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J . The Dangerous Knowledge Dogma

It must be remembered that some types of highly dangerous knowledge are of no use to ordinary individuals, and society may rightly require special permission43 for the possession and/or use of those types of dangerous knowledge.44 Dangerous knowledge of all types must be withheld from all individuals who have not mastered, or who are incapable of mastering, the wisdom which is necessary as a prerequisite to the possession of said dangerous knowledge, and dangerous knowledge which requires special permission for its possession and/or use must be withheld from all individuals not possessing said special permission. When circumstances do not allow preventing access to dangerous knowledge, the necessary wisdom must be forced upon the individual, or else the individual must be otherwise prevented from using the dangerous knowledge. A corollary to this principle is that each parent is responsible for ensuring that the children for which said parent has responsibility are each trained in the necessary wisdom before the children reach the age where access to dangerous knowledge is automatically allowed.45 So, why allow access to dangerous knowledge at all? There are several reasons. First, all knowledge is part of the universe of knowledge, any portion of which may contain one or more clues to the true nature of God, and thus all knowledge is invaluable in and of itself for that reason alone. Second, much dangerous knowledge, if not all dangerous knowledge, has more than one use, and only a portion of these multiple uses are harmful, and frequently, dangerous knowledge used with the requisite wisdom is quite beneficial.46 Thus, dangerous knowledge is like any tool, which may be used for evil or for good, according to the will of the individual who controls it.47 The challenge is thus to ensure that all individuals develop the necessary wisdom and will power to avoid harmful and/or evil uses of dangerous knowledge before they are allowed access to said dangerous knowledge. Since a free society makes much dangerous knowledge readily available to all who seek it, the fundamental thrust of society must be to ensure that young people are instructed in wisdom and control of their own will power before they naturally gain the mobility to acquire dangerous knowledge without control. Society must also develop appropriate responses to those individuals who negligently or willfully abuse dangerous knowledge.


41 This began as a dogma, but the concept did not seem central to the belief system, meaning that it seemed an individual could dissent from or even disbelieve this concept and still function as a member of the Agnostic Church, so this was demoted to a principle. Then, upon further examination, it was promoted back to dogma by considering the moral choice of whether an individual who disbelieves this concept should be tolerated in the Agnostic Church. Upon substantial reflection, it was felt that no such individual should be tolerated because such an individual might inflict unnecessary harm upon self or upon other innocent individuals by acquiring or distributing dangerous knowledge without the prerequisite wisdom. (However, it should be remembered that the concept of "harm upon self" is limited by the Freedom Dogma.)

42 Without limiting or intending to limit the concept of dangerous knowledge, here are a few examples. Entertainment: adult language, adult situations, nudity, sex, violence (including violent video games), etc. Health: everything associated with sex acts and/or suicide. Technology: everything associated with all kinds of weapons, explosives, machinery, poisons, etc.; and everything about how to perform genetic engineering, etc.

43 Special permission should never be unreasonably withheld when some proper justification is presented.

44 Things like how to build atomic bombs, how to genetically engineer a virus, etc.

45 For example, if access to sexual knowledge is allowed at age 13, then sexual wisdom must be taught before the child reaches age 13.

46 Again, using sexual knowledge as an example, some sexual knowledge is mandatory in order to propagate the species. Additional sexual knowledge makes available a wealth of joy and happiness to the individuals who possess it, thus contributing to their enlightenment.

47 This concept frequently appears in arguments in favor of the free access to guns. The position of the Agnostic Church is that access to guns is access to dangerous knowledge because the knowledge of how to use guns is openly available to any member of our society, thus by the effect of choices already made by society, the only way to rationally prevent harmful use of guns is to prevent access to guns. Accordingly, the Agnostic Church supports gun control, but in the form of licensing guns and/or gun owners (the "special permission," which shall not be unreasonably withheld), and NOT in the form of blanket bans of certain types of guns.

Copyright 1994-1999 by the Agnostic Church

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