Makes sense grindcore.
Another take I have is that religion is useful to the extent that it is comforting to people to think that when they die, they dont really die. I think the belief in religion is a self-preservation mechanism overall and its heavily rooted in our evolutionary past.
Richard Dawkins long before he wrote about the God Delusion wrote about our genes in The Selfish Gene. Roughly the premise of the book and what he laid out in-between was evidence showing that we make most of our decisions based upon the maxim of the principle: SURVIVE AT ALL COSTS (hence, The SELFISH Gene).
Paul MacLean's Triune Brain theory is that we evolved in different stages and as we progressed into humans today we have developed three major parts of our brain. The three layers are the reptilian system, the limbic system, and the neocortex. Each layer is geared toward separate functions of the brain, but all three layers interact substantially.
The three layers evolved over long periods of time, with reptilian first - dealing with territory, limbic/mammalian second - dealing with emotions and fight or flight, and finally the neocortex - dealing with logical decision making. The neocortex is what separates us from most other animals. But we still have the other two very primitive parts of our brain that come out to play - they are the parts that make us do silly things from time to time (like Tilting off your roll in Poker, or chasing that girl who is actually a bitch).
So lets take these two theories and add them together. We make most of our decisions based upon what we believe is BEST for our long term survival, and each part of our brain has different and sometimes conflicting drives about what it considers BEST. So when we make decisions, I am not only talking about our LOGICAL brains here. I'm talking about different drives that are hard wired into our genes through millions of years of evolution that manifest due to different stimulus.
When we talk about survival, there are layers of what is considered survival. Survival today to a western person might mean having three meals a day, living in a comfortable house, having a car and being able to exercise leisure (high functioning survival - neocortex driven). Survival in the past (thousands of years ago) might have meant killing your friend because he has food you need to eat (reptilian driven survival).
Anyway, regardless, we do whatever we can do to make sure we survive, and beyond that thrive. So at our very core we are wired to try to survive first, then thrive afterwards. The higher up in social circles we go in society we see this triune brain theory in practice - it is basically a manifestation of SURVIVE lower tier, through to THRIVE highest tier.
Getting back to Religion; since survival is so hard wired, its no wonder we WANT to believe in the idea of SURVIVAL even AFTER we pass on. Its so hard wired as an instinct that it doesnt matter if it doesnt make any LOGICAL sense, since survival itself is a primitive reptilian pre-logic force, we have a desire to want to survive and keep surviving and so anything that BEST allows us to do that, we will be predisposed to want to believe it.
That is often why you can rarely have a logical debate with a devout religious fundamentalist, as his drives (despite what they may say) are NOT logic driven, or are so deeply rooted in from a young age, that they can not approach the subject of the possibility they could be wrong.
To the reptilian Brain and Limbic Brain its like saying, YOU WILL DIE if you challenge this belief. And since thats not what we are hard wired to want, they will reject all evidence because its almost like a matter of life and death (to the primal and limbic brains at least).
I imagine if someone said to me YOU WILL DIE if you touch that cup on the table, I would laugh (logic brain), but if they said that and had a GUN to my head, I probably wouldn't touch it (reptilian/Mammalian brain). Would you?
So in a way, belief in religion makes sense, considering our evolutionary past.
Ironic that most religious people dont believe in evolution however