The Society of HumanKind
The Objective of the Dogma is the liberation of humanity from the oblivion of death. That achievement will give our successors two incomparable and unprecedented opportunities. First, to escape from the constraints of their own mortality, and second, to retrieve all their predecessors into a new immortal era. The purpose of the Society of HumanKind, set out in its Aim, is to ensure that both those opportunities are actively sought and seized when they occur.
Precisely how those new abilities of our species may be gained and the exact way they will be used to reunite our species in an era beyond death, must necessarily be a matter of speculation if the Second and Third Axioms are accepted. However, some general conclusions about how that new liberty from mortality might be used by our successors can be drawn.
In the first place it is clear that, in rescuing earlier generations from oblivion, no member of our species will be retrieved before the last possible moment of their natural lives. To do so would be to alter the singular sequence of events that make up the history of our species, and lead to unpredictable, and possibly unimaginable, consequences. Simple prudence must therefore dictate that the retrieval of each individual will need to be indistinguishable, both in timing and appearance, from their actual death if our successors are to avoid those unintended, and perhaps catastrophic, effects.
Our successors are also likely to apply the same principles to the escape of their own and succeeding generations from the mortality of their physical existence. They may consider that each individual ought to be given the opportunity to live out their mortal lives in full, and reach the very brink of their natural death, before being admitted into immortality. We may hope however, and indeed safely assume, that our successors will understand and be skilled in these matters in ways we cannot anticipate. We should, perhaps, leave them finally to resolve such precise and unprecedented questions.
On the issue of what they will remove at the moment of death, we can be confident that it will not be the physical body of each individual. That action would have both effects on the environment and, in the case of earlier generations, a traumatic impact on those who might observe the event, with all the unforeseeable and possibly cataclysmic consequences already touched on in this Treatise. No such physical removal has been authenticated in our history, although it is presently an inexplicable feature of many of our existing religious beliefs. It is reasonable to conclude however, that bodily removal will not be part of the process of the reunification of humanity beyond the present constraints of its mortality if that is achieved by the Society of HumanKind.
The most likely method would seem to be the removal of the identity of the individual at the point of death, since that would be indistinguishable, both in appearance and in effect, from the expiration of a member of our species as we presently understand it. The settled sequence of human history would not therefore, be unduly disturbed. We may also assume that having the ability to retrieve individual identity, our successors will be able to arrest and reverse any decay, damage or decline and so restore every individual to the height of their powers. Further speculation on these questions is probably unwise in our present state of knowledge, and will therefore be carried no further here.
The vision that these conjectures create, of a reincarnation of each individual free from the constraints of their corporeal existence and from the degeneration to which our physical presence is subject, able to communicate with the whole human species and to draw upon all its accumulated wisdom and experience, is surely inspiring. That prospect also has another agreeable dimension. It gives rise to the possibility of our being able to live within our own imagination, to enjoy what we might individually imagine to be a perfect life, if we so choose, and to have perhaps, the power and the freedom to determine the precise conditions of our own existence and consciousness. That must surely describe the possibility of a personal and individual heaven. It should also be noted that this scenario does not preclude choice of the peace of eternal oblivion for those who truly desire and deserve it.
At the same time, achievement of the Aim of the Society has another important dimension. Reunification of the whole of humanity in a new immortal era will make the whole of human history, with every moment and place in time, open to retrospective examination and analysis by every member of our species, with far-reaching and complex consequences. In relation to the moral conduct of individuals, the most important effect is that the whole human species could, and may well, be present when judgements about the moral conduct of individuals are made, and that everyone will be able to contribute to them if they choose. Indeed, we have no way of knowing what facilities and opportunities might be available to us in our immortal era, so that it is conceivable that every member of humanity might be able to chose to be invisibly present at every moment of all of our lives.
These possibilities give rise to the prospect of every member of our species having to give a full, detailed and, moreover, personal account of their conduct during their lives following our reunification beyond death, and then face the judgement of their fellows on it for eternity. Such accounts of individual moral conduct will be given in circumstances in which every moment in human history can be examined and exhaustively discussed by every other member of our species.
In that connection, the reader will remember that the First and Third Axioms leave humanity solely responsible for its actions and decisions. They preclude adherents of the Society from seeking to shelter under any external authority for their moral conduct, or hiding behind any moral code governing their behaviour they may have chosen to adopt. Taken with the preceding discussion, that conclusion from the Axioms means that entry into the Society of HumanKind and the achievement of its Aim will make each individual fully, personally and directly accountable to each and every other member of our species for all actions in life. That responsibility will extend to the decision to adopt any authority or code of moral conduct, and for all the consequences of that, or any other, moral decision.
