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.