My belief is that religion is nothing more than something you're taught so young and so consistently that your brain hard-wires to that mode of thinking so that rational thought no longer can over-ride the stupidity. We all know that feeling when it comes to "home." No matter what nasty hole you were raised in, only that look and feel gives you that "home" feeling. (Sweet home Alabama?) For me it is marshlands off the Georgia coast though logically I spent much more of my youth in other settings. Hard-wired. With religion, the brain pathways are so fixed that someone raised in it just cannot see the obvious. Every other religion but your own looks stupid but you just can't see it in your own. Religion also teaches top-down hierarchical thinking and unthinking obedience to a leader. That's why Republicans are so stupid and such followers.