Systematic human thought according to cultural norms Mental set Limiting imposed attitudes
The tendency of highly organized religious and ideological groups is to become more and more proscriptive regarding the behaviour of their members and their private thoughts and reading habits. Lists of disapproved books and ideas may be circulated. Schools operated by religious denominations or by statist regimes may not provide some critically acclaimed modern and classic works to their students, and teachers may not even mention disapproved authors or concepts.
A document entitled, 'Syllabus of Errors' was put forth by the Vatican in 1864. Among its 10 sections and 80 theses it listed 'errors' of thought and behaviour as applied to Bible societies, secret societies, socialism, rationalism, religious latitudinarianism, and wrong conceptions concerning the temporal power of the Pope. Put positively, the Syllabus argued for state religion, temporal power for the Church, the subordination of civil law to ecclesiastical law in religious matters, along with many other relics of mediaeval Church thinking. The Catholic Encyclopaedia notes that even today 'the Syllabus must be accepted by all Catholics since it comes from the Pope'. In Communist Russia and China, 'errors' contradicting orthodox Marxism-Leninism were identified and condemned and bore such names as Trotskyism, revisionism, deviationism, etc.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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