Religion, Ethics, and Society
The aim of this paper is to reveal the extremely close relations that exist among religion, ethics, and society. The fundamental relationship is that between religion and society, and it may be understood in two different ways: a) as a direct relationship, and b) as a relationship mediated by ethics.
In order to explain the direct relationship, we must first establish the meaning that we give to the term ‘religion’, which may be understood from two diametrically opposed points of view: a) the theological point of view, and b) the evolutionary one. According to the former, religion finds its expression in a theological doctrine, which articulates the characteristics of divinity, while the latter sees religion as the product of man’s natural evolution, made possible by consciousness of a higher order which has its origins in the human brain.
A combination of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the results of neuro-scientific research on the brain have thrown considerable light on the origins of man’s sense of religion. The history of human evolution has been distinguished by an increase in the brain’s capacity which has enabled the emergence of a kind of consciousness that is both primary and of a superior order. Superior consciousness in its turn has advanced the creation of languages, intentionality, and culture. Culture has manifested itself through science, art, morality, and religion. In all human cultures, and throughout history, religion has represented the highest and most universal expression of man’s creative abilities.
The universality of religion derives from the fact that, over the course of man’s evolutionary process, all human groups known to date have believed in the existence of a spiritual world which is parallel to, and distinct from, the real world, and have practised rites and recited prayers which have the objective not only of placating the invisible spiritual entities that inhabit that world, but also of winning them over inducing them to turn their merciful gaze towards human beings afflicted by continuous suffering.
The capacity to conceive religion is exclusive to human beings. There is not the tiniest amount of evidence that would suggest that other species living on the earth have anything that might even remotely resemble religion. This is not only due to the fact that other species do not have a language. Language is not necessary for a religion to be born: it only becomes a requirement when the intent is to define religious beliefs in a formal manner by specifying the nature of the divinity in which one believes and the characteristics of the afterlife for which one yearns.
Knowing that man is the product of evolution, we must ask ourselves what the selective pressures were that encouraged the birth of the religious impulse. If religion exists and is universal, what evolutionary benefit arises from it? What is the point of religious behaviour? Why do men and women of all ages go down on their knees, flagellate themselves, and kill and allow themselves to be killed in the name of God?
I believe that the selective advantage of religion that has induced nature to let it survive lies in its capacity to promote cohesion among men, and to impose social controls on organized groups. We reach this conclusion if we ask ourselves why religion has such a powerful grip on our species but has no influence over the animal kingdom. Why does mankind, which has developed its reasoning capacities to the highest level by using logic and mathematics still today yield to the demands to participate in a spiritual world which has been invented entirely by men of great charisma and powerful communication skills, to the point that people are willing to sacrifice their lives for it? There can only be one reply: religion is the only opportunity that we have to escape from daily lives made up of hardship, danger, and tyranny. It is likely, therefore, that the evolution of religion is due to the fact that it is a mechanism useful for maintaining unity within social groups and ensuring that their members work together for the common good.
Religion develops the sense of belonging to a social group: members who belong to an organized religious group are also part of a larger social group (political or economic), and they use religious bonds to reinforce it. But how is this sense of belonging created? The answer is simple: by sharing a belief in an afterlife populated by spirits that offer us support and privilege, a place where we will go after the death of our earthly bodies. This is the means with which to leave an earthly life that is a source of anxiety and danger. A belief in a world that runs parallel to our everyday world will not solve the human condition, but it does help man to cope with it more effectively if he knows that suffering in this life is matched by blessings in the next.
From the very earliest times, there have always individuals who have known how to interpret this religious leaning and channel it towards more or less noble aims. From the shaman in primitive religions to the creators of the great monotheistic and prophetic religions (Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed), which are today dominant almost the world over, mankind has always shown a willingness blindly to follow a magic pipe. This situation already includes all those elements that render the development of institutional religions possible. The shaman becomes the person who is gifted with magic powers, who can control both the earthly world and the afterlife, who can work miracles for poor humans, who can ease the passage of the dead to the hereafter. All the necessary conditions are present: one further step is enough to arrive at the ecclesiastical hierarchies and complex governmental apparatuses of the religious authorities.
Apart from the idea of survival beyond the death of the earthly body, all religions have exercised powerful coercion over their followers in order to reinforce their submission to the beliefs imposed on them. This, unfortunately, has involved waging war against those with different religious beliefs.
