7.8 Summary


(1) To clarify and enrich the meaning of Beyondism, so far presented only in logical abstractness, the present chapter brings out some illustrations of departures from the familiar values ordained by currently predominant and traditional moral systems. Its bearings are here given with respect to revealed religions such as Christianity, Humanism, Existentialism, Communism, and the implicit secular values in the economic customs regulating society. (This chapter restricts to more general values since the next chapter proceeds to actual social measures and mechanisms.) Nevertheless, because dependable inferences for social progress require that the already explicit basic principles be brought into conjunction with particular facts, and because scientific laws have not yet been established clearly connecting principles and facts in these areas through social science research, the conclusions and illustrations here must be considered quite tentative. Even so it is illuminating to see how strikingly different the new conclusions regarding social values frequently are from the stereotyped answers of either "conservative" revealed religion or "radical" social writings.


(2) Explicit differences from the principal revealed, universalist religions have been constantly brought out in passing, but as we definitely focus on them here we note four main departures: (i) that Beyondism plans for a constant revision of values by scientific research; (ii) that the universalistic religions are imperialistic in their universalism, seeking an homogeneous and identical set of cultural-moral values, whereas Beyondism calls for a distinct ethical value system "federated" in universalism, in which the only common tenet is a basic assertion of brotherhood in supporting whatever persistent competition is necessary to evolution (as an agreement to disagree, while maintaining mutual respect and goodwill); (iii) that there is a sharp difference in attitude to the treatment of poverty and misfortune. For Beyondism proposes a compassion so directed as to offer elimination of the problem, not a perverted compassion which ensures its continuation; (iv) that Beyondism must decline to gain acceptance at the cost of making largely illusory emotional "deals."


(3) In the third respect an important difference is that whereas universalistic religions laud love as a motive, and consider that universal love of man by man can do no wrong, Beyondism (while agreeing that love as agape [compassion] is normally in short supply in human relations, and a rarer commodity than love as eros [passion]) recognizes that any emotion can err, since our past genetic emotional development is inadequate to modern needs. One of the defects and dangers of love (as agape) is that it can be more concerned with human freedom from stress than human achievement and adventure in evolution, and that its aim can slide without any definable stopping point from concern with man's happiness to concern with his pleasure and indulgence.


(4) The incompatibility of Beyondism with revealed religions (which latter many modern intellectuals and Humanists consider obsolete) turns out, as regards conclusions (rather than ways of reaching them) to be less uncompromising than with a mass of modern writing which some "intellectuals" embrace in "Humanism," "Existentialism," and some ill thought out varieties of "liberalism." Humanism now has the quality of a social value movement (no longer restricted to the academic meaning of Humanistic studies) which, like other secular religions, claims to contrast itself as "free thinking" and "rational" with the "dogmatic" basis of revealed religions. Actually, however, it is not one iota less intuitive and a priori in the source of its values. Indeed many of the values in Humanism and Existentialism are a digest of fragments eclectically and uncritically absorbed from various religions over two thousand (and particularly the last four hundred) years of Humanist thought. In some cases their emotional inheritance from dogmatic religions has favored more the comfortable illusions than the austere truths.


(5) Lacking any doctrinal precision and dogma these "secular" religions are open to steady attrition of values. Also they continually tend to discard restraints that are onerous or exacting, by the intellectual rationalizations based on the pleasure principle and narcism as studied in the last chapter. Especially this shows itself in an unwillingness to entertain concepts of guilt or sin, and to retain the functions of retributive justice and the concept of contrition that psychologically belong therewith.


(6) These are some among many consequences of the basic difference of Beyondism from Humanism, Existentialism and secular moralities generally. The basic difference is that the former begins with the inexorable standards inferred from the nature of the outer world, in relation to survival and progress, whereas the latter start with human felt needs and intuitions. This does not mean that Beyondism ignores the inner depths of feelings. On the contrary it recognizes that the compexity of the external adjustment requires an educated complexity of inner emotional life, particularly in sharing the tragic sense of our adjustive tasks in human destiny as we see it. Thus it appreciates as much as the humanities do the need for moral values to be enriched and explained in art and literature, but questions only the nature of the values. Part of the basic difference indicated by this rejection by Beyondism of naive anthropocentrism appears in the humanistic ascription to man of godlike capacities, certainties and virtues. Here Beyondism is closer to traditional religions in recognizing his meager status, while yet it exhorts him to the Promethean adventure.


(7) In relation to Communism, and some socialist philosophies, the progressive nature of the Beyondism position is apparent in (a) its recognition that any "Utopian" pattern is born static and dead; (b) an emphasis on the indispensableness of individuality of thinking in producing progress, which is unlikely to reach its full independence without being sustained by economic freedom and social independence; (c) perceiving both differences of earning and saving to have, over and above their social motivational value, a function in maintaining genetic progress within the group ("To each according to his needs" is an inadequate philosophy); (d) recognizing that any lack of within-group selection is likely to throw the burden on between-group selection which is less efficient, and (e) regarding the removal of poverty by "spreading it thin" as merely sweeping the real problem under the mat the real problem being a partly genetic, partly motivational inadequacy in a section of the population which unless dealt with will debilitate the total group and weaken its chances of survival.

In relation to capitalism the problems are (a) the inadequacy of adjustment of rewards to contribution in activities lacking marketable value (basic research, moral enquiry, education); (b) a possibly excessive persistence of inheritance of property in relation to biological inheritance; (c) a poor direction of reward by the free market, e.g., in the encouragement of trivial amusements and material luxuries, relative to wiser production which some direction by a moral, foresighted elite government or church might foster and (d) probably a greater demand on morale in that it has to accommodate to appreciable individual difference in reward without destructive levels of envy being generated.


(8) In considering the relation of the values in current social economic measures to Beyondism one has to evaluate separately (a) the correctness of the present science (alas, still infantile) of economic laws in being able to reach assigned goals, and (b) the implicit values in the manipulations which both governments and socio-economic doctrinaire reformers now introduce. Any confident dependence on either the science or the entangled values would at present be ill-placed, both because economics as so far developed bears the defects of incomplete relation to social psychology, and because no serious attempt to state its implicit values has ever been made.


(9) Probably the maintenance of a fundamentally free and competitive economy, with the added government controls necessary to integration, and acceptance of the Keynesian aim of a steady, full draft on the furnace of the economy will prove to be basically consistent with Beyondism. But the latter also requires in principle that the genetic and educational supply of people should be made responsive to the market, and this involves clashes with present values. As much adaptation to economic laws as Beyondism advocates does not mean acceptance of economic requirements as final arbiters, but only the recognition that economic laws belong to, and reflect in human society, the realities of man's relations to his environment. For economic manipulations should have more than economic goals, and in fact current economic practices are ignoring the necessary subordination of immediate economic "desirables" to the ultimate evolutionary goals involved in group survival, genetic selection, scientific discovery, and cultural experiment.















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