The Aim of the Society of HumanKind will be achieved in two prodigiously difficult stages. The first will be the discovery of a means for humanity to extend life beyond death. The second, and perhaps even more intimidating, will then be to find a way of using that new freedom to retrieve all past, present and future members of human kind into a new immortal era.
It is not enough that humankind should gain the power to save itself from oblivion. The Society requires that we should then extend immortality to others of our kind whom death has already overcome. Without that extension, much of the moral force of the Society is lost.
No-one can know what will lead humankind to these unprecedented discoveries. The Society's faith is that limitless time and an endless search must eventually lead us to them. But it also seeks to apply all the talents, abilities, energies and peculiarities of our species to the task. Which must mean that it gives whole-hearted and enthusiastic support the idea that knowledge, and the information it generates, should be freely shared as a common resource for all humanity.
The benefits of the principle of the free exchange of knowledge and the information that comes from it are surely self-evident and undeniable. It is the basis for the explosive growth of science and technology, with all the benefits (as well as the problems, of course) of modern society. It is also the best and most straightforward route to the achievement of the Aim of the Society. By contrast, ignorance born of isolation, and its political twin, the deliberate suppression or distortion of information, have been, and remain, the greatest obstacle to every form of human progress. With the appearance of the Society we must surely have reached the point, if we have not already done so, where free access to all knowledge is accepted as a universal rule.
The wonder is that so many people continue to support the suppression of knowledge and the control of information. Or insist that both are commodities to be traded and sold among a privileged few, which amounts to the same thing. Such people ignore the fact that every piece of new knowledge, every discovery, every invention, every inspiration, stands on a vast base of accumulated human enquiry and experience. And every great innovator is born into, nurtured, protected, encouraged, fostered, trained, fed and watered by a community without which they could not survive let alone produce their wonders.
Yet as soon as they make their great discovery, the moment they commit their momentous thoughts to the publisher, too many so-called 'great men' forget their obligation to those who preceded them and made their success possible. Suddenly they see themselves in isolation, standing alone and unaided on their own genius, now the benefactor rather than the debtor of human society.
By its pursuit of its Aim the Society of HumanKind rejects that view, root and branch. It lives by the commonalty of all human kind, therefore believing that, in principle, anything and everything known to any member of humanity should be freely available to every other. The free publication of its founding books is the clearest possible demonstration of the commitment of the Society to that ideal. And the achievement of its Aim will make universal freedom of information a reality for all humankind.
The Society does not however, seek political power in any form. It will no doubt therefore, have to accept limitations on full and free access to all knowledge and information during its mortal era. But if the Society is faithfully to pursue its Aim such restrictions will be few, and all bitterly opposed.
|Topic for Today||Previous Topics||Society homepage|
©Lawrence Thornton Roach
May, 2001 AD