In this way, the other fundamental aspect of religion begins to become clear, and it is closely linked to the sense of belonging and to the cohesion of human groups: social control. The sharing of religious beliefs operates as a factor for the cohesion of groups; but once this cohesion has been created, it must be maintained over time. This is possible only if the members of the group continue to act in conformity with these beliefs. If, on the other hand, different beliefs arise within the group, the entire religious group runs the risk of being riven by conflict, and in the end of dying out. In order to maintain the status quo, therefore, it is necessary to exercise continuous control over members in order to be able to verify whether there is still loyalty towards the shared belief. Clearly, this type of social control can only be exerted by representatives of the dominant class, who derive benefit from maintenance of the status quo. Changes take place, on the other hand, a man of great charisma and authority breaks certain of the rules of the religious game, and starts a new belief system. A typical example of such a man is Jesus of Nazareth, who rejected certain of the fundamental principles of Judaism and gave rise to a new religion.
When religion asserts its authority over society, it uses powerful tools, such as immortality, metaphysics, and mysticism. Immortality, which is the promise of a life after death, taken together with the powerful sense of belonging generated by social cohesion, has been the ‘trump card’ for religion in the history of man’s evolution. Once a religion has completed the initial phase of its creation, it perfects its doctrine and power. Its primitive form of representation usually involves a creationist myth, which explains how the world began, and how the chosen few who believe in it can arrive there. Instructions and secret formulae to which only followers have access (such as the Jewish cabala) are almost always provided. Authority and power are exercised from above, following multiple levels of illumination. Holy places are chosen where the divinity can be invoked, and rites practised, and where self-improvement can be attained. The truth of one’s own beliefs and the condemnation of those of others are reaffirmed.
Religion feeds on metaphysics. With the passage of time, the rational abilities of superior consciousness evolve (consciousness of consciousness, as in neuroscience) which prepared the ground for the birth of philosophy in Greece in the Fifth Century B.C. Myth, which had given support to religion, gave way to the rational concepts of reality suggested by philosophy. The relationship between religion and philosophy in Greece assumed on a very special meaning, however, and if we wish to understand it, we must examine the manner in which religion manifests itself. At that time, there were two forms of religion: public (comprising the gods of Olympus) and mystery. The presence of a mystery religion in Greece is the clearest sign that the official, public religion was incapable of interpreting the need for an authentic religious sense. It was, in fact, a mystery religion, orphism, that had decisive influence on the emerging philosophy.
Orphists, who held the Thracian poet Orpheus to be the founder of their mysteries around the Sixth Century B.C., drew their inspiration from a series of beliefs,which together formed a religious doctrine. They believed that there was a divine principle in men, the daemon, who was obliged to live in their bodies to atone for an original sin. This daemon was immortal and hence after the death of the earthly body, it was destined to be born again in other bodies, until the sin had been totally expiated. The cycle of reincarnations could be shortened by ritual purification practices. Only those who had been initiated into the Orphic life deserved the prize of the hereafter after the death of their bodies.
The mystery religion of the Orphists was of fundamental importance for the development of Greek thought, not so much because of the doctrine of reincarnation, which would be resumed by Plato, but because of the dualist concept by which the daemon is the equivalent of the soul, while the body is the site of atonement. For the first time, man was understood to be the union of two contrasting principles: the immortal soul and the mortal body. Moreover, within a man, there was a tendency towards good, supported by the soul, and a tendency towards evil, supported by the body. Thus apparent are the beginnings of a dualism, which would traverse the history of philosophical thought until the present day. Without Orphism, it would not be possible to explain Pythagoras, Heracles, Socrates, Plato, and the philosophers who drew inspiration from them. Dualism thus emerged from the evolutionary history of man, and passed into philosophical reflection.
The possibility that life might continue after death was a specific characteristic of Orphism. Philosophy had not yet been contaminated by it. The profound influence which Orphist dualism would exercise over Plato’s thought would, however, have the inevitable consequence of the introduction of the notion of ‘immortality’ into Greek philosophy. Although Socrates took a great deal from the Orphists, when he defined the soul as ‘intelligence’, he deprived it of its immortality. Unlike Socrates, Plato created a foundation for the soul, which had immortality as its primary characteristic. In order to do this, however, he had to invent metaphysics.
