Religion Evolves

by Baba Brinkman

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about

A preview EP showcasing songs from the upcoming Baba Brinkman album "The Rap Guide to Religion", which explores the study of religious behaviour from an evolutionary perspective.

Download "Religion Evolves" by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign (coming soon).

credits

released 01 August 2014

Tracks 3, 4, 7 & 8 Produced and Mixed by Tom Caruana
Tracks 2, 5 & 6 Produced by Soulful Spider, Co-Produced and Mixed by Mr. Simmonds
Track 1 Produced and Mixed by Mr. Simmonds
Keys on Tracks 2 - 8 by Simon Kendall
Mastered by Mr. Simmonds

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all rights reserved

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Track Name: Invocation
Scribble scribble, inner vision
How does an original scripture get written?
How does it get taken for a true revelation
Instead of imagination? What’s the difference
Slick talker, mystic stalker
Against all odds, white Canadian hip-hopper
Badge of honour, belong to the tribe
Tryin’ to find the rhythm and the rhyme to describe
The ineffable, and measure the untestable
Eff with the ineffable and end up with a testicle
Severed, gotta be more than clever
Promised land, but the promise can’t deliver
Mohamed the prophet of Islam was illiterate
Hella-eloquent, hence considered legitimate
Nobody but god’s messenger could pull that off
As if Eminem had just freestyled Rap God

Improvisational skills improbable
Still I’m skeptical, probably neurological
Paul the Apostle, schizophrenic episode
Addicted to religion, time to get some methadone
Dead bodies everywhere, into the volcano
Symbolism carved with a blade on a gravestone
Jesus fish on a bumper, iconic
Darwin fish, spaghetti monster, ironic
Scientific method, quest for enlightenment
No flies to vinegar, honey to entice ‘em in
Rhymes are impediments, remedy forgetfulness
A temple to enshrine sentimental efflorescences
The crowd watches, like a voyeur
Negative assessment, Shiva the destroyer
Still conjuring words to invoke spirits
Witchcraft on the mic with the ghost lyrics

Swagger like a peacock, what is rap for?
Hand on my crotch, standing on a trapdoor
Encyclopedic, songs in a catalogue
Charles Darwin on the mic tryin’ to battle god
So many scattered thoughts, gotta reign ‘em in
And get my skates on for the main event
Rap, religion, gotta take it serious
Don’t pull punchlines, somethin’ for the curious
Be fearless, and inquisitive
Much safer now than when the inquisition visited
Weave facts into rap vocabulary
And see if anything’s left that’s not imaginary
Try to rebuild the boat without sinkin’ it
Duct tape, keep it afloat, brinkmanship
No way to please both believers and heathens
Try to at least offend for the right reasons
Track Name: Religion Evolves
I spent my whole life perplexed by religiousness
Front door step debating with Jehova’s witnesses
I was a teenaged empirical thinker, a spiritual seeker
Obsessed with rap, I considered it lyrical research
This was the medium that I could think and speak in
Flippin’ ridiculous figures of speech over beats like every weekend
My CD collection became my personal gospel
I was an apostle, like Thomas, wondering was it impossible
To rock shows and still be thoughtful? So paradoxical
Speakin’ in tongues all over the drums like Pentecostals
I figured if I could master the craft I could start a new religion
Devoid of superstition, a descendent of secular humanism
With the ecstatic rituals of ancient mystical shamanistical
Visions, except, based on philosophical naturalism
Which means, no counterfactual claims, no supernatural
Nothin’ but reason and evidence, troops salute the rational
In my religion the truth is sacred, and science adjudicates it
And meditation is cool if you wanna find your buddha nature
But human nature exists too, and it’s not rude to face it
Enlightenment comes when we understand how evolution shapes it

It’s a demon haunted world, you can take it from Carl
Sagan, whether Christian or pagan… religion evolves
Whether it benefits one of us or whether it benefits all
Adaptive problems are gonna get solved… religion evolves
The bigger the scale of a society, the bigger the gods
People get along when someone’s watchin’ them… religion evolves
Let’s send a rocket on a manned mission to mars
If the holy wars don’t kill us first, let’s hope… religion evolves

