Watching young, traditionalist, Muslim women swimming in fully enclosing, hooded, swimming costumes here in Turkey I find myself yet again thinking about religion and my attitudes to it. My thoughts follow these steps:
I am anti dogma because it is closed, constraining, and always about elites exercising power over others. It makes it easier to avoid taking personal responsibility for your thoughts and actions, and constrains learning and growth.
Spirituality, to me, is an acknowledgement of, and interest in, the beauty, wonder, and inexplicability of much of life. It is the antithesis of dogma and rewards allowing things to stay beautiful, wonderful and inexplicable.
Religion – organised religion as distinct from mankind’s religious inclinations which I would include under spirituality – relies heavily on dogma.
Therefore I worry a lot about religion.
I also believe that, as with politics, the power of networked thinking affords us the possibility of a collectively more spiritual outlook on the world with less risk of resorting to dogma.