The dualism of the Orphists was the fundamental premise for Plato’s metaphysics, which, as we know, had three essential components: a) the theory of ideas, b) the theory of first principles, and c) the doctrine of the Demiurge. The Demiurge and its exertions in creating the world assume particular importance for the purposes of our analysis. Although Plato’s Demiurge created the world, it has nothing in common with the God of the Bible. The Demiurge is, one might say, a philosophical god, not the God of any kind of religion. It is neither the god of the Orphists nor the God of the Book of Genesis. It is not a god to whom one prays for favours: it is not a personal god. If it were, philosophy would turn into religion. The Demiurge is the god of reason, in the same way that all Greek thought was based on reason. Despite the influx of Orphist mysteries into philosophy, philosophy and religion were, and remain, two separate spheres. It is not until the arrival of Christianity that it is compare them, starting from the works of Philo of Alexandria.
Immortality and metaphysics are essential characteristics of religion. In order to fain a more detailed account of religion, however, it is also necessary to refer to mysticism. For all believers in all forms of religion, a vision of, and direct contact with, the divinity will only be possible after death, as a reward for having lived an honest and respectful life. For a chosen few, however, there is also the possibility of personal contact with the divinity in this life: this is the mystical union with god. All believers must await death in order to begin a spiritual journey that will lead them to the presence of the divinity. Only a few can make this journey while they are still alive: they are the mystics. The idea of mystical union with the divinity has manifested itself in religion for thousands of years. We find it especially in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Some religions, such as Judaism, promote it, while others, for example Christianity, only tolerate it with difficulty. It is not my intention here to enter into a debate on mysticism. I will instead attempt to explain the techniques used by mystics to attain mystical union with the divinity, because by so doing, I will bring to light an important aspect of religion according to the evolutionary course of man favoured thus far.
According to mystics, mystical experiences have certain features in common: the impression that the mind is detaching itself from the body and hovering above it (overcoming spatial limits); the diffusion of a blinding light towards which the mind is drawn; boundless joy: and the orgasm of merger with the divinity. Neuroscientists and anthropologists have investigated under what conditions and in what ways certain men are able to attain mystical ecstasy. Studies have shown that those able to attain mystical ecstasy do so by using mental practices which enable them to detach a group of neurons located in the rear of the left parietal lobe from the general control exerted by the function of the brain. Once these neurons have been freed from the control of the rest of the brain, they release a series of impulses, which cross the limbic system as far as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is an area of the brain that controls the action of the opioids, and has the principal function of releasing endorphins. One might, therefore, propose a theory that the state of ecstasy achieved at the height of meditation is nothing more than a spike in the process of opioid production. In any case, this effect is the result of self-stimulation by the mystic, and it is the mystic himself who performs a practice which produces the release of opioids into the hypothalamus that causes the state of trance on which the vision of a blinding light, the detachment of the mind from the body, and the mystical union with the divinity depend. Whatever the technique used by mystics to attain ecstasy might be, one thing is certain: they have discovered how to reduce the flow of oxygen to the brain or to force the hypothalamus to discharge opioids in order to alter the spatial location of the mind.
As recent neuro-scientific research has shown, many religious practices belong to the category of activity, which stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain. There are practices in all religions that produce suffering and tension. Consider, for example, fasting, dancing to exhaustion, and initiation rites. These practices impose low but persistent levels of stress on the body, and these are the most effective conditions in which to force the brain to emit endorphins, which in turn give the sensation of being calmer and better-disposed towards others. It would appear, therefore, that religious practices have been deliberately programmed to discharge amounts of opioids into our brains to induce us to face life’s uncertainties better. If this is the case, then the strength that believers draw from religion is mediated by a certain activity in the brain that, when appropriately and knowingly stimulated, produces the desired effects.
Our analyses of religion thus far can be related to a point of view that we may define as ‘empiricist’ and ‘monist’ – empiricist because religion is considered as a product and invention of the human mind, and monist because the independent existence of any kind of entity beyond the religious experience that might give rise to any form of dualism is discounted. Everything that exists in culture (science, art, ethics, and religion) can only be explained by the history of man’s evolution.
