• Same Sex Marriage
Vivian: What is the world coming to? Christians who simply state that they are against same sex marriage are labeled as hateful bigots.
So really, the only way Christians will please society is by giving up their beliefs.
"Believing" is not a good system for arriving at accurate understanding. That is why it is slowly disappearing. Systems that work better, like looking, will take its place.
Carrie: No, Vivian, the Christians who believe are not required to give up their beliefs.
I agree, no one is being required to give up their beliefs, and I don't think that would work in any case.
Carrie: You could be right. Only time will tell.
However I do see that many Christians are giving up their belief, voluntarily, because they themselves have decided that belief is irrational or not consistent with reality. I think this can only continue and accelerate. The difference in scale between the little claims of little tribes from thousands of years ago, and the vastness of the real universe we are able to perceive ourselves now, show all the ancient stories for what they are - ancient stories.
There is no reason to think that Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, etc. will continue to be believed to be true, any more than people still believe that Thor and Zeus hurl thunderbolts.
But in the meantime, they do have to stop forcing them on everyone else. And I say that as a Christian person myself. I'm not sure why so many Christians can't grasp that concept. It's not a difficult one. At least I didn't think so. :)
Some of this has less to do with Christianity and more to do with changing power relationships. The dominant class always struggles against sharing power or privilege with formerly disenfranchised classes.
Vivian: From what I've heard, it means accepting gay marriage as no longer sinful.
It never was sinful. You are letting the tribal taboos of ignorant sheep herders from thousands of years ago decide your morality. That is not a good system for deciding morality. Those guys were wrong about a lot of stuff.
Carrie: Personally, I don't care if someone's religion causes them to view homosexuality as sinful.
If you actually examine biology and reproduction, you will see that there is a very good reason for human homosexuality to exist. There are very few species where every adult member is expected to become part of a reproductive pair. Almost all species have some adults which become breeders and many others who do not, but who help the breeding pairs and in so doing help pass on the DNA they share with their siblings and cousins and nephews.
There is no reason humans would be different. Homosexuality is just one way to give the group healthy adult pairs with fewer children than average of their own, who can help raise up the next generation if necessary. It's not the only way; menopause was probably stumbled upon by nature as a way stop older women from reproducing. There comes a time when a woman is more likely to pass on her DNA by helping her children raise their children than by making new copies of the DNA herself. Nature does this kind of thing all the time in many ways across many different species.
So, there is a perfectly natural and understandable evolutionary reason why homosexuality exists. Pair this with the fact that homosexuality is not associated with any kind of pathology, any more than heterosexuality is, and it is possible for us to simply observe that homosexuality is naturally occurring and does not constitute any kind of wrongdoing. There is no wrongdoing created by homosexual people pairing up, or wanting to pair up, any more than by heterosexual people doing the same thing.
This is why it is so vitally important for us to use our examination of reality to determine how reality is, instead of closing our own eyes and using the descriptions written thousands of years ago.
I hope you will understand that this explanation is not hating you, or discriminating against you, or trying to hurt Christian people. Compared to naturalistic explanations, Christianity seems to be very wrong on this subject, and many others. What are you going to do about that?
Except that it represents a grave misunderstanding of reality, and of how to decide morals. Using the moral systems invented by primitive people thousands of years ago doesn't work. They did not understand morality nearly as well as we understand it now.
Carrie: If you think homosexuality is wrong, don't engage in it personally. Problem solved. :)
Reason, or understanding by checking, is important. It is a system, like mathematics, which actually works for determining how things really are and what actions are really effective.
Understanding by authority is a bad system. Understanding by checking works better. As long as people are trying to do their understanding by authority instead of checking, the difference between what the ancients said and how things are will continue to create all kinds of error.
No, that does not solve the problem of unreason.
Carrie: You can't reason with unreasonable people. That's something I accepted a long time ago. :(
Yet, here we are. When I was a kid homosexuality was illegal. Today gay people can get married. Reason prevailed.
Vivian: I just think that many people go straight to the "bigoted hateful" comments, when they hear that someone doesn't agree with gay marriage.
Most people are pretty reasonable. Error correction kicks in eventually. This is why the moral arc is long, but bends toward justice.
This is probably because there are no explanations for being against gay marriage which explain how it constitutes wrongdoing. When people are against something but can't explain how it is bad, it just seems like nose-holding.
