Michael H Goldhaber wrote:
> I suspect a fairly high degree of conformity is the condition for
> the survival of all human cultures. consider religion, and the
> specific religous rituals and beliefs that mostly go unquestioned,
> almost everywhere,most of the time.
I would _roughly_ agree; but I think this may presuppose that "religion"
as most in the 'west' _and_ in Islamic areas think of it is rather rarer
in human history than is assumed here. Consider the cultures in which if
a favor from the 'gods' is not granted the seeker will beat up on the
household statue of the god. The gods, that is, are powers to fear or to
seek favors from but not in any sense of the word objects of worship or
piety. And even in xtianity & Islam for much of their history for a
large share of their folowers the religion really was as some one once
described the Anglican Church -- it interfered neither with a man's
politics nor with his religion.
In other words religion for the most part, even in highly 'religious'
cultures, has not been the omnipresent and powerful force that we are
apt to assume.