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• Any male of mature age, that is, of twenty-one years or more, can apply to become a Freemason (or in Scotland, over eighteen years of age if his father is a Freemason).
• A belief in a Supreme Being. Every applicant must profess such a belief but Freemasonry does not define, or impose, a definition of a Supreme Being. Each individual applicant must define that entity for himself. Atheists and Agnostics cannot, therefore, become Freemasons. This belief is absolute and admits of no exceptions. Of course individuals might lie in this respect in order to gain admission and there is little that Freemasons could do to identify such men. All is taken on the honour of the individual concerned. In fact everything that a Freemason does in his private and public life must be honourable and Freemasonry encourages all members to behave in an upright and moral manner.
• A Members Obligation. Each and every applicant must be able to fulfil his obligations (financial, moral, and in terms of his time) to his family, his employment and his faith before he makes any commitment to Freemasonry.
• Masonic ‘Obligation’. For in excess of 400 years Scottish Lodges have required an applicant to take a vow, or oath, on a holy book on his admission to Freemasonry. Such an oath, or obligation, is necessary in order to add sanctity to what is a serious undertaking and can be compared to; ‘swearing the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ in a court of law. Such oaths were common in many aspects of life 400 years ago when Freemasonry began and the Grand Lodge of Scotland continues that practice although many institutions have since done away with that necessity.
• Moral and Upright Men. This means that a man who has been convicted, in a court of law, of a serious criminal offence cannot become a Freemason. Anyone who is a Freemason who is so convicted is subject to Masonic discipline and will be expelled from the Craft.