The empiricist point of view, which I prefer, is not the only one, however. There is another one, which holds that religion is independent of our evolutionary experience. We might call it the ‘transcendental and dualist position’. Transcendentalism is a religious doctrine, which maintains that there was originally a divinity (usually believed to be eternal) which created the world and man. Man, being a divine creature, occupies a privileged position in the created world (in certain religions he is similar to god). Man expresses his gratitude to god by acknowledging his existence and respecting his rules (which are usually codified in a theological and ethical doctrine). God is the creator and man his creature. Because of the privileged position that god has granted him in the universe, only man is allowed to return to god after the death of his body. Once free of his body, his soul can live for ever.
Here we can see the full extent of the ‘evolution versus creation’ debate ongoing since Darwin published The Origin of the Species in 1859. It is not my intention here to resume the debate between evolutionists and creationists. My preference lies with the evolutionists. The real problem, as I see it, concerns the nature and role of religion in the contemporary world, and this is the subject that I shall develop in what follows.
The relationship between religion and society is two-directional: it goes from religion to society, and from society to religion. The former direction is evident where religion expresses its authority through cohesion and social control. This situation can be identified in every society, and in every period of history. The latter direction (from society to religion) is found where representatives of a State take decisions that are advantageous to one religion at the expense of others. A typical example of this might be the decision of the Emperor Constantine to declare that Christianity was the state religion, thereby not only guaranteeing a secure future for Christianity, but also provoking a profound crisis in the religions that had dominated hitherto. Every state throughout history has always found the most effective way of establishing this two-way relationship with religion, as the historical development of humankind attests.
The relationship between religion and society, which until today has been treated as being direct, can also be mediated by ethics. This means that ethics intervene in relations between religion and society. But before we examine how this can come about, one question must be answered: what ethics are we talking about?
If we ignore the various conceptions of ethics that have emerged from the history of philosophical thought, and consider them from the viewpoint of their origins, we can identify essentially two types: a) the ethics that derive from a theological doctrine which expresses the nature of a certain divinity, and b) the ethics born out of man’s conscience. In the former case, ethics are at the service of the religion, and reinforce its authority in the exercise of cohesion and social control. Ethics are included within the sphere of a certain religion, and are not relevant to the others. In the latter case, ethics are independent of religion, and are an alternative to it. They are elevated above all religions, and are universal. In the future of humanity, these ethics might resolve the challenges raised by the sciences and technology by replacing religions which, as they engage in defence of their specificity, will reveal their incapacity and impotence.
If we consider the historical development of humankind, we find that the two concepts of ethics have manifested themselves in different places and at different times. The ethics bred by theological doctrine characterized archaic societies until the middle of the last century, over a lengthy period of time during which generations of humans followed one another in a slow process of transformation. After the explosion of scientific research from the Second World War onwards, with regard to our knowledge about both the universe (space exploration) and the origins of life, humankind underwent radical changes, which raised challenges that we do not yet know how to face. What are these challenges?
The most important comes from biology, and relates to the possibility of creating a ‘new man’. This raises the question of where humankind is heading. The answer is a complex one because it is associated with predictions about the future of humanity. As I make these predictions, I shall review the two levels of knowledge that I believe to be fundamental: the one at the base, which is represented by the evolution of the human species, and the one at the apex, which is represented by religion. I am profoundly convinced that only by studying these levels will it be possible to clear the fog that envelops mankind today.
At the evolutionary level, we must try to understand whether natural selection still operates as a guide to evolution. This doubt is motivated by the fact that, by virtue of the extraordinary results achieved in genetics and molecular biology, a situation is now possible where hereditary changes no longer depend on natural selection, but on social choices made by the political institutions that exercise power. Having acquired detailed and meticulous knowledge of the human genetic structure, humankind is able to decide – if it so wishes – to evolve in a manner different from that which nature has wrought it up to now. If this progress in biological knowledge were to be realized, even only in part, humankind would find itself in a position to be able to control its final destiny. It could decide to modify not only the intelligence and anatomy of human beings, but also their emotions and their creativity. Whatever the fundamental political decisions may be, one thing is certain: man is about to liberate himself from natural selection. Humankind has reached a stage of its development where it can decide what it will become. This transformation, however, requires clarification of the ends to be pursued. What are these ends? Who chooses them? Who imposes them? It is all too clear that if adequate solutions are not found to the problems posed by science with regard to the genetic manipulation of man, humanity will inevitably self-destruct.
