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Are All Religions Essentially Dogmatic? (New Ideal Q&A)

In this New Ideal Q&A session, I respond to a question arising from my article “Finding Morality and Happiness Without God.”

A reader named John asked:

Dr. Ghate, you write in your article “Finding Morality and Happiness Without God” that: “A religion, no matter how much theologians may argue back and forth about points of dogma, remains just that: dogma. A religion advocates its basic tenets on faith, which means in the absence of evidence and logical argument, and even in the face of counter-evidence and counter-arguments. This is why a synonym for a religion is a faith: we speak for instance interchangeably of the Jewish religion and the Jewish faith.” Isn’t this a caricature? Plenty of religious thinkers present rational arguments for their beliefs, such as proofs for the existence of God, proofs that the Bible is historically accurate, etc. While these arguments might not be very good, isn’t it a caricature to say religious believers don’t offer arguments?

Audio only:

I hope you find my answers informative and thought-provoking. If you have follow-up questions on these issues, please don’t hesitate to send them my way, using our New Ideal comment form.

Listen to a lesson on “The Separation of Faith and Reason” on ARI Campus to explore this topic further.

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Onkar Ghate

Onkar Ghate, PhD in philosophy, is a senior fellow and chief philosophy officer at the Ayn Rand Institute. A contributing author to many books on Rand’s ideas and philosophy, he is a senior editor of New Ideal and a member of the Ayn Rand University faculty.

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