• Christian Outreach
Maria: This Christian Outreach pastor says Christians need to befriend others instead of alienating them.
Christianity has a problem in their own house and that is that supernatural religion is a delusion. That problem is not going to go away. No amount of outreach will suppress it.
Kenneth: This is wrong! This pastor is going to change Church doctrine, or even go against the Holy Bible to suit the secular view of homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, ect.
The only future for Christianity is to admit that all the claims they are making about gods and the afterlife are human conjecture, and that humans are not in communication with supernatural beings. I do not see this happening.
So, Christianity will dissolve just like the gods of the ancient Greeks and Aztecs did, fading from revelance. And good riddance. The bloody guy hanging from the cross is not a symbol of peace.
This is exactly what I am talking about. There is absolutely no reason to follow the instructions of people from thousands of years ago. They did not understand homosexuality or disease, or weather, or morality. They were at the very beginning of a huge learning curve which we are a long way further down. We know more.
As long as humans are stuck trying to wedge ignorant instructions from thousands of years ago into a modern framework, the result will be confusion, at best, with plenty of hysterical outgroup nose-holding too.
• Adam Smith was Wrong
If you have seen the movie A Beautiful Mind, you know that John Nash won the Nobel Prize in mathematics for figuring out, among other things, that Adam Smith was wrong. Smith was the 18th century economist who coined the term "the invisible hand of the marketplace" and postulated that when individuals serve only themselves it works out best for everyone.
We have witnessed the failure of Adam Smith's philosophy. Exclusive self-seeking results in serious sub-optimization, such as greedy bloodsuckers trying to become rich beyond all reason by gaming the economy until it breaks.
What John Nash's equations show is that the system works best for everyone when everyone works for themselves AND for the group. This is obvious now, especially when noting that countries like Canada, with a higher level of group service, have fared much better than ours economically.
We have known this for awhile. Nash figured this out in the 50's and got the Nobel Prize in '94. Smith's policies broke the economy in '08. So why are we still basing our economy on Adam Smith? Adam Smith was wrong.
Amblin: Are you a Socialist?
Not entirely. Traditional "socialism" sometimes includes the idea of a planned economy and there is no way that could ever work.
Amblin: If so, can you explain the benefits of a socialist society?
I tried inventing something new. It is a combination of capitalism to run the economy and socialism to maintain the society. I have studied the matter thoroughly and I have concluded that neither capitalism or socialism could ever work alone.
Capitalism without socialism is a winner-take-all game that leaves nothing for the losers. Socialism without capitalism has no way to pay for itself. They can only work together.
I called my system "Workonomics" when explaining it, but it was really nothing new, just noticing that the best economies in the world had both of these going on. I have also seen it referred to as a "hybrid economy," recognizing that both capitalism and socialism are working together.
Well, the benefit of implementing "socialist" programs like Social Security and Medicare is that we do not have our old people suffering with curable illness and starving to death. Countries without these systems have no means to help their elders once they are no longer able to participate in capitalism.
Amblin: The reason I'm asking is because my husband is very anti-socialist and he is convinced that that is where our society is headed.
The benefit of national public education is that most people learn to read and do math, and also internalize our civic mores.
There are countries that do this even better. In Canada their "socialized" health care system costs a fraction of what ours does, and yet their citizens are healthier than Americans in every measurable way - less infant mortality, fewer preventable conditions, quicker recovery times, longer lifespan, etc.
The best educated population in the world is in Finland. They have public education that doesn't cut off at age eighteen - they can attend as much school as they want, lifelong.
Those would be a few of the benefits.
I don't think he has to worry about us abandoning capitalism. There is no other system that works. However if he wants to live in a society where he and his fellow citizens are healthy and educated enough to participate in a global economy, he should consider the benefits of social systems that are working in other nations.
It doesn't seem like Adam Smith was wrong, just not entirely accurate...
Perhaps. However it is obvious that self-seeking, while great for generating commerce, is not enough. The Nash Equilibrium shows that individuals fare best when they work for themselves and for the group. That is the part Smith didn't get.
But I heard Social Security was failing.
Barely, but if we had spent two trillion dollars shoring it up instead of invading foreign countries and bailing out failed billionaires we wouldn't have a problem at all.