At the higher level, which is represented by religion, we need to establish whether religion can show the necessary wisdom to save humanity from the self-destruction set in motion by scientific knowledge about the human genetic structure. A careful and unprejudiced analysis reveals that religion is characterized by ‘lights’ and ‘shadows’. The most intense light is that it has been a positive factor in evolution, because it has made a decisive contribution to the survival of the human species. The shadows, which become a menacing darkness, reveal themselves in bloody wars. From the earliest times, violence of every kind has been perpetrated in the name of God, and humankind has been obliged to live in an almost permanent state of war. If we consider the history of the last ten thousand years, we see that most of it has been taken up with warfare, and that the brief periods of peace have served to prepare for new wars. From this point of view, we might define man as a ‘belligerent being’. The lights and shadows of religion alternate and intermingle, and the have accompanied the historical development of humanity.
Let us now ask ourselves whether religion, given that it extends across all the regions of the earth, is capable of exercising wisdom. It is possible, but on one condition: that the darkness within it be eliminated in all its forms. Does this possibility really exist? This question was addressed by representatives from the world’s most important religions when they gathered in a Parliament at Chicago in 1993. The solution that they proposed, however, did not consist in the search for universal harmony among all religions, but rather in the foundation of a minimal global ethic. This implies that they themselves did not believe that it was possible for every individual religion to escape from the specifics of its own theological doctrine and collaborate with all the other religions in a universal project for the betterment of humanity.
Having noted that our world is amid a fundamental crisis which is affecting the economy, politics, and ecology, the representatives of all the religions of the world (Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and others) approved a Declaration on a Global Ethic in Chicago entitled A Global Ethic. The Declaration of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, with a comment by the theologian Hans Kueng, in which they proposed the creation of a global (universal) ethic which would include a golden rule and four imperatives.
The golden rule expresses a principle that has been a feature of many religious traditions for thousands of years: do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you. This rule is immutable and unconditional, and must apply to all mankind, regardless of gender, age, race, religion, language, and political convictions. The four fundamental imperatives are: do not kill, do not steal, do not lie, and do not commit impure acts. The worldwide ethic of religions, based on the golden rule and the four imperatives, must be distinguished from law, politics, and philosophy.
It was not the intention of the Declaration of the Parliament of religions to re-formulate the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in another guise. Ethics are something more than law: they are its foundation. The purpose of the Declaration was therefore to provide an ethical basis for the Declaration of Human Rights that would lead to respect for the agreements reached on the law.
At the same time, the ethical level must be distinguished from the political level and from the theories of the state that it interprets. If global ethics were to be expressed in relation to domestic or international political issues, misunderstandings might arise with regard to the actual role of ethics, and their purposes would be compromised.
The global religious ethic is always ready to take due note of suggestions from the world of philosophy, without, however, complying with any philosophical theories on ethics. In scholarly research undertaken to find solutions to the challenges posed by science, the first opportunity was offered to religion, which unfortunately proved unable to accomplish this weighty task. Not wishing to abandon the quest, we may descend to the level where we find science (and technology), and ask ourselves whether science can succeed where religion has failed. We do not need any detailed studies to understand that science will by its very nature encounter even greater difficulties. Science is a rarefied world of theories, laws, and concepts, which only insiders can comprehend. Everyone else is categorically excluded. Attempts to confer the role of solving the problems of mankind on science (and scientists) have always failed because, as opposed to wisdom (which is a balance between reason and feeling), science can interpret reason to the nth degree, but it is absolutely unable to understand the reasons of the heart. Finally, science is also incapable of resolving the question of defining man’s new image.
From a rational and secular angle, we might wish to detoxify humanity from the drug of religion, and propose that it be abolished. In this case, however, we would have to suggest what it might be replaced by. This something would need to embrace all the positive characteristics of religion, and none of the negative ones. Could it be science? No, because not only does science not prevent wars (the Second World War is a typical example of this, with the use of atomic bombs in Japan), but it is not even capable of creating a sense of belonging, as religion does (and conflicts within scientific communities are proof of this). Unfortunately, this something is yet to be invented. Until then, it will be religion that steers mankind, despite its contradictions.
Thus, our discussion has led to the conclusion that when faced with the problem of overcoming the ills that afflict humanity today, which include the choices to be made for the creation of a new image of man, religions have declared their impotence, but have expressed their faith in a global ethic. Can this ethic be attained, however? Can the golden rule and the four imperatives proposed in the Chicago Declaration overcome the difficulties that lie within the theological doctrines of religions? There are two possibilities that this might happen: by means of interiorized or imposed ethics.
