The very title of this node is flamebait, but it deserves good writeups. I'll try to add one, because I'm sure we can get a good discussion going here without resorting to sniping at ANTMakko; S/He must not have seen Avoid Highly Subjective Writeups camped over there in the right hand margin. I, however, have, but I'm venturing into fire and brimstone territory anyways.

Personally, at this point in my life, I think that religion exists because humans exist. Religion exists because the world outside of humans exists. Religion exists because people don't want to belive that they are alone. Sure, there are those who use religion as a justification to control, to hurt, and/or to kill. And then there are those who use religion as a justification to do good, to learn more about themselves and others, and/or to help them live a good life. Like any other polarizing force, religion can be manipulated, expanded, shrunken, destroyed, or created. Religion will always be controversial, but it will also always be necessary. Even atheism is a form of spirituality, because in deciding not to believe in (a) Supreme Being/s, you acknowledge that you have in the very least thought about the Supreme Being/s. (Please let me know if my ignorance shines bright enough to blind when it comes to that previous point. My understanding of atheism is limited, which is probably highly obvious. I am extremely open to discussing the matter. Feel free to /msg me and certainly to add your own views to this w/u.)

I think that the genesis (yes, that was a bad, bad, bad, bad pun) of religions is impossible to pinpoint. Just look at the sheer variety of religions and deities. And even if a few religions were created with the express purpose of herding sheep to the slaughter (again, another bad pun) I'm sure that the vast majority were created to help answer the questions that most people ask. (Who am I? Why am I here? Where did my pants go?) And religion, or at the very least spirituality, will always exist, because until humans become omnitient, omnipresent, and eternal, those questions will continue to be asked.

I realize that this node blatantly draws upon my Judeo-Christian upbringing. My religious background biases this writeup and my RL, so I apologize if I offended anyone; it was completely unintentional. I'm really interested in what other people have to say on the matter. Please, contribute.

Religion is a form of refuge and explanation. The purpose of it is to give people an explanation of our existence for it is only a figment of our imagination. It is a theory for all things. Why are we here? God created us for some great purpose in his divine plan. Why is this happening to me? God is testing you. Why am I unhappy? You have not been faithful to God. What will happen after death? You will either go to heaven or hell. Why should I not commit crimes? God will send you to hell. It is also a refuge from the real world. People feel safe around a church because of a belief that they are protected by a greater being. Religion may also be called a "placebo" to life. A church is just another place, why does it protect us? or a better question, how? All of this is part of human nature, to turn to something or someone, that is why religion exists at all. Different cultures have different religions, but at the end, they're all the same. Most religions say don't do bad, do good and good things will happen to you. Most religions say there is a God or greater being that created us all and we should praise it.

Throughout the course of history, many people go to war because of difference in religion. But their religions are pretty much the same, so why do we do these stupid things? And if God (if there is one) and he is so powerful, why does he cause us to fight each other? My explanation is that religion and God is just all in our minds, it doesn't exist, WE do all the stupid things that we do because it's human nature and that's that.

I disagree with ANTMakko that religion was begun as a form of social control. I certainly believe that some people have since used it as such. But that's a whole other string of nodes.

Personally, I feel that all human beings have certain unanswered questions about the way the world works. Why am I here? Why do bad things happen? Is there some meaning to it all? It's extremely discomforting to think that there might not be any answers. Thus, the human brain, in its infinite wisdom, decided that all will become clear after we die. The psyche introduced this concept as a pacifying mechanism to prevent itself going insane.

Later, the concept got formalised and handed over to a bunch of corrupt Italian guys (in the case of Christianity) and whatnot, and everything went screehee. But it was a nice thought.

This is one of those nodes that requires consideration before adding a write up...

I think that neiken got it a bit mixed up, I think it is because we evolve our morals, that we are able to sustain larger societies, and thus better standards of living. After all the realization of our limits implies there are things beyond them, and while we may reflect our social and cultural patterns in our explanation of these things, we also transcend these to create a better world. Society isn't about taking after all, it is about giving, hunter-gatherers were more about taking than we are. I imagine that future societies will be more about giving to each other than we are still, and that there will be greater co-operation than now, and that this will be in part because of the morality we are creating now.

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