Degree VI — Questions

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Degree VI Lecture

"Duty is the moral magnetism which controls and guides the true Mason's course over the tumultuous seas of life... To perform that duty, whether the performance be rewarded or unrewarded, is his sole care. And it does not matter though there may be no witnesses of this performance and though what he does will be forever unknown to all mankind." — Albert Pike.

1. Does the concept of "duty" still have any relevance to the society in which you live? Should duty be inculcated as part of public education?

2. Are a sense of self-importance and desire for personal fame conducive to the welfare of the generality of mankind?

3. "We are not born for ourselves alone: our country claims her share, and our friends their share, of us. As all that the earth produces is created for the use of man, so men are created for the sake of men, that they may mutually do good to one another. In this we ought to take nature for our guide, and throw into the public stock the offices of general utility by a reciprocation of duties — sometimes by receiving, sometimes by giving, and sometimes to cement human society by arts, by industry, and by our resources." — Albert Pike

Discuss the extent to which state "welfare" legislation absolves the individual from the personal duties implied by the above quotation? Would society be better served by reliance on "mutuality"?

4. "Every man has in his own life sins enough, in his own mind trouble enough, and in performance of his offices failings more than enough, to entertain his own inquiry: so that curiosity after the affairs of others cannot be without envy and an ill mind." — Albert Pike

Do the contents of the news media in your country support the proposition that you live in a "benevolent" society?

5. "To be liberal, but only of that which is our own; to be generous, but only when we have first been just; to give, when to give costs something in the way of deprivation of luxury or comfort: this is Masonry indeed." — Albert Pike

Does compulsory taxation tend to advance or retard the virtue of generosity? Argue your case.

6. Reflect on Pike's summation of "the horrors and woes accumulated in a single war" and consider whether and how voluntary "Peace Societies" could make a significant contribution to world peace.