I’ll turn my religion on itself like an Ouroboros
Religion evolves, it adapts, ask a biologist
A cognitive psychologist, a sociologist
An anthropologist, a behavioural ecologist, religion is all of this
Two or three new religions get founded a day
They’re just like rap artists, most of them won’t be around in a decade
They all compete for space, and followers and human devotion
Religion evolves, 'cause many are called but few are chosen
Approximately ten thousand religions are currently active
So forgive me if I don’t ask which exact version you practice
Chances are, flip of a coin, it’s probably Abrahamic
Half the planet is either Christian, Jewish or Islamic
We can track their demographics, study their epidemiology
Human beings have been religious since before the holocene
Twelve thousand years ago, agricultural revolution
Prior to that, most of our significant evolution
Small scale societies surviving in the pleistocene
Had a strong incentive to unite like a hive of bees
Religion is a device for binding people tribally
And if you’re in my tribe, well then I’ll die for you, you’ll die for me

It’s a demon haunted world, you can take it from Carl
Sagan, whether Christian or pagan… religion evolves
Whether it benefits one of us or whether it benefits all
Adaptive problems are gonna get solved… religion evolves
The bigger the scale of a society, the bigger the gods
People get along when someone’s watchin’ them… religion evolves
Let’s send a rocket on a manned mission to mars
If the holy wars don’t kill us first, let’s hope… religion evolves

Religion is an evolve mental technology, definitely
But did it evolve culturally, or did it evolve genetically?
Or is it a side effect of several other mental capacities
That evolved independently and separately function adaptively
Like agency detection systems triggered hyperactively
Or theory of mind, which means reading people tactically
Like, I know what you’re thinkin’, who the hell is Baba Brinkman?
Is he some kind of cross between a prof and juvenile delinquent?
Yeah, that’s right, that’s what I am, now let’s get back to the question at hand
I have a conscious mind and I try to predict your thoughts as best I can
I predict you’ve never considered what religion is adapted for
Or if you have, then I predict you’ve never heard it rapped before
So how do I know it’s adaptive? It could be random drift
It could be byproduct of something else that has adaptiveness
Like your belly button, which is amazing, but it’s not really for
Naval gazing, it’s a side effect of your umbilical chord
So religion might be a viral meme that’s parasitic
Or it might be an adaptation by maximizing descendants
It might benefit individuals, or it might benefit whole groups
Or it might be the invention of cynical priests trying to control you
Or it might be a belly button byproduct, or adaptive in the past
And maladaptive in the present, these are good questions to ask
And science can find answers, and the answers are non-obvious
Except the answer to where it doesn’t come from: divine providence

It’s a demon haunted world, you can take it from Carl
Sagan, whether Christian or pagan… religion evolves
Whether it benefits one of us or whether it benefits all
Adaptive problems are gonna get solved… religion evolves
The bigger the scale of a society, the bigger the gods
People get along when someone’s watchin’ them… religion evolves
Let’s send a rocket on a manned mission to mars
If the holy wars don’t kill us first, let’s hope… religion evolves
Track Name: Need To Know
Your brain is a promiscuous explanation seeker
Info-maniac, desperately eager
To get it’s tentacles into something that makes sense
No rest for the insatiable, it stays drenched
In stimuli, that’s what it’s designed for
Satisfaction is what it wants, it’s gotta find more
Perplexity is tension, it begs for release
And comprehension is bein’ mentally pleased
So lay your brain back, I’ll try to satisfy it
Just try it and I bet you keep comin’ back to buy it
I get turned on by the ultimate questions
One of the best ones is: “Why is Sex Fun?”
Why is sex fun?! Gimme a break
It’s fun because it makes a person shimmy and shake
But wait, orgasm has an obvious function
It motivates us in the direction of reproduction
Even if sex is mostly contraceptive,
And non-conceptive, the net effect is effective
And that’s a common evolutionary method
Mechanism and ultimate cause are often separate

Sex is adaptive, babies are the side effect
Babies are not somethin’ we're always tryin' to get
Ten thousand orgasms for one child
Mostly no one’s around to catch what comes out

Knowledge is adaptive, beliefs are the side effect
Facts are not somethin’ we're always tryin' to get
Ten thousand gods for one answer found
Mostly no one’s around to catch what comes out

