Untold thinkers have written insights with varying clarity concerning the role and functionality of religion in people.
In my humble opinion all parties get stuck in ever repeating card houses of logic defending their particular conviction thereby completely ignoring the core of the matter. What is religion to more or less objective standards?
The following biological facts, simplified a lot, shed some light on the issue.
There was once a mammal. It needed a lot of little bits of operating systems in order to let all components of its body function properly. Over time they became so numerous that it needed a system to coordinate the other bits . That system became so complex that it was capable to reprogram itself in order to be able to assimilate the ever increasing flow of information. It called itself: conscience.
Objectively impossible to determine if it exists, since conscience itself determines what are the criteria defining conscience.
That conscience, in an attempt to preprogram future acts of the body, starts tell a tale to itself.
A continuous flowchart enabling it by correlating previous events and by means of extrapolation to arrive at a predefined future action.
The conscience calls that tale: reality. Again objectively impossible to determine if it exists, the conscience stipulates what is reality. The one conscience determines the tale in which a supernatural being must exist a reality, the other determines it to be unreal.
In this one can distinguish two different main categories of belief:
First. The true devout believer.
Given the biological fact that belief has a physical origin in a brain structure located somewhere in temple area one can make a good case that belief in its origin/intensity is directly related to a more or less developed structure of the brain.
Accepting this, asking for respect for a religion and it’s rituals is the same as to ask respect because someone can talk, run, eat, defecate.
Discussions involving religions, and their place in society is meaningless, the believer is forced by its brain to believe. One could compare it with homosexuality . This also finds its origin in the structure of the brain and is therefore futile to try to impose the feeling on a heterosexual, or persuade another to become likewise.
The only difference would be, as the brain structure controlling belief has no preference over one supernatural being for another, that a believer can be made to accept another religion. Whereas a homosexual has not that many options.
Second: The social believer.
The characteristics of this believer are one of educational, peer formed belief. This form of belief is just a concept created by indoctrination and as such is not really ‘felt’ to be true.
This explains why people can become apogees or atheists. An option lacking in the previous category of believers.
Unfortunately there are lots of people with a less developed notion regarding the origin and nature of conscience whom take themselves very seriously. So immensely serious that it is for them unacceptable that their existence has no meaning. And then they will look for something which will give their existence the grandeur they imagine it to have .
Old books such as the bible, koran, torah come in very handy, because just like the writings of Michel the Nostredame they can be interpreted in any which way to suit whatever you want to believe.
The simple solution that we simply are procreating little primates that exist because we exist is too humiliating to them.
We logically have an anthropocentric world view. We assume ourselves to be superior because we believe we are superior. A type of extreme ‘dubito, ergo cogito ergo sum’. Other animals doubt also, take decisions, deceive, tease, play, have feelings of love, hate, joy etc.
Their philosophy of life we do not understand just as little as they understand ours.
But by their standards they sure can feel superior over humans with good reason.