Dogma is defined as “a set of unchallenged beliefs”.
We live in a society of constantly competing Dogmas. Beliefs so deeply ingrained in our world view, that we avoid or vehemently defend anything that challenges them. Social media algorithms purposefully silo these beliefs for more clicks and views, creating unbreakable thought patterns that deepen convictions, rather than widen perspectives.
In our current media environment, we rarely encounter the nuance between the binary...agree and disagree, good and evil, right and wrong. Thoughtful, logical and trustworthy arguments are drowned out by polarizing rhetoric aimed to divide and dehumanize. This results in both sides believing the opposition are bad people with ideas, rather than people with bad ideas.
In the marketplace of these ideas, fearful obedience is often mistaken for authentic heart change. To change someones heart we must see things from their perspective first...truly listening to why they believe what they believe. Only then we can we offer new nuanced information aimed to create curiosity and ah-hah moments, hopefully leading to a new set of Dogmas and worldviews.
At Dogma, we believe the nuance is where hearts and minds are changed, values get focused, and impact is made.
To those of us who want to challenge our beliefs and fully understand opposing viewpoints on any issue, we end up overwhelmed and annoyed with social media and distrusting and cynical with news media.
Given a heated topics like race, religion or politics, one can go to Twitter, only to scroll through endless 280 character hot takes and emotional tweet-storms, leaving more confused and frustrated than before. Or Reddit, where discussions often devolve into personal attacks and sarcasm through a confusing mess of nested threads. Facebook and Instagram are littered with fake news and angry rants. Clubhouse showed promise early on of creating a space for thoughtful discussion, but as it grew conversations became noisy, unstructured and chaotic.
News media has evolved from objective and fact-based to subjective and opinion-based, where they tell a story, not the story. To appease their audience and avoid offense, they must provide a consistent stream of reaffirming positions by vapid talking heads. Trying to find intelligent takes from different perspectives is a daunting task, because stories that don’t fit the narrative get buried and ignored.
This problem can’t be solved with corporate fact checkers, paid experts and censorship. It must be solved by a community of open-minded people receptive to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and information. The idea itself must be the star of the show, not the person who presents it. In a true marketplace of ideas, the highest quality will rise to the top. We believe this can be achieved through 2 dimensions: categorization and qualification.
The goal of the Dogma platform is to improve conversation online through organizing and qualifying positions on any issue. This will be done using synchronous and asynchronous channels.
People are growing weary of the divisiveness being pushed 24/7 by news outlets and internet blue checks. According to a poll taken by PublicAgenda.org, eight out of ten Americans believe political hostility and divisiveness in the news media (81%), between politicians (81%), between ordinary Americans (81%), and on social media (80%) is a serious problem.
Censorship and de-platforming is causing people to retreat to ideology-specific platforms that only worsen the problem. Facebook is losing millions of daily active users, Netflix is hemorrhaging subscribers, and Twitter is being accused of having 20% bots on their platform. People are looking for safe spaces to have difficult conversations without fear of reprisal.
Thankfully, new outlets for thoughtful discussion are growing and people are responding in large numbers.