The Society of HumanKind
The Treatise on Morality touches on the subject of salvation. It gives a broad indication of our life following the achievement of the Aim of the Society of HumanKind. It does not however, discuss the stance or teachings of the Society on the issue of human salvation prior to that apocalyptic change in our condition. That omission will be corrected here.
These matters are important only in the early stages of the development of the Society. The vast majority of the other belief systems, religions and social theories presently dealing with the meaning and purpose of human existence have very clear teachings on the subject of salvation and our life after death. It is likely therefore, that the Society will initially be confronted on this issue, and have to answer questions about it. Once its views are widely understood however, it is to be expected that this Essay will become an anachronism.
The questions most likely to trouble the Society and its adherents are, first; who qualifies for salvation in the system of thought of the Society of HumanKind, and second; how do they gain that goal? The majority of presently existing and previous alternatives to the Society answer the first question with the bald statement that believers, within their own particular definition of that term, are the only qualifiers. That attitude has been both the greatest strength and weakest aspect of the systems of thought of the predecessors of the Society. The strength lies in the power of that rule to bind followers to their faith once they are committed to the movement. Its weakness is the resulting tendency of those belief systems to concentrate on recruiting the immature and the troubled, so that the fear of the loss of salvation can operate to retain them if and when doubts later emerge.
By contrast, as the Essay on Evangelism makes clear, the Society of HumanKind will not consider anyone for membership in any of its categories of adherence unless, in the full maturity of their adulthood, they have clearly, freely, openly and deliberately decided to accept the Axioms and have then chosen the Objective of the Dogma as the purpose of their lives. Only when those independent acts of faith are firmly in place will the Society then allow admission to those prepared to take the final step of dedicating themselves to their own salvation and that of their fellows by a public affirmation of the Aim, Duty and Responsibility of the Society. Despite this careful process of admission, the Society will not then seek to bind its followers irrevocably to its cause. It will not require anyone to remain in the Society, nor will it impose any penalty on any adherent if at any stage they subsequently find that they cannot continue to accept all those conditions. To do otherwise would be to contravene the spirit of the Principles 1.3 and 2.2.
The second question likely to face adherents of the Society is, how do individuals gain the goal of salvation? Other movements may allow unbelievers to obtain salvation, but admission to that state is usually hedged with complexities and difficulty in order to maintain the strength of the grip of the movement on its existing membership. In any case, access to the promise of salvation invariably involves some form of conversion to what is held to be true belief, even if at a very late stage.
It is here that the greatest contrast between the Society and its predecessors and competitors can be found. By its Aim, the Society is dedicated to the salvation of the whole of humanity whatever their beliefs or actions during life. It will therefore extend is promise of salvation to the whole of the human species, past, present and to come, without reservation or exception.
Indeed, the Society will be anxious to share its gift of eternal life with unbelievers, detractors, prosecutors and opponents, as well as with those who have accepted the Axioms and chosen the Dogma, but have found other ways of giving expression to that faith. There are sound reasons for that unique stance. In the first place, it will ensure that all and any injustices in our lives can be corrected at our reunification. More fundamentally, and by a natural extension of the Principle of Peace, the Society will want to preserve all the talents, skills, qualities and abilities of the whole human species into our new existence, in order to provide humanity with the largest possible reservoir of attributes to meet the unforeseeable difficulties and problems of the unprecedented epoch that will follow the achievement of Objective of the Dogma when the Aim of the Society, if not already realised, will be pursued. The Principle of Peace therefore provides both a moral and a practical justification for the dedication of the Society to the salvation of all members of the human species. Its application to the question of salvation is also no more than a continuance of the general policy of the Society toward the importance of every individual, and an expression of its self-interest in seeking to maintain and continue the best possible conditions for the pursuit of its Aim.
The attitude of the Society in these matters is therefore not wholly disinterested, nor is it divorced from its efforts to attract recruits and retain its membership. On the contrary, its Responsibility; its fear of breaking faith with those whose legacy is the opportunity to pursue its Aim, and the desire to ensure that succeeding generations do not abandon us to oblivion when we can no longer help ourselves, will generate strong pressure toward conformity and continuity within the Society. But the promise of salvation given by the Society is, in fact, contingent on nothing more than membership of the human species.
That must surely be a better bargain than any ever before offered to humanity by any similar movement, and proof, if it be needed, that the Society is solely composed of those who truly love the whole of humanity without caveat or quibble.
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