Degree XXI — Questions

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Degree XXI Lecture
Degree IX Lecture
The Republic

1. "The Knights of this Order originally united themselves together ... when, in consequence of the general disorder that prevailed all over Europe and the multitude of estates and titles left to be disputed, wrong and violence went unrebuked and became superior to the law." — Albert Pike
a. Where in the world of today do you not find "general disorder" and "estates and titles left to be disputed"?
b. Do you feel any desire to "unite yourself" with others in order to facilitate just settlement of disputes and to establish and maintain a system of justice?
c. What do you understand by 'justice'?
d. What principles is it important to enshrine in the design of a system for the administration of justice?

2. "You are especially charged in this Degree to be modest and humble, and not vain-glorious nor filled with self-conceit. Be not wiser in your own opinion than the Deity, nor find fault with His works, nor endeavour to improve upon what He has done." — Albert Pike
a. Comment on the difficulties inherent in employing political and military power to serve the administration of justice.
b. By what other means do you consider a tolerable balance between claim and counter-claim might be achieved over time?
c. What do you consider to be the highest authority and source of principles on which a system of justice must ultimately be founded.

3. Refer to the paragraph on Necessity in the lecture for Degree IX, and discuss:
a. the criteria that might be applied to determine whether or not a particular person is fit to be a free individual in a free society.
b. the sanctions that might apply to an individual judged to be unfit.
c. the precautions that should be taken to minimise injustice and make restitution when necessary.

4. "...a slander once raised will scarce ever die or fail of finding many that will allow it both a harbour and a trust." — Albert Pike
a. Why are freedom of speech and uncensored public information media necessary for maintaining and/or restoring a just balance between claim and counter-claim in the minds of the population at large?
b. How may public information media themselves foment disorder and pervert the course of justice?
c. By what criteria could you judge that a convicted criminal had "wiped the slate clean"?
d. Explain how the Internet can enable the "modest and humble" individual to further the cause of justice and influence the development of just administrative systems.

5. a. What effect is political or religious terrorism likely to have on the prevalence of gossip and rumour among the population of a state or of a community within it?
5. b. In such circumstances, what precautions should be taken to preserve the liberty of the law-abiding individual?
5. c. Why are the concepts of 'habeas corpus', 'presumption of innocence' and 'trial by jury' important in safeguarding the liberty of individuals who may be falsely accused or suspected of terrorist activity?
5. d. What other principles, if any, do you consider might it be necessary to apply for the prevention of injustice?
5. e. If you were the accused in a trial before a jury, would you welcome the presence of one or more "Noachites" among its members?

6. "To be modest and unaffected with our superiors is duty; with our equals, courtesy; with our inferiors, nobleness." — Albert Pike
a. Why is it desirable for administrators, jurors, journalists, politicians, religious leaders, and all others who attempt to influence public opinion to "be modest and unaffected" and to cultivate "nobility of soul"?
b. How could private membership of non-religious, non-political, non-commercial organisations such as Freemasonry contribute to the cultivation of such qualities?

7. a. Comment on the proposition that the honest government of a peace-loving nation would have no need either to employ spies of its own or to fear their employment by other nations.
7. b. What precautions do you consider necessary to forestall terrorist activity within such a nation?
7. c. What supplements to fines and imprisonment do you consider might be helpful in "letting the punishment fit the crime".