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The Dogma of Otherness (1986)

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  1. skybrian
    From the essay: [...] [...]

    From the essay:

    "We, too, have our zeitgeist. But I am coming to see that contemporary America is very, very strange in one respect. It just may be the first society in which it is a major reflexive dogma that there must be no dogmas!"


    "But think, for a moment, how unique this is . . . how unusual this cultural mind-set has to be! Throughout history nearly every human society has worked hard to ingrain its children with the assumption that theirs was the only way to do things. Oh, we still get a lot of that here. It probably comes automatically with flags and nations and all that tribal stuff. But where and when else has the societal dogma also included such a powerful counter-indoctrination to defend otherness?"


    All three of the old worldviews lie in shambles around us. Only a traditional fool would say that man is the "paragon of animals," and nature our playground. Only a Pollyanna would contend that the clockwork spins majestically on, in harmony with whatever we do. And it is also romantic nonsense to say that we are a pimple on Creation . . . that the world would be somehow better off without us.

    Where does that leave us then?

    It leaves us, I hope, uncomfortable and thoughtful.

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