SeaLife DC1400, no flash. Triggerfish, BVI, 2012. (c) Tina Marie Doran, 2014

SeaLife DC1400, no flash. Triggerfish, BVI, 2012. (c) Tina Marie Doran, 2014

“Any theory and set of practices is dogmatic which is not based upon critical examination of its own underlying principles.” — John Dewey

“If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.” — His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Religion is not dogmatic by definition. What do religious leaders do with their basic tenets, their theories, their practices? That is what matters. Are religious communities raising thinkers and learners who are interested in building better societies, or are they interested in maintaining the status quo? I am not in the business of judging religious communities based on their beliefs, but I do think they may be judged as educational institutions. Do they equip their students to become compassionate, productive, and intelligent members of society — or do they promote intolerance, greed, and ignorance? Communities that do the latter must examine their underlying principles. They must change, or be changed. We must hold them to it.

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