How could any politician endorse something so radical?
Our economy generates plenty of money. That's the beauty of capitalism. We need to spend it better. That would be the beauty of socialism.
I think the answer is that we are now getting desperate. It is obvious that what we are currently doing is not working. Social movements for change arise from obvious failures of the old systems.
You are assuming that people in government are more rational than the average person. I think that is the largest flaw in your argument. You see the government as the most rational, best provider for the solutions for tomorrow...
We don't even have to look that far to see a better system, just over our northern border, in fact. And our own system is not really that different. A few changes would serve us all better.
I think when people are educated on what is really in their own best interest they will act for that cause.
The government is us. I think we can provide our own solutions or at least try.
Amblin: ...where I believe the individuals will provide these solutions.
How's that working out?
Amblin: What if it makes everyone equal? I thought in Socialism everyone has to have an equal standard of living.
I don't see how that could happen. People who are smarter, or work harder, or invest better, or who are luckier, or who have richer parents, or who pursue higher-paying professions, would have more than people who don't. Just like now.
Amblin: I want a better educated, healthier population as well. I just have different ideas about getting there. We can rely on the marketplace for this because it puts the federal government in check.
There are rich and poor in Canada too, and in other countries with better social systems. Their bottom is just a little higher than ours.
But a better educated, healthier populace would give more people a fighting chance at doing better.
I am really not sure where you are getting your confidence in "the marketplace." The marketplace will serve only profit. That's not a bad thing, of course. Profit matters. But it doesn't address everything.
Amblin: You continue to assume that the government is more rational than the individuals that make up the marketplace.
Which goes back to my original point. Adam Smith's "invisible hand" is not serving everyone after all. It is serving a tiny few really well but at the expense of billions of others. Unchecked capitalism is threatening economies and destroying the environment as we speak.
We need more than just the marketplace. If we don't use our other collective effort - government - how else can we do what the marketplace is not doing?
No, not at all. The government is individuals and the marketplace is individuals and they are sometimes rational and sometimes not.
However, the government and the marketplace have vastly different goals. The goal of the marketplace is profit. The goal of government is to run our society. Also, the government is answerable to the citizens of this country. The marketplace is not.
• Climate Change and the Poor
Sila:Can you believe this pope? What a guy! He is actually saying that the world needs to do something about climate change or else. It's true, if we don't it will bring so much suffering, especially to the poor.
WORLD TO END TOMORROW!
POOR PEOPLE TO BE HURT THE WORST!
Sila: Not sure why you stated the first statement since no one ever said the world is going to end tomorrow.
Doesn't mean our current rate of shitting on this planet is sustainable.
The second statement is accurate.
It is supposed to be a joke. If the world ended tomorrow by sudden vaporization, no one would be hurt "the worst" because everyone would die together.
CompleteAsshole: The collapse of civilization is likely? More or less likely than any other time period? What are you basing that on?
However it is a terribly unfunny joke because in almost every other scenario, the poor would be hurt the first, the longest and the most.
Since vaporization is unlikely, and the collapse of civilization is likely, I would say your assessment that the poor will endure the most suffering is likely.
The collapse of civilization is likely if the systems that sustain it break. The systems that sustain civilization are overtaxed and experiencing widespread degredation, while we exponentially ramp up the demand. Since industrialism relies heavily on the systems we are watching erode, collapse by systemic break is becoming increasingly more likely than at any time since the beginning of the industrial age.
...unlike risk of planetary vaporization, say by sudden cometary impact, which remains a relative constant in the scope of human existence.
However civilization does not have to collapse entirely for the poor to suffer the worst. The collapse of individual systems usually impacts the poor the most, because they have the least options.
Tazmanian Angel: What the? This article says the University of California is telling people to stop using phrases like "I believe the most qualified person should get the job" because this is racially-prejudiced microagression.
I don't know if I am buying the term "microagression" but I understand what they are trying to do. Some of it may help and some won't, but how else can we find out what works except by trial and error?
We are attempting to do something no other humans before us have done, which is erase biological behaviors of in-group / out-group division. No one knows what it is going to take to do this, or if it is even possible.
But we do know that the suffering caused by our outgrouping each other was destroying us. It takes a long time to recover from that kind of evil. People are trying to find ways to make things work and be fair and they are doing the best they can.
