 

    _____ arises as a result of stereotyping, ignorance, and hatred.

    Next
    1
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team Dogmatism Teachers

    • 8 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App