Interiorizing an ethical concept means absorbing its principles, imperatives, and rules into one’s conscience, and making them a basis for one’s actions. How probable is it that today’s mankind as a whole will interiorize the ethical concept proposed in the Declaration? There is no point in deluding ourselves: the likelihood is zero. It follows from this that the proposal to create a global ethic is fascinating in itself, and has an enormous ideal value, but it is only a theoretical system, and is of very limited practical use. If religion is not capable of responding to the present and future challenges faced by humanity, then a global ethic that has no practical application will demonstrate the same inability, for various reasons.
If it is impossible to act on the supposition of a shared ethic from a practical viewpoint, what is the likelihood of being able to activate an imposed ethic? Who has the ability to impose an ethical concept? The answer to this must be sought in forms of government. At the present time, a process is under way that endeavours to extend the principles and rules of democracy throughout the world, the belief being that only in this way can enjoyment of subjective and social rights be guaranteed for all of mankind.
Can democracy truly define the new image of man? It is precisely through an exercise of acquired rights that every man wishes to take part in decisions that relate to his future. If the decision to be taken concerned the new image of man, to be created using the techniques of the most advanced form of genetic engineering, there would be an enormous diversity of opinion on the subject. At a minimum, every individual would have his own opinion, which he would seek to have prevail over the others because he profoundly believed it to be right. The result would be a kind of Tower of Babel where everyone speaks but no one understands what the others are saying. Will it ever be possible to take any kind of decision under these conditions, especially if it relates to the future of the human species. I do not believe that it would, to be honest.
If even democracy shows that it is impotent, then what next? Should we resign ourselves to a destiny that foreshadows the extinction of the human species, or should we continue to seek a valid alternative solution? I believe in ethics and in their capacity to unite mankind around a future project. But in order to attain the common good, this project must be imposed, if necessary. If it cannot be imposed by a democratic state, then we must look towards a different type of state power. Who can possess the authority and the power to impose a global ethic on all of mankind but a Community of wise men that has the Illuminated One at its head? We might appoint the ‘Illuminated One’ as an ‘Illuminated Tyrant’ without hesitation or dissimulation, while making it clear in advance that the tyrant of whom we speak is not the same as the tyrant we have come to know throughout the history of mankind, from the Tyrant of Syracuse to Hitler. The Illuminated Tyrant is a man of great charisma, exceptional intellectual gifts, and profound wisdom. He must know how to join reason and sentiment together, which are the pillars that support a whole man. He must be able to understand the material needs of mankind, but must also know how to mould them with the higher spiritual values (truth, good, right, and beauty). A man with these qualities will govern not by terror but by consent, because all men will recognize and accept his illuminated guidance. A man as powerful, authoritative, and wise as this would know what direction should be taken by the genetic changes made possible by science for the creation of the new man. By submitting to his illuminated guidance, mankind might be able to avoid the risk of self-destruction.
But the Illuminated Tyrant is not born from nowhere, nor spring from the mind of Jupiter, like Minerva. His arrival must be prepared for by men of quality, without distinction due to gender, skin colour, language, religion, or culture. These are men that I call ‘Illuminati’. It is they who will create the historical and social conditions from which he who must become the Supreme Guide of Humanity will emerge at the appropriate time.
One might object that a man such as the one I have described does not exist, and that even if he were to exist, he would have to originate with democracy. How could a man who lives in a democratic state, within which there is a tendency to level humanity downwards, acquire the power and authority necessary to govern the world as an Illuminated Tyrant? This would already be impossible under normal circumstances. The conditions under which mankind is living today are progressively deteriorating, and it is hence a simple matter to foresee that we will reach a point where the rules of society have been breached and we will inevitably descend into anarchy. At that point, as Aristotle declared, it will be possible to overcome anarchy only by the advent of a tyrant to whom we will delegate every power, on the condition that he restores order to society and ensures the survival of the human race. It is only at this stage of humanity that the Illuminated Tyrant will be able to make his appearance. Unlike all other tyrants, because he has the gifts described above, he will be able to guide the evolution of the human race. It will be he, and only he, assisted by scientists and wise men, who will decide how to create the new man. The time for his arrival is not near, however, and there is a possibility that mankind will descend into total anarchy in the meantime, and will not survive.