I’m in a state of curiosity, feelin’ like… rrrgh

But then the answer comes to me and it hits me like… aaah

The design of a brain is a catch-all practice
If somethin’ worked in the past, on average
And led to reproductive success and passed genes on
It probably became part of the human theme song
‘Cause evolution favours whatever’s cheaper
So the brain is rigged up as a massive pleasure seeker
And if you want to get a person actively inquiring
Investigating their environments, they need the wiring
That gives ‘em that fire that burns in their stomachs
That need to know that makes ‘em squirm when they’re flummoxed
And makes ‘em yearn for that information access
And makes ‘em feel good whenever they find answers
Even if they only have half of the story
Even if some of the answers are masturbatory
If the problems of life get solved overall
The promiscuous mental module will get installed
In the brain, which feels a need to believe
That things have been explained, and then it came
In which case god is the ultimate pleasure tickler
‘Cause god explains everything, in particular

Sex is adaptive, babies are the side effect
Babies are not somethin’ we're always tryin' to get
Ten thousand orgasms for one child
Mostly no one’s around to catch what comes out

Knowledge is adaptive, beliefs are the side effect
Facts are not somethin' we're always tryin’ to get
Ten thousand gods for one answer found
Mostly no one’s around to catch what comes out

I’m in a state of curiosity, feelin’ like… rrrgh

But then the answer comes to me and it hits me like… aaah
Track Name: Give Thanks
First of all, I wanna thank god,
For blessing me, to win this award
And for the fans who got my back,
I love y’all, and I thank god for that
You wouldn’t believe what I had to go through
To get here, so let me show you
I come from difficult circumstances,
And that affects a person’s chances
I was really good at school,
Straight A student, played by the rules
My white middle class parents
Are still married, I never had a therapist
I never really committed crimes
Well, I sold a bit of weed sometimes
For pocket money in university
And then at twenty one I got my first degree
At twenty four I got my masters,
And ever since then I made a living as a rapper
Twelve years no day job
Hence my unshakable faith in god
Talk about an underdog
A middle class caucasian rapper, what are the odds?
I ain’t even gotta fake my past
I never been shot at, or stabbed
And somehow I rap for a living?
The lord is generous and forgiving
I ain't even got the X-Factor
Least likely to make it as a rapper
And I rap about science
You can’t explain that without divine guidance!
So I dedicate this award
To the lord

Everything happens for a reason
It’s all about what you believe in

And if you got a grievance

Well, the lord works via mysterious events

Everything happens for a reason
It’s all about what you believe in

And if you got a grievance

Well, the lord is mysterious

Actually, I’m a atheist
It’s in my nature to take the piss
Just take “the lord” as a metaphor
For this audience I’m tryin’ to get on board
Which sometimes seems pretty random
My phantom powers convert you to fandom
So I gotta thank Darwin
Who can’t hear this or strike a bargain
But at least he gave us a framework
To understand how the game works
A person is an intentional agent
With diverse mental representations
And a brain like a smoke detector
With hyper-vigilant architecture
It goes off when there’s no agents around
Just in case: "Is that a face in the clouds?!"
You can’t take it for randomness
Cause if someone is there, that’s a chance you’ll miss
A chance to mate, a chance to trade
A chance to escape
But if there's nobody there, and you feel like there’s gotta be
Well, that’s religiosity
We feel this automatic attitude
An evolved emotion called “gratitude”
You can use it to recruit assistance
But it leads to superstitions
'Cause sometimes you gotta give thanks
But to who? I’m drawin’ blanks
So I thank the audience listening
For supporting rap with authenticity
And I dedicate this award
To the lord

Everything happens for a reason
It’s all about what you believe in

And if you got a grievance

Well, the lord works via mysterious events

Everything happens for a reason
It’s all about what you believe in

And if you got a grievance

Well, the lord is mysterious
Track Name: Theory of Mind
I got my mind on your mental and your mental on my mind…

I can see into the minds of people, but I’m not a mentalist
No psychic powers required to predict your preferences
My mind is constantly uploading info like an iCloud
I can read your mind with just a glimpse of eyes and eyebrows
Lovin’ it, not lovin’ it, confident, confused, covetous
I can watch your body language for a second and discovered it
It’s called perspective taking, also known as mentalizing
When combined with oxytocin it can lead to empathizing
What’s he thinkin? What’s she thinkin? What’s he thinkin’ she’s thinkin’?
I’m thinkin’ that he’s thinkin’ that she’s keen to get a drink with him
But she’s thinkin’ he wants someone different to believe she’s into him
‘Cause competition can increase a person’s influence
Now take that scenario. expand it exponentially
Add layers of Shakespearean, Machiavellian density
Until survival depends on mapping intentions mentally
And that’s why evolution would have favoured this propensity

