The Society of HumanKind
There is neither female nor male in either the Axioms or the Dogma of the Society of HumanKind. The Axioms give no account of the origins of our species, or of its nature. Nothing about the relationship between the two basic types of human being can be derived directly from them. That being the case, if ever or whenever the Society of HumanKind needs to speak on the existence of genders in our species, whatever it says will have to derived from the Principles, and relate to the maintenance of the Conditions of the Dogma through the discharge of its Aim, Duty and Responsibility.
The first and primary of the Conditions of the Dogma is that the human species should survive into the infinite future. In the era of the Society the overriding requirement is therefore, that any form of relationship between female and male must be compatible with the infinite survival of the human species, if it is to be accepted or supported by the Society of HumanKind. This Essay will begin by examining that aspect of the relationship of the genders of humanity from the perspective of the Society of HumanKind.
Our species is broadly divided into two basic types. The distinction between them is based on an unequal division of the organs and processes on which we rely for our power to reproduce ourselves, and so to survive beyond the life span of a single generation. Too much of the debate on the relationship between the human sexes has floated airily above such mundane matters. Any discussion of this subject within the Society of HumanKind must however, begin from that basic premiss.
Given the fundamental nature of the means by which we reproduce ourselves, and then given the choice of the Dogma, the Principle Progress must apply to any consideration by the Society of HumanKind of the proper form of the relationship between men and women. The Society will require that the differing roles of female and male in the cycle of human reproduction must be recognised and effectively played in any social order it is prepared to accept. It will reach that conclusion since that is one of the necessary conditions for an achievement of the Objective of the Dogma, and the consequent realisation of its Aim.
By an application of the Principle of Peace to these questions within the constraints of Axiomatic uncertainty, the Society will also conclude that our reproductive capacity must always be retained as a hedge against unforeseeable calamity whatever progress we may make in our knowledge of human reproduction. That is so because our uncertainty leaves us unable to foresee the consequences of any loss or diminution of our present means of reproduction for our chances for achieving the Objective of the Dogma.
The Society of HumanKind should therefore require the differing female and male sexual reproductive roles to be a necessary feature of our social order right up to our translation into immortals. That view will be unchanged even where those different roles are no longer necessary for the reproduction of our species. The Society will, in all circumstances, insist that in every human society the relationship between men and women takes account of, and sustains, their separate gender, and their differing contribution to the reproduction of our species.
It remains to consider the application of the second Condition of the Dogma to these issues, i.e. the maintenance of social conditions that will ensure the continuous growth of human knowledge. One of the more widespread and influential views on these issues in the past can be dismissed quickly . It has too frequently been held that there is an inherent difference in the intellectual or other capacities and potentialities of females and males. That proposition has no place in the structure or philosophy of the Society of HumanKind. No such proposition can be derived from the Axioms and Dogma, and nothing connected with our reproductive roles has any necessary impact on the application of the Principle 2.2. to our social and moral life, and thus on the way we arrange our relationships in order to maintain the growth in our knowledge.
There is therefore no ground in its founding ideas on which the Society can make any distinction between female and male other than in their reproductive roles. Indeed its own Principles should prevent it from making any attempt to do so. The Principle 2.2 specifically requires that each individual and every one of their attributes should be treated as of equal value, equally to be developed in accordance with the Principle of Peace. Whether there is, or is not, any fundamental or essential difference in the intellectual, or any other, abilities of females and males is irrelevant to that purpose. Accordingly, any discussion of the possibility of there being general non-reproductive differences between men and women must be regarded by the Society as both uninteresting and fruitless.
The conclusion to be drawn for the Axioms, Dogma and Principles about the relationship between female and male is therefore, that the only matter of significance to be considered by the Society and its adherents is their differing roles in the reproduction of our species. That distinction must always be preserved and fostered by our social order. The remaining troublesome question however, is the extent to which the need to maintain the correct reproductive relationship between the human sexes has consequences for the wider structure of social relations between men and women. The difficulty here is that the question has never before been addressed from a position based on the Axioms. The Society will therefore seek evidence (as opposed to prejudice or opinion) that might serve to indicate whether the maintenance of a proper reproductive relationship between female and male requires that their general social relations should take any particular form, or display specific characteristics.
The number of possible answers to that question is considerable, ranging from the assertion that only during reproductive activity itself is there any need to distinguish between the roles of men and women, up to and including the proposition that every aspect of human society should reflect the distinction. The first extreme is theoretically tenable but, as has been concluded earlier in this Essay, the opposite extreme is almost certainly not. In the great majority of human relationships therefore, it is to be expected that the Society of HumanKind will find the gender of the participants totally irrelevant.
However, it must be admitted that that conclusion implies the existence of some sort of boundary between, on the one hand, the reproductive relationship of males and females, and, on the other, all other forms of social interaction between them. In turn, that then raises the question of where that boundary should rightly fall. Which aspects of our lives need to take account of the female/male distinction, and which can safely be ignored if we are to preserve and reinforce our power to reproduce ourselves? Here is a fertile and useful field of study for the Society of HumanKind that it can properly pursue as part of its Duty.
If those researches lead the Society to conclude that any systematic distortion of our wider social relationships on the basis of gender is necessary in order better to support the overriding need for the preservation of our reproductive capacity, then the reasons for our tolerance of them should never be lost. The Society must never allow itself to forget that non-reproductive distinctions between men and women are our own invention. Nor should the Society allow its adherents to become so accustomed to them that they loose sight of their origins, and assume them to be a 'natural', 'normal' or 'right' reflection of other non-biological differences between the sexes.
In any event the general view of the Society of HumanKind in these matters can be set out now. Because, whatever the outcome of its researches, the Society will always need to be conscious of its obligation to abide by the requirement of the Principle of Peace. That demands that all the qualities, capacities and abilities of every member of our species must be equally valued and equally developed, if its Aim is to be rigorously and effectively pursued.
The Society and all its adherents must therefore take the view that any wider impact on the relationship between the sexes made necessary by our judgement that they are required to preserve our reproductive capacity, must be strictly minimised. That minimal level of distinction should be tolerated only while it can be demonstrated that the overflow from the necessary biological roles of male and female into other social relationships continues to contribute directly and essentially to the maintenance of the Conditions of the Dogma, and particularly to the preservation of the capacity of our species to reproduce itself into an infinite future. In accordance with its Principles, the Society will always begin with the assumption that all other systematic social distinctions between female and male are unjustified and indefensible.
The hope must be that the emergence and progress of the Society of HumanKind will make the discussion in this Essay redundant. Humanity has already wasted enough time, and caused far too much suffering, by using the issue of the relationship between men and women as a vent for its many prejudices and insecurities.
|Index (no frames)||top||Society homepage|