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Moderation is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted. Common uses of moderation include:
- Ensuring consistency and accuracy in the marking of student assessments.
- A moderator may remove unsuitable contributions from the website, forum or IRC channel they represent in accordance with their moderation system.
- A more proactive nuance is found in the Methodist church's use of the term for the heads of its conferences.
- A neutron moderator is used to slow down neutrons in a nuclear reactor.
- A way of life emphasizing perfect amounts of everything, not indulging in too much of one thing, hence moderation.
- A lifestyle choice by which many college students abide so as not to become alcoholics.
Moderation is also a principle of life. In ancient Greece, the temple of Apollo at Delphi bore the inscription Meden Agan (μηδὲν ἄγαν) - 'Nothing in excess'. Doing something "in moderation" means not doing it excessively. For instance, someone who moderates their food consumption tries to eat all food groups, but limits their intake of those that may cause deleterious effects to harmless levels. Similarly in Christianity, moderationism is the position that drinking alcoholic beverages temperately is permissible, though drunkenness is forbidden (see Christianity and alcohol). Moderation is a characteristic of the Swedish national psyche, more specifically described by the Swedish synonym Lagom. Moderate Muslims adhere to the concept of contextual relativism as a way to grasp meaning from the Quran.
Moderation is considered a key part of one's personal development in Taoist philosophy and religion and is one of the three jewels of Taoist thought. There is nothing that cannot be moderated including one's actions, ones desires and even thoughts. It is believed that by doing so one achieves a more natural state, faces less resistance in life and recognises one's limits. Taken to the extreme, moderation is complex and can be difficult to not only accept, but also understand and implement. It can also be recursive in that one should moderate how much one moderates (i.e. to not be too worried about moderating everything or not to try too hard in finding a middle ground). Moderation as a principle of Taoist Philosophy turns up in all three of its main texts.