Thursday, 3 July 2008

Dogmatism Eat Dogmatism : The Avoidance of Doubt

Regular readers of Gullibility will know that a key theme throughout its posts is the development of healthy skepticism and doubt.

Recently however I have been given pause to ponder on this matter because a close family member has decided to join the British Parachute Regiment

Naturally military service requires the following of orders and therefore the abdication of a certain degree of freedom of decision making (especially in the lower ranks) That said in order to cope with ambiguous and complex battlefield environments the Parachute Regiment motto ’Utrinque Paratus’ (‘Ready for Anything’). suggests at the same time the need to open minded and aware.

The dilemma I faced was whether it was sensible to begin a discussion about 'consequences', 'possibilities' and 'alternatives' and introduce an element of doubt into conversations with my family member. As comdeian and ex-para Billy Connolly sang, being in the Army is not just about 'sunshine and skis' there are very real personal and physical implications.

Surely though in a live military context this could be a dangerous luxury? At moments where life -saving instinctive reactions are needed lapsing into reflective introspection might not be the most effective course of action. Being certain of one's capability must be an asset.

It seems therefore that there are times and places in our lives where doubt should be avoided. The irony is that it seems western military dogmatism is necessary to defeat fundamentalist terrorist dogmatism...a sort of Dogmatism eat Dogmatism if you will.

What would you do if you were in my place? Would you raise your doubts?


  1. Billy Connolly wasn't in the paras - he was in the TA.

    If any family member of mine joined the murderous scum that make up the paras (see history in NI and Afghanistan) I'd disown them and then spit in their face.

    Murdering fuckwads deserve nothing better.

  2. Thanks for explaining this oversight about Billy Connoly.

    Thanks for the comment they say the mind is like a works best when its open! Notwithstanding the two examples you have given, does this apply to those who served at Arnhem and Goose Green?

    I suppsoe this quote from Wikipedia clarifies matters...

    "Around the same time he joined the Territorial Army Reserve 15th (Scottish) Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (15 PARA), which became part of the 4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (he later commemorated his TA experiences in his song, "Weekend Soldier").