Some people, because we are inspired so much by ‘Stranger In A Strange Land,’ and even other novels by Robert Heinlein, assume that we subscribe to Heinlein’s socioeconomic and political ideals. If anything, we stand against them. RAH was a great, if not gifted, writer, and I think he may have been channeling some ascended master perhaps, when he wrote SiaSL, but his personal philosophy sucked.
The people that assume that usually can’t get past our Pledge though so they don’t join us. “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs,” and “The good of the many outweighs the good of the few,” and even, “Every man and woman is a Star,” don’t play real well with the “virtue of selfishness” crowd. Our theology has evolved over time into something that is neither pantheism nor monotheism but something that is both I think, but at the same time atheistic. It is our spirituality that informs us politically, and not the other way around.“Thou art God,” means that if you and I and everyone else, and every creature and our planet itself is God, so then we are a collective God, and so therefore one. On the other hand, the reality is that in this life we don’t function that way. We all have separate bodies and separate identities and so we are many. I sometimes use “The Founders” from ST-DS9 to illustrate the idea. They had the ability to retain their individuality when apart from their collective, but became of one mind when joined in “the great link.” This idea is also reflected in the Kabbalah, which teaches that “we are all separate cups of water from the ocean that is G-d.”There really isn’t a word for that so I sometimes use “tribal.”
Where I am coming from is the desire to shape society from that “Thou art God” vantage, where people embrace the idea that hurting someone else, or helping someone else, is ultimately helping them selves. Therefore altruism becomes an act of selfishness, or it’s selfish to act in altruistic ways. So we have yet another seeming contradiction (like how being a monotheist and at the same time, a pantheist is contradictory).One thing about “The Founders” is that they were free to choose between existing on their own, or existing in the collective, and they frequently chose both. So that’s the choice we offer here, and we can learn a lot from each other, if you’re willing.