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E . The Principle of Avoidance of Tyranny

Tyranny is the "oppressive, severe, and unjust domination"16 of one or more individuals by one or more other individuals, up to and including society as a whole. It is the principle of the Agnostic Church that all tyranny should be avoided.17 The main focus of this principle is the avoidance of unjust domination18 of the individual by the rules adopted by society. Our present society is hugely out of balance on this point because it allows a small minority to unjustly dominate the vast majority.19 Because there probably is one weirdo who might take an assault rifle and attack a bunch of children at school (or some such), no person should be allowed to have an assault rifle.20 In other words, society has unjustly exercised domination over the many, who would never even think of misusing the particular item in question, in order to avoid misuses by the one weirdo who has a predisposition towards misusing said item. When viewed in light of the Dangerous Knowledge Dogma, the answer becomes clearer. To avoid tyranny, society must focus on identifying those individuals who should be prohibited from possessing and/or using dangerous knowledge rather than on creating a blanket proscription against anyone possessing and/or using the dangerous knowledge,21 because any such blanket proscription amounts to tyranny.22


16 Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Copyright 1971 by G. & C. Merriam Co.

17 This principle is directly derived from the Freedom Dogma.

18 The concept of what domination is just and what domination is unjust is determined according to the rule of Utility, which simply stated is which course of conduct provides the greatest happiness to the greatest number, or avoids the greatest harm to the greatest number.

19 Think of the debate over school prayer, for example, where a few atheists and their sympathizers have totally driven the teaching of moral values out of the public schools.

20 This is intended as an illustration only, not as a moral statement that average individuals have an inherent right to possess assault rifles. The question of whether or not individuals should have that right needs to be analyzed in accordance with the Utilitarian Dogma and the Dangerous Knowledge Dogma, a lengthy process due to all of the considerations which must be weighed. The initial church position is, however, that some individuals who are properly screened by proper procedures should have the right to own and/or possess assault rifles.

21 This does not mean that society cannot establish some reasonable qualifications for the possession and/or use of certain kinds of "dangerous knowledge." (See the Dangerous Knowledge Dogma.)

22 In essence, you have convicted all individuals of the crime of possible misuse of dangerous knowledge without any evidence, trial, or JUSTICE at all!

Copyright 1994-1999 by the Agnostic Church

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