1. We all mean well, at least initially, and struggle to express this, struggling to exist with others.

2. As an intensely competitive species, with social context from the start, our struggle can employ critical thought, interactive dialogue and peaceful techniques, or default to violence (habituated from hunting meat).

3. We want and need to work together, the question is how.

4. Compassionate, affinity and spiritual emotions seek more than second place.

5. Agreement on anything is amongst our greatest challenges, words always fail us.

6. Religion emerged in human history to forge large-scale agreements, especially in law for peace.

7. Agreement, truth and belief are related within culture, that scientific method tests into known facts.

8. Belief and faith were culturally-sanctioned agreements pre-dating science and survive subjectively.

9. Religion was not only the law we had, before we developed secular, rights-based law.

10. Religion was also the science we had, before we developed science.

11. Religion was the medicine we had, before we developed medicine.

12. Religion was the politics we had, before we developed politics.

13. Religion was the arts form we had, before we re-liberated the arts.

14. Other forms of all these things existed before we developed religion.

15. Religion filled many gaps for many years, before we improved the knowledge and expertise.

16. Religion made systematic a compassionate choice for the earliest organised societies, for good.

17. Religion was the original statecraft, and as such is inapplicable and unavailable, locally today.

18. Hope for a better world that conforms with derived belief has many still clinging to religion.

19. The world and universe do not conform with belief, human or supernatural, being composed of discernible material facts, from the atom up (not from ‘heaven’ down – metaphysics are illusory).

20. The material world (in human form) makes belief possible, not the other way around – no super-human being made the world, to suit itself, or actually exists to ‘create’ belief.

21. The growth of religion has been primarily the growth of human unity of purpose, always needed, through common points of belief.

22. Religious study teaches us things about human unity that nothing else can, our major driver.

23. Religion is easily misunderstood, undervalued and dismissed, as a social fact, to our detriment.

24. Religion has always been exploited to justify evil killing, not killing evil, which needs to cease.

25. Our tribal nature explains most about religion and transcendence it can bring.

26. What makes a god real in one culture is the same for every god in every other culture.

27. Faith as a unifying mechanism merges many gods into one god, logically and historically.

28. From many gods (polytheism, superstitious causation theory) came one god (monotheism, politically unified superstitious causation, enabling unified-market economic prosperity).

29. Superstitious belief held science, markets and industrial transformation back, unsuccessfully in western Europe – until the Reformation (battles for diversity of belief).

30. Amongst the nastiest people you are ever likely to meet can be those professing a religious faith, when it comes to competitiveness on the material plane. Viz. global bloodshed: insincere.

[Fourth draft – more to come – thanks for visiting]

Trends:

Losing our religion: Kiwis losing the faith in record numbers – Newshub, 6 Feb 2017.