As far as jobs are concerned, I don't think anyone thought it was a meritocracy to begin with.
• Jesus vs. Buddha
This is sort of like matching up Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill - I mean, ya gotta love 'em both, right? - but why not.
For the sake of argument I would submit that Buddha was a better "messenger" than Jesus.
For one, his message was very precise. The Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Five Precepts, which are the foundational tenets of Buddhism, are very simple, practical lists.
For two, the lists do not contain any speculations about gods, the afterlife, eternal justice or any supernatural ideas. Instead they are very specific real-life recommendations for how to transcend suffering and show love and compassion, thus creating a life well lived.
The drawbacks of Jesus are that 1) his system is not concise, so that his "message" must be divined from all the many things he is supposed to have said, and also what he did while wandering around.
And 2) As a tenet of the religion Jesus was held to be a supernatural figure, and a lot of what he said was about gods and the supernatural, and a lot of what he was supposed to have done was miraculous. So that creates a lot of familiar problems.
Note, I think these points are highly debatable and that's why I'm bringing it up. Who do you think was a better messenger? Who had the better message?
Peña: They had the exact same message.
I really can't agree the message was exactly the same. They had similarities but also significant differences.
Peña: All of the ideas represented in Christianity are also there in Buddhism. Don't kill, be kind to one another etc.
Except Christianity has this huge other foundational basis about how you are supposed to act that way because that is what God wants - or else. It was the best they could think of at the time but still pretty weak, and completely unlike the reasoning behind Buddhism, which is that right action alleviates suffering.
Peña: There are spiritual aspects to Buddhism. The different sects practice differently.
The god stuff is what makes Jesus' message different, and not nearly as good.
True, and many people added their local customs and gods to Buddhism, so there's a lot of range there. But if you look at the basic 4 / 8 / 5 attributed to the Buddha, there is no supernaturalism.
Peña: For us it's more of adopting the philosophy behind Buddhism and applying it to your life.
I don't believe this can be done with Christianity.
It might interest you to know that it can be done. I know a few people who consider themselves atheist Christians, who try to utilize the non-supernatural teachings of Jesus as a guide to a life well lived and not worry about the god stuff.KitKat: I imagine a Buddhist would be indifferent to the question of who had the better message. Buddhism could exist even if Buddha did not.
It's rare though, and I should note that all were raised supernatural Christians and had a very strong desire to retain their Christian identities, even after coming to question the supernaturalism.
I completely agree that Buddhism could exist without a Buddha. It's not a cult of personality, and it really doesn't matter who came up with the ideas. Good advice that works is good advice, independent of who said it.
CelticsFan: Personally? I think it's an absolutely insane question to ask. I can't even force myself to even think about an answer, let alone write one out here. It's just too crazy of a question.
It's about as far away from the spirit, intent, psychology, of Buddhism as you could ever get.
Not sure if one could be accurate in claiming Buddhism doesn't indulge in a cult of personality by many of it's followers.
I disagree completely. The Buddha said this:
- Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing (anussava),
- nor upon tradition (parampara),
- nor upon rumor (itikira),
- nor upon what is in a scripture (pi?aka-sampadana)
- nor upon surmise (takka-hetu),
- nor upon an axiom (naya-hetu),
- nor upon specious reasoning (akara-parivitakka),
- nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over (di??hi-nijjhan-akkh-antiya),
- nor upon another's seeming ability (bhabba-rupataya),
- nor upon the consideration, The monk is our teacher (sama?o no garu)
- Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are good; these
things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise;
undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,"
enter on and abide in them.'
Thus, the Buddha named ten specific sources which knowledge should
not be immediately viewed as truthful without further investigation to
- Oral history
- News sources
- Scriptures or other official texts
- Suppositional reasoning
- Philosophical dogmatism
- Common sense
- One's own opinions
- Authorities or one's own teacher
Instead, the Buddha says, only when one personally knows that a
certain teaching is skillful, blameless, praiseworthy, and conducive to
happiness, and that it is praised by the wise, should one then accept it
as true and practice it.
This is often referred to as "The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry." Obviously he would advise us to question the messages of any teacher for validity, including himself. Why not?
Good point, it certainly can be. However the Buddha is on record as having claimed to be an ordinary person, not worthy of worship and not doing anything that anyone else couldn't do.
