Degree X — Questions

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Related Essay(s):

Degree X Lecture
The Mission of Moses

"Education, Instruction and Enlightenment are the most certain means by which Fanaticism and Intolerance can be rendered powerless." — Albert Pike.

1. Do you accept the truth of the quotation above? Can responsibility for education safely be entrusted to a government which may itself be inclined towards fanaticism and intolerance? Argue your case.

2. "Nor does he [the Mason] approve the course of those who endanger the peace of great nations and the best interests of their own race by indulging in a chimerical and visionary philanthropy — a luxury which they can only enjoy by drawing their robes around them to avoid contact with their fellows and proclaiming themselves holier than they." — Albert Pike.

Consider the relevance of these words to the question of indiscriminate international "aid".

3. "... if a Lodge cannot aid in founding a school or an academy, it can still do something. It can educate at least one boy or girl, the child of some poor or departed Brother." — Albert Pike.

Is compulsory taxation morally better or worse than voluntary charity as a method of funding education? Why?

4. Would you prefer to rely on occasional flashes of genius, on governmental provision, or on patient, diligent industry, as a means of advancing your personal education and career projects? Why?

5. "We may well be tolerant of each other's creed; for in every faith there are excellent moral precepts." — Albert Pike.

Comment on the multi-faith moral precepts summarised in the lecture as guides for the development of personal responsibility.

6. What practical steps could you take to improve mutual understanding and tolerance between yourself and a neighbour from a different cultural background?

7. Re-read the final paragraph of the Degree Lecture, and consider whether and how international Freemasonry could be adapted to compensate for the ever-increasing fragmentation and mutual intolerance exhibited among the various factions of the great world religions.