I got my mind on your mental and your mental on my mind…

No other animal can achieve this, believe it
A chimps or a dog might conceal where food has been hid
But a chimp can’t predict that when a man knows his wife believes
He’s out of town, he’d better creep to keep his eye on things
And a dog can probably tell I’m good at rappin’ over these jams
But it can’t tell whether you think your mom would think her friends would be fans
Theory of mind: the ability to infer
The contents of the mental based on actions observe
Invisible minds, with their own beliefs and desires
Their own passions and pains when you hold their feet to the fire
It's a necessary but insufficient condition for god belief
What do these ancestors and spirits and demons want from me?
Disembodied minds communicating with us via signs
Like coincidences, weather patterns and wind chimes
Are these the end times? Ancient alien ghost hunters?
Why don't they just tell us straight up if they know something?!

I got my mind on your mental and your mental on my mind…

If your ability to read mental content is disconnected
You probably have a condition on the autism spectrum
And that makes an intriguing prediction, it predicts
That god’s intentions will be invisible to autistics
And sure enough, they tend to think of god as an essence
But not as a presence with personal thoughts and intentions
And yes, autistics are prone to atheism
Cause why place your faith in god if god is indifferent
And doesn’t even take positions, our religious intuitions
Need more to keep them sweet than supreme disinterest
So what's the opposite of a brain of the autistic kind?
It's a paranoid schizophrenic mind that sees religious signs
Of every size and shape on every side, every time
A person takes a step it's a direct message from the divine
Or a message from a devil, deception is his weapon
And how can you tell the difference? Well, you can tell by what you step in

I got my mind on your mental and your mental on my mind…

I know what you’re thinkin’ – that’s a first order theory
And you can tell that I know what you’re thinkin’ – second order theory
Third order – she can see that you can tell that I know what you’re thinkin’
Fourth order – keep a poker face and quit blinkin’!
I can get inside your head in ‘bout a second so forget it
I’m the perfect combination of autistic and schizophrenic
Artistic and scientific, my skills are mentalistic
If I couldn’t represent you mentally I couldn’t spit this
I got Christian cousins who believe that god loves them
And hugs them and wants nothing but obedience from them
Which means their mental theory of mind module is buzzin'
Every time they pray to or for somethin'
That same module is how Mona Lisa sees into your soul
And how Scorsese movies can make a lotta dough
It flows from an evolved capacity for mental hijinks
From a model of a model of a model of what a mind thinks

I got my mind on your mental and your mental on my mind…
Track Name: Spread It
Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it

John Frum spread it, spread it
Sean Carter spread it, spread it
Joseph Smith spread it, spread it
Don't let it die and forget it

Supernatural belief is just a part of our minds
The gods can’t exist without people to colonize
Brains to inhabit – yield to the faith
Your mind is nothin’ but a piece of prime real estate
Currently the field is dominated by a couple
Of upstart religions, who made it via muscle
Some religion spreads at the barrel of a gun
Or the tip of a sword, or the beat of a drum
Like ISIS, in the current Iraq crisis
But violence is one of many spreading devices
Religion spreads the same way culture spreads
Jumping from heads into alternate heads
Which depends on certain measurable factors
Most of which are commonly exploited by rappers
It’s all about the copying differences
Where do you think I got my cocky indifference?
Hip-hop! A bunch of word connoisseurs
Turned into entrepreneurs
So let me break down the ways of cultural evolution
For both religion and this hip-hop movement

Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it

Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it

When a brain absorbs information its kinda picky
So what makes a piece of information sticky?
Sticky-icky Sticky-icky-icky-icky
Repetition helps a little bit, definitely
Plus ideas spread when they’re counterintuitive
But just a little bit, ‘cause you don’t wanna ruin it
It’s not gonna get caught in your brain if it’s mundane
Just think about what they say in a church on Sundays
A virgin gives birth, your sins are forgiven
A horse with wings carries a rider into heaven
A jealous god demands a human sacrifice
Water into wine, the dead coming back to life
Standard categories minimally violated
One step away from profane is the sacred
That’s why a rapper tells you he's millionaire
With twenty bitches, but not a trillionaire
With twenty thousand – see, it’s gotta be plausible
We instinctively reject whatever's blatantly impossible
And if you want to spread ideas like a virus
Add a little dash of spice, sex and violence

Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it

Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it

Some ideas catch on for being adaptive
Others spread because the source is high status
A concept endorsed by somebody prestigious
Has a greater chance that other people will believe it
Justin Bieber get young girls into Jesus
And I tend to believe whatever Jay-Z says
Another factor is popular endorsement
When in Rome, do what the Romans do with their horses
And plus, people follow trustworthiness
How can you tell if someone’s just a dirty snitch?
We follow people who can prove their commitment
To their belief systems with costly investment
Actions speak louder than words, can ya feel me?
If not, maybe I’ll get it tattooed on my belly
Religions are the same, they demand demonstrations
Of faith, such a costly waste
Bodily mutilations and food taboos
We can use those cues to deduce the truth
And finally, it’s a controversial issue
But some ideas spread because they’re beneficial

Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it

Spread it, spread it spread it spread it
If it gets big enough you get credit
Spread it, post it on reddit
Spread it! Or else let it die and forget it
Track Name: Andrew Murray
We can take our time, we don’t have to hurry
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray
Hand on the bible, no perjury to the jury
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray

My great great great grandfather was a Scottish Presbyterian
Who traveled to South Africa to settle and get married in
The Trasvaal, which was an Afrikaner area
That Dutch Reform Christians folk were farming dairy in
Great great great grandfather Andrew Murray was a minister
In 1822 he emigrated to begin his work
Preaching sermons every Sunday for the sons and daughters
Of the Boer people, cattle farming Afrikaners
Calvinism was the religion, he did the honours
David Livingstone was one of his doctors
He went to Holland first, to learn the tongue of the Netherlands
He needed it to tend his flock and be a better Reverend
Mooi! Maria Stegmann was his sixteen year old
Wife and soon they had a couple of kids, I’m talkin’ plural
Nice! Andrew junior was a writer
Who wrote The Prayer Life, Abide in Christ and other fine works
Two hundred and forty total books of Christian piety
Surrender and devotion, obedience and sobriety
I come from good good Scottish protestant stock
My ancestors loved that divine providence talk
My ancestors, well they weren’t exactly rational
Except that natural selection trades one capital
Surviving descendants, raw genetic self-interest
Which is different from individual selfishness
Andrew Murray could’ve set up shop to sell fishnets
On the Scottish coast, but he was just too religious
So instead he was a fishermen of men like the apostles
And read his gospels and had as many kids as possible


We can take our time, we don’t have to hurry
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray
Hand on the bible, no perjury to the jury
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray

So if I’m livin’ and my cousins are livin'
Maybe there’s something more to my great grandfather’s religion
Than meets the naked eye, ‘cause they spread the word of Christ
And they married fertile wives and their children’s children thrived
And I bet they’d probably tell you they did it for Jesus’ sake and
Not because the love of Jesus leads to baby makin’
But I’m tryin’ to see how these religions came to be
And that’s different from the reason people say they believe
If beliefs can motivate you to an action that’s adaptive
There’s no reason those beliefs need to be factually accurate
In fact if they can motivate you better with distractions
From reality then we can call that “practically accurate”
Pragmatism when you’re talkin’ natural selection
Just means: “Whatever leads to leavin’ plentiful descendants”
That’s the “ultimate cause” – just to emphasize the difference
And the “proximate cause” is the mental mechanisms
And yes, participation in a church can bring some benefits
Some mutual collectivist assistance and the rest of it
Circling of wagons and defence of all your brethren
The measurable acceptance and love and trust and togetherness
That comes from bein’ part of something bigger than yourselves
If you need to find community, hey, religion can help
But I’ve got my own communities, some hippie Canadians
Some hip-hop heads and some entertainers and atheists
Writers and some scientists and some profs at some colleges
And yes, religious people seem to be outbreeding all of us


We can take our time, we don’t have to hurry
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray
Hand on the bible, no perjury to the jury
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray

I went down to South Africa to meet my Christians cousins
And whoah! I’ve got dozens to the power of dozens
Explosive exponential growth, I’m talkin’ hundreds
And hundreds, my cousin Teo did the sums and number crunchin’
And yeah, Andrew Murray’s doin’ okay genetically
Let me break it down for you geometrically
Andrew and his teenaged wife Maria Stegmann
Had sixteen children and one of them had sixteen children
And the rest had nine or ten and some died at a young age
But the surviving grandchildren number a hundred and eight
And every one of Andrew Murray’s sons became ministers
In the church, and every one of his daughters married ministers
And it worked, Andrew Murray had eight thousand descendants
Of which five thousand are now currently living
Of which only one is kickin’ raps about religion
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is natural selection
So here's a definition of religion: an evolved
Mechanism for converting resources into descendants
Evolved via culture through religious competition
And evolved in the mental architecture that’s intrinsic
Cause our minds are design to get religious in the right conditions
Especially when things are fragile and your life is threatened
Andrew Murray preached a sermon every Sunday
But I be preachin on stages myself so I can't complain
I'm just glad my sister and my women cousins
Aren't expected to have babies by the dozens
I mean Maria Stegmann could've had a career
I guess she was born in the wrong year, poor dear
Well her great great great great granddaughter will be brought up religion free
Let’s see if my baby makes her decisions differently
I got a preacher’s blood, but with a science brain
So let's take this godless revival to a higher plain