You don't understand.
Budah assumes we can work our way to enlightenment. Good luck with that.
Buddha said it is possible to alleviate suffering. Obviously it works pretty well. Buddhists really are happier.Luna Lovegood: Jesus says that's impossible, and only the free gift of God's forgiveness can make things right.
There is no reason to think there is anything supernatural wrong.
Luna Lovegood: I will give you that the message from Christ, and the other appostles in the new testament is very complex and often times confusing.
It's only confusing if you consider it a "message."
But in the way that's what makes it great: God is still revealing himself through his word. You can read the same passage 100s of times during your life, and still get a new application from it.
Or it is an early Forer text.
CelticsFan:It's amusing how the same people who challenge the credibility of Christianity blindly accept Buddhism.
Buddhism is more credible.
Wondering: I heard the earliest written documents about the life of Buddha (563–483 b.c.) come about five hundred years after his death, is this true?
That sounds about right. For all we know, "The Buddha" was a grossly exaggerated polyglot made up from the folktales of the time.CelticsFan: Okay so what is the nature of existence when one achieves the ultimate goal of Buddhism according to the teaching of the Buddha?
However the great thing about Buddhism is that it doesn't matter if the Buddha was really a guy, or a couple of guys, or just a committee. Buddhism isn't about the Buddha, it is about the ideas. Whoever wrote them, they are pretty good ideas.
NervousNelly: If I *had* to choose, I'd say Jesus was the better messenger for no other reason than he was the son of God.
Or so they said.NervousNelly: One thing that I was a little amazed by was how easily Buddhism can work in with Christianity or Judiasm. From what I remember, nothing about Buddhism competes with any other religion, really. It's just a personal journey toward enlightenment.
It's true, the tools for alleviating suffering can be used by anyone, any time. But the first two tools for for ceasing attachment are Clear Understanding and Correct Reasoning. It doesn't take very long working with these concepts to see that just because somebody said something doesn't mean it's true. Or important.
Peña: I would see the very first religion as the most pure or correct.
Why? By what means are the people who created the first religion coming by their information? Is that means not available to any later humans?
Peña: Things get changed over time due to translations and changes in the meanings of words.
Yes, but humans are great at error correction. So, it seems like the longer we go on trying, studying, making mistakes and learning from them, exploring, refining and correcting, the better our information should get.
Peña: Is Hinduism correct? Sure for Hindus.
It's certainly happening in many realms of life. Our science, our technology, our medicine, even our morality is exploding with progress as we learn.
How could anything humans thought from thousands of years ago be more correct than what we can see now?
Can't agree on this either. Hinduism might be fun for Hindus or a good fit for Hindus or whatever but that certainly doesn't make it correct.
CelticsFan:"This"? Nothingness, that's the goal?
This doesn't look like nothing to me. It looks like everything.
CelticsFan: So the final goal is existence with everything?
I would say that "goals" are a distraction. The question is, "What is this?" The answer is, "This."
Peña: Nirvana is the most misunderstood term in Buddhism.
Nirvana literally means extinguishing or unbinding. The implication is that it is freedom from what ever binds you, from the burning passion of desire, jealousy, and ignorance. Once these are totally overcome, a state of bliss is achieved, and there is no longer the need the cycle of birth and death. All karmic debts are settled.
My teacher had a bit of a different take. Nirvana does mean extinguishing, and it was his term for the state when all mental verbiage and constructs are extinguished and we exist as pure awareness. It is "enlightenment" because the mental agonizing is the source of suffering.
IdaKnow: My own personal opinion regarding religion is that no one is right.
Well I am. It wasn't hard. I made my religion right by 1) checking to see what was the case first and crafting the religion to reflect it accurately, and 2) building error correction into the religion, so if bits are found to be wrong they are changed to be more accurate.
IdaKnow: As you well know faith has nothing to do with logic.
Anyone could do the same and have a religion that is right. It's just the old legacy religions which are not right, because 2,500 years ago they were not checking.
That doesn't make "no one right." It is possible to be right if you care about being right.
IdaKnow: If the belief was wackadoodle but led to positive actions....like peace on Earth, I don't give a shit what people believe.
It matters. Wackadoody doesn't lead to peace on Earth. The only descriptions which improve the human condition are accurate descriptions. Inaccuracy creates huge problems and always will.
