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G . The Mutual Duty31 Dogma

In order to have a society of individuals and organizations which functions for the purpose of promoting the greater good of all, each individual in a society must relinquish a certain portion of the freedom of that individual (see the explanation for the Freedom Dogma, above), and take up a duty to the other individuals in the society, and to the society as a whole. In exchange, society assumes a duty to protect the remaining freedom of said individual, and assumes a duty to said individual to provide a certain amount of security against adversity, all within the rule structure of the society as a whole. In a perfect world, the duties of the individual and society (and/or its organizations or relationships) should be perfectly balanced with one another, but because of the Imperfection Dogma (which see, below), all individuals must recognize that there cannot ever be such a perfect balance, and thus for the good of society and all of its constituent components (individuals and organizations), minor disparities must be ignored as if they did not exist, and each individual must be prepared to willingly contribute more than their "perfect distribution" share,36 and receive in return less than their "perfect distribtuion" share, sacrificing the remainder of whatever might be due to them in a perfect exchange in return for the value of preserving the society, organization, or relationship at issue. The purpose of this kind of sacrifice is to achieve the overall goals of society and the organizations and relationships encouraged by society without the creation of substantial amounts of ill feelings (such as "being put upon") among any of the participants. Finally, this assertion of dogma should never be read as supporting an assertion that society owes an individual a basic level of support for which the individual need not contribute according to the abilities of the individual. If an individual demands support from society, for whatever reason, society has a right to demand contributions from the individual according to the abilities of the individual in question.37


31 The concept that each individual has duties which must be performed is one of the fundamental concepts of civilization. Thomas Henry Huxley [1825-1895] said: "Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly." (Technical Education [1877].)

32 Throughout, the concept of "rules" includes the concept of any restrictions placed by society upon the freedom of the individual to act or refuse to act.

33 Throughout, the concept of "society" includes the concept of the society as a whole, and each organization which exists as part of society and which the individual has voluntarily associated, including all relationships of the individual to any other individual members of the society. This concept includes, as part of the concept of society, any and all marital or family relationships, any and all tribal relationships, and any and all business relationships.

34 The fundamental rights of the individual are those which are expressed by dogma, such as the Equality Dogma and the Freedom Dogma.

35 Thomas Henry Huxley [1825-1895] said: "Becky Sharp's acute remark that it is not difficult to be virtuous on ten thousand a year has its application to nations; and it is futile to expect a hungry and squalid population to be anything but violent and gross." (Joseph Priestly [1874].) The reference to "Becky Sharp" is actually a reference to a quotation from William Makepeace Thackeray [1811-1863], Vanity Fair [1847-1848], Volume II, Chapter 1, "I think I could be a good woman if I had five thousand a year." The unit of measure for each was British Pounds of their respective dates. In each case, the value of 5 or 10 thousand per year is considerable.

36 Therapists who specialize in relationship therapy recognize that two of the ways in which to ensure failure in a relationship are for the parties to insist on exact 50-50 splits out of a two way relationship, because it is highly improbably that each party would evaluate the value of the two sides of the exchange in the same manner, and thus attempts to balance the two sides of an exchange invariably lead to relationship destroying conflict. The only way to avoid such conflict is to establish a mechanism, based upon the principle of sacrifice, whereby each individual agrees to accept an (allegedly) unfavorable exchange, so long as it is not too far out of balance, for the good of the relationship as a whole.

37 Thus, the principal objection of the Agnostic Church to the present welfare system is that it fails to link payments to the individual to the performance of some duty which is performed for the benefit of society, or of some needy individual members of the society. This objection is already well recognized by the current group of politicians, who are attempting to remedy the situation with a series of half measures. We ought to declare the principle and then revise the policies and procedures so that they are all in accord with this principle.

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