Status of the Skydisk CultEdit
The first domesticated humans who created a religion were hunter gatherers in the wild. After being exposed to the artificial environment of an underground city on the Moon, their greatest mysteries were due to our attempts to involve them in observations of Earth. Their earliest concept of the relationship between Earth and the Moon was essentially a two dimensional model in which the two planetary bodies were conceptualized as "sky disks". Inevitably, a group of "rulers" tried to use religion as a way to encourage subservience to the goal of observing Earth. The "leaders" had the personal experience of travel to Earth, and most Moon residents then made second hand interpretations, particularly, interpreting the shuttle craft, because of their shape, as being the "skydisks". The origin of the Skydisk Cult was thus from those outside of the ranks of the Observer corps and was concerned with fantasies of freedom that could come from being granted passage on a Skydisk. The Observers themselves soon became embarrassed by their own contribution to the origins of the cult and they only sought to devise an orthodox version of the religion that would facilitate their monopoly over travel to Earth. After thousands of years, the true nature of space travel was clear to everyone and the religious remnants remained, divorced from their origins.
On the "orthodox" side of the religious spectrum, themes of divine punishment were common. Any rebels who questioned the Rules of Observation were threatened with punishment in an afterlife.
The "rebel" side drifted towards secular disrespect for orthodoxy and a fantastic literature evolved. In the popular imagination, the Skydisk Cult was connected with legends of Superior hominids who founded a civilization on Earth and then went away. The forces of orthodoxy were often viewed as perverting the divine intentions of those who brought humans to the Moon. In any case, most residents of the Moon accepted core concepts of the orthodox religion, even while rejecting the formal trappings of orthodoxy and living comfortable secular lives centered on the arts and crafts, among which social networking must be listed as the most important.
Numerous religious traditions have come to the Moon from Earth during the past few tens of thousands of years. These have become established as a diverse group of minor religions on the Moon, some of which explicitly conflict doctrinally with the orthodox and dominant Skydisk tradition.
Overseer Doltun is a devout practitioner of the Skydisk Cult. Most lunar city residents view the Skydisk Cult as the semi-official religion of the Overseers.
The Skydisk Cult involves some type of belief in an afterlife and believers may be tempted to avoid putting things right in this life if they hope victims will be compensated durnig the afterlife. Belief in Romlev, the Great One and Judge of the Dead counteracts this.
All human aides are advised to make a special effort to diffuse religious tensions. As we approach the next Cultural Shift, with Neanderthal descendants becoming the new Overseers, the Skydisk Cult will no longer be the dominant religion on the Moon. Resentment among the new minority practitioners of the Skydisk tradition will be high and potentially dangerous. With care on our part, the religious shift that will follow Neanderthal ascendancy will be peaceful. Inevitably, one of the modern human religious traditions will rise to a position of dominance. It is not too early to develop contingency plans in case the known checks and controls on Neanderthal mysticism are not equally effective on future modern human residents of the Moon.
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