I got a preacher’s blood, but with a science brain
So let's take this godless revival to a higher plain

We can take our time, we don’t have to hurry
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray
Hand on the bible, no perjury to the jury
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray

You can take your time, we don’t have to hurry
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray
Hand on the bible, no perjury to the jury
Andrew Murray, Andrew Murray
Track Name: Big Gods
We have to go back
Way back, to the source

Religions are devices for coordinating action
And keeping people from fragmenting into warring factions
The benefits of sticking together are kinda fragile
And people on their own are like wheels without a axel
We all used to be hunters and gatherers not so long ago
And only learned the kinda things that pygmies in the Congo know
Sometimes “back to nature” is the place I wanna go
So journey with me to a time when nobody was on their own
Put your iPhone aside and come with me
We're livin' in a tribe of no more than one fifty
Sons or daughters are getting traded to the neighbour tribe
Cause breakers of incest taboos don't get to stay alive
That's just a cultural thing, everybody knows
The gods live in every tree and under every stone
They don't enforce the laws though, the laws are tribal
Indulge your homicidal side and pay the blood libel

Ain’t nobody messin’ with my animism click
The rest of us are counting on you to act right, so don’t be a…

Everything we do is communal, that's critical
Any prima donna grandstanding gets ridiculed
All the gods do is visit shamans in their trances
Make mischief and disasters and play with us when we're dancin'
The gods don’t punish and reward us in the afterlife
It’s dark and boring there, the gods want a sacrifice
They wanna help us to move and sway to the rhythm
And they're please whenever we collectively make a decision
And those who break with custom get punished with ostracism and gossip
The gods don’t watch us but somebody’s watchin’ so watch it
It’s life and death out here, we need vigilance
There’s always war parties raiding on our villages
Anybody shirkin’ a burden to benefit himself
Jeopardizing everybody else, will get expelled
It’s been this way since time immemorial
All for one, one for all, that’s the warrior code

Ain’t nobody messin’ with my tribalistic click
The rest of us are counting on you to act right, so don’t be a…


Yeah, religions are for coordinating action
In practice they can fragment us into warring factions
The benefits of sticking together are kinda fragile
People on their own are like wheels without a axel
But lately we’ve been planting barley and tending cattle
Now we got a stockpile and a standing army for battle
It seems like half the people I meet are anonymous
The honour system is breaking down, there’s something wrong with us
Ten thousand people in a city-state metropolis
And now we got a sky god lookin’ down watchin’ us
Supernatural monitors keep the people in line
They can see more than your actions, they can see into your mind
And after you die, the gods will judge you and face you
And either raise you into their presence or curse and disgrace you
And punish you in this life too, with ill fortune
But nothin’ gets ‘em movin’ like the fear of hell scorchin’

Ain’t nobody messin’ with my true believer click
The rest of us are counting on you to act right, so don’t be a…

And now believers can establish new trade routes
With bonds of mutual trust that benefit the faithful
Anonymous strangers say the words and exchange favours
And make wagers on common causes and face dangers
But no one trusts you if you don’t perform the rituals
And make habitual sacrifices at frequent intervals
Costly advertisements, the more wasteful the better
Public displays so people can take your measure
And believe you believe, so the trust can continue
And once the bonds are cemented, you form an insular in-group
And members of the out-group are less human
And when they transgress you’re less prone to excuse them
Cooperation has a dark side lurkin’
Religious wars are just religions workin’
We climbed the ladder of society with big gods
But lately we’ve made up some other ways people get watched

Supernatural punishment, the gods above are lovin' it
The system's organized to get to you and who you runnin' with
Nowadays we rely on the government
But once upon a time it was supernatural punishment

Ain’t nobody messin’ with my secular click
We respect authorities as long as they're civic