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D . The Utilitarian Dogma

By definition, the fundamental social goals and moral rules of the Agnostic Church are utilitarian in nature.14

In accordance with this dogma, the focus of all moral choices between two or more courses of conduct which are possible is the choice of which course of conduct promotes the greatest amount of happiness (or avoids the greatest amount of unhappiness), not only in the individual making the choice, but in all individuals affected by that choice.15 Believe it or not, the Utilitarian Dogma is actually the basis for the present form of Western Civilization. If you closely examine most of the concepts of the relationship between the government, the individual, and the duties imposed upon each of them in modern Western Civilization, you will see the underlying pattern of Utilitarianism. The difficulty is that this concept is not taught to our children, so what they see is a whole complex batch of rules which were originally derived based upon utilitarian principles, but were then modified by the political process to be non-utilitarian in nature. It is a natural fact that laws which unjustly penalize one individual and unjustly reward another are eventually seen as unfair to the masses, who then protest these unjust laws. However, since the masses are not taught to think in terms of Utility, the protest becomes formless, and the politicians do whatever they feel like doing. If there is a revolution to be found in the dogma of the Agnostic Church, it is the revolution in political thinking which is demanded by the Utilitarian Dogma.

14 Scholars of Western Civilization classify philosophies in various ways. The philosophy expressed herein is a derivative of universalistic hedonism, or Utilitarianism, which is based upon a formula which is usually expressed as the "greatest pleasure of the greatest number." Since most people do not have the time for large amounts of introspective thought when confronted with a moral choice, this bible contains a set of rules by which the individual might take a shortcut to making the proper choice. Thus, formally speaking, the Agnostic Church advocates "rule" Utilitarianism as the proper philosophy of life.

15 For an overview of the classical concept of Utilitarianism, see the excellent article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (for the 1975 edition, it is at 19:1), or seek out the works of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, the principal proponents of this system of thinking. (For John Stuart Mill, his most important works are collected in Volume 43, beginning on page 260, Great Books of the Western World, 1952 Edition.)

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