IdaKnow: Its the divisiveness, judgment, self righteousness, self absorption that are killing us, literally, as a species.
Accuracy is the cure.
IdaKnow: People are naturally speculative,creative imaginative creatures. A lot of great things have come from these qualities.
So? If you are saying that makes it okay to answer real questions with speculative, imaginary answers, it doesn't.
IdaKnow: There are few absolutes, mostly unknowns...
"Unknown" counts as accuracy as long as it is true.
IdaKnow: ...and previously "known" things get adjusted or disproven all the time.
That is accuracy improving. It is never absolute; it is a process of error correction.
IdaKnow: Accuracy is often itself up for interpretation. People see the same event and describe completely different things.
Only if there is no opportunity for checking. When people are able to examine, discuss, compare, re-examine and adjust their descriptions, the differences are resolved and accurate descriptions which can be checked for accuracy by anyone are reached.
IdaKnow: There is nothing "accurate" about humans.
Are you kidding? How did we get Cassini to do over a hundred flybys of Saturn without accuracy? How are you reading this on a screen without accuracy?
IdaKnow: We are a messy comglomerate of chemicals and electrical impulses shaped by experiences. We are each unique.
So? There is no way we are so different from each other that there is no such thing as accuracy.
IdaKnow: Whether or not people believe things they imagine or others imagine for them isn't the problem.
First of all, there is no reason to think that creatures with very similar morphology, with very similar apparatus for recieving and processing data, are getting information that is wildly dissimilar. Why would they? Normal rods and cones and neurons work the same way on everyone who has them. Comparison and analysis explains most of the discrepancies.
Secondly, there is no way we could coordinate fantastically difficult enterprises, such as running an international airport, without some accurate understanding. If you have ever caught an airplane, you share enough accurate perception of space and time with your fellow humans to accomplish a miraculous and insanely complicated task.
How could that not be a problem? The huge distance between what people think and the actual case creates error, confusion and heartbreak.
IdaKnow: Its the direction those beliefs guide them that matters.
Not as much as the lack of accuracy. Even shiny happy beliefs in unconditional love bring chaos if they are claimed to be from the gods and they are not.
IdaKnow: Accuracy doesn't make for better people because people can do different things with their knowledge, interpret things differently, react differently. We are constant emotion and often incredibly illogical.
Wrong, accuracy does make things better.
IdaKnow: People, even atheists, believe things that may or may not be accurate.
The human condition has improved radically in the last few hundred years, mostly because of two factors. The first was the scientific revolution. Increasingly accurate understanding of germs, gravity and energy have allowed an explosion of cures, inventions and discoveries that have created a modern wonderland, lifted many humans from drudgery and doubled the potential human lifespan. That is better.
The second was the moral revolution, a direct result of the first revolution. As we became liberated from the chains of description by authority, we were able to use observation of what happens as a guide to morality instead, and as a result have instituted democracy, equality and enfranchisement. Also better.
If accuracy is not the reason, what is your explanation for the improvement?
That is why we invented checking.
IdaKnow: There is evidence that the brain is hardwired to be religious.
That is not a reason to accept supernatural religion. Accuracy and religion are not mutually exclusive. We could deliberately construct religions which meet the human need for religion without being so wrong.
IdaKnow: Who can know why humans want so badly to believe in something beyond themselves but apparently that's how we tend to roll.
Judging by the way supernatural beliefs fall as education levels rise, it is easily affected by reality check.
IdaKnow: We're not going to change that anytime soon but maybe what we can do is try to find common ground, regardless of religion or belief set, that starts us on a better path.
How could there be common ground without accuracy? Whence the commonality?
Booker: So what religion did you craft exactly?
I call it "Neoism." A built-in mechanism for error correction means it will always be "new."
Booker: Does it meet this definition of religion: "the belief in and worship of a superhuman......
No. It meets this definition of religion from dictionary.com:
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
The word "especially" denotes that superhuman agency is common, but not required, for religion. Neoism contains an origin story, tenets, ritual observance and moral technology, but does not bother with supernatural speculation as that is unimportant.
Thanks for asking Booker!
• Just Government
Leavey: What do you think would be a good standard for a just government?
A system that you would be willing to drop into with nothing, and where that would be a great place to start for anyone.