The discussion below about the adaptive value of religion was interesting, but it sparked in me an analogy which captures my attitude toward this phenomenon. Consider religions, such as Christianity, as analogs to political parties, such as Republicans. Many of the founders, including George Washington, were not positively disposed toward political parties because they were conscious of the problems of “faction” (which plagued the last years of the Roman Republic). Nevertheless, it seems that the past two centuries of the spread of liberal democracy show that political parties are a natural outgrowth of a vibrant representative democracy. Nations where political party systems are weak and based around personalities as opposed to ideological visions, such as the Russian Federation, also tend to be only notionally democratic. I suspect that organized “higher” religions are similar in a mass society. In small scale cultures supernaturalism is more diffuse, but in societies characterized by numerous civic associations and the necessity of political activism it seems that it is inevitable that supernaturalism will be reshaped into an organized framework. In other words, supernatural ideas might be an inevitable byproduct of the modal mind, but organized religion s the inevitable byproduct of the modal mass society.