That then provides the secure base on which morality will be built in the era of the Society. Everyone who adheres to the Society will know that everything they do, no matter how secret or concealed, will be open to discovery and examination by the whole human species when the Aim of the Society is achieved. That must lead to a reconstruction of the concepts of heaven and hell, Arcady and Hades, and the many other variations to those opposites which have provided moral force to the religious and other predecessors of the Society.
In this new dispensation the power to reward or condemn individuals will no longer be vested in some external body or entity, or even granted to those who claim to represent those powers among the living generation. Adherents of the Society know that assignment to heaven or hell may still be made only after the final demise of their mortal bodies, as is the case with earlier systems of belief. But in the era of the Society such assignments will not be made by some ethereal power or entity or by any specially qualified group or section of humankind. Such judgements will be reached by the retrospective judgement of the whole of humankind, based on the totality of our conduct in life. Those sitting in judgement on us will especially include those who have shared our lives, and who may have been affected by our actions and decisions.
These conclusions provide a fearful sanction against misconduct and at the same time a powerful motive for individuals to adopt defensible moral principles to govern their lives. But those pressures toward morally defensible conduct can only be applied in retrospect and in our immortal era. The preceding discussion therefore, while providing an eventual sanction on moral misconduct, does not necessarily give guidance on how day-to-day moral decisions can be reached during the mortal period of our lives, as many readers will recognise. It also fails to set out any standards or criteria by which the Society can, in its mortal era, judge whether or not the conduct of any living individual should be praised or condemned.
That guidance is however, readily available. No final or definitive opportunity to pass judgement on the moral conduct of individuals will become available to humanity unless and until the Aim of the Society is achieved. A universal criterion of moral conduct is therefore established for all adherents of the Society when they choose the Dogma as the purpose of their lives, and is reinforced when they decide to affirm the Aim, Duty and Responsibility of the Society. The guiding principle provided by that choice and decision, is that preference must always be given to that moral decision best promoting the achievement of the Objective of the Dogma and the maintenance of its necessary twin Conditions in the circumstances then obtaining. The priority of those Conditions is established in the Treatise on Justice. There it is shown that the survival of our species must take precedence over the growth of our abilities, skills and knowledge.
Any moral decision that followers of the Dogma may need to make therefore, may be resolved, in the first instance, by an honest reflection on what will then best serve to ensure the infinite survival of the human species. Where the decision does not touch on that overriding requirement, or when it has already been safeguarded, it will then be proper to consider what action or decision will most readily contribute to an increase in the sum of human abilities, skills and knowledge. By applying that double gauge to their moral judgements, followers of the Dogma will ensure that the best interests of each individual are united with those of the whole of humanity. They will thereby finally resolve an ancient philosophic conundrum. The double-gauge of the Society, if faithfully followed, will establish an identity between self-interest and altruism in the moral life of its living adherents, while at the same time ensuring that their conduct will meet with the approval of the Society of HumanKind and all humanity when they come to judgement in our immortal era.
Choice of the Dogma as the purpose of life, and entry into membership of the Society of HumanKind, thus provides more than just the prospect of personal salvation. It also gives rise to a powerful and everlasting sanction against moral misconduct, and a defensible guide to everyday moral decisions. The structure of the Society will tend to support adherents in dealing with the moral dilemmas of life. Its organisation and Ordinances bring the combined wisdom of the whole human species to bear on the search for solutions to the constantly changing problems arising from the need to maintain the peaceful, co-operative and progressive social order that is necessary for the achievement of its Aim. It does so, moreover, in ways which will ensure that the faculty gained by that achievement will be used to the benefit of the whole of humanity through the commitment of the Society to retrieve every member of humanity from the oblivion of death.
The principles and conclusions set out in this Treatise may be enough to serve the moral needs of humanity in the period before the achievement of the Aim of the Society of HumanKind. That event will however, be a new beginning, marking the moment when we must all face the judgement of the whole of humanity on our conduct in life, under conditions in which the nature and motivation of every action and decision may be discoverable or will be known. And when we must yet again, perhaps for the last time, choose a meaning and purpose for our existence on which we can safely build our lives and our morality.
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