The attitude of the Society toward God and his competitors for the devotion of humanity is discussed. In the process it is concluded that mere belief in the existence of such a power or entity is not incompatible with membership of the Society of HumanKind, due to the Society's acceptance of the Axiomatic uncertainty of all human knowledge and belief .
God is briefly mentioned in the Foreword to 'Foundations', and is tangentially touched upon elsewhere in these founding writings. The issue of the attitude of the Society to God and his competitors as the originator of human life and the purpose of our existence is not directly addressed in those places. The reason is that the founding books are concerned to set out, and work through, the implications of an acceptance of the Axioms and choice of the Dogma. They are not, as the Treatise on Tolerance, the peroration to the Discourse, and the Essay on Evangelism, make clear, an attempt to replace or supplant any firmly held belief in God.
Neither does the Society of HumanKind deny the existence of God or any of his competitors for the devotion of humanity, as the Treatise on Tolerance makes explicit. That paradoxical consequence of the ultimately absolute uncertainty of the Axioms is set out at the beginning of the Essay on Evangelism. However, in a world dominated by systems of ideas based on God and other transcendent beliefs and entities, this is clearly a question on which the views of the Society could, with benefit, be further clarified.
The position of the Society on these issues begins with a reminder of the process, described in the Foreword to 'Foundations', by which it came into existence. The Society was not established, nor does it seek, to undermine or dispute well-founded and firmly held beliefs among humanity. It offers instead a refuge for those unable or unwilling fully to accept them. Its abstention from any form of evangelism, and its oft-repeated determination not to proselytise, is the outward expression of that stance. It is also said in the Treatise on Tolerance that there is no incompatibility between the existence of the Society and the promulgation of alternative views of the origins and purpose of humankind. To the contrary, the Society is bound by its principles to foster and encourage such views where they exist among humanity.
That full and free attitude of supportive co-existence with other systems of belief must however, be conditioned by the Society's devotion to its own Aim, Duty and Responsibility, a limit which is fully described in the Treatise on Tolerance and further discussed elsewhere in these Essays. In sum, adherence to the Objective of the Dogma imposes a limit on the Society in its freedom to foster, encourage, tolerate and support other systems of belief. Its willing co-existence with God and his competitors will depend on there being no substantial threat to the infinite survival of humankind, nor any significant restriction in the continuing growth of human knowledge, as a result.
Those familiar with these writings will readily recognise the direction of the foregoing discussion. This is yet another major problem for the Society whose solution or solutions, cannot be prescribed or predicted in advance of the need for them. What view the Society will take of its relationship with other systems of belief at any point in time must depend on the judgement it then makes on the future consequences of any stance it may decide to adopt. Clearly, in the uncertain world of the Axioms such decisions must be made when they arise, and can never be anticipated. All that can be said here in this Essay is that the devotion of the Society of HumanKind to the…